Why Teach Doodle Drawing

The benefits of drawing - why teach doodle drawing - cartoon pencil with a silly face

Doodle Drawing

The more I doodle, the more I’m loving the idea of using doodle drawing to teach drawing. You are never too old to learn to doodle! It’s great for the brain and can be a relaxing hobby.

Here are some of the benefits

Reluctant Drawers

Doodling, by definition, is a low-pressure form of drawing. We don’t expect doodles to look perfect, and sometimes the quirky-looking doodles are the best! So students can go into the lesson with a little less apprehension.

Learning Opportunities

With that said, you can also introduce students to some drawing strategies using doodles, such as overlapping objects, drawing simple line drawings from a source (such as my Roll A Doodle pages), and creating a good composition. Many doodles show perspective and depth using overlap and foreshortening. In addition, the doodle can show expressions and exaggerated body gestures.

Building Imaginations

Doodles are a great exercise in creativity! It’s kind of like the jazz improvisation of art; there are no preconceived ideas of what the final doodle will look like. Instead, students learn to look at what they’ve drawn and then decide what the next best step will be. They will repeat this process throughout the doodles. This creative process is exactly what we want our students to do when creating a more serious form of art or tackling any of life’s problems. So it may seem like a little thing to doodle, but you are helping shape their brains to look for creative solutions to problems.

I was one of those artists who could only draw from life or look at another picture. I had to have a visual reference. I’m still kind of that way, but I try to modify what I’m looking at more and more. Doodling has helped me open up my brain a little to the idea of drawing something that I don’t see in front of me or juxtaposing images in a new way.

Teach Shading

Shading and form can exist in the imaginary world of doodles. Doodles are the perfect way to teach students to imagine a light source and follow the rules to add shading and shadows opposite the light source. In addition, doodles often show a highlighted area facing the light source. This practice of putting in shadows, shading, and highlights will help students later when they are modeling a three-dimensional object in their drawing or when they have to add something to their picture from their imagination.

Expressing Ideas and Emotions

Doodling is an excellent way for students to express themselves through storytelling, expressions, captions, and the characters they include. Although it’s not in the storyboard form of a comic, the doodle can reveal the thoughts and emotions of your students and allow them to express how they feel.

Take the time to have a class critique of the doodles and allow students to explain how they problem-solved the drawing of the doodle and what the doodle represents to them. Allow students to ask questions about the doodles and compliment the artists. When I did critiques with my elementary students, I framed the critique by saying, “Does anyone have a question or a compliment?”

Do you need help getting started with doodling? I have some doodling resources that will give you all the visual references you’ll need to get students doodling.

Learn More

You can get more information on How to Doodle in this blog post.
You can also see me make some doodles in the blog post on doodling.

And you can see doodling videos on my YouTube channel.

Winter Doodle with Lettering

Winter Doodle Step by Step

I hope you will check out some of these links and give doodling a try. If you do, be sure to share some pictures of your student’s work in my drawing Facebook group.
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The benefits of drawing - why teach doodle drawing - cartoon pencil with a silly face
Stacey Peters

Stacey Peters

I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art. I'm a former elementary art teacher of 25 years turned business owner. Giving you the tools you need to bring more drawing into your classroom brings me joy.

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