Expressive Drawing

Expressive or emotive drawing is a technique or process used to communicate raw emotions or emotional ideas that are not visible or tangible.

Some expressive drawings are not literal but more abstract and capture movement, energy, feelings, memories, or even a spiritual realm.

The intent of these drawings is to emphasize the exploration or the expression of different feelings, emotions, or moods.

Express is defined as:

  1. noun. convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct. 

Expression is defined as:

  1. noun. the process of making known one's thoughts or feelings.

A Brief History

Expressionism refers to art in which the image of reality is distorted to make it expressive of the artist's inner feelings or ideas. [1]

Expressionism was also an art movement of the early 20th century in which traditional adherence to realism and proportion was replaced by the artist's emotional connection to the subject. These drawings are often abstract, the subject matter distorted in color and form to emphasize and express the intense emotion of the artist.

Abstract Expressionism (1940s - 1960s) was an artistic movement that emerged in New York City and was regarded by many as the golden age of American art. This movement was marked by its use of texture and brush strokes with the act of chance on large canvases. This art conveyed powerful emotions within the act of the painting itself to create the freedom of individual expression.


1. Tate Museum. “Art Term - Expressionism.”,. 2008, Expressionism.

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