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Practicing Therapeutic Drawing


  • Coloring books

  • Make mandala art- Mandala artwork is made of circular objects. The boundaries of the graphics can give a sense of control and calmness.

  • Write in a gratitude journal- Write down things and people you are thankful for, stream of thoughts, structured ideas, poetry, etc.

  • Scribble on paper- The freedom of scribbling can take away the expectation of drawing something well. How you scribble can resemble your emotions, for eg. tangled lines show nervous energy getting out or lack of focus. Pressing hard, indicates releasing energy or tensions.

  • Create affirmation cards- Turn an old deck of cards or index cards into intention cards. Start by covering one side with scraps of tissue paper, colored paper, stickers, or stamps. Then print out affirmations or write them at the top of the card with a marker.

  • Craft a peaceful collage

  • Practice Zentangle Art- Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. There is no up or down to Zentangle art. You don't need to know what a tangle is going to look like to draw it.

  • Begin with drawing dots and making a border.

  • Inside the border, draw a light pencil line or lines to make what we call a "string." The string separates your tile into sections, in which you draw your tangles.

  • Draw your tangles in pen inside (usually) the pencil strings and borders. Draw your tangles with deliberate strokes. Don't worry about what it's going to look like. Just focus on each stroke of the pen as you make it. Trust that you'll know what to do next when the time to do it comes. Feel free to rotate your tile in any direction that is most comfortable for your hand as you draw.

  • Add shades of gray with a graphite pencil to bring contrast and dimension to your tile. The black and white two-dimensional tangles transform through shading and appear three-dimensional.

  • Put your initials on the front (many people create a unique monogram or chop for this step). On the back, place your name, date, comments and observations.

  • Hold your tile at arm’s length. Turn it this way and that. Appreciate what you just created.

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