It’s been a rough week. I think it’s time to unwind. Just draw something. Start with something random. Just draw squiggles if you want. Lots of squiggles. I usually do these swirly girl drawings to loosen up a bit. They always turn out like something akin to the work of Madge Gill. I found out about her work recently and it surprised me how similar our ink drawings were. Anyway here’s the process and some tips to help you get your zen on. Grab your favorite pen and paper!
I usually like to kick off these squiggle doodles with a face. But you can start off with something more simple too, like a circle or a giant spiral. This is the center of it all. All squiggles, swirls, and swishes will revolve around this point.
Start squiggling. Just let your hand do the work. Clear your mind. Let your subconscious guide your squiggle placement. Do not think too hard about it. Just do it.
You’re an artist. You know the rules. You know about composition. So it will probably look okay. Any mistake is fixable by adding more lines. And if it doesn’t come out quite right, that is totally fine. The point is to relax and just work out the knots in your hand.
Don’t just do swirls. Shake it up. I noticed my girl started looking like a thundercloud so I added some streaks of lightning and dripping liquid lines like pouring rain. You don’t have to get representational but I like to turn it into something.
Keep going. Fill up the entire page. Start refining your lines by going over them. Vary the line weight a bit. Begin adding details and intricate line work. Get lost in the fine details. Let this drawing consume you and free your negativity. Keep going. Take it as far as you want to.
Work until you think it’s finally finished. This drawing took me a couple hours to do. It’s a very meditative process for me. I hope you can take the time to make amazing squiggle doodles too.
What kind of art relaxes you?