Watercolor Zen Doodles

February 24, 2012

Filed in: Uncategorized

I don’t know about you but there are times I simply need to meditate through my art. Not for any one purpose, person, or outcome, I just feel the need to see the water flow onto the paper, watch the colors bleed and blend, and breathe through each step. When I feel this way I usually turn to my watercolor zen doodles, sometimes on paper, other times in my journal. Today, I just felt like trying out some new paper, so I silenced the house, got off the grid, and slowly worked my way through this doodle.

In this step, I begin by taking a few deep breathes 
and let my pencil flow in the paper. I am drawn to curves
but you might prefer hard lines or edges. 
Once the design is on paper, I begin to slowly float 
watercolor into the shapes. 

At this stage, I am quite peaceful, enjoy getting back
into the feel for moving water through paint, and 
start to allow the colors to interact with one another. 

Once I had the cool colors set, I chose to embrace
my favorite color, Opera, and add a bit of umph to 
the piece, just to show my spirit that it needs a 
good kick sometimes. 

Once my I am pleased with my watercolors, I then add 
the steps to doodle the image. There is no right or 
wrong way for this, I just let go and watch the piece
evolve with great contrast. Eventually, after listening to 
my inner voice, it will let me know when I am done, 
and then I rest.
Here is the finished piece. Watercolor Zen Doodling, for me, 
isn’t about creating a masterpiece. It is a small way I choose
to connect with my art gifts, allow my inner voice to calm, 
and reconnects me with the act of spontaneous creation. 

Technique Application:
Stress is a part of life. It can rob us of joy, energy, optimism, and disconnect us from our gifts. Watercolor Zen Doodling is a really easy way to channel the stress and let it go. With that said, it is probably one of the first ways I ever learned to paint with watercolors. Because there were no ‘rules,’ I allowed myself the freedom to play, and through that play a love to paint was born. Young children and beginners can be taught the art of Watercolor Zen Doodles, and from that they will carry with them the ability to see that YES, they can paint, and they can calm their spirits at the same time. 

Paper does matter. I used an inexpensive watercolor paper that I wanted to try because it was precut into a 5″ by 5″ block. Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with it because it bled like soaking cotton, but I let that go and embraced the process, not the product. Once the watercolor is set, using Sharpies, Copics, or other waterproof inks works best so that the ink doesn’t bleed as well. 

For professional artists, this is a great way to try out a new paper, see how it behaves, before purchasing a great amount in bulk. 

Happy Doodling/Painting/Creating Friends!

comments +

  1. Terri says:

    I'm blocked unless I go into my studio with a purpose … a drawn piece ready to paint. Perhaps this is why I'm challenged to doodle my journals… feels like I'm wasting time and not being productive. I sooooo need to chill and play! Stress reduction should be a purpose!

  2. The Muse says:

    Your blog is eye candy, Ardith. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


For more of our current work, inspiration and more, join us on Instagram

follow along