Deanna Williamson, Unexplained, 8.5" x 6" ballpoint pen and pencil, 2016
Deanna Williamson, Unexplained, 8.5″ x 6″ ballpoint pen and pencil, 2016

In the previous post, I mentioned the adult coloring craze that has inundated the leisure time activities market.  I think that one of the main trends fueling that is the doodling craze started by the creators of Zentangles.  In case you didn’t know, Zentangles are doodle algorythms that enable almost anyone to create beautiful patterns by repeating a series of steps.  The original idea was for theraputic relaxation but soon people were creating these patterns and selling them for other people to color.  I’ve seen them on color-it-yourself items from greeting cards to origami paper. You can download free doodle algorythms from online sites, attend doodling workshops,  buy doodle pattern books, or create your own algorythms as I did in the composition above.

The thing is, the patterns many people are publishing now have always been around – in fabrics, wall papers, architectural accents – everywhere. You just have to look for them in your surroundings.  When you find one you like, just reverse engineer it to find out it’s algorithm.

I personally like to use doodling as a standby sketchbook activity when I can’t find anything interesting to draw from observation.  It’s also great for practicing pencil shading, filling in empty spaces in art journals, and entertaining small children.

Overlappage, the tie-dye resembling doodle below was created with an algorythm that children used years before algorythms became a thing.  If you think back to your childhood you may remember several such things that were fads in elementary school.  If you do, maybe you can make some money publishing them in coloring books.

Deanna Williamson, Overlappage, 8" x 6", colored pencil
Deanna Williamson, Overlappage, 8″ x 6″, colored pencil

3 thoughts on “ART BYTE 30 – DOODLING”

    1. The process of doodling can be a totally free stream-of-consciousness (like what we used to do in phone books while talking) or a deliberate pattern created with an algorithm. The specific Zentangle process (called tangling) is to create designs on 3.5 x 3.5 pieces of paper called tiles. You can cut the tiles from any kind of paper or buy them pre-cut. The idea is to work small so you can finish it in a sitting and so that it’s portable like cross-stitch or knitting. The doodle artist usually begins by breaking up the space on the tile with a few random lines, then they fill in the spaces with different patterns. Tanglers ( people who create Zentangles) do not usually create images because 1)this is supposed to be relaxing and 2) most tanglers are non-artists, 3) creating images might not be relaxing if you’re a non-artist.
      If you’re interested in getting some patterns, you can download countless ones off the internet. I have about 200 of them on my Pinterest board called Doodles. Here’s a link to an example that also shows a finished tile. // If you want I’ll send you a copy of one of my tiles as an example.

      1. I have seen you do this type of thing. I am not an artist and I have always thought that this was part of your artistic side. I am going to give it a try. I have tried the coloring books, but I find that it is not relaxing to me. I do not like to color so this may be better for me.

Leave a Reply