Through Concentrated Breath

making images from memory

The Rules of Doodling 2

30 October 2017 by Rey Armenteros

So, I made up a few rules on doodling tiny things on a scrap piece of paper, and I centered my rules on there being five loops to a single doodle, arguing that this was the perfect number to represent a human, and I could therefore bring out a face with five such interlocking shapes, or bring out a hand or foot, or a whole body.

Yet, I also had variations on this just so that I could play with a little variety. I had the three-loop doodle and the nine-loop doodle, wondering if there were uses for them that had little to do with humans. Since landscapes were more complex than a human figure, I tried nine loops to get a trace of this form of detail. Though a still life could also be complex, I felt that giving one or more objects nothing but three loops was a way of looking for minimalist forms. I also tried other numbers just to try them.

Eventually, I came up with the idea of the multiple doodle. It would have to be on a larger piece of paper. It was a scrawled image that was made up of one main doodle that tied it all together (perhaps with nine loops, although it could be less). And on top of this foundation I would add a five-loop doodle for every person in the composition. If it was an object, it would need a three-loop doodle. And I was looking for evidence that this might have a practical use when constructing sophisticated compositions.

I suppose you can argue that there is no difference between this and making a sketch or a study for the same purpose, but what I like about the doodle is that it has a great freedom that depends less on planning because the method is not front-loaded with a predicted image.

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