Alien Eyeballs

Today I’m celebrating a bit of artistic weirdness. I had a lot of fun making this whimsical, non-sensical, colorful doodle — part of my Going in Circles sketchbook project. I’m calling it Alien Eyeballs because many of the shapes reminded me of eyes — but very strange ones.


There is a bit of a story behind this. As I so often do when my husband has an appointment with his retinologist, Dr. Fletcher, I took along a couple sketchbooks, drawing pencils, and markers and spent my waiting time creating a little playful art. I hadn’t yet done my morning circles — my way of warming-up for the day ahead, so I decided to use that sketchbook. I made one circle sketch using my new markers and I liked it. It reminded me a bit of a cluster of grapes.



I especially liked the “unfinished quality” about this. That’s something I’ve always admired in the works of other artists, but I’ve never quite developed the know-how to successfully  create a “finished, unfinished” image. And now, I’d done it. That was cause for celebration right there.

But one thing I didn’t like was the fact that these markers bled through a bit. Not only can the image be seen quite clearly on the reverse side, there were marks transferred to the following page, as well. I resigned myself to it, decided in the future I’ll put a sheet of copy paper between pages, but sat there looking at the little marks of color. Why not just do another doodle and cover the marks up?

Now, I should mention here, too, that as I was doodling my clusters of grape circles, a young woman passed by me several times. Was she glancing down at my sketchbook? Maybe. Maybe not. I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t matter. I was freely drawing circles and enjoying the process.

At any rate, I decided to do another circle drawing, one which covered the entire page. Now you might argue that many of my so-called circles aren’t circles at all but are more like ovals. Fine. Be picky. The idea I was working from was making a continuous line drawing that involved circular shapes. I put one marker down, began making long, looping lines, and ultimately came back around to close the drawing where I began.

Next, I used different markers and began coloring in the shapes I’d created. It took a while, but it was enjoyable. As I was working on the green metallic background, the young woman came walking past me again. This time she stopped.

“What kind of marker is that?” she asked. I was delighted to extol the virtues of my dot marker. To show her how the dots worked, I took the cap off (I’d been using the fine tip for coloring) and made a few random dots here and there. I could easily cover them up as I completed my background.

As we chatted, I even let her take a look at my “circles” sketchbook. She found it quite interesting. I found it fun to share my art with a complete stranger. It was just “circles” — little doodles — so I wasn’t embarrassed about it. This was fun art, that’s all.

After she left, I continued coloring, and when I came to those dots, I didn’t want to lose them. They, too, looked like little eyeballs! So, I drew larger circles around them, and that’s why you see those eyes staring out from various places on the page.

I also tweaked a bit over the silver shapes I’d made. One was part of the overall background. I decided it didn’t “fit”, so I colored over it with green. I then used my green marker to add a few lines to another silver shape.

This drawing is definitely a bit weird, but I was very happy with it. It took a while to complete. My husband’s appointment ended before I’d finished the drawing. Later that afternoon, I took out my sketchbook and put in the rest of the background color.

As you can probably tell, I’m having a lot of fun with my new, themed sketchbook. Circles are simple, but they’re creative, reflective, and thought-provoking. Each day I wonder what new ways I can find to use my circular theme.

It’s a bit crazy, sure, and it results in silly things like Alien Eyeballs. But what’s wrong with that? Nothing at all. So if you’re ever stuck wondering what to draw, give circles a try.


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