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Doodling for Beginners

So you've seen some truly fabulous doodling on Pinterest and Google Images and you'd like to try it for yourself, but one problem - where do you start?  Well if you are a doodling newbie then start here, but be sure to check out my section on DOODLING as this page is really only a very brief introduction.


What Is Doodling?

What is a doodle anyway?  Wikipedia defines a doodle as:  'an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.'

Types of Doodling

There are many types of doodling, there is the increasingly popular Zentangling, there is tangling, there is StenDoodling, there are art doodles and there are doodles - Phew no wonder people get confused!  Today I am talking about the low stress FUN form that's just plain doodling, this is simple, fun and once you begin it's difficult to stop.  It can be as simple or as fancy as you like, the doodle itself can be the art or it can be a component of the art.  Whether or not you realise it most of us doodle without even realising it.  Today I'm going to give you some ideas so you can begin to incorporate these little drawings into your Copic Art Journal - or any art.

There is a full supply list of the things I've used at the bottom of this post, but this is a list of things you will need to be able to begin doodling in your Copic Art Journal:

  • Copic Multi-Liners in a variety of sizes and even different colours if you like
  • Set of Grey Copic Markers either: T0, T1, T3, T5 or C0, C1, C3, C5 or N0, N1, N3, N5 (for shadows and shading)
  • XPressIt Blending Card (aka Copic Blending Card) or the XPress It Blending Journal
  • Rubber stamps with an open design
  • Stencils with an open design
  • Magazine, photo or drawn image
  • Your imagination!



But where do you start - what should YOU doodle?  This is a tough one as doodling is very personal, I can tell you I love to doodle circles, lines and floral patterns - but these designs may not be interesting to you.  I sometimes doodle images, other times I just doodle shapes or patterns - it's all good, it's all doodling.  The easiest thing to do is to think back to childhood and the teenage years (not those horrible hormonal bits) but to what you doodled in class while day dreaming or what you draw now while talking on the phone (or waiting on hold).  Use these as a starting point for your doodling.  Still not working for you - look around wherever you are now, can you see a pattern a shape that you like - then try doodling those or drawing them and doodling within those shapes.  It's much easier to do if you draw something you like.  Here are a few ideas, simple things I doodled with my 0.5 Copic Multi Liner while watching TV, see they don't have to be perfect!  If you need a bit more inspiration you can check out  my 'Doodles' Board over on Pinterest.  To find your doodles try drawing some squares (about 5cm x 5cm) and just draw little doodles within these, then use these on a larger scale.

These simple doodles, look more interesting when viewed as a whole and even better coloured with Copics!

Doodles 1d

This is where I got really excited about doodling, with a little colour and a bit of confidence, you can easily incorporate your doodling into whatever art or craft you already create, why not doodle on small pieces of card stock and turn these into the main element on a card, or bookmark or even framed art, or doodle designs around your photos on your scrapbook pages.  Once you begin the possibilities are endless. 



Give these ideas a go.....

Doodle on Stamped Images

Using a Copic safe ink like Memento, stamp your image onto your card or journal.
Add doodle designs with Copic Multi Liners to part or all of your stamped image, here I've doodled designs onto Marci's Kimono to add a pattern.  Whether your image is stamped, collaged or drawn, this is a fun way to add a little whimsy to your art, try a doodle hair-do, or doodles on a dress, even a doodle body to draw attention to the focal image. 

  Dress doodle - 1 

Use Stencils to create a doodle pattern

Using your Copic Multi Liner (I like Grey or Black) use a stencil to draw a pattern onto your card or journal.   Using the pen of your choice, fill in around the pattern or within the pattern (or both) with doodle designs.    Leave it as is or add colour if desired.   Use your doodled designs to decorate planners and diaries or filing folders.  I can't be the only person who still uses a diary or smash book!  Get to it and start dressing up your dividers with a doodle or two, come to think of it you could apply this to your files for work or home, address books, recipe cards etc. 


Stencil doodle

Doodle Within or Around Letters or Images

Using your Copic Multi Liner draw bold a capital letter (or word) with space inside the letters to add doodling or colour.  Use your favourite supplies to add doodling either within the letters or around the letters, again coloured or uncoloured the choice is yours.  On a more manageable scale, this would make wonderfully fun and personal name tags or place tags for weddings and parties!

  Copic 003a
Copic 003a


Doodle Within Shapes (or get fancy and have the doodle create the shape)

Here are 2 examples of what I mean: 

1. Try drawing a heart (or lots) and adding doodling within or around the shape to embellish it.  Now I chose a heart, you may prefer a flower, a circle, an animal - pick a shape and have a play.  You can use these simple doodles on cards or page backgrounds, and it's all drawn by you - so an original piece of doodle art!

  Heart doodle - 1c

2.  Draw your heart in pencil and doodle around or within it, then rub out the pencil - your designs create the shape,  I really do love the Copic Multi Liners for this, the coloured ones in particular.   Now just a note here, if you draw over lead pencil with either Copic markers or Copic Multi Liners, then the pencil covered by the Copic will not erase - strange but true.

  Heart doodle - 2

Doodle Backgrounds

Enhance your art by using doodles and doodle patterns in your backgrounds, a little or a lot it's up to you - just make sure you are using pens which won't bleed if you decide to colour over the top - I love the Copic Multi Liners for just this reason - they are life proof!  When you are feeling a bit more confident, try creating scenery with doodles or using doodles as your art.  Doodles aren't just 'unconscious drawing' anymore - they are now entering the realm of DOODLE ART.

  Copic Mermaid - 3f sm wmMore details on this page in a post coming very soon :)

Do you remember the doodle right from the beginning of this post - the one I drew while watching TV?  This is what I used it for, I added a little stenciling, some gold foil, stamping, black paint and white Molotow marker and turned it into this, even the simplest doodle can turn into something special.  If you'd like to see how I turned this simple doodle into this page have a look here.

  Make a Wish sm wm

What I've used:

  • Stencils: Stencil Girl - Michelle Ward Line Borders, Artist Cellar stencil ' Jane Girl series',  and The Crafters' Workshop - Paradise 12 x 12
  • Stamps: La-La Land Crafts stamp Kimono Marci
  • Copic Multi Liners: 0.3, 0.5 & 1.0 in Black and as many of the coloured Multi Liners as I could 
  • Memento Ink Pads: Summer Sky, Lulu Lavender, Tangelo, Bamboo Leaves and New Sprout, Tuxedo Black
  • Copic Markers used on Marci's Doodled Kimono: R24, R27, R39, YR15, YR16, YR18, Y11, Y15, Y17
  • Doodled Journal Page - Flower Garden: 
    Copic Markers - R27, R29, R39, Y32, Y35, Y38 
    Golden Fluid Acrylics: Iridescent Gold Deep Fine & Carbon Black
    Jenni Bowlin Acrylic Paint: Malted Milk & Brown Sugar
    Adirondack Acrylic Dabber: Watermelon 
    Molotow Signal White Paint Marker Fine tip
    Jumbo Zinnia Set (flower stamp) from Stampendous 
  • Details for mermaid page in a later post - I promise :O)

If you'd like more doodling info, ideas and even a few tutorials - then check out my section on DOODLING.