Top Drawing Techniques You Can’t Live Without

As an avid art journaler and someone who devours new creative processes, I found great value in the video Top 10 Doodle, Drawing and Mark Making Techniques. This compilation video reintroduced me to forgotten drawing techniques, like pen and ink cross hatching, and showed me new ideas to add to my creative tool belt. The segments are varied, with clips from several of my favorite artists, so there’s something for everyone, from the true-blue beginner to the seasoned artist.

Discover amazing techniques that will take your art journal pages and more to the next level in the video Top 10 Doodle, Drawing and Mark Making Techniques.

The video starts off with light and playful techniques, and I was immediately inspired to try Tiffany Lovering’s “windshield wiper” doodling pattern, which incorporates graduated teardrop shapes, as well as her “shoops” doodle flourishes. I used these in a couple of half-done pages in my art journal, sneaking them in here and there.

Adding these Tiffany Lovering-inspired doodle drawing techniques to my art journal pages gave them great style.

They worked well in the nooks and crannies of my designs, as they appear to emerge from the corners. I used black Sakura Pigma Micron pens for the doodles, and a lavender-colored Sharpie marker to add pops of color. The simple windshield wiper doodles are quick, easy, and oh, so satisfying, and I added some fun details, like dots and zig-zag lines.

Tiffany shows exactly how to create these teardrop-shaped doodles using a simple black permanent pen.

Tiffany’s method of doodling on photographs (portraits of people or pets) was also very compelling. I had a photocopied picture of my great aunt that I knew would be perfect to use for this project, which is a fun way to enhance a black and white or color photo.

New or vintage photos are perfect for adding fun doodles.

To start, I cut out my great aunt’s head and torso and adhered the image to a journal page using acrylic matte medium. I doodled several different patterns around her head, re-creating the look of her hairstyle. I also doodled on her face and neck, giving her jewelry and ridiculous glasses. For this project I used Micron pens, a colored Sharpie marker, and a white Sharpie Paint pen.

Doodles substitute for hair in this technique, which can be used on portraits of pets or people.

In another segment, Pam Carriker demonstrates a dramatic way to shade using Tsukineko Fantastix Coloring Tool, an amazing mark-making and drawing tool. I’d seen these little white sticks in the stamping section at my local craft store, but never knew how to use them. The sticks soak up water and fluid acrylic paint, allowing the artist to use them much like a big felt-tip marker. These unassuming tools are now a permanent part of my art journal toolbox.

I began by drawing a simple face with a sharp 2B pencil, using a photo as a reference. I drew the basic contour lines of the head: the eyes, nose, mouth, and the outline of the hair. A bit of shading was added with the pencil. For the next part, I poured small amounts of fluid acrylic paints on my palette: Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Yellow Oxide, and Teal. I dipped the Fantastix in water, and then soaked up some of the lightest value of paint, the yellow oxide.

drawing techniques
Shading a portrait is easy, following Pam Carriker’s drawing techniques.

Following Pam’s prompts, I began to fill in the shaded areas of the face and hair, using the Fantastix tool like a marker. I found I could easily adjust the lightness of the color by dipping the tip in more water, as Pam shows. She is a fantastic teacher, and really helped me make marks confidently when shading the face, something I often struggle with.

drawing techniques
Using the Fantastix is easy—it’s just like drawing with a marker.

I deepened the shaded areas with Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Teal, using the Fantastix in the same way. The sticks clean up well too—just rinse them in water. Thank you, Pam for this amazing technique. My art journal will never be the same again!

drawing techniques
Learn how to use surprising colors for portraits in this great drawing techniques segment with Pam Carriker.

This video has more fantastic clips too, like Dina Wakley’s ink throwing, an easy and super fast way to start off a journal page with large organic marks. That one is on my to-do list. In fact, I wonder how ink would work in the Fantastix? You’ll find a wealth of information and inspiration in the Top 10 Doodle, Drawing, and Mark Making Techniques video. Enjoy!


Mandy Russell is a full-time mixed-media artist with a darling little studio called The Painted Dog, in the heart of Brunswick, Maine. She has a menagerie of goofy pets, two fabulous children, and a super supportive husband. When life isn’t too hectic, she finds time to clean the house. Read more about her artistic adventures and workshop offerings on her website, mandyrussell.com.


Discover a great way to use doodles and scratch art to create whimsical animals in this blog post!

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Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques

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