Doodle Symbolism - Mark Making and
Mark Making and Scribbling: Mark making is
a general term artists use to talk about all sorts of lines
and the quality of line in a drawing. Mark making is important
in doodle analysis, as it can tell a great deal about a person's
state of mind. This can be put together with the content of
Lineweight Pressure: Light lines indicate
sensitivity, or a tentative nature - the artist worries about
making errors. Medium weight lines suggest a balanced, confident
personality. Heavy marks can indicate resolve, strength, and
energy. Agression produces overly heavy lines, and the paper
may be impressed or torn. Varied lines can indicate instability.
Lineweight may also be used, especially in a pencil doodle,
to create shading effects, which may have meaning in the context
of the image, but not in themselves.
Repeated Lines and Patterns: Repetition is
a common feature of doodles that suggests a methodical, patient
approach to tasks. Repetition also increases the significance
of a particular motif.
Energetic Marks: Random, energetic scribbles
can indicate a disordered mind, or may be simple space-filling
as a product of boredom. Small vigorous scribbles made into
a varigated pattern combine energy and impatience with a desire
Extensive Space-Filling: Large, complex doodles
that have grown almost organically across the page suggest
a persistent nature, a love of design and a desire to express
ideas. These doodles can sometimes indicate frustrated artistic
ability, especially if ornate forms are embedded within them.
Zig Zags: Some sources suggest that zig-zag
lines indicate an experience of harsh reality and a need for
comfort. Angular lines are also a feature of many styles of
'tag' graffiti and Manga cartooning, so may be preseny in
the doodles of young people who are interested in these art
Waves: Water-waves can be highly symbolic
depending on the context, representing the water of life,
a river, the ocean. The ocean is said to indicate an idle
dreamer, though may of course be drawn by lovers of water
sports. A curvy sine-wave pattern suggests musicality and
natural rhythm. Wavy lines are sometimes drawn to represent
long hair, meaning a desire for beauty and femininity (in
ones self or a significant other).
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