Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Doodling Exercise

Diana Trout, one of my instructors at Journalfest this past October, posted a very cool doodling exercise on The Sketchbook Challenge website last week: Diana's doodle game.

The idea is to just go ahead and doodle but not to cross any lines.  You can doodle whatever you like, in any size or shape.  Diana uses this as a warmup exercise for her classes.  While not every creation will be worth keeping, it's a way of loosening up and getting past the "blank page" syndrome.

After watching the video on her post and seeing the black and white picture she ended up with, I decided to give it a whirl.  I really liked some of the shapes that resulted but I wasn't comfortable with leaving it as a black and white picture.  It felt like it would be too much like a Zentangle if I did.  I thought it needed some colour.  Diane suggests that we shouldn't edit ourselves, that we should let the picture tell us how to proceed, so I started filling in some of the spaces with different coloured highlighter markers.

As you can see from this first picture, sometimes the markers went outside of the black lines (it's not always easy to be precise with the fatter tip of a highlighter). I was surprised to discover how much that bothered me.  I knew I was a "colour inside the lines" type personality but I thought I could let it go, I really did.  Turns out, I couldn't.  Not completely.  So I started covering up some of those overlap areas with the black marker, which left certain areas with some extra shading.  As it happens, I was quite pleased with how the final result turned out, so in the end, it all worked - at least for me!

Thanks to Diana for sharing this exercise, I will definitely play with this technique again.

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