#AutismAcceptance/#AutismAppreciation Doodles ‘n’ Scribbles, no. 28: under the sea

Just a pretty picture, really. As usual, parts of it frustrate me – the octopus’s head is far too disproportionately small, for one thing. But it’s still quite pretty.

One of my earlier doodles, inspired by how much my children have at various times loved Octonauts, Finding Nemo, A Turtle’s Tale, and various other under-the-sea adventures.

Sometimes it’s simply nice to draw things that make my two little beasts smile.


[Image description: A brightly coloured underwater scene, drawn in fineliner pen. To the left of the image is a large yellow speckled octopus, floating above some deep red coral. Small fish of various colours swim through the middle of the image, close to a large, wavy-finned pink fish blowing bubbles. A large yellow-and-dark-blue fish hide within the seaweed to the right of the picture. The sea bed is covered in pale sand strewn with rocks, pebbles, a shell and a starfish, and a hermit crab marches along.]

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#AutismAcceptance/#AutismAppreciation doodles ‘n’ scribbles, no 24: another 20-minute mindful paint in the park

A full colour, landscape orientation digital painting of a wooded area of an urban park in springtime. The sky is blue, and there is a red-brick building in the background, and a path to the right of the picture. The painting style is rudimentary and impressionistic. The composition is not ideal, with rather too much grass in the foreground.

I stopped for 20 minutes painted this on the iPad on the way home from work last Thursday. It’s a good exercise in discipline to try and do art work within a tight timeframe — I prefer obsessing over detail, but I think it’s helpful to hone my skills of observation and composition, in particular, by dashing some stuff off very quickly. I also feel somewhat as if I’m laying myself bare by posting something so “imperfect”, but that doing so helps me agonise less over others’ perceptions of me.

Detail is beautiful, but for my own self-care I’m occasionally trying to let it go, as a way of addressing some aspects of my anxiety.

I still have so much to learn.


[Image description: A full colour, landscape orientation digital painting of a wooded area of an urban park in springtime. The sky is blue, and there is a red-brick building in the background, and a path to the right of the picture. The painting style is rudimentary and impressionistic. The composition is not ideal, with rather too much grass in the foreground.]

#AutismAcceptance/#AutismAppreciation doodles ‘n’ scribbles, no. 21: I stopped for 20 minutes on the way to work and painted a cherry tree.

A digital painting of an ornamental cherry tree in full blossom

I deliberately lengthen my walk to work these days so I can take myself through a couple of parks and get a little bit of nature before I set foot in the office. And I’ve resolved to use painting and drawing as a method for mindfulness, given that I’m the kind of person who struggles to keep still long enough to do a seated meditation – to stop off and try and capture something in the moment, as well as giving me a good way of practising both technique and skills of observation.

I’m still messing about, really, when it comes to digital painting. I have a lot to learn!

At the moment I’m aware I use too many different media/brush styles in one picture. But it’s fun to play around with the tools.


[Image description: a digital painting of an ornamental cherry tree in full blossom.]

#AutismAcceptance/#AutismAppreciation Doodles ‘n’ scribbles, no. 20: Sycamore leaves

Coloured fine liner pen drawing in landscape orientation of sycamore leaves in autumnal shades, close up, with many leaves overlapping others

It’s April and I live in the UK which means it’s spring, so obviously I didn’t draw this one recently. But it’s a nice reminder of the colours that I love, from a season which mixes beauty and vibrancy with loss, decay, and darkness.

I love autumn leaves – there’s so much to look at and appreciate about them.


[Image description: full-colour fine liner pen drawing in landscape orientation of sycamore leaves coloured in somewhat stylised autumnal shades, close up, with many leaves overlapping others].

#AutismAcceptance/#AutismAppreciation doodles ‘n’ scribbles, no 17: the cabin in the woods

Coloured drawing in landscape orientation, using fine liner and marker pens, of a stylised log cabin, in a clearing, surrounded by trees. In the background is a multicoloured sky, evoking a sunset. The ground is littered with leaf debris, twigs and stones.

This one plays on my interests in horror (the haunted cabin in the woods is a common trope), spooky stuff, nature, and getting away from civilisation.

Like the ‘Edge of the Woods’ image, I have mixed feelings about the finished picture. I wasn’t always consistent in my choice of media (sometimes fineliner, sometimes felt tip, sometimes alcohol-based marker), so the blocks of colour are a bit uneven in places. And the composition of the picture for me is, well, somewhat boring. Also, I decided to crop it as there was too much floor in the finished product (I still have the paper version, if I ever change my mind).

But I like the colours, at least, and I did remember to scan in the line drawing before adding the rest of the block colour, as can be seen from the comparison, below – again, before I coloured it all in, I was a bit inconsistent with which pen I used, so the varying thicknesses of the lines tend to irk me. My kind of brain doesn’t always pay full attention to the right details (like which pen I pick up).

I’m still learning. Always learning.

Composite of two images side by side. To the right, a coloured drawing in landscape orientation, using fine liner and marker pens, of a stylised log cabin, in a clearing, surrounded by trees. In the background is a multicoloured sky, evoking a sunset. The ground is littered with leaf debris, twigs and stones. To the left, an earlier line drawing stage of the same picture.


[First image description: Coloured drawing in landscape orientation, using fine liner and marker pens, of a stylised log cabin, in a clearing, surrounded by trees. In the background is a multicoloured sky, evoking a sunset. The ground is littered with leaf debris, twigs and stones.

[Second image description: as above, but also featuring the original line drawing alongside the finished picture]