Drawing upon representations: an empirical study of the depiction of the human face

E. Brodie, Robert Wyatt, Bridget Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two findings reported in the face perception literature--the 3/4-view advantage and the functional independence of expression and identity--were investigated for the depiction of a face by artists. Six undergraduate art students drew a female face with three different expressions and from three different viewpoints. Analysis of the accuracy of depiction of the drawings by 50 independent raters revealed that both 3/4 left and 3/4 right views led to better representations of both identity and expression. However, an interaction between the artists focus of depiction (focusing on expression or identity) and accuracy of depiction suggested that an artist's route to representing expression is via identity. These findings question the notion of a clear distinction between expression and identity perception and are discussed in terms of the inhibition of higher order facial representations by artists and the maintenance of unfamiliarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalEmpirical Studies of the Arts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Drawing upon representations: an empirical study of the depiction of the human face'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this