Doodling On the Run or “What To Do With That Blank Placemat”

Ever find yourself sitting in a restaurant with a blank paper placemat or a table covered in white butcher-paper while waiting for your meal to arrive? Or maybe you’ve found yourself sitting in an office waiting for an appointment or meeting while blank paper sat there asking to be filled? Who hasn’t been placed on hold on the phone while holding a pen in your hand and ended up scribbling on a post-it pad instead of cursing the automated phone system (or maybe doing both)?

Well, like most artists, a blank sheet presents an opportunity to quickly scribble whatever comes to mind. I’ve spent many a product-development meeting ignoring the conversation and doodling caricatures of the people sitting across from me, sharing them with the guy next to me just to get a laugh (who hasn’t)?

In any case, I almost always toss those scribbles, but once in a while I’ll scan them before throwing them away. I’m not sure why I scan them, but the ones I did from my old job have served to bring back a memory or two, so I’m glad I kept them.

So here are some samples of doodling on the go. These are not works of “art” or meant for public consumption. Most are sloppy and poorly executed given the time I had to scratch them out. But in case you wonder what I do with that butcher-paper covering the table before I splatter spaghetti sauce all over it, here you go…

So the image below are caricatures of folks sitting across from me at our weekly product development meetings when I worked in the studio at Cast Art Industries. None of these doodles are meant to disparage anyone. It’s just a lot of friendly goofing around. These are all great folks.

The following are pages of doodles I did on either copy-paper sitting around or a pad on which I had to write device numbers while doing some side-work for a buddy.

So what do you doodle for fun?

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Fun With A Pencil

I’ve repeatedly expressed my delight in drawing characters, especially caricatured heads and faces. I normally don’t have a system I follow when creating characters, but once in a while it’s fun to follow Andrew Loomis’ formula for drawing character heads. As the title of this post (and the title of one of Loomis’ book) states, you, too, can have fun with a pencil (or pen or other instrument with which to scrawl). I’d recommend just quickly running through Loomis’ book and following his steps and copying his characters initially. You can slowly tweak things and pretty soon you’ll just start using his little formula to create your own characters. For just plain fun, running through his book can’t be beat. Here’s some heads I doodled in just minutes (adding a little color will add to the time of course).


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Doodlin’ Some Heads

I always enjoy scribbling out some heads just to pass the time.
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Earth, Wind & Fire

I had shown this caricature I did of Earth, Wind & Fire band-members some time ago, which I sketched for my buddy, Kevin, who happens to be friends with the band. He wanted the image so that he could have it applied as part of a custom finish on a bass which he would then later have the band-members sign the pick-guard. Since I never showed how that bass actually turned out, here’s a shot of it. Though my friend plays bass, he only keeps this one for display.

Kevin_EWF-Bass Frank_Grau_EWF

The Poker Face

Some people just can’t keep a straight face. Others, well…