Tag Archives: doodle art

Eclipse Doodle

Here is my eclipse doodle art from 4/8/24

Yesterday my Dad and I went to Hawn State Park in southern Missouri to watch the eclipse. I took my drawing and doodling supplies with me to help pass the time while waiting for the main event. We left fairly early because we knew there would be a lot of traffic and we got there about two hours before the sun started to get covered up. The state park had a nice parking area for us in a mowed field. We had a little picnic and I sat on a blanket doing an eclispe inspired piece of doodle art with colored ink pens and markers.

I am very grateful that I was able to do this. I’ve been in physical therapy for the last several weeks for an arm and wrist injury. I’ve been severely limited in my usual activities for the last couple of months but I’m getting better. I’m slowly adding in my normal activities one by one as I do exercises to get stronger. I’ve added back in crafting, gardening, and now drawing. A week ago my wrist hurt so badly that I could barely address an envelope. This is my first drawing since the injury. I did it without pain and my injury doesn’t feel worse this morning. I’m on the mend and I’m very thankful. I think sewing is the last normal activity to re-try.

When I started this doodle, I knew I wanted to do something inspired by the color wheel. I decided to make each color inspired by a stage of the eclipse. I just doodled whatever came into my mind. As we got closer to totality, I started setting the stopwatch on my phone to go off every 10 minutes – then I’d look at the sun through the eclipse glasses and draw something inspired by that phase.

I kind of had a vague image in my mind of a weird foldout from the Voynich Manuscript as I doodled.

Without looking at a copy of any of the manuscript pages as I drew, I was just trying to get the feel of it, trying to imagine how someone trying to penetrate deep mysteries without the answers that we take for granted now might have reacted.

EDIT 5/15/24: I’m going to have to come back and revise this section. Now that my water garden has grown in a bit more this spring I can see that the cattails sprouted where the Water Willow was last year and what I identified as Water Willow in this article is Cattails instead.

I was also inspired by some plants in our outdoor water garden. I have a small stream as part of our outdoor pond. It acts as part of our filtration system because I run water through lava rock and plants that are in it. One of the plants I grow is a Missouri native called American Water Willow. The stems have really interesting cross sections. I was also thinking about these stems as I was drawing.

Cross sections of American Water Willow stems in my water garden. I don’t know why it’s called water willow. The flowers seem orchid-like, and the leaves seem iris-like. Oh well, its beautiful and native so what’s not to like?

Sitting in the warm sun on a perfect day in a beautiful park with my Dad was a treat. And I proved I can draw again so I can resume my plein air drawing group activities and watercolor painting classes that I was taking before I got injured. That’s a big weight off my mind! I also have a class coming up that I’m teaching – my first since the COVID pandemic – and I’m relieved to know I’ll be able to do a good job.

I haven’t wanted to talk about the injury unless I absolutely have to because it’s scary and I was embarassed. For example I wasn’t able to brush my hair and it got so tangled I asked my husband to cut part of it off. I have about four hairs in each follicle for every one that most people have, so my hair dresser has told me. It doesn’t take much for it to turn into an inpenetrable mat. So I was looking like a Harpy Eagle or like I was trying to audition to be in Night Ranger until I got it fixed. I’m slowly getting my life back together and resuming normal activities. That is a relief because I’ve been very stressed out by not being able to do what I normally do. It’s easy to feel isolated if you have an injury. If you ask for help you don’t know if you are going to get helped or attacked because people think you should be getting well faster. It’s humbling and it really makes me have additional empathy for other people who are strugging with something similar, whether permanent or temporary. I’m more grateful than I can say that the therapy is working.

Variations on Scribble Art

Scribble Art
Some of my finished scribble art. This is the second of two scribbles. Are these finished “art”? Maybe they are, but even if they are not I might use the resulting textures as collage elements or image transfers in other projects in the future. They should look pretty good as is with a nice mat and frame.

The work on this page was inspired by the project “Collaborative scribble drawing” in the Expressive Arts Activity Book that I use a lot for study and inspiration (Darley and Heath 60).

Scribble art is a great icebreaker. No artistic talent or skill is needed so it’s easy to get started. If done as art therapy it can also create a rapport between the facilitator and the client by making it into a collaborative activity (Darley and Heath 60). For example, in a two person exercise each person can make a scribble on a blank piece of paper, then the participants trade papers and finish off each others drawings. The initial scribble can even be made with eyes closed to take all the pressure off of having to show artistic skill. Abstract results can also be a way to encourage conversation about something the scribble might remind the participants about (Darley and Heath 60). Following are several examples of scribble art that I made with my husband Tom and my Dad Don.

If you want to try something like these samples, here is a list for tools and materials.

Tools and Materials
Bristol board or drawing paper
Pencil
Eraser
Stencils
Black markers in various widths
Colored pencils
Found papers for collage – I used the insides of business envelopes
Tracing paper
Tape
Glue stick

Caption
Scribble art by me and Tom. I did moths on the left with Tom’s scribble and he used my scribble to add in various textures from stencils on the right.

Tom and I each made a scribble with our eyes closed with black marker on Bristol board. Next we traded papers and used commercial stencils by The Crafter’s Workshop to further develop the designs. Then we finished off our designs by coloring in parts of the image with colored pencils and markers.

Tom’s scribble was a challenge to work with because it was very dense. It did remind me of something – I turned it into moths trapped and tangled to represent trying to overcome some kind of frustration or challenge. This kind of work is not only good for the brain but just from a visual point of view it’s a good way to discover effects you might want to use in other art later on.

Caption
Scribble art by my Dad. Texture practice on the left, filling in the scribble on the right.

These examples were made by my Dad. First I gave him an introduction to Zentangle and doodle art which I wrote about in a previous blog post. He practiced making some repeating textures. Then we each made scribbles on two sheets of drawing paper. We kept our favorite of the two sheets then traded the other. Then we filled the sheets in with textures from our samplers. For extra fun we glued cutouts from the insides of business envelopes into some of the areas in the scribbles. I thought they looked cool with the hand-drawn textures. The tape and tracing paper from the materials list were used along with the pencil to get my collaged paper pieces to fit in their spots on the scribble drawing.

Caption
This is my first scribble art sheet in progress. I think it’s against the “rules” of Zentangle to pre-draw pencil lines as a guide before rendering the designs in marker. But I did it anyway!
Scribble Art
My finished scribble art after erasing the pencil lines. Bristol board and robust good quality drawing paper will stand up to a lot of erasing if you need it.
Scribble Faux Postage
I made a scribble version of Faux Postage using a printable template I shared awhile back. Dad had started this sheet awhile ago by making marks with stencils and markers in the upper left. He’d left the sheet unfinished for a year or two so I asked him if I could finish it. I was inspired by blue and black patterned envelope insides to make a monochromatic design on the sheet. When I finished marker drawing, coloring and collaging, I glued on some little pieces of paper printed with rubber stamps to evoke postage stamps. I’m going to get printouts made of this sheet and send it out to other artists when I next do some Mail Art.

I’m grateful to Dad and and Tom for doing art with me from time to time. I sure do feel a lot less lonely when I get to do a project with somebody. It helps us all with our general well-being and is also a great way to spend time together. When you’re working on art that is mostly mindless, once you get started, it’s easy to talk about various things. It’s also a good activity to do alone when you’re stressed and need to get in a better state of mind. The finished product really isn’t the point if you’re doing it for therapeutic reasons, but I also get skills and inspiration for future art work while I practice.

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

Darley, Suzanne and Wende Heath. “The Expressive Arts Activity Book: A Resource for Professionals”. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008.

Zentangle – fun with doodling

One of my samplers for Zentangle and doodle art

When I was in grade school in the 1970s, I developed an unquenchable doodling habit early on. I covered almost everything in sight with doodles, including my brown paper textbook covers, folders, notebooks and tops of desks – I used pencil on the Formica tops so it would wash off. I thought my habit was harmless and decidedly my own business because I only doodled on my own property or with media that was washable, and I refrained from doodling on homework. I remember that my third grade teacher didn’t agree with that point of view at first and would try to curb my habit by confiscating my implements whenever she saw me doodling away. I don’t think that lasted long. My Mom complained to her about it and gave me extra pens and pencils so I’d always have another one anyway. I was mostly an obedient child but this is one area where I flat out refused to conform. Before too long I was left alone as long as I washed my desk top periodically. That seemed fair to me and all was peaceful from then on.

A popular item I remember from the 1970s was a DoodleArt kit. These were basically sophisticated coloring posters for older kids, teenagers, and adults. The black and white design was Doodled for you and the consumer was meant to color them in with colored markers. As I recall these were sought after items by myself and my peers in the 70s. While shopping at the toy store and the craft store I would drool over them. If I got one for Christmas or a birthday it was a thrill. Here is a link to a vintage DoodleArt kit for sale on Etsy, and I also found an apparently attempted DoodleArt revival on Facebook.

In the present day, many adults once more enjoy adult coloring, similar to actual DoodleArt. Many people like related activities such as art journaling and bullet journaling. Popular Zentangle is a form of meditative pen and ink art where the artist fills in sections of a design with repeating patterns, usually in black pen or marker. Some people add color to their Zentangle designs. Zentangle results do remind me of DoodleArt in a way, though Zentangle practitioners freehand draw their own designs instead of purchasing pre-made coloring pages.

A lot of my art journal pages are somewhat similar to Zentangle, in that I often like to fill in sections with repeating patterns, sometimes hand-drawn, sometimes traced from a stencil. Whenever I put some of my new art journal pages on Pinterest, in the area where you are shown similar pins to your own, a lot of Zentangle art comes up in my feed. I decided just for fun to try Zentangle for real just to learn a variation on what I already like to do. It really scratches that doodling itch that I still have!

My sampler #1

There are lots of samples online of fill-in textures that you can draw in your Zentangle designs. I’ve linked to a few on a Pinterest board so you can see samples and get inspiration. After viewing some samples I decided to make a few of my own samplers featuring my own textures inspired by art journal pages I’ve already done. Here are some easy instructions for making your own sampler.

Tools and Materials
Drawing paper
Ruler
Pencil
Eraser
Selection of fine tip black pens and markers of different diameters
Optional – circle template

Zentangle sampler
Use a ruler and pencil to divide drawing paper into evenly sized squares or rectangles.
Zentangle sampler
Outline areas in one thin line and one slightly thicker line. Fill in each section with a hand-drawn texture of your invention. Erase the pencil lines as you fill in the paper.
Zentangle sampler
As a variation, on a second piece of drawing paper I slanted the lines to make more irregularly shaped sections to fill in.
Zentangle sampler
Yet another variation made by tracing four different sized openings from a circle template.

Some samplers I’ve seen online are works of art in their own right. The ones you see here are not that refined – they are more for practice and developing a vocabulary of textures that reflect my own taste in design. When I’m ready I’ll have lots of choices I can use to make my own version of Zentangle art.

My sampler #2