Doodling All Grown Up
Doodling is fun and non-intimidating. It is something we can all do — and likely have done at some point in our lives. In a way doodle art encompasses all I think making art should be: enjoyable even if it can take a lot of time and effort.
I have been adding doodles, marks, scribbles patterns and blotches to my paintings for many years and often this is one of the most enjoyable part of the painting process, the part I most look forward to. Here I share examples of what you can do with doodling and patterning in your art, so that you can share in the creativity and ease of doodle art too.
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Figurative Work with Fabric and Crochet-Inspired Patterns
In my figurative works, the doodling is often used as a reference to traditional feminine crafts and will look like fabric, decorative paper or crochet.
In the Birth of Venus, which is a reinterpretation of the famous Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, I had a lot of fun doodling the all too familiar objects that surround a woman in her home. I made my Venus a domestic goddess to show the contrast between impossibly idealized versions of women in classical western art and the realities of contemporary life.
Still Life Doodling: The Faux-Collage Look
In my floral still lifes, adding heavy patterning to some areas makes them look very similar to origami paper. Many people looking at these paintings have trouble believing I did not collage paper or fabric to make the painting and have to take a closer look to believe it is all hand-drawn — with elevated doodling, in many cases. See how you can make flower paintings from imagination and add patterns in my latest book: Painting Imaginary Flowers: Beautiful Blooms and Abstract Patterns in Mixed Media.
Landscapes: Doodling Big!
The subject of landscapes lends itself to big-sized painting and this is an opportunity to push doodling to the next level, working on a grand scale and pushing the limits of your focus (and patience!).
“Timelines II” is another example of a painting I did with only with a doodling scribble.
Below is a detail shot of “Timelines II” as I was making the doodling scribbles that came to encompass all the marks found in the painting. This image illustrates what I meant about focus and patience.
Making any mark over and over (and over again!) requires focus and a good deal of patience. If you decide to use doodling extensively in an artwork, be sure to remember this. Just because it is a doodle doesn’t mean it doesn’t take effort on the part of the doodler!
The Doodling Possibilities
From still life to large-scale works to narrative paintings and drawing with complex meanings that inspire them — doodling can find its way into all of these. Has it inspired you to think about incorporating doodling in a more “grown up” way in your art? Leave a comment and tell us how. And if you already add doodles to your art, share your experiences in the comments.