Editor’s Note: Throughout the year it has been my pleasure to bring you exciting previews of each Zen Doodle Workshop magazine. Now you can get the digital magazine collection of four issues that cover a wide variety of doodle art forms. For now, here’s a free article from the Fall 2016 issue, featuring how to make a doodle art family tree! ~Cherie
Doodled Heirlooms by Angharad Edwards
I started developing my doodle art a few years ago, when I wanted to create something unique and personal for my friends’ wedding. I knew that I wanted to make something that would reflect what was special about them to me, and hopefully something that they would enjoy for years to come. This was my first piece of doodle art, and I haven’t stopped doodling since. Now I create bespoke pieces of art for a number of different occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, births, a new home, and many more. Every piece is designed with the individual in mind, ensuring that each one is unique. I often use the template of a family tree, but I also use a variety of other shapes that are relevant to the particular theme of the piece. For this article, I will show you how I create my family-tree doodle.
Doodle Art Materials
• Watercolor paper (I used a 16″x12″ piece of Winsor & NewtonTM 90-lb. watercolor paper.) • Pencil (I used an HB pencil.)
• Black fine liner (I used a Pilot® Fineliner 0.7.)
• Marker pen, including a variety of colors and black (I used fine-point Sharpie® marker pens.)
• Embellishments (I used 5mm Adhesive Stones from docrafts® Papermania.)
• Gold/silver pen (I used a Sharpie fine-point marker pen.)
1. Compile a list of details about the recipient that you’d like to include in the doodle, such as names, important dates, hobbies, interests, pets, holiday destinations, and anything else that means something to them. The more personal the details, the more they will appreciate the work. Think of an object or word that you could use to represent each item on your list. I like my pieces to represent the individual, and I love how the more they look at it, the more things they find hidden within the branches of the tree.
2. Find the center of the watercolor paper on the long side, and draw a line vertically from the top of the sheet to the bottom. Using the line as the center point, roughly draw out the shape of a tree in pencil. This will ensure an element of symmetry to the tree. (Figure 1)
3. Draw the branches of the tree spreading out from the center. (Figure 1) These branches will later be filled with doodles, so make sure they are thick enough to draw inside them.
4. Place the name of the gift recipient or recipients in the middle of the tree as the centerpiece. (Figure 2)
5. Organize the names of the family members around the tree, placing the senior members at the heart of the tree and the younger generations branching out from their names. In this piece, you can see the names of the grandparents in the middle of the tree, their children on the limbs, and their grandchildren hanging down beneath the branches. (Figure 3)
6. Draw the outline of the objects and words from your prepared list, spreading them evenly around the tree. For example, I used a set of footprints to represent their love of walking and rambling (Figure 4), and a set of paintbrushes to highlight their love of arts and crafts. The more objects and words you can include in your doodle, the more exciting the tree will look.
Note: The most important objects and names should be drawn larger, with any free space filled with the remaining items on the list. It is helpful to use the branches as a guide to ensure that you spread the objects evenly throughout the tree. I like to think of these items as apples on the tree to help me visualize and get the correct placement.
7. Fill the branches and trunk with a doodle pattern to create texture and depth. I like my pieces to be full of detail, and normally use organic and natural shapes to reflect the nature of the tree. I used lines, dots, spirals, and zigzags. (Figure 5)
8. Add more detail to the objects you added in step 6. The finished tree will be visually busy, so you want the important things to stand out from the doodles. I used a black fine-line pen to achieve this effect. (Figure 6)
9. Review your drawing. Are there any noticeable spaces that need filling? Fill these spaces with leaves to give the full effect of a tree and to really complete the look. (Figure 7)
10. Color your doodles. As with the objects and theme of your doodling, the color scheme should connect with the person or people the piece is for. This could be their favorite colors, or the color scheme in their home, or even the colors used at their wedding. I use marker pens to add pops of color to parts of my doodle designs so they really jump off the page. (Figure 8)
Note: There is so much detail on the tree doodle that too many colors could overwhelm the piece, so don’t stray from your chosen color scheme. I want my pieces to be a part of someone‘s home, so little details like color selection can make the difference between a good piece and a great one.
11. Optional: Add some embellishments. The final look of the piece will depend on who it is created for and their preferences and tastes, but I believe you can never go wrong with at least a little bit of bling. I like to add some sparkly gems, or highlight some of the edges of the doodles using a silver or gold pen to enhance a few of the details that may seem a little lost in the background otherwise.
Bio: Angharad Edwards is a secondary school art teacher based in Cardiff, Wales. She has been teaching for eight years, and tries to encourage her students to explore new ideas and experiment through their art. As well as being a teacher she is a practicing artist and enjoys exploring through color and pattern. Ang.firstname.lastname@example.org