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Drawing: Freehand Doodling is fun

Updated on May 5, 2013
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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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