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Visual Arts Reflection: Grade 12 Zen Doodles

By: Saif Khan

Zen Doodles are drawings of structured pattern designs that are drawn in a free flowing state, used in order to calm the mind and bring it into a “zen” state. As an artist who is constantly working on different creative projects, it’s nice to drop everything and just doodle without thinking, letting my mind wander. This helps artists rebalance themselves and helps to remind them of both the significance and purpose of creating visual art. The twelfth grade visual arts classes had the chance to do just that, so let’s take a look at what they created!



The first piece of artwork uses radial balance, and draws attention to the center, which is coloured in a warm yellow in contrast to the cold blues and greens that surround it. The edges use bolder colours and become more soft as they travel to the center. Looking at this artwork, I can see the thought that’s gone into the imagery and patterns that compose the artwork, as the designs and patterns are very intricate and consistent with their presence in the artwork. It almost traps the viewer into a spiral, and as your eyes travel to the center the artwork becomes less vibrant and more calming.



Looking at the second piece of artwork, I initially noticed the variety of shapes and lines that make up the drawing, but then my eyes focus towards the two fish, who are the only subjects in the artwork who have warm colours. Both fish mirror one another, and appear to be moving in a circular motion, which again draws the viewers attention to the center of the artwork, a yellow circle, which all the subjects in the art move toward. The artist used a variety of shapes and lines, but unifying colours, which gives the artwork an exciting yet sophisticated look.



The final art piece I was shown was the most unique zen doodle I’ve ever seen. The artist did a phenomenal job in their use of value, evident in the shading of the waves, skin, clothes and hair of the person in the artwork. The artist used consistent lines and colours on one side of the artwork, and a variety of colours, shapes and values on the other to give the price an asymmetrical balance. This balances where the viewers eyes travel; sometimes to the consistent, calming blue waves, and other times to the striking bold person. The person features many different patterns, textures and bold colours, which give the character a striking, and almost intrusive, presence within the calm artwork. The use of red also contrasts the blue of the waves. This artwork is composed of a calming scene with a bold character, which I find very intriguing.


Zen doodling is an amazing way to let out stress, relax, and unwind. You never know where your mind could take you, or what you might end up creating! So just sit down, grab a paper and marker, and doodle your heart out!

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