The art of doodling

Posted by Julie

Zentangle_pattern 1

As it’s the new year, I thought I would set myself a creative challenge – learn a new design technique every month for 2014. Sitting at a computer screen all day it’s easy to become a bit digitised. So for my first challenge I’ve gone back to good old fashioned pen and paper to try out doodle art.


It’s an illustration style that seems to be very popular at the moment. A quick trawl on Pinterest brought up some really clever examples to inspire me. The doodles are generally created in black and white using simple, bold lines intricately woven together. The whole point of this art form is that it’s meant to be unplanned. Just as you would with any doodle, you start at one edge of the page and hopefully arrive at the other having created something visually stunning!

Doodle_Herbs 2

It’s actually a lot more tricky than I thought to achieve the detailed patterns. I tried the technique out for one of the pages on the new lime calendar. The month I chose shows some of the plants that were grown at the Herb Garret, on the site of the original St Thomas’ hospital, which is just a stones throw from our office. Back in the 1730’s these herbs were used to treat all kinds of diseases. However in many cases the cure could be worse than the original ailment! Here’s the results of my first foray into doodle art.


Whilst I was doing a bit of research for this blog I came across a whole new style of illustration that’s taken doodling to the next level. It’s called Zentangle and seems to have amassed quite a following with numerous websites and books written about it. It was initially created as a form of meditation by Rick Roberts, a practicing monk and Maria Thomas, a botanical illustrator. Drawing the repetitive lines, marks and circles is supposed to help focus the mind. Each line is called a ‘tangle’ which you combine using intricate patterns to form a ’tile’. For the uninitiated that’s a 89mm square. If you think that sounds complicated you should see some of the patterns you need to master to become a true tangler. Here’s a few of the simple ones that I tried out. Not sure it was particularly relaxing but it is strangely addictive and the results can look really striking.

Doodle_Tangle 2

Doodle_Tangle 1

If you want to try this out for yourself take a look at the official Zentangle website Alternatively, if you would just like to adorn your desk with one of our lovely lime calendars that feature this doodle and lots of other beautiful illustrations, drop us an email.

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