Doodle art ideas: negative space

doodle art ideas, doodles

I like searching for new doodle art ideas sometimes. I had recently seen a drawing that used negative space to create the image. And so I tried the technique in a small section of Dunes. Since I loved the end result, I decided to create a whole drawing using negative space.

Trying out some new doodle art ideas

When I designed this drawing, I was working on a couple of other projects. But I had some free time, and my hands were itching to embark on a new design, especially after having seen some doodles using negative space. I also wanted to do a black and white drawing, so I used a black pen. Also, I decided to use one of the old book pages because I thought it would add some interest to the design.


What inspired me the most for this drawing was water. I soon realized that this technique would be perfect to represent how water ripples and moves. This helps create some dynamism in my drawing, while adding dimension and interest.

And then there is the lady. I have always been fascinating by mythological stories that talk about water nymphs and fairies. In fact, one of the most popular mythological beings from my native culture is a water nymph.

Water nymphs

I am from northern Spain, where we defy every single stereotype that you may have about the country. For example, we have regional traditions and legends that are different from others found in Spain. Our traditional musical instrument is the bagpipe. And that is why our traditional music sounds “Irish”, even though there are differences. Also, it rains a lot, a whole lot (imagine Portland or Seattle), and it’s very green and luscious.

In any case, these water nymphs are called “Xanes” (also “Xanas”), and they are beautiful water beings that guard enchanted treasures. Since I wanted to pay homage to my Asturian roots, which is why I chose to draw a female figure emerging from the waters.

Leave a comment and let me know where you get your doodle art ideas from 😀



Doodle art: Dunes

doodle art, zentangle patterns, zentangle art, drawing

Drawing zentangles and doodle art are one of my favorite hobbies, so whenever I have some free time, I create some doodle art. Even if it’s just something small on a napkin while I wait for some friends at a bar or a restaurant. For example, Sunsets was one of those “I have some time now, let’s draw something” doodle art projects. Sadly, I don’t always have a lot of spare time to draw. That’s probably one of the reasons one, of all my hobbies, I cherish drawing so much.  But that also means that my drawings often come in batches. For example, if I’m on vacation, I tend to draw a lot. However, as soon as I get back to my daily routine, life takes over and drawing slows down.

My doodle art and my zentangles are both improvised and planned (sometimes very deliberately). Sometimes, I even do both: I choose a motif or a pattern that I want to use, and the rest is pure improvisation. “Dunes” is one of those part-planned, part-improvised drawing.

The materials that I used to create “Dunes” include an old book page (surprise!), a black ink pen (Pigma Micron by Sakura of America), gel pens and a metallic gold sharpie.

Drawing “Dunes”

“Dunes” was mostly an excuse to experiment with some perspective. I wanted to create a doodle that allowed me to play with different levels of overlapping figures. In addition, I wanted to do something ambiguous that could be interpreted as either an underwater scene, or outer space.

Choosing titles for my doodle art

Choosing titles for my doodle art can be quite challenging sometimes. “Dunes” was not the case because it was the only part of the doodle that was planned. I had seen some doodle art that used negative space to create the image, and I was intrigued by it. So that’s what I did when I drew the dunes. Instead of drawing lines to represent the dunes, I decided to leave some space. I liked the result so much, that I decided to try it again in a different drawing.



Zentangle flowers in red

zentangle flowers, color zentangle, zentangle art

I love drawing zentangle flowers because they are easy, and you can create really intricate patterns with a very basic flower outline.

“Zentangle flowers in red” is a drawing that incorporates different zentangle patterns. This is one of my most ambitious zentangles and my mom’s favorite.

I designed “Zentangle flowers in red” because I wanted to start incorporating color into my doodles. For these zentangle flowers I used a red sharpie and a black ink pen on acid free, heavy weight, vellum paper (Strathmore Bristol vellum, to be precise).

Drawing “Zentangle flowers in red

I say that “Zentangle flowers in red” was one of my most ambitious drawings for several reasons. As I said, I wanted to start incorporating some color into my doodles. I really like black and white designs, but I had started seeing doodles that used color to achieve different effects. For example, I saw designs that used color to emphasize specific motifs in a design. On the other hand, I saw drawings that did the opposite: the artists used color throughout the composition with the exception of those patterns that constituted the focal point of the design.

I used color in my drawing to bring attention to the main figures in my doodle. And I used zentangle patterns to create dimension and for shading.


When I was thinking about drawing something like “Red Flowers”, I searched for inspiration in one of my favorite artists: Georgia O’Keefe, and one of my favorite print designers: Liberty of London’s.

I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe and I find her art to be very delicate and feminine, but also very powerful. And these are some of the qualities that I wanted my drawing to convey.

And then there are the lovely prints of Liberty of London’s, which, in my opinion, are very zentangle-like. Somehow, Liberty prints manage to combine different patterns, shapes, and colors, that one would consider “busy”. However, their print pairings and combinations are always very harmonious and complimentary.

I wanted my drawing to reflect some of these qualities as well, which is why I chose to draw flowers. Flowers are delicate, yet resilient, which is a sign of strength and power. This idea of strength is reinforced by the choice of color: red. Finally, I used different zentangle patterns and a combination of strong, thick, powerful lines and soft, delicate motifs and patterns. This brings dimension to the drawing and allows me to express some of the qualities that I mentioned above.


Zentangle pattern: Emily

zentangle pattern, doodle, drawing

“Emily” is a semi-planned zentangle pattern that I drew using a black pen on white acid-free paper.

“Space shells” zentangle pattern

I was working on “Lexis” when I came across a zentangle pattern that I really liked on Pinterest. I don’t remember if the design had a name, but I call it “space shells”. In my opinion, the little design looks like a shell with a little window into outer space. I am referring to the rectangles with the circles inside. For some reason, the design speaks to me, and I really wanted to incorporate it into one of my zentangles.

For this reason, I say that “Emily” is a semi-improvised zentangle. Since I was planning on using the space shells, I can’t claim that I had no idea what I was going to draw. The rest of the doodle, however, is completely improvised.

Why “Emily”

I chose “Emily” for my zentangle pattern because I made it for a girl whose name is Emily (yeah, I know, super creative, lol). Emily is one of my niece’s friends and she was on vacation in Mexico with us. Like my niece, she is a very special person whose spirit I wanted to capture in my drawing.


Several things served as inspiration for “Emily”. First, there is the zentangle pattern that I saw on Pinterest. Like I said, the design makes me think of shells with windows into outer space, which is one of the overarching themes that you can find in my drawings. I like to create what I call “mini universes” in my drawings, so stars, planets, and an overlapping of different worlds are some of the most prevalent images in my art.

Then there is my beloved beach, which inspired the bottom half of the drawing together with the space shells. And, finally, the ocean inspired the top half of the drawing. I can almost see a tidal wave curling over the shells while leaving behind all kinds of sea life on the shore.