Friday, January 01, 2010

A terribly important survey:

Everyone knows that when you draw a character talking, they should always have their mouth open, right? Well, as I've been drawing more and more and coloring in those drawings with colored pencils, I've become aware of a problem I can't seem to come up with a satisfactory solution for.

Specifically, what color should an open mouth be?

There's no problem with black and white, of course, or if the expression of the open mouth is a smile or gritted teeth, in which case I'd just leave it white to suggest the teeth. But what if it's a non-tooth-y open-mouthed expression?

Should the open mouth be black, to indicate the shadow that would exist if you're looking at an open mouth from a certain distance? (Like, looking at my self in the mirror making one of those expressions, it looks black). Or red or pink-ish, because that's what color the insides of mouths are? (It's not like I draw any other shadows, after all). Or should the mouth just be left un-colored...or perhaps colored in, the same color as the rest of the head...?

I can't decide which looks best/least-bad.

Your input would be appreciated.

15 comments:

mordicai said...

Black, 100%

jheaton said...

#2 or #5, if colored.

MOCK! said...

I say #2. My six year old son votes for #2 and my 12 year old daughter said #2 or #5.

Hdefined said...

Not 2 or 3.

Josue said...

Reddish/ pink. White might look as teeth. Black like an object in front of the face (black lantern ring ?)
The further we see in the interior the darker the red :P

Bethama said...

Red all the way. If it's black and white, then black all the way.

Patrick C said...

I say #2 or #4. #3 looks really creepy to me for some reason.

Andrew Wales said...

I say, divide it in half with a curved line. The top half black, the bottom read.

Wild Goose said...

If I remember my C&H correctly, Bill Watterson seems to favor an all-black open mouth. I say go with #2.

SallyP said...

None of the above. When I draw an open mouth, I color the tep half to two thirds in black,but leave a little bit red at the bottom, indicating the tongue. This also works if you are drawing teeth.

But what the hell, use whatever works for you.

Dennis said...

All black, though you should occasionally show some tongue (red), some teeth (usually white), or even an exaggerated uvula (red again).

These are basic elements of the cartooning lexicon, and they'll go a long way toward adding expression to your drawings. Even the most accomplished cartoonists will put teeth in a bird's beak (biology be damned!) when it evokes the right feeling.

Norman said...

Have you tried 5 with a light overlay of black?

Avolio said...

The all-black would look better if it was colored in with the pen used to draw the line art instead of a colored pencil.

noman said...

I vote for #5

supertim82 said...

#4