Free Art For All - Sketching Doodles

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Lesson 83 - Sketching - Doodles


After weeks of learning about 15th century artists we are moving into just having fun with art.  What better way to have fun than by doodling.  If you are using the word “doodle” as a verb it means you are drawing or scribbling idly.  According to the dictionary to a doodle is a waste of time doing an aimless or foolish activity.  We are definitely not wasting time here.  In fact, we are going to learn how to doodle effectively. You can doodle using pencils, pens, markers or anything that makes a line on a piece of paper or any surface you can draw on.  The thing we need to learn about doodling is how to simplify the subject.  We will start this lesson with a very simple greeting card design that has a birdhouse and fence.  


  1. Strathmore Sketchbook
  2. Uniball Black Pen (this is your permanent ink)
  3. Uniball Signo White Gel Pen
  4. General Pencil Kneaded Eraser
  5. Pentel Mechanical Pencil
  6. Arteza Marker Brush Pens
  7. Strathmore Watercolor Paper


  1. I started by defining my area to work on as 5” x 7”.  This is important because it is a first doodle and I wanted to make sure we were all working on the same size of project. 
  2. We start by talking about simplifying the objects we are doodling.  In a garden setting you might see bugs, flowers, birds and clouds.  Using a pencil we talk about the simple shapes in these characters and practice a few of them on our sketchpads.  
  3. We will be working with pencil first and then when we have the doodles the way we want them we will use the ink.  
  4. The black outlines will be made with permanent ink.  We do not want the black to run into our marker colors.  Be careful going over your pencil lines.  This is not the time to work quickly.  This is the time to work accurately.  
  5. Next we add color with our brush markers.  Do not put pressure on the tips of these markers.  I stayed on the side of the marker so that the “nib” would not be broken down.
  6. It is important to note here that the Sketchpad will not allow the brush markers to blend as well as the Strathmore Series 400 watercolor paper will.  Therefore, I encourage you to try your doodle on both the sketchpad and watercolor paper.
  7. Sign it when you are finished.  Doodling can be considered a piece of art worthy of your signature.  

Some people might think that doodling is a waste of time.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Many artists start out a project simply doodling ideas.  The creative process is working here.  Doodles let your fingers give form to what is playing in your mind.  The important thing about doodles is to follow through and see where it will lead your art to.