If you’ve ever felt like you’re not as “creative” as the artists you see on Instagram, or you didn’t know how to draw those gorgeous little drawings that everyone adds to their journals and planners, today’s post is for you!
I’m going to teach you how to draw some simple but cute drawings step-by-step, then I’ll show you how to combine them together to create beautiful accents for your journaling, coloring pages, or just to expand your creativity.
I’m Sarah Renae Clark and I make adult coloring pages- so as much as I love color, I also love drawing in black and white, so I was very excited when Ohuhu asked me to write this post for them and sent me their Fine-Line Drawing Pens to try for this lesson. The set includes a range of sizes AND a brush pen, which is perfect for doodling like we’re doing today. But you can get started with any kind of pen or marker. I’m also using the Ohuhu bleed-proof marker pad that Ohuhu sent me for the alcohol marker tutorial I posted previously. You can check that out here!
I’ve included some step-by-step instructions and images below, but if you prefer to watch along, I’ve also created a full video tutorial that you watch to work through everything we’ll cover in this lesson.
How to Draw a Banner?
We’re going to jump right in with a simple banner drawing. I like to start any banner with a quick pencil sketch first, just to make sure we know what it’s going to look like and so that you can go back and fix any mistakes.
Step 1: Draw a curvy line to represent the movement of the banner. Both the top and bottom will follow the same curve, so we can use this same process to draw any style banner.
Step 2: Join up the edges, and start outlining each section, one panel at a time.
Step 3: Outline the parts of the banner that goes behind the front panel, being careful not to draw inside of the front panel (as these are behind it).
Step 4: Draw the edges of the banner – these can be straight, pointed, curved, torn, rolled – whatever you like!
Step 5: You can add additional accents within the banner, like I have done in this example. This can be a simple line, dots, squiggles etc.
Different edges or accents can be used to change the entire appearance of your banner. You can also change the style of your banner by creating straight edges instead of curves.
Here are some other examples of banners you can draw:
How to Draw a Simple Flower?
Now let’s move on to drawing some simple flowers.
There are SO many different flowers you can draw, but they’ll also take a while to learn. So, I’ve got a quick flower hack that can help you create hundreds of varieties of flowers from a very simple design.
The only flower you really need to learn to draw is a simple flower like the one below.
Step 1: Start with a pencil circle in the middle, then draw another circle around it. The inner circle will be your flower bud, and the outer circle will act as a guide for making your petals.
Step 2: Draw your bud, and then your petals with roughly the same lengths on each side. They don’t have to be perfect, and they don’t have to be any particular size – in fact, changing the size of your bud and the size of the petals can be one way to create more variety.
Keep practicing this simple flower until you feel confident drawing it. Once you’ve got the simple shape, you can create a huge range of flowers and styles by decorating the petals and changing the details.
You can change the number of petals, the petal shape, the bud size, and you can add patterns!
Patterns are obviously something you won’t see in nature, but because we are doodling, we get to break the rules and have some fun. I love adding patterns to simple shapes like flowers as a fun way to create interest and make drawings instantly more interesting.
Sometimes I like to use a smaller marker size for the patterns inside – especially if I’ve used a thick marker like I have today for the main flower – but this isn’t essential.
How to Draw Succulents and Roses?
Now, I do want to include a few more complex flowers in this tutorial too, and they aren’t as hard as they look. So let’s have a look at a succulent.
The key with most flowers like this is to start from the center and just draw one piece at a time. The inside pieces will usually look more rounded or closed, and the shapes don’t need to be defined very much. As you get towards the outer layers, you can focus more on the shapes and overlap your petals.
The positioning and sizes don’t have to be perfect, but I find it helps to try to add from all sides and focus on keeping the overall shape as round as you can.
We can apply this same process for drawing other succulents or similar flowers. Again, start from the center and just keep adding petals – the drawing steps are the same, the only difference is the shapes you are using. You can add as many petals as you like to make it bigger or smaller, or you can get creative and add patterns like we did for the simple flowers.
With all of these drawings you’re reading about today, I’ve also put together a small printable booklet on my website with examples, step-by-step pictures and space for you to try these for yourself – You can check it out here.
Now, if you make a mistake, don’t panic – Obviously you’ll make less mistakes as you practice more, but keep reading because soon, I’ll share a little secret of mine!
How to Draw Leaves, Twigs & Branche?
Next up, let’s draw some leaves. Much like flowers, we can use a few simple leaves and create a crazy number of variations with patterns and shapes, giving us endless designs to use. I recommend using a smaller pen for these patterns, especially if your main lines are thick like mine.
We can also change up our shapes and make things more interesting by introducing twigs and branches.
Twigs and branches can look great in a drawing. They can be simple or complex, they can look realistic or just kinda cute. So let’s try a few.
Step 1: I always start my twigs with a simple line. Working along a curve generally looks better than a completely straight twig.
Step 2: Choose the shape of my leaf and simply start drawing until I reach the top. Try to make your leaves slightly smaller towards the top compared to the base.
You don’t just have to add leaves – you can add swirls, buds, or other random shapes to make your twigs look fun and whimsical.
You can also add more branches. If you’re doing this, try to keep your angles sharp like a V shape, and generally pointing in the same direction, no more than about 45 degrees so they don’t look awkward.
How to Draw Patterns?
We’ve already gone over a few basic patterns to fill our flowers and leaves, but let’s look at some more patterns because these can help you to fill other shapes too, create interesting backgrounds, and break up big empty sections in your artwork.
Most patterns are made up from a few very simple shapes. If you can draw simple lines, squiggles, and circles, then you can draw patterns!
You can change up these patterns by changing the direction, mixing different curves and lines together, or introducing new shapes. The options are endless!
Doodling Shapes & Accents.
Before we bring everything together, let’s have a quick look at some other easy shapes and accents we can add to our drawings. It’s worth practicing simple shapes like hearts, stars, circles, spirals and dots because these can be great little details to fill empty spaces in your pages. Or, like everything else, you can take these shapes and fill them with patterns to create even more drawings and variations!
How to Bring it All Together: Doodling Art!
OK, now that we’ve learned how to draw some of these elements, it’s time to put them together.
There are a few different approaches you can take here- the great thing about doodling is that there are NO rules. You can take what you’ve learnt and just draw them on their own, or you can choose any item and just start drawing, or you can take a completely different approach.
Here are 3 ways that I like to start.
1. Drawing in clusters
As I’ve done below, this is where you just start with a main object, and keep adding objects around it. You can overlap objects behind each other and add as few or as many as you want. There are no rules here, and this can be a very therapeutic activity if you’re just wanting to practice your doodling or just wanting to mindlessly draw something to reduce your anxiety.
Tip: Now, you’ll notice I’ve chosen to use a smaller marker for these drawings compared to what I’ve used throughout the rest of this article – the thing with doodling is that you can do it with any size marker. I actually love drawing with a thicker marker, but when I create my coloring pages, it’s not very practical for people to color in, so I’ve started doing a lot of my lines much smaller in my newer books.
So give some different sizes a go and find what you enjoy. Smaller markers will allow you to create more details, but a smaller marker will also show more mistakes.
2. Drawing with Guides
If you are using your drawings as decorations, you might want to follow a bit more structure, so you can use siple pencil guides to help arrange them in shapes or lines.
A simple way to do this is to think about the main objects you want to include, and draw some basic shapes in pencil to represent them so you can see how the overall picture is balanced before you start.
You can also use circles or lines to create general guides for direction or shapes of your overall piece, and then use this as a boundary for your drawings.
3. Drawing with frames
These drawings can be a great accent to planner pages or journals, especially around your page titles or borders. So try creating a frame with pencil first, then start doodling around that frame. Keep most of your drawings behind the frame, but try adding a few pieces that come in front of the frame too. When you’re done, draw the rest of the frame with your marker and you’re done.
Bonus Tips for Doodling & Drawing
Let’s finish up with some quick tips:
First, if you don’t know where to start, start by adding drawings to coloring pages or other artwork that already exists, instead of a blank canvas. Give yourself the challenge to turn a kids coloring page into an adult coloring page by adding extra details and patterns to make it more interesting!
Second, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect! Doodling is imperfect, that’s half the charm.
Did you make a mistake? That’s ok! It’s time to spill my big secret. When you are doodling, the key to hiding mistakes is to just keep doodling. The more art on your page, the less anyone will notice your mistakes.
I could take any one of my art projects and point out at least 10 pretty embarrassing mistakes if you looked closely. But nobody notices them, because they get lost in the art when you just keep drawing.
That’s the wonderful thing about doodling – it doesn’t have to be perfect, and it’s a great way to create art without worrying about making mistakes.
Are You Ready to Start Doodling?
Once you learn some simple shapes, you can combine them to create amazing coloring pages or pieces of art. I’d love to see what you create from what you’ve learned today. Please share your drawings and tag @ohuhuart and @sarahrenaeclark on Instagram so we can see them!
Thank you again to Ohuhu for these fine line drawing pens – I was really impressed with how good these were for the affordable price, and I’ll definitely be using them regularly!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial today! Comment below if you found it helpful!