Why does my line drawing look so sad

I’m trying to create a line drawing of my friend Steve, I was Steve’s best man at the wedding where the photo was taken. I like the shot because the smile it subtle but definitely there.

I’ve been tweaking the image below in illustrator for at least 2 hours and Steve still doesn’t look that happy.

What is it about the image that I’ve got wrong, Eyes and mouth are pretty much exactly as the original. Any help is much appreciated.

Line drawing and photo of Steve

Version 2 – Incorporating answers so far

Been away and had another crack, Steve looks cooler now but still not exactly delighted to be there. It’s an improvement. As many of you said “it’s all in the eyes” and while they are still not perfect they are much better. Feedback welcome.

enter image description here


One of the simplest methods of separating and isolating features or parts of a face is putting your hand over the rest.

I think that the smile is in fact displaying perfectly fine, as you can see here:

smile only

Only when you isolate the eyes, do you notice the problem well:

eyes only

Those eyes could say many things to me, but happy is not one of them.

Now simply by adding some of the indicators of a smile everything changes significantly, as our face creases in common places, especially around the eye, and they are entirely visible in the photograph.

one eye more smiley

Without finishing the other eye, you can notice the difference made by a few more details around the eyes:

one eye good, the other not

There is a reason why it’s been said that

The eyes are a window to the soul

They say a lot more than I think you give them credit for. I think all of the answers are valid to this, and will help you to perfect it, but I think the eyes are the key component you’re missing in this Illustration.

Source : Link , Question Author : Tom Styles , Answer Author : Dom

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