DOODLING FOR BEGINNERS: Simple techniques to help you begin doodling | Nami Bates | Skillshare

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DOODLING FOR BEGINNERS: Simple techniques to help you begin doodling

teacher avatar Nami Bates

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (20m)

    • 2. MATERIALS

    • 3. LINE PATTERNS: Exercise 1

    • 4. SIMPLE SHAPES: Exercise 2

    • 5. COMBING LINES+SHAPES: Exercise 3

    • 6. INSPIRATION: 3 different ways


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About This Class

  • In this class, I will walk you through some very simple techniques and exercises using lines and shapes to start creating your own doodles right away! With these skills, you will be able to combine lines and shapes to doodle simple objects and animals. I will also share where I get inspiration from for my doodles so you can have an idea of where to get started!
  • This class is meant for people with little to no art experience and beginner artists. There is no for prior art experience needed!

Meet Your Teacher

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Nami Bates


My name is Nami Bates and i'm a freelance illustration, artist and teacher. Im originally from New York, USA, but i've been living overseas in Chiangmai, Thailand for the past 12 years. 

I create character designs, logo designs, comic and book illustration, simple tattoo designs and portraits. 

I hope through Skillshare I can teach simple techniques and exercises to help beginner and advanced artists grow their skills. I also hope to meet and connect with others!


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1. INTRODUCTION: Hello, My name's NAMI. Welcome to my first skill share, of course, So I'll tell you a little bit about myself first and then get into the contents of the course. So I'm originally from New York on the United States, but I've been living over here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for the past 12 years. I'm an artist of freelance illustrator and a teacher. I create character designs, logo designs, comic and book illustrations, simple tattoo designs and portrait's. One of my favorite things to do artistically is doodle, so I've been dry ever since. I can remember when I was little, I would draw all over everything, just the feeling of putting my creator pencil to paper or a wall. It just felt so right. That's good. Yeah. Then from there, my passion for drawing became what it is now today. So before I was able to draw something like this, I was drawing things like this just very simple doodles. The more I doodled them, or my mind and creativity expanded, the more I added to my doodles, and my doodles eventually became detailed drawings. You've got to start somewhere, you know. Doodles can be used for all sorts of things, like creating cards, making mind maps more interesting or just for developing and practicing your skills as a beginner, or even just to relax and easier mind. The great thing about doodling is that anything is possible. You know there are no rules. For example, you can dry cat phase with a bird, body or cloud that rain stars, and it could be made simple, which is why I wanted to make this class. So this class is meant for those of you who think you cannot draw on your wanting to draw and also for beginner artists so you don't need any prior artistic skills to take this class. I will be showing you how to turn lines and shapes into simple objects, animals and things. With some very simple exercises and techniques, you can start creating your doodle right away, and then also all these sharing with you, where I draw inspiration from for my doodles. So if you want to know how fun and easy it could be to make your own doodle, please and role in my class and let's get started 2. MATERIALS: So for materials, all you really need is a piece of paper, a pencil and any racer. The very basics. But I'll show you what exact materials I use just so you can get an idea of what different things you can get or use for doodling, depending on what you want to do with your doodles. I use sketchbooks like these to doodle in. I have a few different sizes. The's are the larger size sketchbooks that I have. I like to draw on these when I'm at home. And then I have smaller ones like this, which are convenient for bringing with me when I go out, you know, cause it fits right in your bag. Maybe I'll pull it out and doodle while I'm waiting in a restaurant or at an airport. When choosing a sketchbook, try to get a sketchbook with thicker paper if you're using markers or pen so it doesn't bleed through the other side. If you're just using pencil than any paper, thickness is fine. Really. Speaking of pencils, I really like using mechanical pencils for doodling and sketching. It's the only kind of pencil I used. To be honest, your lines will always be a consistent width using mechanical pencils, which I really like. Faber Castell pens are another favorite. I use thes When I outlined my sketches. There's different sizes as you can see the thin ones I used for outlining my sketches and the thicker ones I used to add a little dimension to my lines. Now, when adding color to your doodle, you can use a variety of things, like colored pencils or colorful sharpies, both of which I use. But to be honest, highlighters are one of my favorite things to color with. They just make everything really vibrant and super eye catching. But that's just my own personal preference. You can use whatever you want and, lastly, an eraser. Try to use an eraser that's not going to smudge your paper, because that is just frustrating. Anyway, that's all from materials. Now let's move on to the first exercise 3. LINE PATTERNS: Exercise 1: lines are great for doodling. They're easy to draw, and you can do a lot with just lines. So I will show you some of the different lines and line patterns you can start with and incorporate into your doodle. First we have the straight line, then the wavy line dotted line, dash line, zigzag line and the loopy line. Of course, there's other line patterns, but we'll just start out with ease. For now, I found that the repetition of doodling a specific pattern really helped me get used to drawing that pattern. The more you do something, the better you get at it and the easier it is to do. Actually, before I draw anything, really, I tented beautiful, very simple things, like lines or shapes just to get me warmed up. It's like doing stretches before going running. It just makes it easier. So let's try doing that as an exercise. Let's try drawing a repetition of these line patterns that I mentioned earlier so you can start with any line pattern you want, but I'm going to start with a wavy line. I'll just dropped right across the paper. As you can see, I'm using highlighters because I do love a good highlighter doodle, and for this one, I'm just going to stick with the wavy line. So right under your first wavy line, you can draw another one. Now let's repeat that until we fill the page, I'm going to get a little funky with it and use some different colors just for fun. Now remember, you don't have to try and be perfect with this, right? Your lines can be neatly spaced apart if you want, but you can also have them touching or running into each other or overlapping, even as long as it's repetitive. Just have fun with it. As you can see, my lines aren't perfectly spaced apart. I'm just kind of going along with the flow of the wavy line and just just improvising. Basically, as long as it's repetitive, I like it. There you go. If you're feeling a little more ambitious and want to practice doodling more than just one line pattern at a time for your exercise, he can. So for this one, I used a black Faber Castell pen. I started out with the straight line, then the wavy line, the dotted line dash line this exact line and then the loopy line. Then, to make this a little more fun, I used some colorful sharpies and repeated the first set of line patterns. E switch back and forth with the colors and the black pen until I filled the page. And very ago, your first little exercise with just line patterns done. Great job. Now let's move on to the next exercise. 4. SIMPLE SHAPES: Exercise 2: just like lines. Simple shapes are great for doodling. They're easy and fun to draw and add to your doodle, and it can do a lot with some simple shapes. So I'll show you a few simple shapes. You can start out with the circle, the square triangle, diamonds and hearts. Of course, there are a lot of other shapes that you can draw, but we'll just start out with these ones for now. And just as we did with the lines, were going to draw a repetition of shapes for our second exercise. So for this one less. Just pick one shape and then draw it as many times as we can until it fills up the page. I think I'm going to choose the square. If you want to start out with a shape other than a square, go for it. You can use a circle or hearts or diamonds triangles any shape you want, really and have fun with this one. You can make them different sizes, space them out. You don't have to draw them all lined up next to each other unless you want to, and also feel free to use different colors. I'm going to use a greedy int of blue sharpies for this one. And as I said before, I will draw as many squares as I can until I fill up the page very ago. And again, if you're feeling a little more ambitious, you can use a variety of different shapes. In one exercise, you don't have to stick to one. So for this one, I'm going to use a variety of circles, squares, triangles and diamonds, and I think I'm going to overlap them. Overlapping is fun and easy, and it can look pretty meat, especially depending on what colors you decide you want to use. But again, you can draw these however you'd like. I'm just gonna kind of go crazy with it and overlap everything and make a big mess. I'll just go ahead and fill up the entire page with these different shapes way and there you go, your second doodle exercise with just simple shapes. Done again, great job. And let's move on to the last exercise 5. COMBING LINES+SHAPES: Exercise 3: If you're new to doodling and drawing, you might be thinking Okay, well, I can draw lines and simple shapes now, but how do I draw objects and animals and things like that? Drawing simple objects is so much easier than you may think. If you can draw all these line patterns and simple shapes mentioned earlier, it's a very good transition into doodling objects, animals and things. For instance, you can turn this circle into a smiley phase or a pizza or a button. You can turn this square into a TV or a gift box. You can turn this rectangle into an envelope you can turn this heart into, Ah, heart balloon, and you can turn this triangle into an ice cream cone, flora, pizza slice or perhaps ah, slice of cake or a candy corn. I think I'm hungry anyway. You get the idea. You can look at everyday objects and see how to break it down, using simple shapes and lines. So let's try and break down this picture of a cat into simple lions and shapes and turn it into a doodle as your third exercise. So for this one, let's start out using a pencil because you're going to want to erase later. So let's start with the head for the head. You can just make a simple circle that would be the easiest shape to use. The ears are basically little triangles for the eyes. You can make dots. I usually draw dots or circles for eyes. If I'm doodling something quick, the nose is like a little triangle or a heart. The mouth is like a W shape, and the whiskers are just a few lines off to the side. And there you have it. A cat face really easy right now, if you're feeling a little ambitious and want to draw the body and pause, just make a big you type shape for the body, and then you're going to make two curved lines kind of coming out from a side for the pause and curve them upwards towards the body at the end. Now go ahead and outlined that with a Faber Castell pen. Erase the pencil and boom, you're done, and there you go your third. It'll exercise using a combination of simple shapes and line patterns complete. Now let's move on and learn where to draw inspiration from for your doodles 6. INSPIRATION: 3 different ways: I know sometimes one of the hardest things about drawing is getting inspiration like, Where do you get your ideas from or how do you even start? Well, you can draw inspiration from a lot of different things. So share with you three ways that I get inspiration, my emotions or how I'm feeling at the current moment, for example. Let's say right now I'm feeling sad and lonely. I'm not, Don't worry, but sadness is an easy emotion to start with, Um, and when I think of sadness, I think of facial expressions, so I'll draw a sad smiley face. I'll give it a little dress. Arms, legs, maybe some puffy hair. As you can see, I'm just using simple line patterns to create everything. You can add some eyebrows in there to accentuate the emotion a little more. I'm just gonna outline this really quick with a favorite Castell pen, and if you want to get out a little broken heart in there if you're brokenhearted and maybe she's wearing the color blue because of porous colors, can also represent emotion. And there you go, a doodle inspired by emotion. Next is weather or nature, for example, it's rainy season in Thailand right now. So maybe l draw some rain clouds. Let's add some rain drops in there and again. I'm gonna outline this really quick with my Faber Castell pin. Also, when it's raining outside and Thailand, sometimes you can still see the sun very prominently above the clouds and know it's weird, but also kind of cool. And there's a lot of birds in my neighborhood, so let's just add them in there as well. And there you go, a doodle inspired by the weather or nature. And lastly, we have dreams. I don't know about you, but sometimes I have very bizarre dreams. For example, last night I had a dream that I was in outer space and I was watching a really big comet shooting through the universe. So maybe all address and stars and planets and a comet shooting through space. And there you have it, a simple doodle inspired by dreams. And if you add all of these together, you can get a really crazy doodle like this. And like I said, doodles don't have to make sense. They don't have to be perfect. They can be whatever you want them to be Now that you have some ideas of where to draw inspiration from and the basic knowledge of doodling, Let's move on to your class project. 7. CLASS PROJECT + FINAL THOUGHTS: So all you need to do for your class project is to create your own unique doodle. Based on the techniques and exercises that you learned from this course, take a picture of it or scan it. Whatever is easier for you and then post it. Doing this class project is a really fun way to just get started doodling and feel comfortable with it. Onda. Also, by posting here, you can get positive feedback from me and anyone else who is taking the course. If you want some other ideas or inspiration for your doodles, you can go over to my art page on Instagram and Facebook at the NAMI Art and just check out what I have their if you like. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free. Teoh, leave a comment in the discussion section. I'm super excited to see what you come up with for your doodles. Thank you so much for taking my course and, yeah, happy doodling