Use emotion in your art | Make it stand out and speak for you | Mehreen Hashmi | Skillshare

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Use emotion in your art | Make it stand out and speak for you

teacher avatar Mehreen Hashmi, Curator/Visual Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. How do I use symbols in my work?

    • 3. Class resource 1 : Slide show of artworks as an example

    • 4. A short art history lesson : Artworks of Freida Kahlo

    • 5. Class Resource 2 : Artworks of Freida Kahla

    • 6. What is visual culture and how it impacts an artist's work ?

    • 7. Level 1 : Brainstorm emotions and subjects : Word Exercise

    • 8. Level 2 : Draw and Compose emotions

    • 9. Level 3 : Compose 'Hope' as emotion

    • 10. Level 4 : Complete and understand foreground and background

    • 11. Ending

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About This Class


Make it personal, make it powerful ; Make it speak for you.

Mehreen Hashmi's work is based on art activism and her self-catharsis to create awareness for survivors of abuse and PTSD. She is also a speaker for this context and to help several other survivors in Pakistan who are suffering in silence. Her story has been published in several local and international newspapers; 

Here is one article  ;

Artist Statement ; My work as an artist has been a catharsis for me and it has been my strength to communicate with the world about my struggles with PTSD. Though my work narrates some traumatic experiences  that I have been through but it has been my super power as well. You can make your art practice powerful and bring social change as well.

In this class, you will understand connection between chosen emotions to be portrayed with selection of imagery with subject/objects. Several artists struggle with conceptual approach in their work, this class is for that purpose. Find your voice in your art, choose your emotion and depict it. If you are an artist, looking to strengthen your conceptual approach for art activism or to use it as your catharsis, this class is for you.

This class is designed to make you understand your true inspiration which speaks your truth. 

Conceptual art works are based on several context. Main context are based on either personal or social or political.

In this class, you will learn how to  ;

Brainstorm context related to your chosen emotions.

How to connect emotions with images.

Use of elements, imagery, and objects related with conceptual approach.

Basics of unique compositions., principles of creating a unique composition.

Understanding of balancing colors in a composition.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mehreen Hashmi

Curator/Visual Artist


Mehreen Hashmi, residing and working in Karachi, Pakistan is founder and curator of MH Initiatives, and MH Online curated art gallery featuring renowned artists of Pakistan and international artists.  In 2019, She has curated a traveling project called 'Kabutar; which is a cultural exchange between Italy, Turkey, Netherlands and Pakistan. She has curated Pakistan's first art summit, Karachi Art Summit' in 2017. She has been exhibiting her multidisciplinary artwork based on art activism globally and have been part of several projects in Europe. Her work has been reviewed several times by pioneer art critics. She has taught for International Baccalaureate  and Cambridge systems and have worked as Head of Department for four years. 

About her work as an artist ; ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi there, My name is Marina Hashmi and I'm an internationally acclaimed visual artist and a curator from paraxial, Pakistan. I have been exhibiting internationally in Australia, Nepal, young job in early China, this year, Germany, London. There are a lot of business I have exerted every year and have been part of different projects based on art activism in Europe. My work has received several awards in Karachi, Pakistan. I'm also a curator and have worked with different unpredictable organizations are just Culture Department covering of what this thought and a half, the rated karate Art Summit. You can find a lot of publications about my work nationally and internationally. My work is also now giving recognition to be part of students who are studying in US and UK for their input and master's degrees? Yes, in autumn this I do to tell my story and create a radius against social taboos of mental illnesses, which I have also my struggles with the survivors of abuse, domestic violence, and all of those broken, different disturbing topics which we avoid socially. So recently, last year my work got published. I had a feature in daily dimes Pakistan, and it's very difficult to reach the masses here and talk about such context. So I live and work in my studio, also running by online art gallery promoting different August and teaching for several years for different departments internationally backwards system edX, Cambridge for their diploma program. I have several students and I always encouraged them to get out there. Personal connection with their works who have the signature style of your own and get to express their feelings with their work. Because I have been doing this in a country like Pakistan, creating arenas for the social taboos of survivors, childhood abuse, and everything else, which we are forbidden to even mention social gatherings. My work has given me a lot of strength and a lot of power through my art activism. I worked with paintings, used those in mines relations and audio and video installations as well. My work is really conceptual. I have been part of international artists phenol Indian job in angina and get to talk about the work. So here I am, I'm going to share my expertise and skills to get you to tell your story and get your work the period of identity for our activism. 2. How do I use symbols in my work?: In my work, so in my work there are a lot of emotions as you can see. So drips here, this means that, you know, draw ma, and panic attacks and its idea dogs, all of that nervous breakdowns when you're crying a lot when you are in bean and gears and filled as well because I'm a sexual assault survivor and my work is about that. So that means that, you know, when how there's filled comes to your body and how you live it, the straw much throughout your life. So this is one of them aren't that I have another word which I have as this one. This is a self portrait. I mostly do self portraits. And there's one more big Bs which I can show you. There is a slideshow of my work. I use how splice also in my work in some of my old CDs, as you can see this one in the background, but it's too big. So you can see that in the slide shows her house flies is about predators who are assaulting the victims and survivors and rapist and pedophiles and all of that because house fly signified, filled and irritation and no way to send something. We're just coming on your body and your soul and you know, it's irritating you and boding that filled on your body. So the mining all of that and my color palette, which is in blue and it's mostly drips and it's very dark colors. I don't use money colors. My colors are vibrant, but it's mostly dark blue and purples and oranges. And you know, it shows exaggeration of the emotions that I am feeling during my sufferings of mental illnesses with bipolar and schizophrenia due to ICPD, ASD, paranoia and sleep paralysis, you know, a lot more. So all of that suffering combining in one painting gives an emotional effect of my work. My work is based on expressionism and broke it IV and emotions soul and my emotions of Y and I was having panic attacks and exempt and nervous breakdown. So it, all the mines in this work, just with my synth bordered because this is this course soon as me and usually I'm known as a fun person. I'm Dr. Dave and cheerful, barred the other side of the picture, I might draw laws and my PTSD. So combining that, I show that Bardach myself portrayed as a person who was living and running ventures and teaching on Skillshare and curating and exhibiting is a different person who's functioning. And the person who is getting those traumas and suffering from mental illnesses is another side of me and I'm balancing. We're combining good as one person as a whole. So this creates a lot of Venus for men. First people living with mental illnesses that we are regular human beings live on regular person. I'm running a lot of injuries and doing a lot of things are being done exhibiting and I am grading projects, are they? I'm talking also in my belongs about mental illnesses. So it shows a wall picture my life as a mental illness, burst buffer zone, was it every movement that is, is. So this is dark and powerful and I use my one says portraits. And you will combining with the color palette and one image only use one image because it gives more powerful as I tilt my other students that is strongest, simplest is the strongest, so you just use one image in New York work. It really gives the powerful impact rather than you have a lot of images in one beam. So I use high files. Flies which are exaggerated, which are sitting in, coming out of my mouth, are sitting on my breast or sitting on my other body parts or, you know, are, you know, it's boring. It's filled on my whole body the way it shows that how trauma affects me. So that's the artist concept behind my work. You can choose, pick and choose with these coming exercises, choose your own images and elements with your emotions that those emotions you want to portray and depicting your artwork and make it. 3. Class resource 1 : Slide show of artworks as an example: The document. 4. A short art history lesson : Artworks of Freida Kahlo: A lot of artists, whoever good personal contexts similar, dolly, Francis Bacon and one of my most favorite is feedback ALU. So when you look at her where you can see the trolley accident, her heartbreak with her husband, her disability of not being able to have kids higher by paralysis because of that role and he exited high bad boy injuries. You can see all of that in her work. She has used such exaggerated, such clear symbols in our work. And our work is so powerful because it's personal. And you can just look at her literary, her biography when you're looking at the world. So I have put some paintings of a work and put up a slideshow for you. You can find in class resources. 5. Class Resource 2 : Artworks of Freida Kahla: Hello. 6. What is visual culture and how it impacts an artist's work ?: In every artist who aren't usually that culture matters a lot. Visual culture is where you are living and where you are practicing. So the mining that wherever you are living there, your socioeconomic, political context, your personal contexts, and going to join with social context, as in my work is personal connection with the social contacts as I live and work in Pakistan. And my work is about women empowerment and you know, Me Too, movement and sexual assaults of men and woman. So this all effects your work. You brainstorm that also combining that. So you have a nice, You have an audience for your artwork and you, where you are submitting your work, it shows what you know people can relate to it. So visual culture is very important, whatever your surroundings are, which country you are living with, city you are living. A lot of artists work with visual cultures. They do landscapes of wherever they are grown up or living where they are missing their country or however that goes to, this is one aspect of choosing your concept. You can combine this as well in your work with these exercises. 7. Level 1 : Brainstorm emotions and subjects : Word Exercise : You can relate to, for example, most basic word is hope, you know, and what else give me before and brave that we go for mostly and a Lord as well. Luxury. What else comes to mind when we are thinking of brainstorming our, our ideas. Hardworking. What if you have to show hardworking? So I will explain these words for you. You know, the symbols and subjects which you can see a subject or object resonates with these words, sol, solved goals, flower, flower blooms. And it shows scholars is spring. Spring is another way of expecting who are showing group as well. Flowers are mostly seen as a very nice kind of pinky and rosy in good ways and good approaches and art when you want to show who dares, mostly flowers are mostly seen. Brave, v have died. Either daggers are supposed to be brave or line as well. Now a lot of paintings in which tigers have been painted because they are gorgeous. They're very handsome as I believe so they are very gorgeous and the texture and the role anatomy of tigers are really good. Really good at being things and meeting of luxury, the tingles, What else? But for subordinates, shiny to ground and its related with, comes from the boy D as well. So if you want to show goal there, some girl, boy jewelry on board, background or VOR ground or things like that. Hardworking for me, hard-working is a spiders because I feel spiders are my spit it out and most spiders are very hard working. They make the wall bay by themselves and the greed of board wherever, wherever the goal that live in the wild and they weren't known as though they're very independent as well. Hardworking, independent and feminine Israel. Spiders are my favorite animal is a chilly, so filled if we have to show failed off any or trauma has I shorten my word there goes house price because house flies are, you know, it dramas are given by other Beagle, as I've explained in a previous video. And house size are something which sits on the garbage or it comes inside your house and it's N2 appeasing, it's disgusting. The whole impact as bizarre and you don't want it in your house and you know, or any revenue or object or body or skin or food. And when it sits on it, it gives a disgusting feeding because the world and not me all flies are ready discussing. So these are few. There's one more thing which is very cliche and there's riches ready Coleman Israel for freedom. We use wings. Okay? So in freedom, beings are mostly shown, boards are shown, or birds as well because you know, you can fly, you can write this guy, you can go anywhere or anything. You want to weaken rule above and you have no limits and all of that concepts. So these are very, very basic connections with, you know, the objective. You want to show the image g and with the subject. So I can show, I want to show, I can choose partners with robbers or I wanted to show links with blooms as well. So let's draw something. 8. Level 2 : Draw and Compose emotions: A list of words I have chosen flowers because I have the did one, just fighters and how slides I have one already doing it in my work. I'm going to agree to just hold it's not an object. Dagger. I don't like doing draw in a moods and veins are bringing the security. So these are my reasons of choosing my, my object, which is going to be flour, which is rooms and spring. So I wanted to show some hope in my Word or, you know, position. So if you want to choose something like that for sting gums is composition. So first of all, we need paper and we need a masking game. So we can either use a sketchbook or you can use just a piece of paper, cartridge paper. This is like our district burn. It's big sheets and I've gotten into small pieces. You can choose either markers or I'm wondering, dollar or a gutter, pencils or anything. Thank you. Want I haven't decided yet what I wanted. Jews would be able to choose what Jacques pistons means that gardening section, I will show you what I'm gonna do. So here it is. Our piece of paper is all of the stirred on the table. It's very important because then, yeah, you know, Otherwise if you reward, then it keeps moving. So if you are able, if you wanted to do something particular, you can either use images or you can use some references, reference images. Or what you can do is you can do it from your imagination also, but it's good to have reference. I will be using other friends as well. I love dandelion flowers and I am using it in my new CDs as well. Whenever I do a lot of my shorter term dandelion flowers. So I love red dot lunch. So I'm going to use some differences on this yellow flower year bark forest. We have to compose, we have to learn to compose it. Okey-dokey. So it might be this Gauss's I have explained compositions are large. You can watch those and learn about balance, rhythm, and the focal point and improve your compositions because every bit of art matters, toDF, automators or lard me get to learn how and Ward bart, you know, these GYN, office more technical TODs large in your artwork. So I'm going to make a small box here. I would make three boxes. And null. I'm going to decide which part of the box I want to make my eye level line. I can make it in my, in my glass. How do understand decompositions? You again understand balance, rhythm, and focal point. And how do you start your glass Bailey get it gave me an a When they are a lot of examples as well of composing. Here, I'll just give you a very basic unfold, a quick one that you'll start with focal point and it has to have balanced with negative and positive ideas and this bulge in your composition and I serve as a a, and then you need rhythm as well. So if you see there is a small, tiny bits offered which is greatly soldier them at it. And you know, these farms or flower is when they take so much with them. I'm not going to draw in the center because drawing in the center is a same. You should not be drawing in the center. You'll a lot of his droll off center or you may different compositions. I will choose this one because this has a lot of margin of giving me a good composition and you can see different sides of L'Oreal. So this is very flat on the dog. It, so it can be on board one interesting one, vD. It won't be so easy to show you our simple for, to show you the basics of the composition. So I'm going to draw this one. I will draw this dry joined this here forest. I mostly don't good drawing, so this is why I'm doing it. They're quick drawings in my Einstein where you can draw on your style. You can do photo-realistic, you can do is impressionism or cubism. How ever you want to do it? Because this is my emphasis in this clause is more of conceptual art and bone positions, not how to draw this and that. So there are a lot of classes on Skillshare where you can learn a lot of skills for drawing as well. There are a lot of other amazing teachers who are doing that. This is a kind of diagonal. It's creating very exact balance from both sides. And it has some bit of playfulness hero. So I'm not playing exactly the same colors. I am choosing my colors and I like to enjoy in funk, you can choose different colors as well. I'm not using it as a dandelion flower. I'm using it as a reference to show you how to draw your compositions and how you can work with you on where or how can you make it unique? Because there are so many objects to our drawing flowers being big flowers, but what makes your awkward unique? So you have to think about that. If I add some yellow, it will look interesting. Note, color compositions. Color combinations also matters a lot. A lot. You need to know which kind of goes with which I can also edit love us. It's about human fiduciary and second VM, and it has to balance on its own as well. 9. Level 3 : Compose 'Hope' as emotion: You can choose your favorite Fathers. However, you wonder when you are playing with your process work. I suggest that you use different colors also. So you understand that you don't want kind of goes with what you can make your painting unique. Also, you can look at different aspects that other people who are not seeing it as solo. This is one composition, this is a very basic one, so I'm going to go for the next one as well. So where should I draw? I can draw here, there. What I can do is I want to draw with orange this time, so I can do it in the center of it, not Center as an off-center here as well. The way it is or I can do the half of the flower, I will go for the hub of the flower. This is cited. So when you draw different ones in different cases, you'll see a different impact of your composition. Every dime, it looks different. It's just one scene from over, but you have soul many, thousands and millions of ways of drawing it. Now I'm going to do some really funky gathers. My gonorrhea is buttered. All of them. We'll do maybe I'm seeing and reading much fun. C02 had hit. And I experiment with colors in my work. Even though my work is really dark. Vd ID was very much librarian gutters lighting up Ovid grounds. All right, well, what if we make a rare stamp? Here are some bourbon means close reading that leaves there are a lot of donors and each of them you can put Hs. So there's one bond was issued. You'll see this one's very much happening or it's moving. It has a lot of win-win because you can see the width. All of this looks like a little bit of minimum work that you can share something we get add some backgrounds in the end is relevant, then you will have to do the background. Just DO. But do you see the impact and feel of those two flowers if changes the wall, embark and feed of anything you are being done with your composition, how much you are using. Their flower is very dynein. Their flower is right in the center on sport. It's facing everyone. It's right here on spotlight. And I knew if I have driven it all in the same street, then it would have given my composition. Then it would have killed my composition. But in this one, I have chosen diagonal line. So if I draw a line, the error, so you know, you can see that it's right here in this window, but it's not in the center as well. And when I draw a line here, then you can see it's half of this as half of my composition. Where did he find drawing here? So it's going back on board sizes. And if these are indeed, these are fluids balancing the whole gondolas this way, and it's balancing the world gondolas this way. C, So there's one more that I can do for you. This is, where should I go from here? How about exaggerating the composition? Goals are being seen. Farber, I'm drawing the same flower. Okay. Okay. I'm going to try to use all of them in my heart and my mind is well, of course, for double positions and the doing the dorms here. But the thing is, it's a lot of experience and resolve drawing that my mind, my hand is moving on its own. That I have been a lot of drawing as well. So you'll take your diet if you want to draw something when he did daily, you can do that. And you wanted to learn draw with this flower and experimented a lot. There are so many ways of drawing it. I'm just using very few basic ones to show you. So here is another one. Do you see that it's not in the center? There is if you draw a straight line, that new node to node in the center, and some part of his is pointing at this psi and most of the flower is on this side. So it is a sin balancing the equation. You can see the rhythm here. Focal point is there's one elemental over four. Good morning is our one flower and ni are moving around. Your gown was soon. Now there are three different compositions. Which one do you like? I love this one because you can see it's like, you know, we don't have to say anything. It's just a flower. Hope you can just, you know, dipole. It's done here. So let's color the background. 10. Level 4 : Complete and understand foreground and background: So what gutters you have used in the foreground, you don't use it with the background. Sometimes you can do this also that if you have used some dollar warm colors in the foreground, then you use some colors in the background on if you have using some poorly valor in the foreground, when you use some won't get as in the bigram. So I have used purple, orange, purple, and yellow which are towards purple is a cool color and go IS or more butter. So I can find some balanced scholar as well. I can use sum or I can use some warm color as the background. Or I can do something different as well or different colors that you have seen an audit go on. There is BCE by Andy Warhol. Bayesian must be user ID where I was a child. He has used so many colors in it of Moreland mineral. Here I am using some oranges and it's becoming very warm, so I have an idea to cool it down and balance also. There's no harm in using only warm colors, but still it gives a good Do your awesome, balanced to the viewer psi. Which one should I use? This one? I would go for a light blue. Because the audit, like Google's vended oranges and thetas and round, smooth sea and sky. Got enough Ines La Brea. Minimum a gun positions. See you see the difference that it's so vibrant and it's all there and it's speaking for itself. It's bopping hour and seeing something real. And this is also a strong, but it's very minimal. It's very cool and calm. You'll view God when you look at this one and you'll see in a very vibrant, energetic and upbeat. And when you look at this one, Let's see how this one goes. Use your reference lines off your compositions and duller a different way. Be playful or you can just use what do you call it, 3D blue background as well. I can go for rate. Alright, we haven't done this, so I will do housing and Alfredo each or go for a low seeds. So difference in three different compositions which are showing G different moods. And vaguely have hope being did. 11. Ending: I hope you have liked this class. Don't forget to give me a review. I will be posting more classes and do send me your work on my email, maybe not curator and I would love to see your work and give you feedback and conceptual artist, mostly based on artists and art and discussion. So we can discuss it and you will have a question, you can put it in the discussion and I will definitely respond it to you. So enjoy learning and I will see you soon.