Creations, Building a Design

The secret to building a design, or recreating an image that you like, with your own pen or paintbrush, is simple



If you look carefully at the design above you can see that it’s just a combination of simple shapes and colors, repeated in a particular order to form a pleasing pattern.  It was a practice sketch for the chip and dip set below


Take the design apart by shapes and elements and then rebuild it piece by piece


Let me demonstrate with some designs from the cover of this notebook


Let’s try this “S” border design

design Collage

Start with 1 backward S, then add another S with the large curves touching at the bottom

Then add width to each S

Add a circle at the top of each pair and fill in the S shapes, adjusting if needed, as you go

s border

Clearly it’s not perfect, this is just a quick attempt, but the overall impact is there.   You are an artist, not a machine, hence the charm comes from the imperfection

Let’s deconstruct the rose


Start with the center of the rose and build out

PicMonkey Collage

Now add the petals

rose collage

keep looking at your photo source


almost done

rose 2 Collage

final rose Collage

Objects can be broken down into 4 or 5 tones, lightest,  light, medium,  darker, and darkest

The darkest tones will be found in the parts of the objects that receive the least amount of light, as the rose’s tight bud center

In the rose above, there are 4 tones, easily distinguished, with the lightest areas being the large open leaves


In this case, a very light pink, a medium pink, a dark pink, and red for the darkest tone

color rose Collage

Here’s one more demo you can use to add a lacy trim to your Valentine

lace Collage

Going clockwise, start with making a “wave” line

Add another wave line above the first one and then make narrow loops on each wave point

Add a small circle in between loops and then underline the bottom wave line twice

Make vertical lines between the bottom wave line and the top straight line

Add small dots to the tip of each wave along the lower wave line

Add a scalloped line to the bottom of the lower straight line

doodle bottles

I used the wave and loop part of this lacy pattern on the gold Doodle bottle, center right, in the photo above.  Even the simplest patterns can be effective with repetition

Juicy Details


Depending on what you’re doodling on, or drawing or painting, you can use colored pencils, colored markers or Sharpies, paint pens, Chalk Ink Pens, or acrylic paint

This shelf was painted with a combination of paint, paint pens and Sharpies

painted shelf

The best part about using paint is that you can mix your own color tones


With red and white, you can mix all the middle tones by adjusting the ratio of red to white


Simple shapes and patterns repeat on these painted pots by my friend Joanne [I use them to hold my small paint jars so forgive the paint splatters I made]  Her simple flower pattern, created with a large dot and 3 quick strokes, is brilliant.  The repetition gives this simple flower impact.  A swirl of dark pink inside the flower and tone on tone yellow background with dots, and green bands,  this is a adorable design anyone can do~


Jazz up your flower pots and painted furniture, you can see more about painting flowerpots here


When you look up close you can easily see the pattern isn’t perfect, but once it’s finished,  you don’t notice the imperfections


Please tell me you are itching to create something now!  You can see more about this cabinet and take a tour of My Studio here

painted art cabinet

Have fun! Be fearless! Experiment!


I will be joining the fabulous parties and blogs on my side bar and

Between Naps on the Porch

The Scoop

The Style Sisters

Cook Craft Love

A K A design

13 Responses to “Creations, Building a Design”
  1. Jeanie says:

    I enjoyed your instruction painting these designs. I feel like I might be able to create a design now. Thank you!

  2. Scribbler says:

    I love it when you teach me something new! And yes, I am beginning to feel the urge!

  3. Kim says:

    Wow, this is so helpful! Maybe I need to sit and doodle more often…practice, practice, practice. My swirly curvy motions aren’t smooth and beautiful like yours. But maybe with practice it might happen. I love the control paint pens give…feels so much like writing and results are better, too. This was such a fun tutorial, Jenna!

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks for the tutorial Jenna! I need to break out the chalk pens 🙂

  5. Cyndee says:

    I like the flower pot! Thanks for the tutorial. Very informative.

  6. I enjoyed the way you did the rose. There are some fun things in this post. I will be back to see more of your work

  7. Excellent tutorial! And your final results are truly precious. Nice work! Smiles, Linda at Paper Seedlings.

  8. plutrell says:

    You make it look so easy! Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop! Hope you can visit me Have a great weekend!

  9. Such beautiful artwork! Your fun tutorial makes me want to break out the art supplies! Thanks so much for sharing at Talented Tuesdays!

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