Review: Doodling for Papercrafters

Part of the fun of owning a blank journal is the flexibility to use the blank page as a canvas for your ideas. You can choose to write or draw on the pages, sometimes at the same time. Most of the time, however, blank books go marked only with the printed word across the pages. Sometimes, rarely, do we ever think to decorate the pages with quick sketches of images our eyes have seen throughout the day. Even more rarely do we ever just practice the fine art of doodling around the entries with a basic pen.

Enter Doodling for Papercrafters, by Maelynn Cheung. Cheung has written a fun, creative, how-to guide to creating original, hand drawn embellishments to your paper arts. This fast paced and quirky book takes you on a crash course through the joys of doodling on paper. The book teaches you simple and complex ways to add some personalized art to your creative works. Learn simple techniques like making lines and squigglies to advanced flower and paisleys. Doodling for Papercrafters is heavily illustrated which helps to show the diversity of doodles artists have implemented in their own works.

Cheung is a scrapbook artist who believes that adding simple doodles gives paper projects a touch of personality. And this book delivers a lot of personality; starting with the cover–which caught my eye and compelled me to buy it. I imagine she wrote this book as if she were giving one of her classes in a creative room. Her tone is friendly and every step is illustrated with both hand drawn and real-life (with commentary) examples.

The book is broken up into six sections. Each section builds on one another and each one is color coded so you can reference the book easily. The first section, Introduction, gives you background information on what Cheung thinks doodling is, why bother learning how to doodle, and recommended tools. The next section, Doodles, begins to teach you how to make amazing and fun doodles using simple elements such as lines, circles, waves, swirls, vines and flowers. In Lettering, she then teaches you how to use the alphabet as a doodling technique. The next section, Journaling, builds off the last section and helps gives you ideas to doodle journalling work. The last how-to section in this tutorial covers advance techniques like creating paisleys and making your doodles 3-dimensional. The book closes with Inspiration, which is a selection of layouts and creations that showcase all the techniques Cheung presents in this book.

Curious about the book but don’t want to invest in it? Go visit Cheung’s website and download three sample PDFs of her doodling techniques. Each file gives you a condensed preview of the techniques she explores in-depth in her book:

  • lines
  • squigglies
  • a mish-mash of techniques

Bottom line is that Doodling for Papercrafters is a fast, fun and practical introduction to doodling. While this book may seem focused on scrapbooks and their design, don’t be fooled. The ideas within can be applied to all your creative projects. Expand your artistic abilities by applying these concepts to your own journals or scrapbook layouts as soon as you read about them. Many examples in the book also reinforce this idea as they range from traditional scrapbook layouts to CDs to fabric arts.

Doodling for Papercrafts is a quick read, at only 100 pages; but it’s printed in full-color glory so you can see how to use color within each doodling example. It costs $19.95 but is well worth the purchase.

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