Muscular Anatomy of the Face

There are quite a few anatomy resources on the web, but not a lot that combine clear illustrations with pictures of the muscles in action. With the help of a patient model and a fine illustrator, I hope this resource helps clarify how the face can make so many expressions.

You will also find a link to my Craniometric Landmarks web app which is a part of my online forensic sculpture class.


The Buccinator is a deep muscle that origintes on the maxilla and on the mandible in the regions of the roots of the molars beneath the masseter. It inserts into the Orbicularis oris at its lateral margins. It enables us to draw  the corners of our mouths back, which can casue some dimpling at the corners of the mouth, stretching the Orbicularis oris laterally. Trumpeters tense this muscle as they play, which spreads their Orbicularis oris more uniformly over their teeth.

Anatomical Drawing by Daniel Maidman. Courtesy of the artist.
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