Even the most renowned artists love a good doodle. A quick google search will reveal scribbled self-portraits, crabbed cartoons, and inked illustrations by the likes of Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Georgia O’Keefe. 

Some might consider doodles to be drawings only made for scrap paper or the edge of your notebook during a boring lecture. But, doodles are their own little works of art, worthy of even the greatest artists. 

There are so many interesting and fun doodle ideas out there that the hardest part of doodling is just finding some time alone with a pen and paper. 

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50 Easy Doodle Ideas 

Inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere—from a remote, lush rainforest to the room you’re sitting in right now. When looking for the perfect idea, start off by looking for shapes around you. 

Perhaps you see a smooth, rectangular TV, a cloudy, oval-shaped door knob, or the smooth curve at the top of your couch. These same shapes (rectangles, squares, ovals, circles, lines, and dots) will help create a strong foundation for all of your doodles. 

Once you’ve attuned your eye to the shapes around you, the next step is to narrow your search. Instead of pulling out your favorite notebook and staring at a blank page, come up with a list of things you can draw based on certain themes. You might start with broad categories like food groups, hobbies and seasons, and then narrow them down to doodles that relate to you.

A graphic titled “Breakfast Doodle Icons” shares doodles of sausage, cereal, an egg, a doughnut, pancakes, ham, bacon, a banana, an apple, toast, yogurt, and cheese.
Doodles from Skillshare Class Doodle Course – Create Hand Drawn Doodle Icons Using Your iPad + Procreate by Aisha Borel
This artist chose breakfast for their drawing category. 

If you pick a broad category like fruits and vegetables, you could focus on the red gleam of an apple, the multi-arch top of a head of broccoli, or the oval-shaped tomato. If you’re still not inspired, try to think of things that are special to you like your favorite place to visit or your favorite animal. Here are a few examples of how to use broad categories to come up with simple doodle drawing ideas.   


  • Muffin
  • Candy
  • Popsicle
  • Ice cream cone
  • Lollipop
  • Donut
  • Cake slice
  • Chocolate covered strawberry
  • Cupcake
  • Cookie


  • Maple leaf
  • Cloud
  • Butterfly
  • Sun
  • Lady bug
  • Bumble bee
  • Acorn
  • Mountain range
  • Mushroom
  • Cactus


  • Beach umbrella
  • Earth
  • Suitcase
  • Camping tent
  • Map
  • Passport
  • Bicycle
  • Post card
  • Hotel key
  • Sailboat

Back to School:

  • Pencil
  • Envelope
  • Ruler
  • Clock
  • Headphones
  • Paintbrush
  • Lightbulb
  • Book
  • Artist palette
  • Magnifying glass


  • Scarf
  • Mittens
  • Snowflake
  • Snowman
  • Mug of hot chocolate
  • Present
  • Candy cane
  • Candle
  • Hat
  • Evergreen tree

Keep Things Simple

Anyone can learn how to doodle—even absolute beginners. With doodling, you don’t have to feel pressure to add a ton of details. By focusing on basic shapes you can easily create fun drawings. A square with a triangle on top can turn into a cozy cottage. Three circles stacked on top of one another can become a jolly, coal-eyed snowman.

What shapes can you find in these simple ideas to doodle?

  • Fish
  • Saturn 
  • Watermelon slice 
  • Constellations 
  • Envelope

Bite the Bullet (Journal)

A notebook sits on a table next to a mug of coffee. Two hands hold the notebook, which contains a weekly calendar on the left side page and a to-do list on the right side page.
Still from Skillshare Class Bullet Journaling YOUR way, A Tailored to You Planner! Beginner’s Set Up. by Jessica Owinyo
Doodles can make the average bullet journal even more enjoyable. 

Doodling benefits your mind and body, but it can also be beneficial for your day-to-day life. Bullet journaling is a personal organization method that uses tools like hand-written to-do lists, brainmaps, and goal tracking to keep your life running smoothly. 

Doodling can bring this personalized journaling tool to the next level. You might sketch a small banner at the top of your calendar for this month. Or you can add some sparkle to your to-do list with a few stars. These doodles help add some creativity to an otherwise cookie-cutter activity. 

If you want to add a little color, texture, and beauty to your bullet journal pages try these bullet journal doodle ideas:

  • Seasonal doodles on your monthly calendar pages. Think round roses for spring, smiling beach animals for summer, leaves bouncing in the wind for fall, and a mug of hot cocoa for winter. 
  • Track your water consumption by drawing water droplets that you can fill in with your favorite colored pencil. 
  • Add a loved one’s birthday to your calendar with a cupcake topped with a swirl of frosting.
  • Create a travel wishlist with travel icons like an airplane, map, and suitcase. 
  • Celebrate the goals you’ve achieved by drawing some confetti and balloons around the goal.

Start Your Drawing Journey!

Creating a Dynamic Character: Drawing a Head in 3/4 View—Face Drawing

Creative Zen Doodle Ideas 

There’s one type of doodling that is perfect for winding down at the end of a long day. Zen doodling is where you draw patterns to relax your mind

A square with a loop in the center is drawn in a notebook with a pencil.
Still from Skillshare Class Develop a Daily Creative Habit with Zen Doodle & Zentangle Inspired Art by Ridhi Rajpal
Start off by keeping things simple. 

You start by creating any size and shape outline on a piece of paper. Then, separate the outline into sections either by drawing one line or a few.

With only their two hands visible, someone draws an oval-shaped pattern on a notebook.
Still from Skillshare Class Develop a Daily Creative Habit with Zen Doodle & Zentangle Inspired Art by Ridhi Rajpal
By turning your doodle as you go, you can adjust the direction of your patterns. 

Each section serves as a spot for a new pattern. You can add anything from funky swirls of colored pencil and geometric pen lines to thick stripes of marker. Don’t worry if you go out of the lines; they’re just there to give you some general guidelines. Enjoy this moment of relaxation!

An intricate pattern of swirls and lines is drawn by an artist in a notebook.
Still from Skillshare Class Develop a Daily Creative Habit with Zen Doodle & Zentangle Inspired Art by Ridhi Rajpal
Combining different patterns within one space can make your zen doodle even more intricate.

Change up the patterns as you switch to different sections within your zen doodle. To add some extra punch to your drawing, try advanced drawing techniques like outlining certain parts of your pattern and shading in some of the negative space.  

A close-up photograph of tree bark, a red fence, scratched metal, and asphalt reveal patterns in the outside world.
Still from Skillshare Class Doodle Magic | Basic & Advanced Techniques by Yasmina Creates
A few patterns from a walk around the neighborhood. 

For even more zen doodle ideas, go out on a walk and find patterns in the world around you. You’ll be surprised by how many interesting patterns you’ve walked by every day once you take the time to notice them. 

Sketching Your Doodles

For more doodling ideas for beginners, try your hand at sketching. This is slightly different from doodling because it’s usually done as a first draft before a more complex piece. But, sketching can be a useful tool when doodling as well. 

Let’s say you want to draw some stars in your bullet journal. With a lot of different star options, you might not know which you want to choose. Practice different variations before going in with a permanent marker.  Sketching also provides an opportunity to test out doodling ideas for beginners. 

Finding Doodle Inspiration

There are many interesting ways to find ideas for your drawings. Flip through books and magazines you have lying around your home. Try spending fifteen minutes creating a Pinterest board online. It might just reveal dozens of doodling drawing ideas. 

Delight in Digital Doodling

With its clean lines and bright colors, using a tablet to draw can bring a whole range of new opportunities. Digital art is easy to share and easily corrected, which is why it’s the medium of choice for many artists. 

Scrolling through social media or Google Images can provide a lot of inspiration for digital doodles. Another option is creating a mind map. A mind map works by picking a subject, like breakfast foods, and splitting that subject into different categories, like meats and dairy. Finally, you’ll come up with ideas under each subcategory, which helps you keep your ideas organized.

Digital doodles allow for more experimentation since they’re easy to fix, you could try some more complicated doodles like these:

  • Crazy doodle
  • Rocket
  • Campfire
  • Octopus
  • Unicorn
  • Furry monster
  • UFO
  • Piano
  • Bird
  • Skull
  • Hot air balloon
  • Hands
  • Globe
  • Astronaut
  • Hibiscus flower
  • Milkshake
  • Mermaid
  • Wolf
  • Skeleton
  • Horse
  • Braided hair

Top Doodling Tips

In the past ten minutes you’ve learned over eighty different doodling ideas! Now that your gears are turning, imagine all the doodling ideas you can come up with on your own. But, before you go out searching for more doodle sketch ideas, there are a few more drawing tips to know. 

Play with Negative and Positive Space

The empty space around your drawing is known as negative space, while the drawing itself is positive space. See how filling in negative space with a few swipes of graphite or a splash of marker changes your doodle. 

Test Black and White vs. Color

Color can bring life to any doodle, but black and white provides a sense of simplicity that is great for creating icons. Try drawing in both black and color and see which fits your doodle best!

Mix Up Materials

If you’ve always been someone who loves drawing with a #2 pencil, try to see how adding a dab of watercolor or touch of oil pastel changes your drawing. You might even test out mixing two materials together in one doodle and seeing how that inspires you. 

You’re Off to a Great Start!

There’s a story about Picasso that has yet to be verified, but reveals a good final lesson. One morning Picasso was enjoying his morning espresso and doodling on a napkin. A passerby happened to recognize him and asked if he could have the sketch. Picasso said yes, but it would cost him 30,000 francs, or about 5,000 dollars. 

The passerby was shocked and replied, “But, it only took you thirty seconds.”

Picasso smiled and said, “No, it took me thirty years.” 

Even something as simple as a doodle can progress over time. If you really want to improve your drawing skills, try to craft a habit like doodling one thing per day or challenging yourself to fill a page with doodles each month.

New to Drawing? 

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Written by:

Calli Zarpas