Going dotty

Ink dots – stippling if you want to use the correct term – are one of my favourite ways of playing with ink, a soothing change of pace from scribbling in a mad frenzy.

stippled ink dot portrait

Ink on A3 watercolour paper

Expressing emotion – Contempt

As part of my ‘mask’ background research, I’ve been reading about facial expressions and how we express and recognise emotion.  This included The Face by Brian Bates, the book of a BBC documentary from a few years back, The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression by Gary Faigin, and several articles quoting Paul Ekeman, the psychologist who also discovered micro expressions and is an expert on lying.  One much discussed idea is that there is a a set of innate expressions of emotion that are universally recognisable across all human cultures.

I could discuss some of the theories around the evolution of emotional  communication starting with Darwin’s clever insights, but for now, to summarise wildly . . .  while 10,000 different expressions of emotions have been allegedly been identified,  there are just a few that are unambiguously recongnisable by different people in different cultures as meaning the same thing.  These seven (Fagin argues six) universally recognised emotional expressions are said to be anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.

Annnyway, I thought as an exercise I’d try illustrating each of these  universal emotions at various ages, the essential human masks.   Continue reading