Pattern-Making Doodle Art

How to Make Patterns with Doodle Art

Use a simple framework of lines or shapes to create small spaces that you fill with doodles. Turn those random marks you make when you’re bored into a piece of artwork.

If you’ve doodled hearts, stars, ponies, or tanks on the covers of your notebook or in the margins of your homework, you’re ready to take the art of doodling up a notch. In this project, the doodle covers the page, turning an aimless sketch into a piece of art.

What is Doodle Art?

In this drawing, you create repeating patterns within small outlined areas of the page. Each area gets a different pattern. The lines and shapes that cover the page create a framework for your drawing, holding it together.

Supplies for Doodle Art

You can doodle on any size paper. You don’t need special paper like drawing paper or watercolor paper; photocopy paper is fine. However, thin newsprint, sometimes called doodle paper won’t hold up to all the marks you’ll be making.

For a pen, you want something that makes a clean line without skipping across the page (leaving gaps in the line you’re drawing) or feathering into the grain of the paper (the way a marker might).

Depending on how detailed you want to get, this project can take an hour or more. Don’t feel obligated to finish it in one sitting. You can work on it a little bit at a time.

Getting Started on Your Doodle Art – Version One

Draw lines across the page from one edge to the other. You don’t have to use a ruler, although you can if you want. Draw three-to-five lines along the length of the page and four-to-six lines across the width of the paper.

Now, fill each space with a pattern (see below for ideas).

Getting Started on Your Doodle Art – Version Two

Select one shape and draw it five-to-nine times in different sizes over the page. Next, connect the shapes with lines (it’s okay if the lines crisscross). You may decide to connect some of the lines together. You are creating spaces to fill with patterns.

Patterns and Shapes to Doodle

Fill each space you created with a different pattern or series of shapes. For example,

  • Hearts
  • Stars
  • Triangles
  • Squares
  • Short lines
  • Circles
  • Stippling (tiny dots)
  • Hatch marks (short lines)
  • Cross-hatching (short lines that crisscross)
  • Music notes
  • Sports balls
  • Spirals
  • Feather patterns
  • Checkerboard
  • Teardrops
  • Stripes
  • Smiley faces
  • Peace signs
  • Wavy lines

Add contrast by coloring in some of the shapes with your pen. Part of the challenge is to discover how many patterns you can create.

Cover a sheet of paper with patterns, filling the page with doodles. You may decide to use different colored pens in a future doodle or you may start in a different way – instead of beginning with lines and shapes, you could draw the face of a person or an animal and doodle in details. For more structured doodling, try Pattern Making Graph Paper Art or doodling with stencils.