Doodle Art: Combining Black Ink and Gel Pens | Keren Duchan | Skillshare

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Doodle Art: Combining Black Ink and Gel Pens

teacher avatar Keren Duchan, Doodler, Teacher

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Gel Pens


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Combining Black & Color


    • 6.

      White Paper


    • 7.

      Black Paper


    • 8.

      Kraft Paper


    • 9.

      Acrylic Background


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About This Class

In this class, we will explore ways to incorporate color into our doodles using gel pens. 

If you’ve never doodled before, you might want to take one or both of my previous doodle art classes before taking this class:

Doodle Art: Basics and Beyond

Doodle Art: Curvy and Organic Designs

But even if you’re an absolute beginner, you should be able to dive right into this class.

All you need for this class is some paper, a black pen, and a handful of gel pens. I’ll tell you about the different types of gel pens I’ve tried, and which ones I recommend and why. We’ll practice some warm up doodle designs using gel pens and a black pen, and experiment with different ways to combine the two. Then we’ll doodle over white paper, black paper, and kraft paper. Finally, we’ll paint a messy dry brush acrylic background and doodle over it with a black pen and a gel pen.

So grab a black pen, some paper, and a couple of gel pens, and let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Keren Duchan

Doodler, Teacher


Hi! I'm Keren. I create whimsical, experimental, colorful illustrations and abstract work and using pen, ink, watercolor, and Procreate on the iPad. 

I'm here to encourage you to follow your creative path, grow your skills and confidence, and have fun with it!

Look me up on Instagram @artonthefridge.

I look forward to seeing your beautiful creations!

See full profile

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1. Welcome: In this class, we'll explore ways to incorporate color into our doodles using gel pens. Gel pens are unique in that they can draw lines as well as uniformed blocks of color, and they're opaque. They can be used to embellish over black for over a darker backgrounds and still a vibrant. Since black is opaque too, it can be used to embellish over gel pens. This opens up a range of possibilities that aren't available with most other mark making tools. Gel pens are easy to use, colorful, vibrant, portable and fun. If you've never doodle before, you might want to take one or both of my previous doodle art classes before taking this class, but even if you're an absolute beginner, you should be able to dive right into this class. All you need for this class is some paper, a black pen, and a handful of gel pens. I'll tell you about the different types of gel pens I've tried and which ones I recommend and why. We'll practice some warm-up doodle designs using gel pens and a black pen and experiment with different ways to combine the two. Then we'll doodle over white paper, black paper and craft paper. Finally, we'll paint a messy dry brush acrylic background and doodle over it with a black pen and a gel pen. Switching up your mark making tools can help you out of a rut and encourage you to try new things. For me, gel pens paved the way to exploring other media like ink, deep pens, paint markers and water color to create a wider range of artwork. Grab a black pen, some paper and a couple of gel pens and let's get started. 2. Supplies: Let's go over the supplies you need for this class. You will need a few opaque gel pens that glide well on the paper, and let you create a nice visible line and a nice uniform block of color. For this class, I will mostly be using the Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight size 1. They are fluorescent, vibrant, and opaque, and they come in 10 different colors. They make a nice broad line. These are my favorite gel pens. I also like the metallic gold Sakura Gelly Roll. You'll need some paper, printer paper or any blank white paper will do. Also be using craft paper and black paper for demonstrating and you could try those too if you'd like, but you'll get a lot out of just the white paper if you don't have other colors of paper. You can print out the PDF that comes with this class just to make it easier to follow along and organize your work. But you could also just follow along using blank paper instead, if you prefer. You'll need a black fineliner pen like this occur micron pen or a fountain pen. As always, I recommend using a pen that creates a nice broad, dark visible line, and fills in uniform blocks of ink easily. Choose the pen that you enjoy using. I'll also be using a black brush pen just to make it easier to fill in larger areas, but that's not a requirement for this class. For the last exercise, I'll be demonstrating using acrylic paint and a paintbrush, so you might want to grab those as well, though it's not a requirement, any brand of paint will do. I'll be using inexpensive acrylic paints of various brands. 3. Gel Pens: Let's talk a little bit more about gel pens. An opaque gel pen looks more or less the same on white paper and on black paper and over black ink. Most gel pens are opaque, with a few exceptions like the Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze gel pens. Gel pens come in a variety of sizes, from fine to broad. I prefer using gel pens that create a broad line and make it easier to fill in blocks of color, which is why I recommend using gel pens of size 1 if possible but if you prefer a finer nib size, that's fine too. If you're like me, you might want to buy all the gel pens out there but first start, you don't need more than just a few gel pens. Like I said before, I recommend the Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight gel pens, and also the Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gold. Let me tell you a little bit more about some other gel pens I've tried. This is just my personal experience and personal opinion. I've tried the Sakura Gelly Roll glaze. It creates a raised effect on the paper and it's transparent and glossy. This gel pen runs out of gel much faster than the gel pens that don't create a raised effect and it's a little bit more finicky to work with. The Sakura Gelly Roll Souffle also creates a raised effect on the paper, but it's opaque and matte and the colors are passed out. Before it dries, it looks transparent, and only after it dries it becomes opaque. Like the Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze, the Souffle runs out of gel much faster than the gel pens that don't create a raised effect, and it's a little bit more finicky to work with and takes longer to dry. The Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic pens are really nice and easy to work with but personally, I like the gold and I could do without the rest of the metallic colors. The metallic colors are more muted than the gel pens that aren't metallic. I've also tried the Uni-Ball Signo Broad in white, gold and silver. The Uni-Ball Signo Broad white is the most opaque white gel pen I've found. The Uni-Ball Signo gold looks a little bit greenish, and I personally prefer the Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic gold over the Uni-Ball Signo Broad gold. Although there's a huge selection of gel pens out there, I really don't think you need to get more than a few specific ones to your liking to suit your needs. It depends on the effect you're going for. If you want to learn more about the different brands of gel pens out there, the JetPens website and their YouTube channel contain a lot of information about all sorts of pens. Including images of writing samples and demonstration videos. 4. Warmup: In this lesson, we're going to roll up our sleeves, pick a bunch of colorful gel pens to work with and our black fine liner pen and come up with all doodle designs in these little rectangles. I'll be using this page from the PDF that's attached to this class. You can find it down below in your project. You could also just practice on a blank piece of paper that will work just fine as well. In this first rectangle, let's fill in the space with a gel pen using some circles in different sizes. Once we finish drawing the circles, we can embellish the negative space around the circles using dots, using the black pen. Since I'm not using the black over the gel pen, I don't need for the gel pen to dry before coming in with the black. But in the next rectangles you'll see me skipping around in order to give the gel pen or the black ink time to dry before I come back and embellish it further. In this next rectangle, let's draw a bunch of scallops along the bottom line and fill them in with a gel pen and embellish the negative space with black vertical lines. I want to go back and embellish the blue scallops further, but I need to wait for them to dry. While I'm waiting, I'm going to move right along to the next rectangle. That's something I also do when I'm doodling. I doodle in one area and while that area dries, I doodle in a different area and then come back to the first area and embellish it further if needed. Let's split this next rectangle to two parts. In one part, draw a bunch of circles in black ink and fill them in, and in the other part, will draw a bunch of circles and fill in the negative space in black. The black ink dries relatively quickly so we can go back and add some dots to embellish the negative space using a gel pen in any color that you like. If you don't wait for the ink to dry, it might be a little bit harder to make the dots. Now, you can embellish the circles on the right side of this rectangle using a gel pen. I chose to just add smaller circle in the center of each circle. We can go back now to the previous rectangle and embellish the scallops that we drew there. I usually embellish gel pen with black or black with gel pen. I usually don't embellish gel pen over gel pen, but I made an exception here. I added some dots on top of these scallops. You can ask yourself if you like this look of gel pen over gel pen, and if you do, go ahead and use it in your future, doodle designs. That's one of the great things about these warm-up pages is that you get to practice things like miniature designs instead of this whole elaborate large doodle, which can be a little bit overwhelming sometimes. In this next rectangle, let's draw two leaves in gel pen and two leaves in black and fill them in. Let's give them some time to dry before we go back and embellish them further. For this next pattern that I have planned, I want a little bit more space, so I'm going to move down to the larger rectangles at the bottom of the page. What I'm doing here is drawing some polka dots, I'm drawing lines of circles that are staggered. Each time I move on to the next line, I switch up the color of my gel pen. Try to experiment and see which colors you like, and see how you like the effect of combining different colors. I think it'll look nice if we embellish these further with black, but we need to let the gel pen dry for a little bit before we can go back and embellish it. By now our leaves or dry so we can embellish the black leaves with green and the green leaves with black. It's interesting to see them next to each other. The black leaves with the green lines and the green leaves with a black lines. I think they work really nicely together. In this next rectangle, let's try a different embellishment inside these leaves. Let's draw two leaves with gel pen and two leaves with black and let them dry before we embellish them. In the meantime, we can move on to the next rectangle and fill in some large circles with gel pen. I think the leaves aren't dry yet, so let's move to another rectangle down below, and let's fill in a part of it in black, for the purpose of embellishing it later on with gel pen. On the other part, let's draw a very large circle so that we can embellish that with gel pen as well. That's one of the great things about working with opaque gel pens. Not only is the black opaque in a way that you can embellish over the gel pen with black. But the gel pen is opaque so that you can embellish over black with gel pen. This allows for a lot of different combinations and variations. Now, I think these leaves are ready for a different kind of embellishment and in this case, I drew smaller seed shape inside of the leaves. Remember that the black ink dries faster than the gel pen. I think that the large circles aren't yet dry, but the black ink is dry, so I'm going to use the black as negative space. On top of that, let's draw some circles in yellow and some yellow dots in the negative space behind those circles. You can see that these gel pens are opaque, but some gel pens are a little bit more opaque than others. This yellow gel pen isn't a 100 percent perfectly opaque, which is why I went over the circles again and it's something to consider. You can also see that when I'm just drawing dots with a gel pen, the dots look very opaque because the gel pen deposits quite a lot of gel in that one dot. But when you're filling in an area, you're stretching the gel along and so it might not look as opaque. Take that into consideration when you're working. I think that generally speaking, the gel pens look more opaque on white than on black. That's one of the great things about these little exercises and warm-ups and practice sheets, is that you get to feel what your tools can do, and understand them a little bit better before diving into a larger doodle. Let's embellish this circle with a bunch of circles inside each other and then some lines inside each of these circles. Now, I think these large pink circles are ready for embellishment with black now. If I'm wrong, the black pen might dig into the gel and it might stick to the tip of the nib. If that happens, that's okay. You can just scribble with the black pen on a piece of paper or wipe it off on your finger if you don't mind doing that and just wait for the gel to dry. This next one is a really fun design, it looks really pretty. In this case, I made it a little bit too wonky. I like for it to be wonky, but maybe I overdid it in this example. Let's draw two lines in order to split this rectangle into three parts and embellish the inside of each of these parts with zigzag lines. Then let's fill in the bottom triangles of each line with the gel pen. Then we can decorate the white triangles that are left over using a different color of gel pen. I think that this pattern looks really great when it's filling up a larger space. In this next rectangle, let's draw some leaves in gel pen, and then let's embellish the background or the negative space behind the leaves using black ink in a way that leaves some white padding around it. I really like how the black accentuates the gel pen. In this next example, let's draw some slanted lines and fill in some of the shapes with stripes going one way and some of the shapes with stripes going another way in a different color of gel pen. For this next example, I want to go back to using the larger squares at the bottom of the page, filling in the space with zigzags in gel pen and then we can embellish the negative space or the white space between the gel pen zigzags using black dots. Now would be a good time to embellish our polka dot lines of circles using black. In this case, I chose to add a little circle inside of each. Try and consider which color combinations you like, which embellishments appeal to you, and what kind of designs you might want to incorporate in your doodles in the future and have fun with it. Try mixing it up and varying it up. If you're up to it, try coming up with your own doodle designs. In the next rectangle, I've prepared a bunch of circles in yellow and circles in black and I plan to go back and embellish those in a little bit once they're dry. In this next one, I wanted to do some leafy shapes that are half black and half gel pen. I'm drawing half leaves and then coming back with the gel pen and adding the second half. Since I have a lot of white space left over, I decided to add some triangles in a different color to fill in the negative space. Then I go back and embellish those circles now that they're dry using gel pen over black and black over the gel pen. Let's try another larger square. In this case, I'm just scattering some circles in different sizes and in different colors. I used lots of colors, but you could also do this with just a small subset of your colors. I even added some black circles in addition to the gel pen circles. In this next example, let's draw four slanted lines and then four slanted lines in the opposite direction and then let's fill in the negative space using triangles while leaving a white padding around them. In this next rectangle, let's pile up some triangles on top of each other while changing the color of the gel pen as we go up. In the rectangle next to it, I'm doing something similar, but this time the triangles are more elongated so they're filling up the whole height of this rectangle and I'm switching the colors in between. Then I decide to go back and embellish some of the shapes I made before using black. You can always go back and embellish the black with gel pen or the gel pen with black, you just need to wait for it to dry. In this next rectangle, I drew a zigzag pattern and I'm basically just coloring in the sections of this pattern using gel pen. In this larger rectangle, let's draw a pattern that looks a little bit like a tiled floor where the colors alternate using black and using gel pen. You can try this in various color combinations. It's a really fun pattern to draw. In this rectangle let's prepare some scallops. I'm preparing one set of scallops in gel pen and one set in black and I'm letting it dry before going back and embellishing it. In the meantime, I'm preparing these large black scallops in the next rectangle. Now we can go back and embellish the black scallops with gel pen and embellish the gel pen scallops with black. Then we can go back to our larger scallops where there is a bit more space to embellish them and add some zigzag designs in several colors of gel pen. In the next rectangle, let's draw some scallops, half of which are black and half of which are filled in with gel pen with a bit of white padding. Now let's fill in the negative space of these scallops with yellow gel pen and then fill in the inside of the scallops with black. Above these scallops let's fill in the negative space of another set of scallops with black and then let's embellish the black negative space with dots using the gel pen. Let's try coming up with some more embellishments using scallops, using black and using gel pen. You can see that we can come up with a ton of variations of how the gel pen and the black can work together to create designs that we wouldn't be able to make with just black pen or we wouldn't be able to make with transparent markers that can be used over the black. That's the great thing about gel pens. In this larger rectangle let's fill in the space using ovals going in the diagonal and let's let them dry before coming back with a black to embellish them. While we wait for them to dry, let's make a mosaic using several colors of gel pen as well as black. In the next square, let's draw some ropes, one of which will fill in with black, and one of which will leave just an outline of black. We can fill in the white rope using circles using the gel pen. We can embellish the filled in black rope using stripes of gel pen. In this last square, we can try out a few more variations using ropes and combining gel pen and black so you can think of the black as the background and the gel pen as the embellishment or the other way round where the gel pen is the background and the black is the embellishment. You can use filled-in blocks of black. You can use filled in areas of gel pen and alternate the two or use lines for embellishment or dots. Try out all sorts of variations and see what you can come up with. Now we can go back to the ovals and embellish them with black now that they're dry. We can embellish these ropes using black as well. We filled in a whole page using gel pens and black. I hope you can see how they can work together in interesting ways to create all sorts of doodle designs that you can't create using just black. Let's move on to the next page and try to come up with some more doodle designs using gel pens and black together. 5. Combining Black & Color: Now that we've warmed up and practiced quite a bit of doodle designs with gel pen and black fine liner pen, let's practice a few more designs. But this time, let's take a look at what exactly we're doing in order to combine the gel pens and the black pen. The purpose of doing that is to identify the different ways in which we can combine the gel pen and the fine liner pen and use that in order to come up with additional doodle designs. One of the ways we've been combining the fine liner pen with the gel pen is by drawing lines in black and then filling in some shapes in gel pen next to them. So the gel pen shapes aren't on top of the black, but incorporated next to the black or into the shapes that are outlined by the black. Another way that we are using our gel pens is by filling in shapes and putting them next to each other in different colors. We've also been filling in areas or filling in shapes with our gel pen, and after the gel dried, we came back with the black fine liner and embellished on top of that gel using black lines. So we have black lines over gel pen shapes. Obviously, we can have the reverse. We can have gel pen lines over black filled-in shapes. We can also embellish the negative space around the shapes using black lines. Here we're using black lines and embellishing next to them using gel pen dots. We're also using filled-in areas of gel pen in the negative space. We can also fill in shapes in black and embellish on top of them using gel pen dots. Everything that we're doing with gel pen on top of black, we can do with black on top of gel pen. We can also do with one color of gel pen on top of another color of gel pen. Just remember that when you're using gel pen over black, let the black ink dry, and when you're using black over gel pen, let the gel dry. The gel will dry a little bit more slowly than the black ink. We can also doodle with black lines and black filled-in shapes and embellish the negative space using gel pen dots, for example. We can embellish over gel pen shapes with black lines and next to them with filled-in shapes of black. Try out the patterns that I demonstrate in this lesson and see which ones appeal to you, which ones you'd like to incorporate. Whenever you're stuck, when you're doodling, you can always refer back to these patterns. I'd like to demonstrate filling in this space using the doodle designs that we've practiced or all variations that we haven't necessarily practiced. But that they're based on the ideas that I've shown in the previous lesson, and in this lesson. We're basically combining filled-in areas in black, doodling over that with gel pen or filled-in areas with gel pen doodling over that or embellishing that with black, or just doodling in gel pen and then embellishing next to it in black. Combining and switching it up as we go along. If you're finding it hard to doodle and to switch directions, I highly recommend taking my previous skill share classes, one is called Doodle Art Basics and Beyond, and one is called Doodle Art Curvy and Organic Designs. I hope that those lessons will help you loosen up and practice doodling just in black before you jump in and doodle with gel pen as well. I doodle quite a lot. By doing that, the ideas and the shapes and the patterns and designs that we come up with, they become embedded in my hand or in my head. When I doodle, they just come out naturally or without me having to think about it. But if you're new to doodling, you might like to refer back to some of the patterns you've practiced in order to come up with additional ideas and in order to decide which pattern to add next. Remember that you can just doodle with black for a while. When you feel like switching it up, switch to a gel pen and embellish the black with the gel pen or doodle next to the black with the gel pen and switch back to the black whenever you feel like it. Just by doing that without having any plan, it's going to still look awesome, it's going to flow in all directions. Be sure to turn the page if you need to, to get the lines to flow in different directions and try combining different shapes. You can also try using the same shape over and over. I don't do that as often, but that is a totally different look and you can do that as well. I would love to see the doodles you've come up with so far and your practice sheets. So be sure to take a photo of them and upload them to your project down below. 6. White Paper: In this lesson, we're going to use several gel pens and a black pen to doodle over a white background and see what we can make. I'll be doodling in this small sketchbook. It's a little bit smaller than A5 size, so it's a nice manageable size. It took me about an hour or so to make a doodle in this size of a page. So choose a page size that you're comfortable with, or just mark out a rectangle on a piece of paper and fill that rectangle in with your gel pens. You might already know that I personally like to often mark out a border around my page. I usually just freehand it if it's in my sketchbook, and the reason I like to do that is because I usually like to fill in the whole space and I don't really like it when my pen falls off the page, it's not very comfortable and sometimes it marks the pages underneath and it also adds this nice white border to the finish doodle. As you can see, I made a little mistake up in this corner, so I decided I would cover it up using a large scallop. The reason I'm using blocked in area of black is because I want to embellish it later on using a gel pen. To save a little bit of time, I've filled in the area using a brush pen. The brush pen I'm using here is a little bit soft. It's a little bit harder to control. You might prefer a stiffer brush pen for filling in areas, but any brush pen with very dark India ink or permanent ink will do. Notice that I'm not immediately going into the black area with the gel pen because there's still a little bit of moisture in the black area. It takes a few moments for the ink to completely dry. It dries by either being absorbed in the paper or by evaporating into the air. I want it to be as dry as possible, otherwise, the gel pen stalls and doesn't work so well over the black. In the meantime, while it's drying, I'm embellishing the outer edge of this black circle with a zigzag pattern using one of my gel pens. I figured that by this time I can embellish the black area and this is what I do here using an orange gel pen. You can see that I'm adding dots and also some curvy shapes to embellish this black space. I didn't pick a color palette in advance, I just went for it. But if you prefer, you can choose a subset of your gel pens that you want to use for this doodle. I ended up going with a pinkish reddish palette, but I could have gone with so many other choices and they would still have looked pretty interesting. Then I move on to other areas in the page using this rope and then adding some blocked in black circles inside of the rope. Then I embellish the circles with a red gel pen and I outline the rope using the red gel pen, but the outline looks kind of weak to me. So I decide to fill in the space between the outline on the rope with the red gel pen. Sometimes I'm not sure what's going to work and if I'm going to regret something that I do, but usually I try not to overthink it. I prefer to overdo something in order to find my limits and to find what doesn't work rather than stop myself and be afraid from experimenting. Because oftentimes when I experiment, I find that I actually do like the results. It's worth experimenting and don't be afraid and don't let that hesitation hold you back, just go for it, do whatever you feel like and if you don't like the result, that's okay, you learn something new and you can apply that in your next doodle, and you might also be able to tweak it and add some more embellishments to it to make it look more to your liking. This doodle is not about just one particular component. It's about the whole page. It's about the party that's going on on the page. Don't worry about any specific element, it's not going to matter in the big picture. I think that when you hold yourself back when you're doodling, you don't enjoy it as much and you don't grow as much, you don't learn as much, you don't experiment as much. I don't think that the resulting doodle is going to be as interesting as when you're just flowing and you're just going for it and not holding yourself back. You don't always have to embellish everything with the gel pen. You can leave some areas just with the black design, if that's what you feel like doing. You can see that I'm switching it up between black lines, black shapes, gel pen lines, gel pen shapes, and filling in some areas, leaving some areas in white embellishing with a gel pen over the black embellishing with black over the gel pen. I have this space here to the left of this leaf, and I decided I'd fill it in with a pattern that I came up with only recently. It's very simple. It's just a thick gel pen line and a thin gel pen line, and they're curving. I've really like it. I don't know why, maybe because it's more of a large-scale design rather than a little teeny-tiny meticulous design, which is what I usually make. I'm happy that I've found something that balances my tendency to make teeny-tiny designs so that in the future I can make a doodle that has teeny-tiny designs alongside larger-scale designs. When you're using gel pens and you're experimenting, you're probably going to come up with designs that you didn't come up with when you were only using a black pen. I filled in the space between the two leaves using one of the patterns that we practice in art warm-up lesson. Then I filled in the space to the right of the leaf in black because I wanted to add some drama. When I doodle just in black, I never fill in such large spaces, Just in black, but with gel pens, I know that I can embellish over this black area and make it more interesting. I decided to add a party of colorful circles over this black area in different sizes. I like adding leaves in different directions, so this leaf is going in a different direction to the leaves that are up above it. Then I decided I'd fill in the leftover space that this leaf carved out for me using scallops that are spaced apart and embellishing them with the leaf design, and then I filled in the negative space with orange gel pen but not all the way with a little bit of white padding. I really like it when I fill in an area using scallops and that area changes in height so the scallops go from tall to short to tall again. I keep going, switching between using a gel pen and a black pen and switching between the various colors of gel pens. Switching between filling in blocks in black or drawing just lines in black, filling in blocks in gel pen or drawing just lines and gel pen and going back and embellishing over the gel pen with black or embellishing over the black with gel pen or in between the shapes with a different color. I'm really liking how these red leaves with black seeds inside of them and the pink background look, and I also love the black areas with the dots in gel pen. Don't take it for granted that you can make dots with gel pen really easily because there are many pens that can't make dots very easily. I really loved the way that it looks in the doodle and I think it adds a lot in addition to just blocks of color and just lines and shapes. I also really like how the black looks like, the negative space behind these scallops. The scallops end up looking like they've been cut out and pasted onto the page. Reminds me a little bit of collage. Since the areas that are filled in black or in color using gel pen are so uniform, they look very much like cut out pieces of paper and that gives it that special punch and it looks a little bit more graphic, and more lively, and fun. Especially with these fluorescent colors, there's a lot more punch to these colors, but you can definitely try this out with more muted colors. Maybe a dark blue or dark green, and see what results you get and which you prefer. I'm repeating this pattern of larger and smaller circles like I did in the top right corner of this page but this time instead of having the circles being colorful against a black background, I'm having the circles be black against the white background. I'm reflecting something that already happened on this page, but I'm switching it up a little bit. Sometimes when I doodles, the ideas just flow and I can just keep going and keep doodling. But sometimes I feel like I'm running out of ideas and what I like to do in that case is to look back at other places on the page and draw ideas from there, or look back at other pages in my sketchbook and maybe draw some ideas from there, or sometimes I just draw a line and see where it takes me. That also helps me come up with an idea on the fly, which is what I usually do. Here again, I filled in an area in black. Here you can see that I embellished with black over the gel pen, just a little dot to add, just something extra here. I experimented with alternating red and orange dots around the border of this thing and to me it looks a little bit like Hollywood lights or Theodora lights. Here I decided to go back to some areas I've finished before and embellish them some more. By now the gel pen is dry, so I can doodle over it with black. In the bottom-right corner. I decided to use another pattern that we came up with while we were practicing our warm-up patterns. I think that I came up with this pattern from my watercolor practice. It's really awesome to see it in such a punchy fluorescent color on this page and I really like how the different shapes of red, orange, and pink work together here. But this would probably look awesome with different colors scheme as well. When you fill in a whole area with a pattern, I think it looks like it's receding into the background and it brings the other shapes next to it to the foreground. You're creating an illusion of something coming forward, something moving back and I think that's really interesting to look at and to doodle. Then I decided I want to have some more continuity in this doodle. So I carved out another space and I filled in that space deliberately with that very same pattern. I'm usually not as deliberate with my doodles, but sometimes I feel like being more deliberate. Experiment with what works for you. If you want to be more deliberate, if you want to be more free and whimsical, it's all good, it's all going to look awesome. There is no one way to doodle. There are so many ways. Let your creativity flow and just be free. Allow yourself to experiment and try different things, even if some of those things are going to "Fail." Failure is part of a process. This is how you learn what you love. You can see that there are some areas in this doodle that you could say are 100 percent of black and white doodle and that's fine. It doesn't have to be, every place has to have gel pen and black. You can have some areas that are more of one than the other and that just adds more interest. As you're doodling, see how you feel about what you're doodling. Maybe you like the punch or maybe you prefer it to be more muted. Maybe you like larger designs or maybe you prefer the smaller designs, or maybe you like everything and you loved mixing it up. I really like these black lines that are striped next to each other and then these red lines that are striped next to each other. I really like the idea of switching and making the same thing with the black and with the red, and I also like this touch of these orange dots on these black triangles. If you've doodled just in black pen before, I really hope that this shows you that when you doodle with the gel pens alongside black pens, you have a huge range of possibilities. I'm not saying that doodling with just a black pen isn't good. It's amazing and you can do amazing things with it. But when you also add these gel pens, you're opening up a new world. It's like visiting another country and learning another language and seeing new scenery. I can't think of another type of mark making tool that can also make lines and filled in blocks of color that are uniform and that it's opaque so you can draw over black with it. You can see how I switch between the black and the gel pen. I doodle with the black over the gel pen, mix it up between lines, blocks of color, shapes, and larger scale patterns and smaller scale patterns. Even if you limit yourself, if you don't feel comfortable switching it up so much, it's going to come out beautiful. Whatever you do, it's going to come out awesome. That's the great thing about doodling. In this last area left over, I decided to repeat the pattern that I used in the top of the page. This is the finished doodle. Don't forget to upload the doodle you created to your project down below. I would love to see it and I really would love to hear your thoughts about, how you felt when you doodled this, and if you learn something from this, and how you feel about doodling with gel pens as opposed to doodling just in black ink. 7. Black Paper: In this lesson, I'll demonstrate doodling on black paper using gel pens, and you can decide if it's something you'd like to try as well. If it is, you might want to pick up a black paper, sketchbook or even just a few loose sheets of black paper. When I switch up the color of paper I'm using or the type of pen am using, I often find my brain sometimes going blank as if I forget the things I already know, and that can be a good thing because it can get you out of a rut where you feel like you're doing the same thing over and over and you want to do something new, you want to experiment. So that's one of the reasons I like to use different colors of paper. Another great thing about using a different color of paper is that in addition to it looking very different because the black is very dramatic, you also learn a lot about your mark making tools, about their limitations and their strengths. When you work only on white paper, you're missing out on learning additional qualities of your tools and finding out what else they can do. In terms of opacity, I've noticed that the gel pen seem to look more opaque on white paper than on black paper. I find it really fascinating to test out my tools on different types of paper. So you might want to try this as well. In this case, since my mind sort of reset and I forgot my usual doodling style, I decided to doodle this repetitive, spirally swirly pattern. It's really relaxing to doodle this pattern, and it can also be incorporated as part of doodle where you mix up a lot of different patterns. You don't have to fill in a whole space just with this pattern. You probably noticed that when I began, I first marked out an area on the page because for me, when I open a page that's this big, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and I don't really feel like I want to fill the whole page and I want to have a boundary for what I'm working on. You might find it useful as well to mark a small area, any size you feel comfortable with and any shape you like in order to doodle just in that area. As I was doodling this, I started to notice that the gel wasn't super smooth, that the edges of the gel weren't as smooth as I'd like them to be, and that I don't have as much control, and that the result isn't as refined as I'd like it to be. On one hand, I tried to make it more refined, but on the other hand, I tried not to fight the gel pen. When I'm using new tools, I like to find a balance between going with the tool and going against the tool, and stretching it to the limit. If I tried to make this doodle more opaque, like perfectly opaque, then I might want to go over the gel again, and when you go over gel with gel, sometimes the gel isn't completely dry and you're just making a big mess in that area. There's a limit to how much control you have with the tip of a very broad gel pen. Sometimes it's good to let go of that wish for perfection, and accept the natural characteristics of the tools you're using and use them to your advantage as best as you can. When you're doodling and you're looking very, very close at the paper, you're seeing things that you're not going to see when you look at it as a finished doodle from far enough distance, and sometimes the things that bug me when I'm doodling, I really don't notice them when I look away, or if they do bug me when I look away, then maybe that's a sign for me that I need to think of a creative solution for the problem. Consider what you can learn from everything that you're doodling and let your tools teach you and let your experiments teach you. You might come to the conclusion that you just don't want to doodle on black paper or you might prefer to experiment with different gel pens and see if they work more to your liking, or maybe you think this looks really great and you like it and you want to doodle on black paper as well. Consider what you're doodling as an experiment, not necessarily as a finished piece, but as something to learn from and something to grow from. When you do want to make a finished piece as a gift or as something to hang on the wall, you can do that later in a different mindset, but I really encourage you to take these doodles as a place of creativity and freedom, and not so much worrying about the end result. I find that even when I don't worry about the end result, I often do like it. Don't hold yourself back trying to make everything perfect. The more you accept the imperfections and the failures, the more you'll be creative and the more you'll be able to flow and come up with new ideas, and don't worry, when you want to make something super refined, you'll be able to do that much better if you let yourself experiment and try things, even if they're not perfect. Some of the things that I'm trying here, they aren't a finished doodle, they're just practice, they're just ideas or snippets of ideas. You don't have to make a finished piece every time. Sometimes you can just put pen on paper and ideas just flow on their own if you don't constrain yourself. Finally, I wanted to test out the metallic pens and the white pens on this black paper. So the right most leaf is the Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gold, which I really like. It's not a very yellow gold, it's more like silvery gold. I think it looks fantastic on the black paper. This white leaf is made using the Uni-Ball Signo Broad White, and you might remember I said that this is the most opaque white gel pen I've used. It is very opaque. It looks great on black paper and there's something beautiful about white over a black. So you might want to try that too. Next to that, I tried a clear glitter gel pen. It's not opaque and it can hardly be seen, but I think it's a really interesting effect. This next leaf is drawn using the Sakura Gelly Roll White in size 0.8. Sakura hasn't created a broad white gel pen yet, but I saw that they're planning on releasing one soon. You can see that this white gel pen is not as opaque as the Uni-Ball Signo Broad from two leaves ago. It's got a milky, delicate look to it, and you get to choose which tools work for what you're trying to achieve. A more bold look or a more delicate, milky look. Finally, I tried one of the metallic pens on black paper. To the best of my knowledge, the metallic gel pens are made by adding tiny, tiny pieces of glitter to the gel, and those tiny, tiny pieces of glitter are more opaque than the gel itself. Actually, I think that the metallic pens are more opaque and would work better on black paper than the non-metallic pens, and this is something you wouldn't be able to discover if you didn't experiment and try the tools that you have. If you have followed along with this lesson and doodled on black paper, take a photo of your work and upload it to your project down below. 8. Kraft Paper: In this lesson, I'll demonstrate doodling on Kraft paper using just one color of gel pen and a black fine liner pen. I welcome you to try this yourself whether using Kraft paper or using any other colored paper of your choice. When I first got a Kraft paper sketchbook, I intended to doodle in it just in black. That was nice, but I wanted to add some color to my doodles. I tried some gel pens that I had, but I wasn't happy with how their color was looking on the Kraft paper. I also tried transparent markers on Kraft paper. As you can see, the colors look muted and dull, because transparent markers need the white of the paper in order to look vibrant and colorful. Eventually, after some experimentation and trial and error, I tried the gel pens that I recommended in this class, and I was very pleased with the way their colors looked over the Kraft paper. In this lesson, I wanted to demonstrate doodling with just one color of gel pen alongside the black. It looks a bit different from when you use many colors of gel pen, so you might want to try this as well. You don't have to use intricate motifs to create an intricate doodle. By using very simple basic shapes, and combining them alongside each other in different ways, you'll end up with an interesting and intricate doodle. Don't forget to turn the page around if you need to, in order to get the lines to flow in different directions more easily. Try to apply what we practice in previous lessons for combining the black and the gel pen. You can draw with the gel pen on top of the black or with the black on top of the gel pen. You can draw lines, fill in shapes or dots. You can also draw with the black or the gel pen next to each other, not necessarily on top of each other. If you're feeling stuck, refer back to your practice sheets or to your previous doodles, and apply the motifs you use there in different sizes and in different directions. Take it one line at a time, one shape, or one dot at a time. 9. Acrylic Background: We've arrived at the last lesson of this class. In this lesson, we're going to pick a page in our sketch book and protect it using some paper and choose some acrylic paint in order to cover that page and be able to use it. So I picked a page that had some ink coming through from the opposite side. Without the acrylic paint, I could probably not use this page. I'm using craft quality acrylic paints and just whatever synthetic brushes I have. I'm mixing whichever colors come to mind, I usually don't really worry about color selection. So choose colors that you like to see together and cover the page using acrylic paint. I like to spread the paint so much that I get dry brush effects and the paint dries very quickly because I'm leaving only a very thin layer of paint. Don't worry about how it's going to look because you're going to doodle over this. This is just the background for your doodles to add a bit more color and more interests to the doodle, which will come on top of this acrylic paint layer. You can see how I'm getting dry brush effects just by adding a very small quantity of paint and since the brush has so little paint on it, when I move the brush on the paper, the pink catches only on some parts of the paper. Add as many or as few colors as you like. You can see here that I'm using pinks and blues and purples. Since they're very close to each other on the color wheel, they're not going to muddle each other. So if you choose colors that are opposite each other like orange and blue, you might get muddled colors. You can leave some of the streaks more pronounced and less blended into the paper, but really don't worry about how this looks because the doodle on top of it is going to completely distract from this background. I usually don't like to throw away any leftover paints and my palate if I can help it, so I use the remaining paint, whatever was on there to cover an additional page in my sketchbook. Once the paint dries, you can go back in with your micron pen, or fountain pen, or any pen of your choice and doodle on this page, just as if it were a white page. I'm ignoring the shapes that were created by the acrylic paint, but if you want, you can also accentuate those shapes and use them as inspiration to doodle around. But in this case, I'm just using the acrylic paint as a very colorful background. This kind of doodle with messy dry brush, acrylic background, with the hot pink and also the green gel pen, to me it looks a little bit like graffiti. You can see that I'm using the green sparingly because there's a lot of color here. You don't have to add a lot of gel pen if you don't want to. You can use it just for accents in your doodles. The way we fill this page is similar to how we did in previous classes. Just switching it up between filled and shapes, lines, dots using the black over the gel pen, using gel pen, over the black or the gel pen and the black next to each other and turning our page around so that we get lines that flow in different directions, switching it up between larger shapes and smaller shapes, and just doodling without worrying too much about the overall composition or the end result. Ask yourself if you like the color of background that you chose. Personally, I'm drawn to more reds and blues and less to orange and yellow for some reason. On one hand, I try to use the colors that I loved, but on the other hand, I try to experiment once in a while with the colors I don't really love because they might surprise me. You too might want to experiment with different colors and color combinations. You can see that as the doodle progresses, the acrylic background, the exact shapes we drew on the background aren't really visible. It's more of like a messy, grungy background for our doodle. I think it looks completely different from doodling over white paper or craft paper. Here are a few more examples of doodles that I made over acrylic. You can see that I used different colors of acrylic paint and different colors of gel pen and maybe different styles of doodling. Try to mix it up and experiment and see what you like. I hope you enjoyed this class and I really look forward to seeing your work in this class. I hope you had fun and you discovered a new world with the gel pens. I think that many of the things that we talked about experimenting with our gel pens can be applied to experimenting with other types of media, be it watercolor, or acrylic paint, or alcohol markers. I hope this class encourages you to experiment and see what happens with additional tools. Be sure to upload your work to your project down below. Thank you so much for taking this class.