Isn’t that a wonderful word? It just sounds fun and playful, don’t you think? And, it is fun and playful. We have all picked up a pencil, pen, or marker and found ourselves doodling on scraps of paper. As often as not, I think, our doodling is unplanned. It’s just something we do to pass the time, something that happens naturally as we’re talking on the phone, sitting in a meeting, or listening to small talk.
I’ve always enjoyed doodling, and since I only began learning to draw a few short years ago, my doodles in the past were rarely recognizable objects. Occasionally I would doodle a fish, or maybe a heart, sometimes simple little flowers, and once in a while I would get bold enough to attempt doodling a tree, but those results usually weren’t too satisfactory. Most of my doodles were just weird shapes, lines going this way and that, and fancy ways of writing words — not quite calligraphy, but in a similar vein.
On Monday afternoon I found myself doodling. It was time for my husband to visit Dr. Fletcher, the retinologist, and it’s become habit for me to bring along a sketchbook and drawing pencils. Now, this might sound a little silly, but once we were seated in the office and I took out my art supplies, I soon changed the plans in my head. I had thought, you see, that I would sketch out a few designs for Christmas cards. I did sketch one quick little scene with fir trees, started drawing ornaments and snowflakes, but here’s the silly part. It seemed somewhat awkward to be designing Christmas cards while sitting in the office of a Jewish doctor. I told you it would sound silly. But that’s how it felt.
So, I turned over a new page in my sketchbook, grabbed my phone, and looked up how to make zentangle doodles. There’s a process, you see. You begin — obviously — with a blank sheet of paper, and according to the official Zentangle site, the paper is of utmost importance. We should learn to appreciate our materials and be grateful for the beauty of our paper.
Once we’ve expressed our gratitude and appreciation, we move on by placing a small dot in each corner of our paper. Now, we’re no longer looking at a blank page. I know a lot of people are intimidated by blank pages — in both writing and in art — and this simple act of making small marks is a way of overcoming any fear, discomfort, or hesitancy we might feel. By placing these small marks on the page, we are taking control.
From there, we follow additional steps to make tangles and create designs. I wish I could say my first official Zentangle attempt proved to be a work of art, but it wasn’t, and I can’t. At best, though, I can call it interesting.
I used an “H” drawing pencil instead of a dark ink pen, and a lot of my lines are too light to show on this scan, but you can get a sense of the weird — uh, interesting, I mean — shapes I doodled.
Yes, I thought of getting out my Pitt artist pens and inking over this doodle, but I decided against it. It had been a good way to pass a little time, an easy alternative to creating holiday card designs, and I had other things to do once we returned home from the appointment.
I closed the book — literally — on my Zentangle-inspired doodle, and that might have been the end of that — had it not been for fellow blogger, Kim Strande, from Placid Painting.
He had been doing a bit of doodling, too, although his doodles represented actual scenes. I enjoyed seeing his playful doodles and from there, I was off on a new art adventure. I browsed a bit, and I fell in love with the whole idea of having fun with doodles.
I learned that there are several websites dedicated to the art of doodling. Check out:
Next, I discovered Zone Doodles — an idea similar to Zentangles, but much brighter and much more colorful! Take a look at these awesome Zone Doodles created by young art students. Here is one illustration. Be sure to visit the link to see more!
Now, we’re talking art! We’re talking creativity! We’re talking awesome, and I am in love with all of it. I can’t wait to grab a set of markers and begin creating my own colorful images.
Meanwhile, I took my poorly-scanned doodle from Dr. Fletcher’s office and opened it in my Paint program. I knew I couldn’t do much with it because of the lightness of the image, but I wanted to add a few bits of color wherever and however I could.
It certainly doesn’t begin to compare with those beautiful Zone Doodles I found online, but it was still fun to turn my scanned doodle into something colorful.
I want to do more doodling now. Lots of doodling. A lot of my art study time recently has been focused on design elements, and doodling — with Zentangles and Zone Doodles — will be a very fun way to practice. Already my mind is running off in exciting directions, gathering up ideas and inspirations for colorful doodle projects.
So, forgive me for posting an image that wouldn’t scan, and for hastily and haphazardly coloring it in as best I could. I couldn’t wait to share my newfound love and excitement.
Yep. I am in love with doodling. How about you? Do you doodle, too?