Thoughts on Doodling

Love Drops and Bubbles © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

Last week someone left a comment about how to begin doodling.   The simplest answer I can offer is to just begin. Go to an art supply store and find a sketch pad. Do you like how the paper feels? Get some pens. I’ve experimented with microns and sharpies and stay with sharpies because I like the line it produces. Find some markers. Crayola has some good ones that aren’t expensive. My art splurge is prismacolor pencils. I’ve had a set for a long time and 48 colors just weren’t enough. Yesterday I bought more colors. A girl cannot have enough colors.

Put your pen to paper and see where your hand takes you. There are no rules except for the ones you make for yourself.

Find inspiration. You will find tons of inspiration on my blog roll. Flickr and YouTube are other great sources. Google *doodle*. The internet is your playground.

Be willing to explore. Two years ago I believed I could not draw, and what I have learned in the past two years is that I love to create abstract patterns. Doodling feeds that love.


I am quite methodical  and a little obsessive when it comes to learning a new skill. It is my way of gaining confidence. And so for the past couple of months this is how I have been learning the zentangle patterns that Zentangles offers in their monthly newsletter. I’ve been drawing the patterns over and over.  I’ve been doing this because I was a little bored with what I was doing and wanted to learn a different approach to line drawing. Eventually I want to incorporate these patterns into my own doodle style.


5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Doodling

  1. Your zentangles in color are powerful. But Isn’t the biggest thing when starting people’s fear? I think that is what stops someone from starting – that it wont’ be good enough… your idea of practicing patterns is very cool and probably would help take the fear of not doing perfect at once somewhat. 🙂

  2. I think the zentangle method is great because it removes expectation. I used to hate my own work because I had an idea in my head, and even if what I did was good, it wasn’t what I wanted. Now I just start and I love what comes from my pen. Even if you are an experienced artist, I think zentangling can deepen that connection between hand and mind. You’ll incorporate those doodles into your own style, but your own style will be enriched along the way.

    • what i appreciate about the zentangle method is having the pattern broken down to see how it is created. it’s the way any good teacher works. i know i will incorporate the patterns into my own style, in time. In fact, thats already happening. Letting go of the expectation that I will find my work appealing hasn’t happened yet for me, and I think that’s good. It keeps me striving and growing as an artist. Asking “what would happen if I did this next time?” is a good thing. But participating in this form of art work has been satisfying to my soul and has delighted my heart! im so grateful, too, to the doodling community and all that they share so openly on their blogs

  3. Sue, you’re the one who gave the me the idea of a Doodle dictionary and that has really helped me to remember what doodles i’ve done. And a place to document doodles i want to use later. I need to check out your zentangle link above. I always love your doodles, too 😀

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