How to Make a Sad Emoticon

By Techwalla Internet Editor

Communicating online is a great way to make new friends and keep in touch with your family and current friends. The nature of online communications is largely impersonal though, so emoticons are used to add clarification to online messages--including sad ones.

Things You'll Need

  • Photoshop (optional)

Sadden the Smiley

Step 1

Open your art program, such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Most editing programs have similar tools. For simple icons, you need to be able to draw circles and ellipses as well as color in the faces. Make your canvas about 20 by 20 pixels. Remember that your emoticons will be used in the middle of text, so they must be a similar size.

Step 2

Set your pencil tool to one pixel wide. There will not be much room to draw elaborate features, but you won't need to in order to make a sad emoticon.

Step 3

Zoom your workspace as much as you need to make it easier to see your tiny canvas clearly. From time to time, scale it down to 100 percent to see how it is turning out.

Step 4

Erase any lines or colors you don't want as you draw. That is a major advantage to drawing on the computer.

Step 5

Choose a shape for your sad smiley and color it in. If you don't like the classic round face, try a teardrop shape. Blue emoticons work very well for sadness. So do gray ones or those with any drab colors in them. Bright yellow doesn't have the same effect in a frown face than it does in a smiley.

Step 6

Decide what you want your sad emoticon to do if you will be animating it because you will need to draw several images. For example, you could have it open an umbrella and have rain pour down on it. Or have it walk with a rain cloud following it. Make the tears fall or let down-turned lips open up into a cry.

Step 7

Draw the easiest sad face by reversing the mouth on a smiley face. In other words, curve it downward into a frown instead of upwards into a smile. The eyes can be very expressive too. Add emotion with eyebrows that peak up in the middle and have a similar curve as the mouth.

Make it Move

Step 1

Create an animated emoticon by working in animation software. Each moving part in your original drawing should be in its own layer. For blinking eyes, for example, the eyes should have their own separate layer. Make several frames in the animation software, each with a sequential picture. A falling teardrop would be near the eye in one frame and lower on the face in the next frame.

Step 2

Choose a time for each frame to play. A faster animation will have shorter times between frames than a faster one.

Step 3

Save your file as a gif whether it's static or animated. Insert your sad face in your email messages, IMs, blogs or in online forum posts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Design your sad faces with a little humor in mind and save the tragedy for in-person conversations. For instance, your sad face could be playing a violin or literally crying a river.