THE KEY CONCEPT : For extreme rage, activate four key areas - eyebrows, eyes, nose & mouth.
Figure 1. Is it a plane? Is it a bird? Nope. It's the Trump Baby balloon, conceived by artist Matt Bonner and launched on July 13 in London.
This past July, a six-meter baby blimp, sporting President Trump's signature blond hair and holding a cellphone in its tiny hands, was launched into the skies of central London as part of a protest against the President's visit to the U.K.
ORANGE & ANGRY
Described by the Washington Post as an "orange, angry, diaper-wearing President Trump," the infantile inflatable became an international sensation. While the Trump Baby balloon is certainly orange, I believe its expression of anger leaves room for artistic improvement. In order to show a more extreme emotion of rage, its yellow eyebrows don’t contrast nearly enough with its orange “skin;' the eyebrows need to be lowered for a stronger projection of disapproval; its eye whites need higher contrast and its nose and mouth need minor adjustments to express a more convincing scowl.
Figure 2. The original Trump Baby balloon design. Figure 3. An unfortunate imitation with a painfully muddled expression.
To make matters worse, less competent imitations have begun appearing on the horizon. As a facial expression expert, I feel it is my professional duty to provide aesthetic guidelines for balloon artists who wish to create 'a more perfect union' of baby and rage.
GUIDELINES for TRUMP BABY RAGE | From Good to Great
Figure 4. The original baby blimp is annoyed, but not enraged; Figure 5. Darken eyebrow #1 and note how much stronger the eyebrow projects as a dark glowering mass.
Figure 6 . Darken brow #2 and your Trump Baby is getting madder; Figure 7. Lower both brows to occlude the upper eye margin, and for good measure, increase the angle of the eyebrow tilt. (Angry stylized characters almost always benefit from an exaggerated brow angle).
Note how dramatically the level of anger increases as a result of these simple adjustments.
Figure 8. Add contrast to the eye. The iris is a dark disk surrounded by white. Simply lighten the eye and you increase the intensity by one more step; Figure 9. Widen the eyes to create The Glare, one of the most critical elements of getting the eye to look as angry as possible.
Figure 10. Make the snarl more obvious by increasing local contrast of the nose so it isn't lost against the orange 'skin.' The nose is as important to the snarl as the mouth, so make sure to widen the nostrils and darken the hook-shaped creases that accent the open mouth. Admire those teeth and the square, angled mouth that says it all. Now, you are finished! Figure 11. Compare the original facial design to your enraged masterpiece; the English Donald seems almost bored by comparison. All the right elements were there; you've just manipulated facial tone and position.
Now, which angry Trump Baby balloon would you vote for?
Credits: Figure 1. Photo of inflatable Trump Baby balloon flying over London by Peter McDiarmid for REX/Shutterstock, published on ABC News, July 13, 2018; Figures 2 & 11. Close-up photo of Trump Baby balloon, published by WFTV/ABC on July 13, 2018; Figure 3. Photo of copy-cat Trump Baby balloon by Bettina Hansen for the Seattle Time article, 'Trump Baby' blimp arrives on Vashon Island, on August 20, 2018; Figure 4: Photo by Christy O'Conner for Getty Images "Donald Trump visit to London;" Figures 5 to 10. Artist-manipulated photo of Figure 4.
So many faces. So many ways to express emotions. Faigin examines facial expressions in movie stills, cartoons, fine art, illustrations and photographs and shares his insightful analyses in his monthly blog.