31 October 2005

Visual thinking practice: Expressing emotion

Visual thinking is the practice of using pictures (the viewing of pictures and the making of pictures) to enhance your ability to solve problems, think about complex issues and communicate effectively.

Are you ready to work on your visual thinking skills? You don't have to be an artist. Pick up a pen or pencil and try the following exercise.

The face is the most instantaneous and recognizable way human beings communicate their emotional state. Drawing facial expressions can help you understand them better, and also will enhance your observation and visual communication skills. Here's how to do it:

First, write the word "Faces" at the top of the page.

Next, divide a piece of paper into twelve squares by drawing two vertical lines and four horizontal lines to form a grid, like the one shown here (For Moleskine users with the small lined notebook, each square should be five lines high).

Now, in each square, draw a circle and make a simple facial expression that communicates an emotion. The goal is to draw twelve facial expressions that are distinct and recognizable.

Want to see how you did? On a separate piece of paper, write down the emotion you were trying to represent with each face. Now show your drawings to a friend and see how many they can guess.

1) Feel it. Make the face and try to "feel" the emotion as you draw.
2) Reduce your options. Think about how you might type an emoticon to express the feeling.

Email your drawings to me at dgray[at]xplane[dot]com. I'll post some of your drawings on the Visual Thinking Art blog.

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Anonymous said...

people who communicate via Instant Messenger may have a slight advatage here. There should be a handicap: teenage girls have 24 expressions to mimic.


Anonymous said...

where can i get more info?