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Doodle Bird
Doodling : There is No Wrong Way to Doodle

There is No Wrong Way to Doodle

By Jacob Lett

Drawings for a Quarter

I have been doodling all my life. In notebooks, sketchbooks, post-its, and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on. I remember when I was in first grade, I would sell drawings of cars and super heroes for 25 cents. This interest continued all the way throughout school as I took every art class as I could.

What I love about doodling is how loose and imperfect it is. As a graphic designer bound by rules of grids, spacing, and precision — a doodle is a fun escape. I can just grab a marker and draw and not worry about how realistic or how perfect my drawing is. I just draw what comes to mind.

The Most Important Rule of Any Doodler is don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't worry about rules or how something looks in real life. Work fast. See what happens. You might think you're not an artist and can't even draw a straight line. Don't let this stop you from experiencing the joy of doodling.

If you're a first time doodler, you will soon realize how much you can do already. If you feel like scribbling... scribble, if you feel like drawing a huge circle next to a small square... do it. No rules.

Shapes, Lines, and Coloring

There are some things you can do to improve the quality and speed of your doodles. Practice drawing basic shapes such as: circles, squares, triangles, cubes, and rectangles. Next think of all of the different types of lines you can draw: straight, wavy, curly, jagged, dotted, dashed, and sketchy.

Once you've explored shapes and lines. Now explore all of the ways you can color in the shapes: shaded, filled in, cross-hatch, stippled, and lines.

Still Life

Another doodle booster is drawing a still life. Look around your house for objects you can place on a table and draw. An example would be a book, pencil, coffee mug, and keys on a desk. Grab your sketchbook and draw them the best you can.

This will train your eye to see the outlines of objects. You will soon memorize the basic shapes of common objects and how they interact with each other in an environment.


Lastly, every creative endeavor requires inspiration. We need to see, read, or hear things that inspire us to doodle. On my blog, I have a doodle idea generator to help spur these types of ideas.

One great source of inspiration is to look at the work of others. See what they draw and how they draw it. Search YouTube for doodle art videos, research abstract artists such as Picasso and Matisse, look at art done by kids, and search the Internet for other doodle blogs and websites.

How Do You Doodle?

So as you can see, doodling is not just for artists or designers. It is for anyone willing to take risks and to explore their creative side. I hope doodling brings you as much joy as it brings me. Happy doodling! •

© 2011 Jacob Lett. All rights reserved.

Jacob Lett has been doodling all of his life: in notebooks, sketchbooks, post-its, and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on.

Updated 7/25/15