How to doodle

Do you know how to doodle?

(maybe you’ve forgotten… your inner child knows how to doodle!)

Here’s how I do it:

Find some paper. plain, lined, graphed, even the agenda of the meeting you’re sitting in (actually working around something with words or shapes makes it easier to start. Boring meetings are my favorite doodling opportunities!)

Grab a pen. go permanent if possible to avoid smudging your work with your hand. or use a pencil if you’re chicken (or if you don’t want your boss to see your work from across the room).

Try drawing some lines or shapes to define some spaces to work in. I often use a little ruler thing I found in hubby’s childhood stuff. It might be called a french curve. It has a curved wave shape on one side that reminds me of the Maori koru. I use it define a negative space I don’t have to fill. Then I make some lines out the edge.

Then I start drawing dots and circles and lines and shapes and I go back and fill them in more and more. Some I do dark and thick, others tiny and fine. I like checkerboard shapes, especially if they are blobby shapes with rounded squares, because they can end up looking really dimensional.

You can get lots of ideas for patterns online (if your brain isn’t producing enough already). I found this lovely sampler on flickr. If you search zentangle and doodle you’ll find some really cool artwork by people all over the world. Moving on from the most simple marks, combining shapes together gives you new patterns. Do a line of circles, then make grass grow between each one, then add little dots like bees visiting the ends of the grass, and maybe go back and put some dots in some of the circles… or whatever makes you happy!

The possibilities are endless.

What’s a zentangle?  …It’s expensive doodling!

Some people had the audacity (or smarts?) to trademark a name and “zen” concept around good old fashioned doodling. They sell a product – paper, pen, 20 sided die, and a guide to 20 patterns… um, really? I’m not going to link you to them because they’ll probably come around and yell at me for not putting TM or R after their name…

Last year I was given a fun book with a neat style of zentangle/doodling that included shading the doodle to give it dimension. My doodles are much messier than the author’s, but shading them really helped make them pop, just like she said.

Here’s a shaded doodle (with the journalling blurred out… I was in a meeting…)

keep going. do more. have fun.

(Just in case you missed my doodle posts from the other day, they are here and here)

What do think?

Do you doodle? in meetings? on the phone?

Do you think there’s something unique about “zentangles”?

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4 Responses to How to doodle

  1. Hi Jo, this one was lovely too and I see the shading makes it pop up. I,ve tried it myself now and it’s very fun with shading. Thanks again for letting me know.
    Best wishes and have fun doodling…….

  2. Space says:

    I would like to be a braver doodler. I draw a lot of the same little spirals and eyes in corners of meeting notes. Or just write the things I’m not saying…

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