Be Playful

Miniguide #2: How to Doodle

Posted on: 26 January 2009

Playful Miniguides: A semi-regular series of simple guides to the art of playful living.


Choose a Pen

Keywords to describe digital objects (by cambodia4kidsorg)
Pick a doodle pen or pencil. Give it a special home so you’ll know where to find it when you want to doodle.

Find some paper

  (by 'Playingwithbrushes')
Respect your inner creativity by choosing paper that’s special for you. You might like to set aside a notebook for doodles & drawings, or you may prefer to find random scraps of paper. Train tickets rouse feelings of journey and adventure, whilst instruction manuals conjure up your inventive self.

Make a drawing space

A Quiet Morning (by ^riza^)
This can be anywhere – on the bus, in the park, in front of your TV, even in class. Doodling activates the creative side of your brain, helping you absorb ideas and see connections in what you’re learning.


Street Studio NYC (by moriza)
Put pen to paper. It’s as simple as that. Doodle whatever comes to mind, or better still, release your unconscious and draw without thinking. Give your pen complete freedom to reflect your thoughts and your feelings.


not in my house (by paintMonkey)
Look up what doodles reveal about your inner self. Doodles can unveil unreleased idea, moods, and dreams.


Artist Under Bridge (by Randy Son Of Robert)
Redefine your doodling habit by learning some new doodles. If certain doodle shapes are related to a mood you want to evoke, try learning those.

Get creative

Wikipedia - Musician (by quartermane)
Doodles can be used as a memory tool, to connect ideas, and to resolve problems.


When learning a new thing, as well as taking written notes, draw doodles related to what you’re learning. When you go back over your notes, the doodle will provoke your memory.


Doodle mind maps and diagrams. These doodles include both words and pictures.


Instead of arguing over disagreements, try doodling how you see the situation. Again, include words and pictures. This helps you see the conflict in a new way, and turns it into a catalyst of creativity.

If you have an idea for a Miniguide, please get in touch:

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6 Responses to "Miniguide #2: How to Doodle"

I love this miniguide!

Doodling is one of my favorite activities in my Moleskine. I write a lot in it too, but my doodles fill in the gaps. But looking at some of these pictures and links you included, I might just take it up a level and give full space to my doodles.

@Lodewijk: My Moleskin is one of my favourite places to doodle too.

I found the Wikipedia mind maps (the rock star guy in the last picture) particularly inspiring – there’s a lot of them on Flickr available as creative commons.

And the artist who completely fills their moleskin with pictures – from one edge of the paper to the other. It’s just amazing.

What a fun guide! I’d love to know what pens you like best, David. I seem to always be on the lookout for a “better” one. (Right now, I’m using a thin Sharpie, but I don’t like the way the ink bleeds through when I pause on a line.)


Glad you enjoyed the guide. Your comment on pens caught my attention because I’ve been trying everywhere to get a thin Sharpie in the UK and it’s impossible to find one!

Until recently I believed that to start doing art, you needed special equipment. A beautiful journal respects your inner thoughts, a perfect pen inspires you to doodle/write.

I still think it’s important to respect your inner artist with a special journal and a special pen – but journals and pens become special because you use them and you’ve learnt to work with them, not because they’re perfect.

And when I buy a beautiful new notebook, I’m often scared to start drawing/writing because that would spoil its pristine pages!

At the moment I draw with a Zebra Z-Grip and a uni lakubo 0.7, the only reason being that they are what I had handy when I started learning to draw.

I followed Danny Gregory’s advice: “A ballpoint, a marker, whatever feels good. At this point, probably best avoid something too thin and scratchy or too thick and blobby. But it’s your choice.”

And my favourite quote (by Cennini): “Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good.”

Happy Drawing,


[…] vb. grace-full conversation life, n. one big clowning adventure of artful doodles, magical enchantment, everyday delight, sleepy wonder and risky conflict laughter, n. the noise of […]

i just LOVE your blog!!!! Would u be interested in checking out mine? I have a tab called “Creative Playground” with a link to a site i recently opened on the ning network for creative people. its really new, but if u would take a peek and maybe think about hosting a group for us I would be HONORED!!!! u are super talented and u would make a great addition! Keep in mind we are very NEW, so there are only just over 100 members right now, but we want to grow, maybe u can help! 🙂
heres the link to my blog: just click on the Creative Playground tab and the site is called Social Muze 🙂

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