Category Archives: Doodles


dip-pen-zentangle_web  Dip Pen and India Ink on 8″x10″ bristol 2 ply

I like to work in many different media and styles.  Keeping my hand in ink is important, especially with a dip pen, because it is hard to keep the flexibility of hand and wrist and arm to do these doodles.  So, I try and do them often, as if I were going to do some important ink renderings someday.  I have only done one decent ink rendering in months,  “Geese Mate for Life” illustration a couple months ago.  So, I doodle.

I don’t know about other artists, but I seem to be in a state of always being ready, but not often enough acting on that!  When I read about the great masters of the past and see their body of work, it makes me feel very un-masterful.  Yet in my art heart, I know it is just about here, any moment now, and To Doodle is to stay ready.

I’m not ashamed of my own of work over the years; I just could have done better, so now I will.

These doodles are stream of conscience drawings, no plan, just outcome.  Good for the hand-eye and heart, but more emotion is needed to make them art.  They are just some of my different forms of being artistic.



Strings & Fall

Strings-&-Fall_web Strings & Fall

5″x8″ Micron on 20# bond

Started out as a doodle, became an abstraction and later was used as a program cover for Crescendo Youth Orchestra.

I think all doodles are just journeys that are incomplete.  With no destination or purpose in mind, a doodle begins to tell its own story.  The rules of the world do not yield to this and begin to impose purpose and form into a shape.  If you keep at it long enough, it becomes an abstraction of something.

The paper responds by supporting the ink or the pencil marks, making a record of nowhere you are going, but only where you have been, until an image begins to speak its own identity.  It may be a response to thoughts or a tale of hopes, or just a hand memory of motions, but if one keeps moving the drawing tool across the recording surface, the lines become a picture of some sort, defined by the page dimensions and the intensity of which marks are made.  The mood you are in can guide it into a response or comment unknown at the beginning.

This is no small event, because, like a hologram, every rendering contains every experience an artist has had, or hopes to have.



A Rose . . .

art-is-2_web  A is for Art: 8.5″x11″ #2 yellow pencil on typing paper. This is one of those morning “tea time” doodles when I was studying simple pencil strokes to make a rose and leaf patterns and just felt there was an A missing.  No reason, just fun sketch doodling.  After a bit, it just became an inspiration for a different image, I put this aside and never finished it, so it was finished until it was scanned in; the lavender was added with the computer as it just seemed to need it.  Now it is finished.



Ink Ripples

ripples-and-flower_web Ink Ripples – Colored inks on high bond ink paper 12″x15″

Rendered with dip pens (outlines), colored with felt tip pens, and brushed ink black background.  The most difficult aspect of this simple doodle is the size.  12″X15″ requires arm movements, rather than hand movements, to make the multiple ripple lines in ink.  Using open pen is always risky for ink drops and spills; after several hours of doing this piece, I thought I had made it without accident as I finished up line corrections.  Just as I went to put the dip pen away I dropped one last small drop.  I left it rather than deal with it. Go ahead, it is not hard to spot.  It started as a doodle, after all.



Feathers and Leaves


Feathers and leaves mandala

Felt tip pens and colored pencil 8″x8″ on bristol board.

This was a doodle to begin with, actually a half design scanned and flipped into a whole circle.  I do many of these types of images because I love the graphic outcome of a rendered doodle gone into art.  It is good practice for both hand and mind to make symmetrical images that have a self-justifying existence, yet mean nothing other than they are art. The mandala shape seems to have root in all ancient designs and in our mind as well.  Once a circle is drawn and filled with a design, it implies a meaning.  It is interesting how mandalas take on a life of their own as people assign a meaning to them.  Throughout history many such designs are attached to very meaningful causes and organizations.  This one is a practice doodle so don’t get too carried away.

It means I had fun!



Doodle Gif Test

Sample gif. doodle animation test

This is called doodling on the internet. Learning the uphill tech. side of blogging; for some it is easy. It should be for me, too, as I have some background in animation, but not in digital and computer animation. So here go the experiments!


Garden Jewelry

Garden Jewelry – Colored Pencil on Vellum drafting paper 8″x8″ Papermate pen outline.

Garden-Jewelry_web   Vellum is a great material to work on – it is strong, erasable, translucent, and comes in large sizes. The translucent properties allow color to be added to the back side for a subtle shading. This in turn allows the backside color to be smudged into a great blend; with care, it can be darkened or lightened without damage to the front side illustration, and with a good scanner it will show up.

Gardens are a form of jewelry themselves, near a home or special place; a garden brings the eye and emotions into a focus, and in time becomes the focus. Plants have a way of adorning themselves; with shape and color, seeds and pods and leaf shapes. So much of our culture and its jewelry has copied nature for its better designs to adorn itself, and after looking at it  there was an obvious connection to what makes us all like the shape of nature for our own garments, wall paper, and pretty much everything else we make.  This rendering was a response to those moments of thought without getting too complicated.

There is a great book and also a video on how plants over time have made themselves attractive to humans.  It is called Botany of Desire. Check this out.  It is a full length show by the author (Michael Pollan) of his book of same name. The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan



Chili Peppers in Rococo Sauce

Chili Peppers in Rococo Sauce (8.5″x14″).

This was originally a pencil B/W doodle scanned into photoshop and colored. It was a half sketch (that is, only half of the design was drawn, copied and flipped, then stitched together to make a “whole”).


This is the B/W original drawing- half sketch pencil work. The grey tones were added with felt tip markers, and black areas and outlines done with Papermate felt tip pen.


I use it in my screen saver slide show!


Static In Her Hair

curly cues001Static in her hair. 8″x10″ Felt tip fine point (Papermate pen) on 20# bond paper. Inspired by my 4 year old granddaughter’s hair as she slid off the couch and charged her hair with electricity; it went “poof” out in every direction to our great delight.

She has curly hair and had fancy hair clips with a small ribbon in her hair.  It was one of those moments to be doodled. I did not know that there was a word for this style of rendering, it seems to fit the name of zentangle rendering.


Doodle One

In the morning, most every morning, I doodle. I used to doodle randomly, but after years (years and years) of doodling I realized I would rather "design doodle" than "sketch doodle" or "random doodle". As a result most of my doodles become designs of some abstraction.

In the morning, most every morning, I doodle.  I used to doodle (draw) randomly, but after years (years and years) of doodling, I realized I would rather “design doodle” than “sketch doodle” or “random doodle.”  As a result, most of my doodles become designs of some abstract rendering! Drawing and art in general are well served by doodling. I think to draw daily is one very important aspect both to do and to cause grand children to do too.

I use pencil mostly, but often enough, a felt tip pen can be found nearby, or an ink pen,(ball point will do). We keep a ream of typing paper near the tea pot for just such an occasion.