Watercolor doodles are a brilliant way to loosen up, challenge your creative brain, and have fun making something new and unexpected!
Do you struggle to come up with ideas for art? When you look at a blank piece of paper, does your mind go blank, too? We’ve all been there! It’s frustrating to have the desire to create something but not have any idea to back it up. One fun and interesting way to pump your brain for ideas is by creating a page of watercolor doodles. This creative exercise is a simple but effective way to jumpstart your brain and loosen your art muscles. And it doesn’t matter whether your a professional artist or a beginner — this technique is perfect for any skill level!
New to Watercoloring?
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Watercolor Doodle Materials
To make your own watercolor doodles, you’ll need a few basic supplies.
For this simple and fun watercolor exercise, you don’t need the finest watercolors around. A cheap pan set of watercolors will work beautifully to create fun watercolor blobs. I used my set of Sennelier paints for my watercolor doodles, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
You’ll need some kind of sturdy watercolor or multimedia paper for your watercolor doodles. I used my Strathmore watercolor journal, but I have also used my Canson multimedia sketchbook for similar watercolor work. Whether your paper is bound in a sketchbook or loose, you’ll want enough space to create 10 or more watercolor blobs.
For this exercise, you’ll definitely want a larger paintbrush instead of a small one. I used a size 14 round Grumbacher paintbrush for mine, which worked very well. You can also choose to use a filbert, angled, or flat brush to create interesting new shapes. Just make sure your brush is between a size 8 and 16 and you should be golden.
Beyond the paint, brushes, and paper, you’ll need a few extra things. Firstly, you’ll need two jars of water — one is for cleaning your dirty brush and the other is for applying clean water to your paints or paper. You also need a cloth or paper towel for cleaning your brushes as you work.
To draw watercolor doodles, I like to use a simple black drawing pen. I used a 08 Sakura Pigma Micron drawing pen for all of my doodles, but you can use whatever you like best! And if you want to get really fancy, you can use a brush pen like the Fudenosuke or Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I’ve found that it’s best to pick a pen and stick with it for all your doodles in one session so you don’t waste too much time deciding between pens.
How to Create Watercolor Doodles
Now that you know what materials you need for this creative exercise, let me show you how easy it is to make your own watercolor doodles!
The first thing you need to do is get your materials laid out and ready to go. Get your water jars filled up with clean water, wet your paints, and make sure everything you need is within reach. You don’t want to have to stop halfway through painting to go grab something!
Now comes the fun part: painting! I like to choose a limited color palette. I find that the less I have to decide during the process of painting, I can focus more on the act of creation. For my watercolor doodles, I picked a warm palette for one page and a cool palette for the other page. Of course, you can do whatever you want with your paint colors. You can create a rainbow of colors across your page if you want! Just do whatever makes you happiest.
Then start creating random blobs of color on your page. Paint round shapes, pointy shapes, and shapes with odd angles and curves. Don’t think too much during this step. Just fill the page and have fun.
Once your watercolor blobs have dried completely, you can begin your doodling! Take your pen and pick a shape. Get creative with how that shape can create an object or a person. Don’t be afraid to get cartoonish and weird with your proportions. There are no rules! Feel free to draw whatever funny things appear to you in the shapes. You can stray outside of the watercolor shapes if you want. Or, if you prefer, you can stay nice and tidy in the blobs.
Just don’t think too much about each doodle. These aren’t meant to be meticulously planned out or perfect. The whole point of this exercise is to be loose and free with your drawing!
Have a Watercolor Doodle Paint Party
Want to have even more fun with your watercolor doodles? Invite a friend (or a few) to join you and make it a paint party! Each person can paint a page full of blobs. Then everyone passes their page to another person. That way, you never know exactly what shapes you will have during your doodle time. It’s a fun and easy way to practice art and you can have a blast sharing your doodles with a bunch of friends.
Get Silly With It
This fun watercolor doodles exercise is an excellent way to loosen up before a bigger art session or just spend an hour enjoying yourself. You don’t need to be a skilled artist to have a good time splashing around in paint and drawing up silly scenes. This easy creative activity is a great way to relax, challenge yourself, and make something totally new and unexpected.
If you try your own watercolor doodles and share it on social media, tag me on Instagram (@little_coffee_fox) or Facebook (@littlecoffeefox) so I can see what you create!
Explore More Art Tutorials
If you enjoyed this free-spirited watercolor technique, then you’d definitely love my course Intuitive Art: Loosen Up and Break Creative Block on Foxsy!
Intuitive Art is a fantastic class to help you let go of the fear of failure and get to the good stuff — actually making art. You’ll learn how to gather up the confidence to make stuff freely and with a light heart, which is half of the battle with making art.
And with a Foxsy membership, you also gain access to the growing creative course library! Foxsy is packed with art classes to help you grow your watercolor, lettering, drawing, and creative journaling skills — and more classes are added every month.
Take the next step on your creative journal and get your Foxsy membership today!