Design-a-Doodle #5

Design-a-Doodle is a series highlighting how to "find" patterns and turn them in to doodles. Your camera is a key tool in doodle designing. Actually your eye is the key, and then your camera as a method of documenting what you see. Skim through your photos looking for interesting lines. They can be a repeating pattern or just a thing with neat lines. It can be anything. A rack of postcards, rusty pipes at a construction site, a succulent display at the nursery, fruits & veggies, hot air balloons.

After you collect a few photos, grab a pen and paper and draw a grid of 3x3 boxes to develop your designs. This is a pure sketch. Think LOOSE lines to start. Look for the main lines in the photograph. On each row of 3 boxes, you can play with one aspect of the design. 

At the Dallas Farmers Market I noticed the repeating patterns of the boxes of blueberries and cherries. Inspecting the photo, I see diamonds with little curvy arcs inside.

I'm going to use some Photoshop tools to help you "see" what I see. You don't need to do this with Photoshop to design your doodles, I'm just trying to help you see the key lines.


You can use Photoshop filters to "see" new things in photographs. To get this effect, duplicate the original layer, click FILTER, STYLIZE, FIND EDGES and then change that layer to SCREEN to lighten a bit and see the edges more clearly.

I don't do this to find the patterns, I do it with my eyes and my mind, but it takes some practice!

This is a phone photo at Sonic, notice the repeating designs?

To show you the repeating edges, I popped the photo in Photoshop and used filters as in the first photo.

Another phone photo, a statue outside a Thai restaurant. Love the lines.

I used the same Photoshop filters but the results are quite different than the first photo. Still, this shows the major sections. Maybe we need another tool.

In Photoshop, duplicate the original layer, click FILTER, STYLIZE, NEON EDGES.

It's your turn! What doodle designs can you develop from the three images? Check the earlier doodle designs to see how you can develop patterns from photographs. Design-a-Doodle #1Design-a-Doodle #2Design-a-Doodle #3 and Design-a-Doodle #4.