Today, being ill, I resorted to doodling in bed to make myself feel better. No, I said doodling, meaning drawing things without a plan for where the pencil goes next. Get your mind on better things. I ended up with a nightmare of a school bus. And I inked it, scanned it in four pieces, puzzled it together, and posted it, cussing at the computer for every glitch that interrupted my work. And now I give you Dullwhittler’s Skool Bus. I hope it doesn’t disgust you to the point that you have to scour your eyeballs with unwashed sweat socks to get the offensiveness out of your mind’s eye. But I acknowledge that it might. Forgive me, but I have ridden on school buses with students who were very similar to these.
Category Archives: doodle
I like to doodle and draw as I watch TV. This I did while watching the Iowa State Championship Games for high school girls’ softball. I guess I had unicorns on the brain.
This is a 4-minute free-hand doodle in pen and ink on white drawing paper. I drew it fast. I actually put less planning and thought into creating it than the clown president has put into tariffs and trade wars.
I confess to rarely doing things without a plan and considerable preparation. It is as much a teacher thing as it is an artist thing. But it is not really a clown thing. Clown things tend to be spontaneous, unrehearsed, improvised, and free-flowing.
I think, though, that my doodle, though done fast and directly from the idea machine to paper, shows how my constant preparing and work on careful planning leads to certain features of talent and skill showing through.
I believe I have revealed before that as a writer and an artist I am a formalist. I believe in the rules and proper forms. I know the proper forms and the rules very well. And therefore, I feel qualified to break the rules whenever necessary.
And clowns must break the rules. You have push outside the borders. You have to twist things at unnatural angles. You have to turn things upside down. You have to portray a clown with only the face and hands.
Of course you can see a definite difference in quality between clowns. The Cheeto-head who runs our country does not exhibit practiced skill when he free-hands it and tweets his comedy on Twitter. He creates mainly chaos. Robin Williams, on the other hand, rapid fires incredible lines off the top of his head. But he can do that because he has practiced brewing gallons of funny foam up in his insane brain and grabbing off the amazing lines that fizz out of his brain and tosses them out to create comedy.
Chaos is easy to create. Comedy, especially thoughtful comedy, is hard.
So, I will continue to do clown stuff. And I will continue to doodle. But I will also continue to plan and practice, because clown stuff is seriously important, and has to be done correctly.
I have recently joined a doodle-group on Facebook where amateur and professional artists are invited to compete for the fun of it doing doodle shapes and 4-minute doodles.
So let me share a few of the doodles I have shared with them.
I have been enjoying the doodle challenges as it helps to doodle when the world is dropping poopy bombs on your head through misfortunes of many kinds.
Here’s my doodle shape that hasn’t made a video yet.
I joined an art challenge Facebook group that regularly pits doodlers against each other with four minutes to doodle in and a place to post the results. And we do it for absolutely no prizes or titles or even ranking, just for the love of doodling. So here is a recent 4-minute doodle by Mickey posted on that selfsame super-silly group;
If you are having trouble believing that I dragon-doodled this in only 4 minutes, please notice that that the left side of the dragon’s face is clearly the area I was rushing to complete as the time was running out. I doodled this in black ink with a ballpoint pen. I timed it. And I have drawn numerous dragons before. So you could rationalize that I really worked for hours upon hours to be able to do this four minute doodle.
Today’s Paffooney paffoon cartoon is a puzzler. I have this Rabbit People cartoon scene in my head with no punch line, no dialogue, and basically no idea. It just popped into my head doodle fashion, and then flowed down through my pencil and pen onto paper.
What is boy bunny Benjamin asking or saying to young buck about town Bernhopper Bunny? And what is Bernhopper’s answer?
Maybe like this;
But that’s bathroom humor. We all know the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs for Easter, so bunny bathroom humor gets you wondering about about chocolate chip cookies from the Easter Bunny. And that’s just gross.
Maybe it should be more like this;
Now that’s downright bad citizenship advice. Surely we can do better. And does the story have to be about the fireplug?
Okay, gotta squelch the sexual innuendo. When it comes to rabbits, that kind of humor leads to lots more rabbits. I’m not really sure how this comes out. Maybe the story should involve fat Barry Bunny who secretly prefers bananas to carrots. Or maybe it is about beautiful Bingolette Bunny who plays the bongos and writes monumentally horrible love songs in her spare time. I just can’t figure out rabbit humor! It is so frustrating! Maybe you have suggestions in the comments. (Is that a challenge to your creativity? Just a test to see if you really read this junk? Or am I just too lazy to write my own cartoons? I’ll never tell.)
I drew this face as a doodle while watching an episode of Iron Fist on Netflix. I don’t think it is anybody in the show I was watching, actor or character or comic book villain, but I can’t help but think that Doodleface is a great name for a Dick Tracy villain.
Of course, a doodle is a drawing done with only half-attention being paid. I was not ignoring Iron Fist as I drew this. I did not take time to plan it out with a pencil sketch. I started drawing the right eye, thinking it w ould probably become a girl’s face. When I tried to match the first eye with a second, it came out mismatched enough that she morphed into a villain. Bilateral symmetry equals beauty. Asymmetry equals comedy goofball or possibly villain. As I framed the eyes and developed the center of the face down to the chin, the chance to make a Natasha or an Olga Badenov sort of villain dissipated to the point of masculine villainy. That probably explains the curly hair, since the villain Bakuto in Iron Fist had curly hair. But curiously, this drawing-while- watching-TV fellow is not Bakuto. This guy has no beard. And in the episode I watched, Bakuto had a beard. And Bakuto also ended the episode with a knife sticking out of his general heart-area, not a good sign for his personal health and wellness, though in a comic book plot… well, who knows?
So, if Doodleface is a Dick Tracy villain, how did he get his name and what is his special thing? Pruneface was pruney in the face. Mumbles couldn’t talk so you could understand him. Flattop had a head that was flat on the top like a table. So Doodleface is obviously a master of disguise. He must possess a magic pen acquired in the mysterious Orient in the 1920’s, one that clearly allows him to redraw his features at any given time so he cannot be recognized. And hopefully, he draws well enough that coppers won’t just take one look and say, “Hey, dat guy over dere has a squiggle drawn all over his mug! Dat must be Doodleface!!!” (Of course it has to be three exclamation points because… well, cartoon exaggeration!!!)
And all of this is, of course, evidence that even when I am watching a fairly good show on TV (Iron Fist is not Daredevil or Luke Cage in its levels of amazing Marvel comics goodness) my mind and my drawing hand are both still busy doing their own thing as well. Doodling is an artsy-fartsy way to kill time and fill up empty spaces. My entire blog is basically the same in this purpose. But I am able to use the doodle imperative to create and be creative, to learn and to grow, and possibly make up something worth keeping.
Yes, now and again I have to doodle. You pick up the drawing tool and a blank piece of paper, and you let your mind go anywhere and everywhere that it wants to go. Why did I choose to doodle a girl? Sounds kinda creepy and bad, doesn’t it? But I like science fiction and adventure and young people… I’m turning myself into a young adult author, after all. And I like girls… even though I am 60 and my prostate is enlarged and rather dead. I’m still a guy and I ain’t completely dead. So maybe it isn’t really so creepy. I am trying to keep my mind off of you-know-who… he-who-shall-not-be-named. Yeah, this guy.
Random and open to the bizarre, allowing for accidents to appear on the page (both the Bob Ross happy kind and the not-so-happy kind), able to follow the wandering mind as fast as the hand can capture the flow of images and ideas in the silly old noodle. That is not only what a doodle is, it is what this essay is. A doodle essay.
I can do that without making a total poo-poo mess because I have practiced so much with pencil and pen and ink and paper that the lines flow naturally from my fingers. And I can rely on my constant habit of writing stupid thoughts down to create a semi-coherent essay out of random jumbled thoughts. Instinct born of practice guides my mind and hand.
Doodling helps me avoid the things needing to be avoided. The world is ending. Betsy DeVos is likely to be the Secretary of Education. A trade war with Mexico will bring an end to much of the fruits and vegetables we can afford to eat. I am big on avoiding. You can tell that in my camera doodle. Christmas lights Mickey hasn’t taken down yet? Yeah, I’m thinking about leaving them up permanently. You know, just until the world finishes ending. My family, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, don’t celebrate Christmas anyway. So what can it hurt if I keep my one dollar string of colored lights up for another few weeks. Just until the Russian nukes start raining down on Dallas Fort Worth thanks to the red tie guy.
So there is nothing important at all in today’s blog. Just doodles everywhere. But why, then, does it make me feel so much better? Well, I would say, “Because doodling makes it better.”