The Surprising Artfulness of Scribble Art

The Surprising Artfulness of Scribble Art

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Sophisticated, Creative Scribble Art? Yes.

When you hear “scribble art,” you might not think the results could be sophisticated or artful. But you’d be surprised. Artist and instructor Sandrine Pelissier, author of Painting Imaginary Flowers, shows how creative and fun and surprisingly elegant scribbling can be with this scribble drawing portrait demonstration.

And if you are interested in all the ways sketching — and scribbling — can be a fun and creative outlet for you, join us SketchKon — the first event of its kind for artists, lovers of sketching, and creative, inspired people — brought to you by ARTISTSNetwork and happening this November in Pasadena!

Now, onto the scribble art!


Fun, Easy and Artful

Scribble drawings are a lot of fun to create and they are quite easy to make too–even if you are doing a scribble portrait. You don’t need to know how to draw portraits to make them as we are going to use translucent Yupo paper with a reference picture underneath. They don’t take that long either and often lead to surprising results. The portrait in this demo was made in about 20 minutes.

To make scribble portraits you will need:

+Transparent paper, I used translucent Yupo paper, but you could also use tracing paper
+Markers: If you want you drawing to be archival, I recommend Sakura pigma micron markers. If archival properties are not that important for you, you could use Sharpie fine line marker or any kind of marker. Some markers might smudge, especially when not totally dry, so be sure to not lay your hand over an area you just drew.
+A printer to print your reference picture

What’s In a Scribble?

We are going to shade a portrait with scribbles. When I am making scribbles, I am just thinking about making the same movements I make when writing but without trying to make any particular letter.

If you aren’t used to all this scribble art and want to train yourself a little bit before getting started on the portrait, you can make a tonal scale. Just add more scribbles as you move to the next square on the right until you get to a black or almost black square.

When you are ready to get started on the portrait, print a black and white version of the picture you want to draw at the size you want your drawing to be.

Translucent Yupo paper will let you see your picture through the paper.

Then you can tape the portrait you printed to the back of your Yupo paper or tracing paper to make sure it won’t move.

Start by drawing the main features and contours. You can also outline a few areas of light and shade on the face. I find it easier to start with a quick outline of the features and then move on.

Next Steps

Once you have outlined the features, you can get started on the scribbling, simply making random marks. For dark areas make your scribbles quite tight and for light areas space them more.

I like to work from dark to light but you could also work from light to dark.

Keep adding more scribbles. Look at your reference picture to see how dark the tones are and reproduce them with scribbles on your drawing.

Keep working until you complete the whole picture. At that point you might want to take a picture of your drawing and look at it as a thumbnail or look at it from a distance. See what adjustments you want or need to make.

Your portrait won’t be totally exact or have a perfect likeness as this technique does not allow for too much precision. But it will sure look interesting. ?

I make scribble drawings portraits of my kids. Here are a few of my favorites. Definitely explore putting the “art” in scribbling. It is a great way to make drawing, not to mention portraiture, easy, fun and interesting.

Watch the video: The ULTIMATE SCRIBBLE ART CHALLENGE! (August 2022).