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Doodle Lab Club Activity

Page history last edited by Frank Curkovic 8 years, 4 months ago


"Oodles o' Doodles"

Description: Join this club if you can draw. Better yet, join this club if you can't draw! Everyone can draw and in this club, you'll be reminded how by exploring ideas, techniques and creative nonsense using a line marker. There is no right or wrong result. Instead, you'll hopefully gain new skills and confidence exploring different techniques and approaches. Bring your enthusiasm, an open mind and your own black line marker if you can.

*activities subject to change at teacher's discretion


Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension -- and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we're caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen.


Doodling in the News:

"Just Doodle It" (via NPR - Radio Show Sept 5, 2013)

Ever been caught doodling during a meeting a work? A boring class? You’re not alone. Did you get yelled at? “Get your head in the game! You’re distracted! You're not serious!"

Our guest Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, says doodling involves a lot of the senses... movement, sound, and visuals… and, far from being a distraction, it actually can enhance learning. 


"I Draw Pictures All Day: Why doodling is important" (via Smashing Magazine)

What does it mean to be a doodler, to draw pictures all day? Why do we doodle? Most of all, what does it mean to our work? It turns out that the simple act of scribbling on a page helps us think, remember and learn.


What we learn from doodles (via CNN)

Virginia Scofield, an immunologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, knows from personal and professional experience what doodling does. After struggling with organic chemistry in college, she decided to try doodling the complexities of the subject rather than memorizing them from the textbook. Scofield happened upon what native doodlers have known for a long time: Doodling can improve cognitive performance.


"To Make Students Understand Science, Let Them Doodle in Class" (via Good)

The push to bring art back to schools could get a boost thanks to a new study that shows kids understand science better when they're encouraged to draw in class. 


Doodling 'may help memory recall' (via BBC)

Doodling could help the mind remain alert during dull tasks.
Doodling may look messy, but it could in fact be a sign of an alert mind, a study suggests. Plymouth University researchers carried out memory tests on 40 volunteers, asking them to listen to a phone call and recall names and places. Doodlers performed 29% better than non-doodlers, the team found.” 


Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention (via Time Magazine) "...doodlers actually remember more than nondoodlers when asked to retain tediously delivered information, like, say, during a boring meeting or a lecture." (click the title to read the full post)


The Miseducation of the Doodle

Doodling may be better described as ‘markings to help a person think.’ Most people believe that doodling requires the intellectual mind to shutdown, but this is one misrepresentation that needs correcting. There is no such thing as a mindless doodle. The act of doodling is the mind’s attempt to engage before succumbing to mindlessness. Doodling serves a myriad of functions that result in thinking, albeit in disguise. (click the title to read the full post)


Doodling: A Teacher’s Secret Weapon for Unlocking Learning

For educators, there are few things more frustrating than looking out into a classroom during the middle of a lecture and seeing nothing but bent heads. What are your students doing out there? Are they texting beneath the desk, despite repeated threats of phone confiscation? Are they scribbling notes to friends? Are they doodling silly animated books with teeth chasing your lecture notes off the page?



You may also be interested in:

Doodler's Anonymous

The Doodle Revolution Sunni Brown leads a global campaign for visual literacy. Check out videos, articles and more.

48 Great Examples of Doodle Art



Activity 1 - Doodling & Noodling (an introduction)

Step 1 - Doodling:

Begin by drawing a continuous line in any direction you wish but end up at the very beginning so the line encloses a shape.

Step 2 - Noodling:

Next, decorate your doodle.

(here are a few examples: patches, concentric, undulating, dots, pinwheel, cactus, shaded edge, stretched checkerboard)

Activity 2 - Geometric Transformations

Create a maze-like doodle like in the picture:


Draw vertical lines on all the corners:


Connect the vertical lines:


Fill in the shadows on 1 side:


Add casted shadows:


Draw a cluster of closely packed rectangular shapes:

Then draw the vertical lines (start at the back):

Activity 3 - Portraits

1. Blind Drawing: Select a person (or object) to draw. Moving your pen slowly, concentrate on the object you are drawing moving your pen inch by inch without looking at your paper.


2. Continuous Contour Drawing:



Extension: Add colour if you wish.


3. Wrong-Handed Portraits:

Using your nondominant hand, start drawing your friend's face. Don't worry about your unsteady lines! Look at your friend's face more than looking at your paper.


Activity 4 - Repetition

Option1: Cats

1. Think about what a cat looks like (the ears, face, body shape, tail etc). Spend some time drawing as many cats in as many positions as possible. Fill your page.

2. Try to keep your lines simple and expressive. If you are feeling tense or nervous, switch to your nondominant hand.


Option2: Heads

1. Using pencil, start at the bottom of the page and draw a row of heads in various shapes. Don't worry about adding facial features yet.

2. Create a second row half behind the first row.

3. Continue creating rows until your page is full.

4. Get your marker and go back and start adding facial features and darkening the heads. Add different emotions etc.


Activity 5 - Picasso Dogs

1. Draw an eye anywhere on your paper. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

2. Draw a second different eye, several times larger than the first eye. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

3. Draw a nose or snout. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

4. Draw a leg or paw. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

5. Draw a tail. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

6. Connect the elements together with straight and curved lines.

7. Finish with markers or coloured pencils.


Activity 6 - Texting Fonts

Write your name several times in different fonts. Flip it, rotate it, re-size it etc. Fill the page and organise it into a design!

OR, write a sentence about yourself experimenting with different fonts.



OR, write the alphabet in different fonts.

(above photo credit)


Or create a monster alphabet:


Activity 7 - Monster Doodle

Start off with this fun activity before moving on to the one below.

Instant Face Maker from FaceHeads on Vimeo.






1. Start by making a curvy continuous line with several large loops. You can add lines later if you wish.

2. Rotate your paper around looking for images to fill in, such as heads, faces, eyeballs etc.

3. Add colour if you wish:



Also look at Jon Burgerman:

Activity 8 - Line

Have a look at this photo. Can you duplicate something similar?

Pay attention to the directions and the curves in the lines to create form.

(image source)


Activity 9 - Patterns

 Using half of an A4 card & marker:

1. Devise a single element, such as a dot, diamond, squiggle, or square.

2. Copy and repeat the element in columns or rows to make an overall pattern.

3. Vary the spacing of the elements in the rows to create variation.

4. Continue to create new variations by varying the size of the elements, by creating overlapping rows of elements, and changing the color, size, and orientation of elements.

Depending on time, we may use tempera paint, watercolour or marker.

Activity idea from  here .

Student examples:

Can you see the transformations? Are they successful? 



Activity 10 - Silhouetting

Find several object around you. Feel free to move around. Draw small thumbnails on your paper. Try to fit 10-20 objects. You can make some small and some large. Don't worry about details. All you need is the basic shape. Next colour them all in black so all you have is a silhouette.



Activity 11 - Twists and Spirals

Sepalcure - Every Day of my Life from sougwen on Vimeo.




Activity 12 - Magazine Ad doodles



Activity 13 - Zentangles (part 1)

Zentangles: Examples, Ideas and Materials




Activity 14 - Zentangles (part 2)

Students continue doing week 12 design. Students may add colour if they wish.


Activity 15 - Dr. Seuss Landscapes (Lab 23)

1. View some work by Dr. Seuss. Note the structure of his buildings and how he made them droopy and curved etc.

2. Inspired by his work, create some structures lightly in pencil.

3. Use watercolours (or an alternative) to colour in areas.

4. Outline your structures in marker or ink and/or add patterns to decorate.

(Add more than in the example picture below.)


Activity 16 - Scribble Drawings

1. With your pen, make random curving or looping marks on your paper.

2. Now look at the line, turning the paper all the way around until you see something. Can you see anything? A face or animal perhaps?

3. Finish the drawing.


Activity 17 - Abstract

Taking influence from musician Karl Hyde's artwork, create an abstract piece of work using ink, pencil and oil pastel. Watch the video below.





Activity 18 - Connected Rectangles

1. Start by drawing various sized rectangles and triangles on your paper. These do not have to be perfect so don't worry. Next colour them in (feel free to use different colours/shades if you wish) or decorate them with line techniques.


2. Connect some (or all) of the corners with a line.

Activity 19 - Combinations

Choose any two activities from above and combine them into something new!


Try this!


Activity 20 - Lines, Lines & More Lines

Start with 1 line on your page that goes from top to bottom. It may be more interesting if it is a little wobbly. Draw other lines as close as possible to the first line and so on until you cover the whole page. It may not look difficult, but requires time and patience.

Have a look at how John Franzen does it.


Activity 21 - Doodle with Found Objects

Find an ordinary object and see if you can incorporate it into a drawing to create something new.

Some examples here.


Activity 22: Ink Spray Monsters

Use ink to carefully splash on your paper. 

Blow some of the excess ink around.

Turn it into a character.



Activity 23: Doodle on a found object



Embrace Your Inner Artist — How to Doodle on Your Photos and Bring Them To Life!


Teacher notes:

line samplers (weighted line etc) pg 62-65 exp. drawing, angular shapes (p77 exp. drawing), basquiat scribbles, indian ink lines, pollocked drips, obliterating with gesso,



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