Are you a paper and pencil doodler?
I have been, but more on lists to be honest. So they are never that pretty. But I used to paint on paper and furniture, a long with enjoying calligraphy too. I can still recall the pungent aroma of wood knots treatment, but for the life of me can’t recall it’s name!
MEcfs has put pay to the creative pursuits I used to enjoy due to the mental and physical energy required in preparation, doing and clearing up, and sitting at a table. But I’m adapting and finding new as energy permits. It’s frequently stop/start. Which I admit to finding extremely frustrating. But I try not to focus on that.
I once created two calligraphy banners for a church, which listed all the previous pastors going way back. The banners were several feet long. It took me days. I can barely manage one name now. But hey, thank goodness for the advent of brush pens!! I LOVE them and have gradually transferred to them. Mmm, maybe I could try a doodle with them!
Digital doodling is a lot of fun, and not quite as difficult as I had thought it might be. #digitaldoodling #letsdoodle #lovetodoodleTweet
Back to DIGITAL doodling
Why Digital Doodling?
I follow a number of creatives on social media, many in the chronic illness community. And I admire what they create so much.
With all that is currently going on and with a recent great sadness within our family, I realised I needed a diversion as a release valve.
One diversion was
Buy a nerf gun to just randomly aim at an unsuspecting door, as we had a few unwelcome mice visiting. Thankfully we seem to have sorted the problem with various strategies. So the nerf remains packaged. Although I am assured that a nerf battle will commence when our young folk are permitted to visit.
Whilst just cruising along on social media recently, I thought to myself ‘I wonder if there is a very easy drawing App I could use‘? I had added one on to a tablet a while back, but my brain just couldn’t get the hang of it at that time. I think partly due to the size of the screen, and that my brain just didn’t understand. I do basically all my tech via a trusty Smartphone. I can’t manage more conventional computers, due to noise, cognitive demand, screen size and glare. Honestly, smartphones have changed my life!
Soooo. Back to the wonderful Apps.
All accessible without the need for a graphics tablet or stylus. Now that I am emerging from being a tech dinosaur. Well, partial emergence! My young folk can tell you a very funny story about myself, my husband, a wireless printer and trying to connect it to smart device! Let’s just say it took a whole afternoon!
I can hear them now –
‘For goodness sake, MuuuuuuuuuuuuM!!!’
Moving swiftly on, before I start recounting stories of ‘well in my day, we had Gastetners blah, blah, blah! Yes, I’m that old. I’ll be talking about paper CVs next!
Doodling and Drawing Apps
The Apps I ventured to try.
Yes, amazingly I have tried more than one.
‘Simple Draw‘ App, pictured below does what it says on the tin.
You can draw, squiggle, swirl and smudge with this App. It has a basic brush tool which can be adjusted by thickness and colour. There is a ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ option, but there are no texture options. But I’ll be honest, it got my interest going and built my confidence. And I wasn’t at all concerned about textures.
You can change the background colour and brush colour, and import an image to play around with. And of course save your pieces. You can’t adjust the page size. It’s just one size. Also not a problem for getting the hang of things. Here’s one I made earlier. Apologies if I lack technical terms. As you probably guessed, I am no graphic designer. If only!!
It seems a pretty sound App and doesn’t seem to crash or freeze. As with all the drawing Apps, you do need a decent amount of operating memory and storage space on your chosen device for optimum enjoyment. My previous smart device would have conked out. I currently use a Galaxy S10. Which I love, as well as my brain now being used to the modus operandi. Too much problem solving and my brain will simply refuse to cooperate.
InFrame Photo Editor
I use the InFrame App, for cropping and adding a frame. Surprise, surprise! And any other text I’d like to include. If I feel like it. Again, it’s a very straightforward App to use, which preserves precious energy. There are plenty of frame options. As well as (set) background colour varieties, text and shapes can be added if desired. With a reasonable selection of fonts. Obviously there are many other Apps, such as Canva if you’re feeling more adventurous and energy rich. As with all things, it’s personal choice.
Once I’d got the general hang of Simple Draw I started to stretch myself a little with two more drawing Apps. The first being PicsArt Color. And the second Autodesk Sketchbook.
One of my young folk just happens to be an animation graduate and digital illustrator. So I am in further awe of their creative skills. I ask the odd question, but try not to be greedy. There is also no telling if I will actually understand! There are many terms on the two Apps that I know not what they mean. But having been self taught on much technology (you’d noticed the gaps, lol) I prepare to learn from mistakes. And just enjoy it.
I keep things pretty simple. But was delighted to try the symmetry and fill tools. You have to take care with filling colour, because if your lines don’t meet. The whole page will be awash with your chosen tone! The symmetry tool is excellent for creating random vases and I’ve also embarked on faces. Something I never ever used to attempt.
The other benefit of the Apps is that you’re not wasting paint, ink or paper.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in any way at all. But it is incredible what you can achieve with a basic understanding, so I would encourage you to have a go. I’m still to grasp the concept of layers, but am slowly learning. There is an undo and redo tool which are very useful indeed. I prefer the text option on PicsArt, it’s a bit more fluid.
One of the many qualities I do like in Autodesk is the brush options. They give a nib illustration, not just the texture. I do have to be careful how many I use, as I tend to forget which pen creates which texture. There may well be a pen favourites somewhere, but I’m yet to find it.
Choosing and mixing colours is so much fun and it’s surprising how your memory starts to pick up on shades and remember them pretty closely.
It’s many years since I’ve picked a paintbrush, apart from using one to dust a crevice on an ornament, and it really is lovely to remember the flow and movement a little. Why not give it a try. It’s brilliant escapism. And the beauty of these Apps is that you can just open the App and start drawing. No need to set up an account, sign in or remember a password. PicsArt Color and Autodesk Sketchbook have their own galleries within the Apps to save your creations, and the can also be backed up to your device or sd card. Whichever is your preference.
Share your Doodles
If you use Instagram, there are several monthly hashtags that you can participate in as part of a monthly art/sketching/doodling prompt. I have taken part in February, which was fun. But unsurprisingly struggled to keep up. But there are no hard and fast rules. You can pop in as works for you. And other folk taking part are enthusiastic and encouraging. Thank you to @seaside.spoonie for the heads up on that.
So there you have it. My take, so far, on digital doodling.
If you’d like to find me in the world of doodling, I am @hopeadoodledo on Instagram and Facebook.
Tag me in your doodles or give me a shout if you check in.
Have a blessed day.
While you’re here why not check out more posts in the Creativity category below.