Gage Artistic Director Gary Faigin is recognized as a leading authority on facial expression for artists – he wrote the classic book on the subject, used by animation studios worldwide. In these six lively lectures, Faigin draws his way through the basics of the face in movement, starting with the structure of the skull and its muscles, and then demonstrating how a set of tiny movements creates the universal, profoundly communicative sign system we call expression. You will never look at a smile the same way again!

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Gage Capitol Hill

All Level are Welcome
$75 for Series/$15 online or at door


April 10 | The Basics

Everything starts with the skull. In the introductory lecture, Faigin describes the inner structure of the head, and details the location and movement of the key muscles of facial expression, like the all-important zygomatic major – the smiling muscle.


April 17 | Hard to Express Nothing!

We are pre-disposed to see emotion in the face, even when none is present. Faigin demonstrates the key elements that we look at to assess the mood of our model, and what makes the features look relaxed – or otherwise.


April 24 | Surprised…or Terrified?

Some expressions are extremely difficult to clearly depict. Fear, the most overwhelming of all the emotions, can easily be mistaken for surprise. Faigin analyzes what makes each expression unique, and why they are so visually similar.


May 1 | Disgust and Anger

Surprisingly, disgust and anger share certain elements, and are at times confused. Faigin draws each of these very distinct emotional states in various stages of intensity, focusing on the critical relationships between the upper and lower face.


May 8 | Sad and Very Sad

Sadness is one of the most common facial expressions, and it also the subtlest, being detectable at very low levels of intensity. Faigin covers the full range of possibilities, from crying to simply miserable. It’s all in the eyes!


May 15 | The Amazing Smile

The smile is the most complex and mysterious of all facial expressions, capable of communicating an enormous range of emotions, from sly to sexy to inebriated, with simple joy and laughter in between. It’s also incredibly difficult to get right, which is why it’s so often avoided in portraits. Faigin will set everyone straight on what to draw and why.