10 Freestyle Illustrations, Designs, Doodles and Contour Drawings for Inspiration

One of the things I have always love doing since my teenage years is doodling. My scribblers would be filled with doodles, designs and intricate drawings, especially during long boring classes. After high school, I did not give up doodling, but actually used it as the basis for large scale drawings and illustrations.

I have 10 of my contour drawings displayed below. All these were completed during a 5-6 week period. Each doodle was created using extra fine point permanent marker.

All drawings were done freehand and without any planning beforehand. I often begin with a general form, or idea, and go from there.

If you like these, feel free to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog.. or wherever else you want. Please credit me though.. :)

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inspiration contour drawing

Inspiration – By Graham Matthews – fine point marker on paper

With this contour drawing, I began with the starburst shape, with flowing lines spreading outward. From there, I created flowing lines and forms, imagining forms folding. Inspirations for this are waves, folds in cloth and the contour lines on a map.


coral flow organic drawing

Coral Flow – By Graham Matthews – marker on paper

Coral Flow is an organic drawing of shells, snails, seaweed and other things one often sees washed up on a beach. These are intermingled and flowing together in one fused image. This is an image I often see on the beaches of Newfoundland.


three fishes surreal drawing

Three Fishes – By Graham Matthews – Extra fine point marker on paper

The fishery has historically been a big part of the culture of Newfoundland. This image depicts three fish swimming through the water. A landscape with trees takes up part of the picture, while a hot sun shines down.


emergence obscurity drawing

Emergence from Obscurity – By Graham Matthews

This is an abstracted, freestyle design depicting emergence, and forms spreading outward.


ebb flow freestyle drawing

Ebb and Flow – By Graham Matthews – Fine point marker on paper

Ebb and Flow is another freestyle contour drawing I completed around the same time as Inspiration above. It depicts the chaos in the flowing of ocean waves and currents.


Brace for Impact – Graham Matthews – Extra fine point marker on paper

A long slinky form braces for impact from some sort of projectile.


tidal mosaic contour drawing 
Tidal Mosaic – By Graham Matthews

For this illustration, I thought of representing a mosaic pattern in a landscape. This was combined with my personal contour drawing style.


flaming dragon ink drawing

Flaming Dragon – Graham Matthews – Fine point marker on paper

A doodle of a flaming dragon in my usual freestyle drawing, contour style. I used a diversity of thick and thin lines to create this freestyle doodle.


dazed surreal drawing

Dazed – Freestyle drawing by Graham Matthews

This illustration is a chaotic representation of a dazed, warped face.


unity flow contour illustration

Unity Flow – Illustration by Graham Matthews – Extra fine point marker on paper

Unity Flow features intertwining forms amongst a chaotic background of flowing forms.


Did you enjoy my artwork? Please tell me what you think below in the comments.

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Post a Comment Default Comments

  1. I liked these very much. It's amazing how lines and space can depict such depth and 3-dimensionality.

    1. Thanks Velvet. Yes, line is very powerful. I discovered this technique much by accident while doodling, and developed it over time.



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