Facial Feedback Hypothesis

Since I alone make up the painting III class this term, I’m being bombarded with independent projects left and right. Whereas the painting II kids are doing an extended self portrait, I have chosen to do an extended self portrait smiling.

You see, anyone who’s tried a self portrait knows that their default expression is “concentration,” and it just so happens that my “concentration” face is also the same as my “demonic possession going to eat your soul” face. This is a hindrance because, in spite of what anyone may tell you, I’m not a demonic soul-eater from day to day.

So I thought, dammit, I’m going to make a portrait of myself smiling for once, maybe I’ll have an easier time making it look like me. It seemed just the challenge (painting someone smiling is rather difficult to pull off). Well, after a rough, preliminary painting sketch tonight, I’ve found that not only am I more recognizable, but smiling the whole time also has beneficial side effects. I’M IN SUCH A GOOD MOOD!!!

Here I was dreading and whining having to go paint tonight, and instead, I’m all cheerful and skipping-round like. This project is going to be the most enjoyable one yet. Hooray for loosely proven psychological hypotheses! Hooray!

4 thoughts on “Facial Feedback Hypothesis”

  1. *Cackles* Yes, you’ve never tried it before? Smiling all the while doing something can change your mood… so can doing other physical tasks and what not… concentrate on frowning and that’s what you’ll get… hang around people who wear sour expressions (riding the bus for instance…) and voila… it’s a neat little thing you pick up while simply thinking or observing… um… not that I’m doing any of that… *Ahem*

    You’re -not- a demonic soul eating creature? I wonder who that memo was about then… ^_^

    1. I’m finding that out. My professor recommended a good book, The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression, by Gary Faigin. We have a copy in our library, and it’s an outstanding book. I’ve been doing some copies from it in my sketchbook, and plan on doing more.

      1. That book is excellent. I borrowed it from a friend and had so many revalations from it. Now I stare at strangers’ faces, trying to deconstruct them. ^_^ I think I need my own copy.

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