Doodling & Designing:
I read in one of those zentangle books that a good way to start doodling is to draw a nine square grid (as when you play noughts and crosses), start adding lines and patterns, continue them across the grid and, well, basically mess about.
I started with a ‘malformed’ grid – wiggly lines, not quite parallel – and a Sharpie pen. No rubbing out for me this time!
I analysed it once finished. Thank heavens I’m not under the care of a psychologist, they’d have a field day! Anyway, I see some bells, fish scales, a very strange river, a wacky flower gobbling up champagne bubbles, a striped school tie …….. I could go on. It was the beginning of Elian’s dream garden.
I developed the flower further, kept the flow of the ‘river’ but changed the pattern and adapted another section into a bridge shape. The rest was discarded (for this project). I needed something large and looming for the top left hand section, perhaps some fronds.
I’d recently been playing with my Swiss Cheese Plant pulp, to make paper, and thought those large leaves might do the trick. I did a couple of drawings and then took a chance with the pen and went straight to the main template, adding a couple of other components at the same time. The great thing is that the design could be photocopied, cut up, rearranged and redrawn as many times as I liked.
It was starting to get very busy. I traced some simple sections, transferred them to lino and cut only the parts I was 100% sure about. Oh, and I somehow managed to add a champagne river straight onto the lino (pre-planning went awry there).
A couple more leaves filled the top area, and I finally decided against a stalk for the flower. The paving stones on the path (which had originally been planned as a river) gave way to water ripples as it disappeared behind the plants.
I later added a higher rocky outcrop where the bird is and a couple of other minor things.
The lino was cut to size, printed, and Elian’s garden came to life.
And that is how you get from doodling to design:
Have fun concocting your own story to go with the image. Although Elian isn’t featured I’m sure he is still imagining an adventure in his secret garden.