I got this lesson on how to draw emotions a long time ago, I don’t remember who from, but it stayed in my mind all these years. It is very simple but effective. You can create different emotional states with just two tiny adjustments.
It is also a good tool for talking about emotions with your kids. “what is this person feeling? Why might one feel this way? Have you ever felt this way?” etc. Depending, of course, on the age of the child. Without any psychology, it is simply a cool trick for expanding your children’s drawing skills.
I have included two different versions. The first one is a bit more simple, for younger kids.
Version 1, how to draw six different emotions
Start by drawing simple dot eyes on all the (in this case) pears. Then draw three of them with the corners of their mouths up and three of them with the corners of their mouths down. See the picture below.
At this point, you can already ask your child about the emotions of the six different figures. They will probably say ‘happy’ and ‘sad.’
Now add nuance by drawing the eyebrows—two different eyebrows: inner sides up and outer sides up like in the picture below. Now ask your child again about the different emotions, and you will for sure get very different and more diverse answers than with the first picture.
Like I said. Simple!
Afterward, of course, kids might like to draw in the rest of the picture. Adding arms, legs, hair, hats, or whatever they like.
Version 2, six more emotions
There are six more emotional expressions to explore in this second version—the same process as before. First, draw the mouths and eyes without the eyebrows. This time add a neutral mouth and an open mouth like in the picture below and ask your kids about the emotional states of the figures (if you like).
Now we will again add the eyebrows. Eyebrows with the outer sides up and eyebrows with the inner sides up. Like in the picture below. Now we have a whole range of emotions to explore.
I didn’t label the different expressions for you here. It will be interesting to see which emotions the child connects to the different expressions without being influenced by “the right” answer.
You can print the sheet with the 12 pears here.
I hope you enjoy this drawing lesson with your kids.
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