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Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Art of Doodling: How to never be bored again

Too bad this teacher hasn't read the latest research. Doodling in class actually helps students to better focus on the lesson and grasp abstract concepts.

A doodle by Brock University professor Giulia Forsythe explaining how doodling helps with learning. Courtesy of Giulia Forsythe.

Here are some studies that show that doodling in class actually improves learning:

Four benefits of doodling:

1)Doodling improves your focus and concentration. 

2) Doodling helps you see the big picture

4) Doodlers retain information better. 
On a personal note, I have some rules that I made for myself that allowed me to be productive as an artist. I share them here because they include recognizing the importance of my own doodling: 

1) finish every piece despite doubts or criticism. 
2) Accept that no piece will be perfect but you will learn from each piece and then apply that knowledge to the next piece. 
3) the piece you doubt the most is the piece that has the most to teach you. 
4) go back and finish pieces that you abandoned years ago. Whatever they had to teach you, you didn't learn because you abandoned them. 
5) if you need to stop working on a piece, because you are unsure how to finish it, that's okay. You can come back to it later. The piece itself will eventually tell you how it should be finished. Sometimes I rotate between several pieces and don't come back to a particular picture until months later. 
6) keep your mess ups, failures and ugly works. Why? Not sure. Something will come of them. I've even cut mine up and used pieces of them. 
7) Pay attention to the doodles in your sketchbook. These things you do 'just for fun' or because something catches your eye or because you get an idea. The stream of consciousness cartoons and doodles that you don't expect anyone to see, much less buy might hold the key to your next piece. Go through old sketchbooks and see what catches your eye. 

Doodling in the art room:

Here are some doodling ideas that I have used in my classroom:

Some of my seventh grade students doing the above assignment:

Variation: Fill the negative space with colorful patterns
Doodle drawing by an 8th grade student

Group Doodling, a great way to foster collaboration 

From Clara Lieu, Rhode Island School of Design art professor and Huffington Post blogger ( posted with permission):

1 comment:

  1. Students doodling used to drive me crazy! After reading these articles, I see the benefits.