Monday, January 19, 2009

Doodle background- doodling without a purpose

Once a week I'm going to try and remember to post a Draw-it-yourself technique. Today's technique is very simple, but makes a cool background when you're done. First, let's talk a bit about the purpose of doodles.

Admit it, you doodle. You are talking on the phone with a pen in your hand and you draw a dot. Then you do something around the dot. Before you know it, you have a squiggle, some lines, and a dot. Ta Da! You can doodle.

Doodling without a purpose
There are two kinds of doodling. What I just mentioned was Doodling Without a Purpose. It's Zen, it's Serendipity, it's Therapeutic, it's Subconscious. Whatever you want to say about it, it's random and you'll probably never do anything with it, it's just a way to keep your hand occupied while your mid is otherwise busy.

Here is an example from when I was in college. This is classic Marianne doodling. Very random patterns and small critters. This is the first time I've looked at it in 8 years. Note how I turned plain lines into shapes or added flowers to everything (I'm glad the professor didn't look over my shoulder or else he might have thought I wasn't paying attention).

A lot of people start with dots or swirls. I know my Mom would always draw a dot then elaborate from there. Sometimes it became a border, sometimes it just got to be a bigger dot, but if she was on the phone for any extended time there was bound to be a doodle. Sometimes it was one important word that she was talking about, and the word became a doodle.

Whenever you doodle like this, you tend to have one shape or object you always seem to come back to. Some people draw a shaded ball, some people always start with a square, some people always draw a little squggly S shape. Some people just draw a line and add things to it. You get the idea. Look back at YOUR notes from meetings, phone message pads, old homework. What are some of the shapes you always catch yourself doing?

Next time you doodle With A Purpose, start with one of your favorite doodle shapes and work from there. Doodling is supposed to be relaxing, not a time to stress over perfection. Though, I know that the more you go out of your way to doodle the "better" you'll get at it, and it will become a habit that is hard to break.

For today's doodle that I'm actually going to use, I started with basic dots in 3 light colors- YR02, V12, and YG03. Then I took an orange Spica pen and drew a circle around each dot. Then I took a melon-green Spica pen and drew circles around those circles. Where the two would touch I just combined them in larger and larger circles, each layer in a different color. Note that it's not perfect.

Finally, I have my own, custom sparkly background paper in pastel colors that looks cool but started as simple dots. Try different variations, but don't try too hard. If you make a mistake, so what? it's your doodle. You don't have to use it for a background, you could just be doing this for fun and relaxation. On that note, have a relaxed week - I'll try to post a few more things before I leave for CHA.

4 comments:

Trena in Naperville said...

Great post Marianne! I am a doodler...I doodle all the time. My work book has lots of doodles in the margins - especially during those long meetings. :o) I love the idea of making those doodles useful.

Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

Whimsey said...

I don't even doodle when I'm on the phone...EVER...

I write down notes typically in reference to the call; but I don't doodle. Nor do I doodle in meetings.

Hmm...wonder what THAT means? LOL

Great tutorial; love the colors you chose!

marianne walker said...

Never doodle??!!? Try it sometime! It's easy, and relaxing.

Jerri Jimenez said...

Marianne, I love this post! Not only is your doodling absolutely fabulous, so is your writing, you had me chuckling. I doodled all through high school and college, but somewhere along the way I stopped. You've encouraged me to make the decision to start doodling again.