Ah, yes, same face syndrome. The bane of any artist’s art life. It’s when all your characters end up looking the same regarding facial features and emotions. It’s annoying and really frustrating to work around in my opinion.
To combat this, I looked up how other artists deal with this and one tip I saw was to practice drawing different people within the same ethnicity. Makes sense because not all people, despite their shared race, look the same. Plus, it helps in breaking stereotypes when drawing people of a certain ethnicity as well (for example, as an asian myself, lemme tell you: not all asians look the same). It’s a win-win on multiple dimensions, isn’t it?
For my first round of practice, I chose the ever popular K-pop idol group, BTS! I chose them also because a lot of my friends follow them and I can play “Guess Who” with them to see if I can capture each singer’s features clearly and if I’m breaking the same face syndrome.
Here is the portraits I did below: (Can you tell who’s who?)
Ahhh, it was so much fun! It really helped me in seeing how different people are. It also helped in seeing that what you think are subtle the facial differences are, in the end, end up being the defining appearance of a person.
I kept a running notes list on what features made one face different from another. Things like eye shape, angle of the eyes (pointing down, up, etc.), jaw line, hairline, etc. were all some of the key features to look out for.
I know now what to change and incorporate when designing my own characters or when drawing different characters in my style.
I really want to do something like this again! Maybe another popular band from another country perhaps? Or photos of common folk.
Hope that tip helps you, too, in conquering same face syndrome and I hope you liked the little BTS portraits!
Till next time, friend.