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Drawing and Doodling

As a beginner or seasoned artist it is important to find a path to drawing and doodling. Being able to practice on various objects in the room, in a book, online, or in your head is an excellent way to prepare the road ahead for more complicated art.

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Try Some Doodling

They call the word ‘doodling’ I believe. What I like to do is usually pick something out in the room. For example, one day I was sitting at my desk and saw a set of pens and markers in a cup, and that was where I began the process. 

Now even though I was using a pen, it was still a perfect way to begin the process.

So I set my gaze on the pencil cupholder, and noticed it has an oval like shape. Sketching an oval down on paper, I then added a circle around the base and I had my first outline. Examine the picture below to get a better perspective.

Sometimes just taking a different view will make drawing and doodling easy as well. In this screenshot, the camera is looking down on the cup holder as a bird’s eye point of view to get another angle.

Looking Closer at the Object

A great thing I highly recommend when first starting out sketching, is to get a closer range or close up of the picture you want to reproduce on paper.

For example, examine the horse image below. Upon closer inspection you will notice that there are various grooves on the surface face of the horse. Standing further back, this may not be so obvious. So to get this pencil sketching easy in my head I zoomed in on the picture on my computer after I downloaded it.

Sketching a Cat

Okay believe it or not the next picture is a cat, although my wife said it looks fierce, haha. I was modeling this sketch after our cat, Kitkat. I navigated to Google Photos, found the image I had in mind and begin my art. 

I started with the oval shapes on the face, eyes, jawline, and made a circle around the head. Then after I had my outline I begin to add the details into the ears, ears, nose, and mouth for my new drawing and doodling design.

Tips to Shading Eyes

If you click on the cat image and look at it closely, you should be able to see the variation of color in the eyes. Our cat is black so not much else was left to the imagination for the body. 

However as they say ‘the eyes have it. So in this example, you will notice more white in the center with a darkening contrast around the inner part of the eyes.

Shading for Better Quality

One of my favorite things to do next to coloring in my art, is to enhance the shading techniques in my work. Taking a drawing and doodling approach, I drew the basic features of the object, and then began to examine where light is less likely to reflect, and appear on the image.

For example, in my tree drawing below (Christmas tree if you must), the underside part of the hanging branches contain less light. In those areas I began adding dark contrasts than the shading above the branch.

To achieve a more realistic effect, be sure to shade darker at the area under the branches and get lighter as you move closer to the tip of the branches.

It’s important to imagine a spotlight and see where the light is reflecting at. What I like to do is draw a lightly sketched lightbulb image of where I want the refraction to start at, and then work on shading darker on the opposite edges, and other areas not picked up by the light.

Since it was Christmas (of 2021) when this article was written, I couldn’t resist the urge to create a Christmas scene. Notice again where all the dark areas are versus the light. 

Now also keep in mind that these drawings are being done on standard paper, so it’s a little more difficult to get the contrasts right, but ‘Hey it’s only doodling here!’ haha!

A Tree Sketch

When in the mood, a popular thing I like to draw are all types of trees. I won’t claim any fame to be an expert at this, but just like to get art done on paper and bring it to life with shading, and color. Be sure to check out my best recommendation for Faber Castell Colored Pencils. Man I have yet to break one of these!

Here is yet another tree I made with again some random objects. This is just a freehand sketch created on Bienfang paper. Noticed again the light source (indicated by the ‘L’ symbol here.

Click here to learn more about different types of paper for drawing on my Mixed Media page.

I like finding a good YouTube video also and just sketching along to a design or similar that resembles the drawing.

Season to be Jolly

Well whether or not if you are celebrating Christmas, be sure to take the time to pick out a object in our surroundings and get to work. You will notice I decided to try some bells, and a simple candle. 

These were done in less than a minute, but its again an excellent way to work on your doodling skills and get your creatives juices flowing while your pencil is moving.

Freehand Drawing

My sincere apologies if the picture above scares you, but I actually created it while trying to conjure up a world for a game I am working on my Commodore 64 website. I recall that I was at work that day and started with a volcano, and began on the world around it.

This is what is meant by ‘freehand drawing’. I didn’t have anything to look at while at work, so I started trying to form the images in my mind and work with that. 

At this time also, I had not yet returned to my true artist instincts since my time was devoted mostly to programming older computers.

Go Sailing While Drawing

Seriously though, I’m not implying to get on a sailboat and start to draw, although the ocean would be an amazing picture. Rather what I’m getting at is think of drawing like sailing down a river. 

You just go with the flow. Allow your inner creativity to come alive and visually capture information as it travels onto your paper.

This sailboat was kind of a labor of love as I’ve always enjoyed the water. Notice though once again I didn’t require any special tool to draw it, but instead used a pen that was at my desk while at work. If you look closely there are supposed to be two riders toward the rear, but oh well I tried. Haha.

Is your Cat too Fat?

Gotcha! What cat isn’t fat? Haha. Anyway this is a quick outline I did while preparing to draw a much more detailed picture later.

Notice that there is only sketching here, and no shading or even color. See it all starts at a very basic level. You can do this!

The picture here is the final result after many hours of dedication. You can clearly see the cat near the Christmas tree. I don’t know about you, but our cat loves the tree and sleeps under it. 

Anyway to guide you, just find the outline of the animal or shape and quickly align it to what you see.

Fun Medieval Drawing

I have always been a fan of medieval type images, such as those seen in games. So it is no surprise that I desire drawing castles and backgrounds. 

This image was actually designed several years ago, but more recently I enhanced the shading with the newer techniques I learned. Again pay attention to where the darker areas are where the light fragments are not so relevant.

The image seen here is for those who want to design art on a computer screen (for those interested). You can explore this at my Atari 65xe website (below). This concept also will involve an understanding of tile graphics.

The goal though is to go with what you love. If you like kitties, draw them. If you are into scenery you can find some excellent pictures on Google, but it’s highly recommended to stick to sites like or pixabay to avoid any copyrights should you decide to sell your pictures later.

Bridge the Gap

Literally speaking that is find a way to overcome any constraints you may have in your art. Keep pushing the boundaries and you will get better over time. Here is a simple bridge sketch I made when I was getting obsessed over drawing castle environments.

Got your Ears On?

Working in customer service gave me an advantage one day, when I set down my headset during a break and began to sketch out what I saw. Although this drawing is very simple, it still allowed me to exercise my drawing abilities and stay on par with the course.

I can’t say it enough already, find that unknown, random object and try to produce it quickly to get some practice in each day. It’s kinda like exercising a muscle, if you stop doing it after a while, the results will fade. So stay focused in your work, and keep up the pace.

Try some Face Sketches

Face sketching is probably the most popular type of art on Google. I won’t claim be an expert and realize there is room for improvement. However, by sketching some face designs you can learn to see  contours in a better way. 

A face design requires exact precision and alignment of facial features to get an identical representation of the picture or model you are drawing. 

Get a Good Ruler

Be sure to have a good ruler on hand while drawing. Sometimes when you are trying to design something you will need to keep a straight line. Now I’m aware that some of you are excellent at keeping a steady hand, but having a ruler or set of rulers is great to keep everything aligned.

As you can see from my illustrations here, I have a simple ruler (green), and a clear ruler. Also somewhere around here I have a wooden ruler. The point is that it doesn’t matter which ruler you have, just so as long as it helps with your drawing and doodling art.

The fancy ruler you see here is called a GemRed 82305 Digital Angle Finder Protractor. This ruler is amazing since it can contort to your measurements while keeping a specific position on the paper.

Draw Anything at Anytime

The picture you are examining now was just drawn about 3 minutes ago prior to writing this article section. Never have to oversimply anything. Just do it!

Starting with the pencil sketching easy project, I just closely viewed the object, created the outlined areas (circles, and squares) and got to work. Remember as always to draw lightly, so you can erase easier later.

Notice again that I done a little shaing here in various areas. This is accomplished just by smudging the paper with my thumb. However, most later you will learn about using brush strokes to apply more enhanced shading.

The dimensions here are in no way perfect, but that is the purpose of sketching while working on your art skills. The primary goal is to stay consistent and learn how to improve.

The pencil I used is also seen here, so need need to rush out and buy the “latest and the greatest”. You can work with what you already own, even if its a junky pencil like I am demonstrating here. For me, art is a way of life.

Create a Grey Tones Chart

Note: If it’s any help, feel free to examine a color values chart I created. The skill to practice is to start with a lighter pencil and keep going darker until you have created 8 shades of grey as they are known. 

It will also help you when you are shading light on your picture and need to produce darker tones as you advance further from the spotlight.

A Simple Ball Sketch

The last example I wanted to discuss is drawing a circle shape with shading. As always begin by drawing the lighter image at the beginning, which in this case is a circle, of course. 

Then pick a direction where the light will travel from and draw a simple light bulb at that corner. After this you can shade in the opposite direction getting darker the further you move away from the light source.

I haven’t spoken much of the eye below, but it follows the same skill practice with the pencil sketching easy artwork. Just find an object, see it with your ‘eyes’, and go for it!

Just stay with it and remember to ‘draw, draw, and draw’. If you keep working at this skill, you will improve in no time at all. I have complete confidence in you!

I hope you enjoyed this article today. Feel free to comment below to tell me about your own personal art experiences with sketching. I’m all ears. Thanks for visiting.

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