Step-by-Step Guide: How to Draw Your Feelings and Express Emotions
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


1. Understanding Feelings and Emotions

2. Preparing to Draw Your Feelings

3. Step-by-Step: How to Draw Your Feelings

4. Exploring Different Techniques to Draw Your Feelings

5. Sharing Your Art and Connecting with Others

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions and wished there was a way to express them creatively? You're in luck! In this step-by-step guide, we'll explore how to draw your feelings and express emotions through art. Whether you're an experienced artist or just starting out, this guide will help you tap into your emotions and create meaningful, expressive artwork.

1. Understanding Feelings and Emotions

Before we dive into the world of art, it's important to understand what emotions are and why it's essential to express them. Emotions are complex mental states that arise from various situations, thoughts, and experiences. They can be both pleasant and unpleasant, and learning to express them through art can be incredibly therapeutic.

The Importance of Emotional Expression

Expressing emotions is vital for our mental health and well-being. Bottling up feelings can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical health issues. By learning how to draw your feelings, you are giving yourself a healthy outlet to process and release emotions, leading to a more balanced and content state of mind.

Moreover, expressing emotions through art can improve your self-awareness, allowing you to better understand and manage your emotions. This skill can positively impact your relationships, communication, and overall emotional intelligence.

Identifying Different Emotions

Before you put pen to paper, it's crucial to identify the emotions you'd like to express. Some common emotions include:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Disgust

Think about your current emotional state or a recent event that triggered a strong emotion. Reflect on how this emotion feels and what it means to you. This reflection will help guide your artwork and make it more personal and expressive.

The Connection Between Drawing and Emotions

Drawing is an excellent way to express emotions because it allows for endless possibilities and interpretations. There are no strict rules or guidelines when it comes to drawing your feelings, which means you can let your creativity flow freely.

By using colors, shapes, symbols, and various techniques, you can create a unique representation of your emotions that speaks to you and resonates with others. This process can be incredibly cathartic and empowering, allowing you to take control of your emotions and share your inner world with others.

2. Preparing to Draw Your Feelings

Now that you've reflected on your emotions and understand the connection between drawing and feelings, it's time to gather your materials and set up your creative space. In this section, we'll discuss how to choose the right materials, set the mood, and embrace imperfections as you begin your artistic journey.

Choosing the Right Materials

One of the first steps in learning how to draw your feelings is selecting the materials that work best for you. There's no "one size fits all" when it comes to art supplies, so experiment with different options to find your favorites. Some materials you might consider include:

  • Pencils or pens for sketching and outlining
  • Colored pencils, markers, or pastels for adding color
  • Paints, such as acrylics or watercolors, for a more fluid and expressive medium
  • Different types of paper, like watercolor paper or drawing paper, depending on your chosen medium

Remember, there's no need to break the bank on expensive art supplies. Start with what you have, and gradually build your collection as you explore and refine your artistic style.

Setting the Mood for Artistic Expression

Creating a comfortable and inspiring environment is essential when learning how to draw your feelings. A well-curated space can help you tap into your emotions and focus on your artwork. Here are some tips for setting the mood:

  • Choose a quiet and clutter-free area where you can work undisturbed
  • Arrange your art supplies within easy reach, so you can focus on your emotions and creativity
  • Consider the lighting: natural light is ideal, but if that's not possible, use soft, warm lighting to create a cozy atmosphere
  • Personalize your space with inspirational items like photos, quotes, or objects that evoke positive feelings
  • Play calming or uplifting music to help set the tone and encourage emotional expression

Embracing Imperfections and Personal Style

One of the most important aspects of learning how to draw your feelings is accepting that your artwork doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's the imperfections that make your art unique and true to your emotions. So, let go of any expectations or self-judgment and embrace your artistic journey.

As you draw, focus on the process and your emotional connection to the artwork, rather than striving for perfection. Remember that art, like emotions, is subjective; what matters is the meaning and feelings your art conveys to you. Over time, you'll develop your personal style and gain confidence in expressing your emotions through art.

3. Step-by-Step: How to Draw Your Feelings

With your materials ready and an inspiring environment set, it's time to dive into the process of drawing your feelings. In this section, we'll guide you through a step-by-step approach for creating artwork that genuinely reflects your emotions. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to do it—what matters most is staying true to your feelings and enjoying the creative process.

Identifying the Emotion You Want to Express

Before you start drawing, take a moment to reflect upon the emotion you want to express. It could be happiness, sadness, anger, or any other feeling that's important to you. Here are a few tips to help you identify the emotion:

  • Think about any significant events or experiences that have impacted your emotions recently
  • Consider how your body feels—sometimes physical sensations can provide clues to your emotions
  • Pay attention to your thoughts and any recurring themes that might indicate a specific emotion

Once you've identified the emotion you want to express, try to visualize it in your mind. This mental image will serve as a starting point for your artwork.

Using Colors to Convey Emotions

Colors can be powerful tools for expressing emotions in your artwork. Different colors are often associated with various feelings, so choosing the right colors can help convey the emotion you want to express. Here are some common color associations:

  • Red: Passion, anger, or love
  • Orange: Energy, warmth, or excitement
  • Yellow: Happiness, optimism, or creativity
  • Green: Calm, growth, or balance
  • Blue: Peace, trust, or sadness
  • Purple: Spirituality, mystery, or luxury
  • Black: Power, elegance, or fear
  • White: Purity, simplicity, or innocence

Experiment with these color associations in your artwork to find the combinations that best represent how you feel.

Incorporating Shapes and Symbols

Beyond colors, shapes and symbols can also help convey emotions in your art. Think about what shapes or symbols might represent the emotion you want to express. For example:

  • Hearts can symbolize love or affection
  • Squares might represent stability or order
  • Circles can be associated with harmony or unity
  • Jagged lines might suggest tension or anger

Feel free to mix and match shapes and symbols to create a unique representation of your feelings. Remember, your artwork is your personal expression—there's no right or wrong way to include shapes and symbols.

Adding Details to Enhance Emotional Expression

As you progress with your artwork, consider adding details to enhance your emotional expression. These details might include:

  • Textures, such as rough, smooth, or bumpy, to add depth and evoke specific emotions
  • Patterns or repetition to create a sense of rhythm, movement, or emphasis
  • Contrast, by using light and dark colors, to highlight certain elements or create a sense of balance

Take your time and experiment with different techniques to find the ones that best capture your emotions. Most importantly, enjoy the creative process and remember that learning how to draw your feelings is a personal journey of self-discovery and expression.

4. Exploring Different Techniques to Draw Your Feelings

Now that you've learned the basic steps of how to draw your feelings, it's time to explore various techniques that can help you express your emotions in unique and powerful ways. This section will introduce you to three different artistic approaches: abstract art, collage, and digital art. Each technique offers its own set of possibilities, so don't be afraid to try them all and see which one resonates with you the most.

Abstract Art and Emotional Expression

Abstract art is a fantastic way to express your emotions without being restricted by realistic representation. In this approach, you can focus on using colors, shapes, and textures to convey your feelings, rather than trying to depict specific objects or scenes. Here are some tips to get started with abstract art:

  • Experiment with different tools: Try using unconventional tools like palette knives, sponges, or even your fingers to create interesting textures and effects.
  • Let your intuition guide you: Don't worry about planning your composition in advance—instead, let your emotions guide you as you create, and see where the process takes you.
  • Embrace the unexpected: Sometimes, accidents or mistakes can lead to exciting new discoveries. Be open to the unexpected and see how it can enrich your artwork.

Remember, the key to abstract art is to let go of the need for representation and focus on expressing your feelings through the visual language of colors, shapes, and textures.

Collage Technique: Combining Images and Textures

Collage is another technique that can help you express your emotions through art. In this approach, you'll combine different images, textures, and materials to create a composition that reflects your feelings. Here's how to get started with collage:

  • Gather your materials: Collect various images, papers, fabrics, and other materials that evoke the emotion you want to express. Don't be afraid to mix and match different sources, like magazines, photographs, or even your own drawings.
  • Arrange your composition: Play around with the arrangement of your materials before gluing them down. This will help you find a layout that best represents your feelings.
  • Add personal touches: Consider including handwritten notes, drawings, or other personal elements to make your collage even more meaningful and unique.

Collage allows you to explore your emotions through the combination of different visual elements, which can result in powerful and unexpected connections between images and textures.

Digital Art: Using Technology to Express Emotions

Lastly, digital art offers a modern and versatile approach to expressing your feelings through art. Using digital tools, like drawing tablets or software programs, you can create a wide range of visual effects and easily experiment with different techniques. Here's how to get started with digital art:

  • Select a software program: Choose a digital art program that suits your needs and preferences. Some popular options include Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, and Autodesk Sketchbook.
  • Learn the basics: Familiarize yourself with the program's interface and tools, and practice using them to create simple shapes, lines, and colors.
  • Experiment with different styles: Digital art offers endless possibilities, so don't be afraid to try out new techniques, effects, or styles. You might discover a whole new way of expressing your emotions!

Whether you're new to art or an experienced artist, digital tools can open up a world of possibilities for expressing your emotions and exploring how to draw your feelings in innovative ways.

As you experiment with these different techniques, remember that the most important thing is to stay true to your emotions and enjoy the process of self-expression. Happy creating!

5. Sharing Your Art and Connecting with Others

As you continue your journey in learning how to draw your feelings, you may find yourself eager to share your creations with others. Sharing your art can be a rewarding experience, as it allows you to connect with fellow artists and art enthusiasts, receive feedback, and even inspire others. In this section, we'll explore some ways to build a supportive artistic community, share your work online, and discover the healing power of art therapy.

Building a Supportive Artistic Community

One of the best ways to grow as an artist is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your passion for self-expression. Here are some ideas for building a supportive artistic community:

  • Local art classes or workshops: Look for art classes or workshops in your area that focus on emotional expression or the techniques you've been exploring. This is a great way to meet fellow artists, share ideas, and learn from one another.
  • Art clubs or meetups: Join an art club or attend a local meetup to connect with others interested in drawing their feelings. These gatherings often involve group critiques, discussions, and opportunities to collaborate on projects.
  • Online forums and social media groups: If you prefer connecting with others online, search for forums or social media groups dedicated to emotional expression through art. Here, you can share your work, ask for advice, and engage in conversations with fellow artists from around the world.

By fostering connections with others who share your passion for drawing your feelings, you'll create a nurturing environment where you can grow and thrive as an artist.

Using Online Platforms to Share Your Art

Sharing your art online can help you reach a wider audience and even open up new opportunities for collaboration, sales, or exposure. Here are some popular online platforms where you can share your art:

  • Instagram: This visually-oriented social media platform is perfect for sharing your artwork and connecting with other artists. Use hashtags like #howtodrawyourfeelings to help others discover your work.
  • DeviantArt: As one of the largest online art communities, DeviantArt allows you to create a personal gallery, join groups, and interact with other artists who share your interests.
  • ArtStation: This platform caters to professional artists and showcases high-quality artwork across various disciplines, including digital art, illustration, and more.

When sharing your art online, remember to be open to constructive criticism and engage with your audience by responding to comments and questions. This will help you build a supportive network of followers who appreciate your journey in expressing emotions through art.

Art Therapy: The Healing Power of Drawing Your Feelings

Not only is drawing your feelings a creative outlet, but it can also serve as a powerful tool for mental well-being. Art therapy is a therapeutic approach that uses the creative process to help individuals explore their emotions, reduce stress, and increase self-awareness. Here's how drawing your feelings can contribute to your mental health:

  • Emotional release: Drawing your feelings can provide a safe space for you to express and release emotions that might be difficult to put into words.
  • Stress relief: The act of creating art can be relaxing and meditative, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Increased self-awareness: As you explore your emotions through art, you may gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotional experiences.

If you find that drawing your feelings is particularly beneficial to your mental well-being, you might consider seeking out an art therapist or joining a therapeutic art group to further explore this healing practice.

In conclusion, learning how to draw your feelings can be a transformative experience that not only enhances your artistic skills but also contributes to your emotional well-being. By sharing your art and connecting with others, you'll create a supportive community where you can continue to grow and thrive. So go ahead, pick up your pencils, brushes, or digital tools, and let your emotions guide you on this exciting artistic journey!

If you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on drawing your feelings and expressing emotions, you'll love the workshop 'From Scribbles to Art Therapy' by Shannon. This workshop will dive deeper into the world of art therapy, teaching you how to turn simple scribbles into powerful tools for self-expression and emotional healing.