Studio Saturdays: Doodle Art

I started adding doodle art to my mixed-media purely by accident. I was working on an art journal spread, and halfway through I decided I hated it. Loathed everything about it. Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to doodle over it.

Guess what?

Art journal with doodle art
Doodle art enhances this journal page.

I suddenly loved it. The doodles morphed the pages into another realm—they added an element and a layer that I hadn’t achieved with paint or collage. That creative epiphany convinced me that doodling was a technique I could no longer live without. In addition to art journal pages, I add doodling to collages, cards, and more, mixing up styles, mediums, and colors.

This doodled art journal page started with some vintage clothing pattern pieces glued down randomly with glue stick. My journaling techniques are pretty of the moment—I don’t fuss a lot about the elements I include, I just go with what feels right and try not to overthink it.

Art journal doodling
Pieces of vintage clothing patterns were glued on the page.

The pattern pieces were painted over with Titanium Buff acrylic paint mixed with a little water—I wanted just a hint of the paper to show through. I used a vintage pattern as my focal piece. The paint was almost the same shade as the pattern envelope, which helped integrate the illustrations into the background.

Building an art journal page
A vintage pattern served as my focal piece.

I rubbed and scribbled water-soluble Derwent Inktense Blocks over the page. Hit with a damp brush, the pigments in the blocks really come alive. I went with analogous colors, using the illustration to inspire my palette.

Adding color
Derwent Inktense Blocks provided the first layer of color.

More collage elements were added—another scrap from the pattern envelope, a notebook page, and some book text. I also brushed on acrylic paint in similar shades to the first color layers, choosing some darker values, and then applied paint through a stencil.

Adding collage and paint
More collage elements were added, as well as acrylic paint.

It was time to bring on the doodles. I used Faber-Castell PITT artist pens in a variety of nib widths and started drawing, again with no plan in mind: I started with a doodled headdress and a free-form mandala. In doodling, as with art journaling, there are no rules, and no right or wrong way to do it. The point is to enjoy the process and see how far your artwork can go.

Adding doodles to an art journal page
When the page was almost done, doodles were added.

I added one more collage element from the pattern envelope and used that as a jumping-off point for more doodles. I also used a white uni-ball Signo gel pen to create doodles and marks (Art Lessons artist Rae Missigman definitely inspired those!). Color from a Sherbet Lemon Inktense Block and shade from a black Stabilo All pencil offered a bit of drama.

Doodled art journal page
More paint and doodles were added to create the final page.

I doodle constantly, everywhere and on everything. It helps keep my creative muscles limber, and when I start art journaling, I’m ready to go. But I’m always looking for new ideas, techniques, and tools. The resources below have inspired me tremendously, and I’m sure they’ll get your wheels turning as well.

Ready to embrace doodling?

We have your inspiration ready for you:

Zen Doodle Oodles of Doodles Doodle Trees and Happy Bees Doodles Unleashed
Paperback | eBook Paperback | eBook Paperback | eBook
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Buy Now
Buy Now


Delectable Doodles and Beyond On Demand Web Seminar5-starreview Draw Groovy Tangle Love Workshop: Zen Doodle Basics
Webinar Download Paperback DVD | Video Download
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Buy Now

Find more resources for doodling (and much more) in the

Cloth Paper Scissors Shop!


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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