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Drawing: Freehand Doodling is fun

Updated on May 5, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Since school, Bronwen has been interested in art, has joined Artists' groups where she has lived, and occasionally has even won prizes.

Try Different Designs for the Fills of Both Pattern and Background
Try Different Designs for the Fills of Both Pattern and Background | Source

Turn Doodling into an Art Form

We seem to all doodle at different times, probably when we're on the telephone or in a rather boring meeting, but did you realize that our random doodling can be turned into an attractive art form. It might even be worth framing.

  • Doodling for Therapy: Doodling is said to be good therapy. It can occupy the mind and provide a pleasant feeling of relaxation and peace, so while it might appear to be rather meaningless, it is actually useful and helps to develop our imagination and the creative side of our brains.
  • Doodling Relieves Stress: Our minds are often full of the rush and bustle of life, deadlines, what must be done next, and doodling can be an excellent way of disconnecting ourselves from stressful situations. It does not mean that we turn into zombies and go into a trance, but that our minds become more active and alert on a different plane.
  • Doodling Can Aid Memory: Doodling has even been found to be an aid to memory. When we are listening to information, a speech, or even listening to a sermon, sometimes something that the speaker says triggers a thought and our minds wander off on a tangent. We miss the main points of the talk. Taking notes can help, but if our hands are occupied with doodling, that can also help our concentration and we find that our freehand doodling and helped us to remember.

Begin with Shapes
Begin with Shapes | Source

How to Begin Doodling

Doodling is an art form, but it differs from drawing and sketching. When we draw or sketch we have a set purpose in mind, we set out to reproduce a particular object or scene. One of the beautiful things about freehand doodling is that anyone, even those who think they haven't an artistic bone in their body, can do it.

Materials: All you need is a clean sheet of paper and a pencil or pen. I prefer a felt-tip pen - even two are better, a fine one and a wider one. if you are going to doodle in pencil first and then trace over your work with a pen, an eraser is useful.

How to Begin: You can begin anywhere on the sheet and just draw some shapes with no clear idea of what the final picture will look like. There are no rules in freehand doodling. What you draw may be curves, as in the beginning doodle above, it may be angles, leaves or even strange creatures. You don't really need to think too much about what you are drawing or where your pencil wanders.

In One Area or All Over: The choice is yours. Again there are no rules, it's just personal preference. I find it's best to begin with simple lines that can be worked on later. Other people complete one entire section before moving on. The important thing is that your freehand doodle develops and grows along with your imagination. It definitely does not have to be realistic, if you want to remain in the realm of fantasy. It is a way of expressing yourself and as you continue you will find that you become more engaged and peaceful. Even your blood-pressure will lower.

Fill in Some Shapes
Fill in Some Shapes | Source

Filling the Shapes

Again, this is purely up to you. I prefer to make the basic shapes with a 6B pencil. Once I have the sheet covered with shapes that I find pleasing and satisfactory, I trace over them with a black ink felt-tip pen and then erase the pencil marks. Some people use a pen straight away. There is no right or wrong way.

Filling my Basic Shapes: Then I begin to fill in the basic shapes, sometimes completely filling them with a variety of designs, sometimes only partially filling them, whatever takes my fancy.

Perhaps along with filling the shapes, or after I have completed them, I may begin to fill in the background.

Fill in Shapes and Begin Filling in Background
Fill in Shapes and Begin Filling in Background | Source

The Background

Again, how you choose to develop the background depends on how you feel like doing your freehand doodling. You may decide to leave the background completely white, or you may want to fill it all in with one pattern, say, horizontal or vertical lines, or you may want to have a variety of all the designs you can think of: lines, curves, zigzags and other patterns.

  • Interpreting Doodles: Some people like to try and analyse doodles and turn them into a psychological study. I studied Psychology over a three-year period at university and I've a fair idea of what Sigmund Freud, or even Rorschach ink-blot specialists would have to say about my freehand doodle below, but it would be skewed anyway as I was aware of them as I drew. However, for me that's not what doodling is about. It is just a fun, relaxing thing to do that can really relieve the stress of a situation, help the memory and provide something interesting to enjoy in the end.
  • Meditation: Some people use doodling for meditation and there are several names for this process, including Tangles, Zentangles and several others. I guess it could remind me a little of meditating while painting icons, which are also very decorative.
  • The Doodle Below: In the completed doodle I show below, some of the curved shapes just looked like heads, so I added some eyes and then, somehow there were more eyes and different shaped eyes, until it was almost a forest with eyes appearing everywhere.
  • Other Things You Can Do: You may decide to use colour in your doodle; it may be gentle and muted, or it may be psychedelic, brilliantly coloured and startling. it's a personal choice and that choice may differ each time that you begin freehand doodling. You may decide to use a ruler and other mechanical aids.

Whatever your choice, it doesn't matter - just have fun and enjoy the process.

The Finished Doodle - "Eyes."
The Finished Doodle - "Eyes." | Source

Answer This Poll

Do you ever doodle?

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      How interesting! It's something I love to do, but we never did it when studying art at school - many moons ago! I think it would have been looked on as a waste of time. No-one else in the artists' group I belong to does it, either, but it can be very satisfying. Thank you so much for your comments.

    • Caroline Sulek profile image

      Caroline Sulek 3 years ago from Dallas, TX

      In my senior thesis in art school I incorporated the argument and conceptualized in my work that doodling could very well be the purest form of art making. It's the mark making the artist makes instinctively. It shows the level of confidence in technical knowledge because the doodle is the indulgence in the artist's expertise. It's drawing on autopilot.

      A doodle can also have the potential to show a thought process in progress from the beginning to the end. It can have a resulting composition or it can be left unresolved. What I was fascinated with is how it is a direct result of what an artist knows and everything leading up to it. It's an abstracted map of the stream of consciousness. Very cool.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I just had to write this: recently I entered three of my doodles in an Art Show - and won a prize! Now that was a sur-prise!

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      annart: I'm glad you enjoyed it - yes, it really is a form of art. I'm sure your dyslexic students would have benefited from it, too. Great idea.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      This is fascinating. I actually do this quite a lot but I never really regarded it as an art form! It is very therapeutic and I used to let my dyslexic students doodle if they wanted to, during certain classes. I love your doodles; makes me want to do some more so I will! Up, useful, interesting and beautiful! Ann

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      denden mangubat: Yes, it's creative and satisfying.

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 4 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      doodling is freedom

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      CarlySullens: That is so true, it's a great way to lose oneself. Thank you for you lovely comments.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I have been doodling since I could hold a pencil. It is so meditating for me. I lose myself in my doodles and swirling lines. I loved this hub.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Alise-Evon: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It really is a good way to relax, so do try it, although it can be a time-waster for me, too, as it's such fun. Thank you for your votes.

      Kevina Oyatedor: Did you? So you know what fun it can be and, yes, but sometimes I surprise myself the wrong way, too, and am not so happy with the result, but mostly I love it.

    • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

      kevina oyatedor 4 years ago

      I used to doodle as well. It is actually fun and you can aurprise yourself at how well you can draw.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful hub, BlossomSB! I used to doodle a lot in high school. I wonder why we get away from these things? This would be a great thing to do when my brain is tired from typing on the computer to just let it take a break and wander. Thanks!

      Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful, and shared.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      stars439: Dear Stars! That is high praise indeed and thank you so much. I'm glad you like it and may God bless you, too.

      Vellur: Thank you. It is such fun and you never know just how something is going to finish when you begin, it just evolves.

      vocalcoach: Please do! I'm sure you will surprise yourself and have a very enjoyable time in the process. Thank you for your vote and share.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm so surprised to see that art can come from doodling. First thing tomorrow I'm gonna do some serious doodling. :) I love your doodle with all of the various eyes. Thanks so much and voted up and all the good ratings along with sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Beautiful artistic work! I never thought that doodling can be turned into an art form. Loved the eyes doodle art. Voted up.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub, and very creative . I like you're drawings. You're doodles look better than a lot of abstract art I have seen, and that includes Picaso's work. GBY cherished heart.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      teacherjoe52: Good morning. Yes, it really does relieve stress. For me, I think it's special because once I have relaxed I can mediate on our wonderful Creator while I'm creating. God bless you.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 4 years ago

      Good morning little sister.

      Yes doodling is very therapeutic and a great stress reliever.

      God bless you.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Eiddwen: Lovely to hear from you, Eddy. Hope you have a great day, too.

      Bronwen.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant Blossom and I; loved this one ; so voted up and shared.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      faythef: How lovely! It is fun and thank you.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      I doodle all the time , have for as long as I can remember,,Most of my doodling is done when talking on the phone..I feel better about it , now that I know it is good for me...voting up and pinning

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      always exploring: It is fun to doodle - it's something that you could try exploring.

      Jackie Lynnley: If designed for the purpose, it probably would go well as needlework - it would take a long time to do, though. I'm glad you're going to try.

      Faith Reaper: Bless you! Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Mhatter99: You're very talented, so you'd probably do well.

      RTalloni: Little ones would be fun as well. Hope you enjoy doing them.

      AudreyHowitt: Thank you! Actually it can be a great time-waster, as I love doing it.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      You are so artistic! Wow--than you for sharing this side with us!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Doodling certainly is fun! You highlight some great reasons to enjoy this form of making art in this nicely done post and you've given me an idea for little ones--thanks!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Of all my talents, sadly drawing paid for them

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I love to doodle. I doodle all the time, and now I am happy to know it is beneficial to do so!!! I had no clue. It is a form of art no doubt.

      Thanks for the great hub here.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It looks almost like needlework! I love it and will try it. Thank you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It must be so much fun to doodle, yours are artistically beautiful. I have never tried it but maybe i will. Thank you for sharing. You are soo gifted with craft designs...

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      MsDora: I hope you do - and have lots of fun and satisfaction doing it.

      Frank Atanacio: It is. Creating something interesting is always fun.

      Claudia Tello: Thank you for your comments. As you have an artistic bent yourself, have fun with your doodling, too.

      billybuc: I'm sure you do yourself an injustice. Perhaps you could try doodling with stick-figures. You might be surprised at the result.

      joanveronica: It is easy. Thank you for your lovely comments and for sharing. Have a great day.

      tobusiness: Wow! Thank you for your encouraging comments. I'm sure your efforts aren't that bad. Keep trying and have a good day.

      kidscrafts:Thank you. I do sometimes use colour, but then I'm not sure if it's still actual doodling or whether it should have some other name. As you write, the plain black and white can be enough.

      Annie Miller: I had to smile at that comment. No matter what the result, doodling isn't really a mindless waste of time, it is an art in itself.

    • Annie Miller profile image

      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Lovely doodles, Blossom!

      I have doodled all my life - put a writing implement in my hand and I start. I am so pleased to know I haven't really been wasting time!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very nice work of doodling Blossom! I like your work! In my work, I often work in different colours but I find that sometimes just working in black and white can be quite powerful in itself!

      Thank you for sharing your doodling :-)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Blossom, your doodling are works of art but my sad efforts are not worth the paper :0

      Your art is beautiful and always exceptional.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Wonderful post! Just what I needed to remind me to start doodling again!

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting. You not only made it seem so easy, you also provided images that are visually attractive! Awesome! Thank you so much for this post, and I hope to see some more soon! Very inspiring! I shared it on HP, will be back to pin, etc. See you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish I could but I can't. I can't draw....horrible at it...and this is coming from one of the most positive people you will meet. Stick figures all the way.

      You make it all sound and look so easy. :)

      Have a great day!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

      It does look like you have mastered the art of doodling and now you are creating beautiful art work. This is an inspiring hub, great that you shared your free hand doodling with the world. I´ll have this in mind next time I´m doodling :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      blossoms it does look like fun :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      " . . . even those who think they haven't an artistic bone in their body, can do it." My goodness, I think I do. Now I'll be more intentional. Thanks Blossom, for opening up this new possibility. The doodling pictures are awesome.