Beginning Doodling 

I often switch back and forth with doodling and lettering in my journal.
My advice is to start with where you feel the most confident.
Do what you are sure of first is my one art rule.

In this lesson I will doodle a feather in pen and also a little drawing of a bird in a birdcage.

feather-emily dickenson quote

Here is a photo and list of supplies (or something similar) you will need for this lesson to begin doodling in pen: 

Doodling-Lettering Supplies copy


  • Journal Pages of watercolor paper to doodle and write on
  • Pencil
  • Eraser –  kneaded eraser and/or white eraser suggested
  • Permanent drawing/writing pens, preferably in a few various widths, such as Fabercastell Pitt Pens (fineliner set which includes sizes XS, S, F, M) or Copic Fine Nib Inking Pens set which includes sizes 0.3, 0.1, 0.05, 0.03. Microns may work too, but tend to smear when writing over layers of acrylic medium or paint, so they aren’t my first choice.


  • Get inspiration from Pinterest – If you look up Doodling and/or Zentangle in the top left searchbox on Pinterest, you will find an amazing amount of doodling inspiration. If you would like to check out my boards. I have one on doodling, Words & Letters, Colors, Inspirational Quotes, my Artwork, a couple on art journals and mixed media and more. The link to my my boards is: http://www.pinterest.com/valeriesjodin/
  • Google “Doodling” or “Zentangles” and click on images.
  • If you want to doodle an object, you can put the object in the Google search box and then click on images.


This question came up quite a bit when I was in Art School, and now even more with all the images on the internet. For personal use, copying something in the sketchbook in order to learn how to do something can be very helpful. It is a good idea to reference the artist in your sketchbook like you would the author of a quote in that case, to have a record of it. As soon as we put the work “out there” such as on facebook, blog, pinterest etc. it is another story.

It is important to respect the Intellectual Copyright of others. If the art you are doing looks nearly like another person’s you have been inspired by, it is important to give that person credit and put their contact information (such as a link to their website or blog).  Artwork  done by someone else may not be used for any profit, publicity, publishing or business without their personal permission, even if it is found on the web.

The only exception would be those images designated as in the “public domain”. You can find public domain images by googling public domain and adding the subject you want to find with the word images after it. Then click on images. Dover books also has  many with copyright free images that can be incorporated into art journaling.

Here is the basic copyright law: When a person creates an original work, that person holds the copyright to their work – unless that work is done “for hire” or unless they give/sell the copyright to another person or business. This also includes students who own the expression of their thoughts, ideas, papers, etc. The creator of the work does not have to register it in order to hold the copyright. The person holding the copyright has specific rights under law to duplicate and distribute their work. In order to copy or distribute another’s work, you must obtain copyright permission.

There is lot of good information on the internet about copyright and intellectual rights. The simple information in the previous paragraph was found at: http://etatmo.missouri.edu/toolbox/doconline/copyright.php

The following video is a demo of the process of drawing the feather doodle:

The password for the video is: do-letter

bird top cage doodle

The following video shows how I doodled the birdcage drawing and the thought process of planning it: 

The password for the video is: do-letter

 bird in cage doodle




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