When I look at the above picture my mind runs the old SNL gag, "quien es mas macho?" That's not right, of course, but old Kirk and new Kirk are different personality types. It shows in their faces. Old Kirk was lust-based, eager for power, eager for confrontation and a fight. New Kirk is counter-phobic, protecting himself and his crew, dying for the cause.

Chris Pine was chosen to be Kirk in the new series of movies because he bears a resemblance to Shatner. However, his personality is so different that they have drifted into more than another timeline, they have drifted into a very different show. I'm sure that the casting agents did not do this deliberately, but intuitively, or maybe just by accident. Hero's Journeys are the rage right now, not "Wagon Train to the Stars." It is odd to watch the follower personality type try to "sit in the big chair."


Two captains, both believable. One is a British type, the other American type. Both agressive personalities, but very different. Neither is fear based, like Pine's Kirk, but Picard (left) is an outraged type and Shatner's Kirk is a combative type. Picard tries to find a diplomatic situation, rising to wisdom and tolerance, Kirk tries to force the opponent to back down, rising to generosity and magnanimous grace in victory.

The Victorians took the study of facial features and personality to an amazing level of complexity and prejudice. But, for the study of face and personality, we begin with the skull. There are wide variations in the human skull. Racial extremes have some features that stand out, males have some differences with females, but everything blends together. The grossest cut among humans is head shape. Wide, medium or narrow. The skulls tend to have the same area, the narrow head often being very long. In Europe, there was a wave of long heads that came across and then a wave broad heads then another wave of long heads and then broad heads that halted at the Austrian border. The earliest wave can be seen in Atlantic types like the Welsh and Gallacians of Spain. The Stonehenge people were a broad head type that conquered the earlier Woodhenge peoples. They were solar oriented rather than Stellar. The next wave was of long headed Celts and Norse types which, even today, are regarded as nobility. Here are the three types. Medium head types are considered beautiful in the States, in Eurasia, the long head type is preferred.


Prominent features on skulls are the temporal lines that come down from the head to the eyebrow. The superorbital ridge that defines males. The cheekbones (zygomatics) and the chin. The skulls are from the left, Caucasian, Asian, African, Australian, and Female. However, before you start jumping to conclusions, you will find most of these types blending into one another. Asian eyes show up in Scotland, dark skin anywhere the sun shines more strongly, underbites, overbites, weak chins, high brows, low hairlines, and so on everywhere.


The square head can be a bit long or wide, but the definition is in the jaw being as wide as the cheeks and the forehead. A square head is as long as tall. The personality traits associated with this are firm, stubborn and hard working, but also persevering, intolerant, quick and energetic.


The round head also the same width across the jaw, cheeks and forehead, but the face is softer, sometimes wider across the cheeks. The traits are active, hasty, generous, passionate, and often opinionated.


Similar to the round face, the long face is on the other extreme, the oval in between. Another mobile, intuitive type, impressionable and impulsive.


The triangular face with the wide forehead and sharp chin is a favorite for the trickster type. The traits are wild, witty, undisciplined, sarcastic, gifted and devious.


This face type is called, conical, or the inverted triangle to indicate a wide jaw and the heavy lower face. It is associated with laziness, conservatism, practical, comfort-loving people.


This diamond face is also intuitive, but with a strong will, being more impulsive and suggestive than the other types. It is very popular among models and those who are often photographed.

Supposedly, the three areas: forehead, cheeks and jaw, indicate wisdom, will and independence. Americans like heroes with a strong jaw, indicating self-reliance and integrity. Europeans tend to pick heroes with strong cheeks and noses for the perseverance and discipline. Americans prefer much lower hairlines than Europeans.

Nick and Leo

Although there is an amazing amount of information about faces, posture also plays a large part in a character. Here, I had a problem. I had twins, one of which was confident and aggressive, the other of which was a follower, quieter, and depressed. I can indicate with their body postures which is which as you can see from this composite. It's much easier to give an emotional reading on a character in writing than in drawing, but it can be done. Surf the internet and look for emotions: "depressed boy," "sad man," etc. You don't have to draw the face sad to make a depressed person, it shows in the body. These boys are both seventeen, where attitude, costume, and mood can play a big role in the appearance of maturity.


Here is another problem where I had a woman change into another woman, but could not mimic the personality. There are instances of this in fantasy with the mistaken bride story. Drawing the same features run by another personality is good practice for learning to draw personality in the body and gestures and posture. Girls often discover this when being evaluated for attractiveness: that they can change their attitude and be suddenly way more attractive. Part of it is clothing, yes, but don't rely over much on clothing, it's a crutch.


What costume can do is show social position. Personality is in clothing, but people are more concerned with giving social situation clues with clothing. Group identity, age identity, social status, and family identity, profession, and culture can modify clothing more than personality. Another exercise is to dress the same person in different clothing. Costume can certainly affect a person's personality, just ask any actor. People offen affect costume to deliberately change their personality as well. Use costume as a way to modify your characters, not as a way to identify them.


One of the more interesting problems I uncovered doing group drawings is family and group personality. Not only can you identify groups by costume, appearance and status, but you can identify them by attitudes and tendencies toward the same personality traits. Then when a family member sticks out, it can be attributed and contrasted in a more interesting, visual way. These two families overlap, but are very different. You can see that in their attitudes as well as costume and appearance. The man in the striped tunic on the right of the family group, is related to the other family where he appears in a white fur, but seems to belong to the other family in his choice of costume and attitude. This became a central part of the book. Often you can show people who do not look alike being related by similar facial expressions and personality traits.

© 2017, A.R. Stone

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