It was suggested that I write something
about doodling for this Christmas-time blog -
It’s a great time to doodle -
So here we are:

A doodle of a chicken with some doodles of people saying \"I think its a why not a doodle do\"


Before writing and drawing were separated they were conjoined.*

Scott McCloud

Pictures and words together make a third thing.**

John Baldessari


It was suggested that I write something

about doodling for this Christmas-time blog -

It’s a great time to doodle - So here we are:

Twelve good reasons for doodling and

twelve doodling things to do -

all you need is a black pen and paper.

Day 1

Doodle comes from dawdle,

It is a great way to come aside from all the

busyness and noise and slow down:

Use the doodle alphabet to create an abstract illustration, Filling a 10x10cms square.^

Make it busy.

Day 2

Colouring in a doodle is for


Slowly use crayons, pencils or pens to

colour in yesterday’s doodle, and

see how it changes;

Notice how you change:

Changing what the body does can change our feelings, perception, and thoughts.^^

Day 3

Colouring is for relaxing,

Doodling is for listening,

But there are six other art-for-learning skills:

A means to record, Understand better,

Create something,

Present something.

Add your doodle to the following text by way of illustration:

Before writing and drawing were separated they were conjoined.*

Day 4

Doodling is one of the smallest ways of moving,

And moving is one way we extend our minds

and keep our thoughts moving.

Draw an A5 frame on a sheet of paper:

You have one line with which to fill this shape -

You can’t break contact, so

You’ll be able to use all the shapes from the doodle alphabet except

the dot:

Write the words, “Keep Moving” on your sheet.


Day 5 Doodles and text together take us

into the world of semiotics,

In this case,

Conveying meaning in as few words of possible,

Enhancing with a doodle.

Try copying this doodle from Hugh Macleod*^

Day 6

We remember more when doodling:

One study found that people who were directed to doodle while carrying out a boring

listening task remembered 29 percent more information than people who did not doodle,

likely because the latter group had let their attention slip away entirely.^^

Write out the following Jean Rhys quote,

Create a doodle to go with it

The hide this and recall all the objects,

Including those you imagined to be present:

I got a box of Jnibs, the sort I liked, an ordinary penholder, a bottle of ink and a cheap ink-stand.  Now that old table won’t look so bare, I thought.^*

Day 7

Just about everything looks better with an illustration;

Check out the novels of Edward Carey,

For which he prepares both

illustrations and sculptures to help his writing process.

Create a character or two of your own by firstly

copying Quentin Blake’s illustrations.

Day 8

There are doodling shapes everywhere.

I took a load of pictures of buildings and spaces whilst on holiday

in Florence and at a conference

in Washington, which I later used to create

a colouring book.

Why not get out your holiday pictures and

use the features of buildings and spaces to create

your doodle for today?

Day 9

You can doodle anywhere -

All you need is a small notebook and a black pen.

Hugh Macleod began doodling on the back of

business cards, and still creates images that are this size.

Play with small doodles by cutting out some paper

or card

the size of a bank or loyalty card.

Day 10

You never know where doodling will lead you.

I ended up with illustrating requests for books and

even a board game.

Doodle often, don’t worry about what others think,

Don’t look at likes or anything, just


Create a doodle with the text:

Doodling with attitude.

Day 11

Everyone can doodle;

It’s simply a sad fact that

someone, somewhere, told us that we couldn’t draw:

How old do you have to be to make a bad drawing?*

If you can remember who or when,

Create a doodle that has on the left when you

stopped drawing and on the right has

today’s date -

Then go crazy doodling.

Day 12

Doodling is for Christmas;

For several years now I have created a Christmas card.

Here's your turn for Christmas 2023 -

or Yule or Winter or Solstice or Hannukah or

Dongzhi or Shab-e Yalda.

Have fun and a great holiday however you



*Lynda Barry’s Making Comics;

**Austin Kleon’s blog: A brief appreciation of John Baldessari:

^The doodle alphabet comprises a: square, circle, straight line, curved line, wavy line, dot, ellipse, cloud, zigzag, swirl, loop, arch; everything you need to create a doodle;

^^Annie Murphy Paul’s The Extended Mind;

*^Hugh Macleod triggered my doodling; copying his work is a great place to develop our own doodling;

^*Lauren Elkin’s Flaneuse.  

A doodle of mismatched shapes and colours. Next to the doodle are the words \"why don't you have a wonderful Christmas\"