How to draw pictures of your feelings

Updated April 17, 2017

Drawing pictures to convey feelings can help both children and adults express and process their emotions. According to the American Art Therapy Association, creating art can "enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being." Art therapists are aware that when people have trouble talking about feelings, they can sometimes express them through drawing. This can be a therapeutic experience. Sometimes this experience is enhanced by listening to music while drawing.

Turn on the portable stereo and load it with CDs or connect it to an MP3 player. Choose music that you feel will help set the mood for the feeling you want to express. Music without words, like classical compositions, can help you relax and stay focused. Songs with lyrics may be distracting.

Place the drawing paper in front of you. Arrange markers and art pencils. Keep the sharpener near you in case your pencil breaks or goes dull.

Focus on an emotion you would like to draw, or just spontaneously draw what you are feeling at the time. Feel free to express yourself in any way you want. Do not try to censor yourself or judge your artistic ability. Focus on drawing abstract shapes and colours if you feel too much pressure to draw a "real" object.

Share your drawings with someone you trust. Expressing more difficult emotions, even though potentially therapeutic, might leave you emotionally exhausted.


Buy a set of drawing pencils with dark lead. They will show up on paper better than regular No. 2 pencils. Choose bigger pieces of drawing paper to aid with large, expressive drawings.


Drawing feelings can sometimes leave the artist feeling vulnerable, confused or even depressed. Seek medical attention or the counsel of someone you trust if you feel depressed after the experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing paper
  • Markers
  • Drawing pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Portable stereo
  • CDs or music player that works with the portable stereo
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About the Author

Suzanne Burns began writing in 1991 and currently writes for the "Source Weekly" and "Central Oregon Magazine." She has published three poetry collections and one short-story collection. After attending Central Oregon Community College, she left the degree program to become a freelance editor and writer. She has studied creative writing with Sarah Heekin Redfield, Primus St. John and Ken Kesey.