Hobbies Fine Arts & Crafts What Do Your Flower Doodles Mean? Drawing flowers is an exercise in creativity Share PINTEREST Email Print Westend61 / Getty Images Fine Arts & Crafts Drawing & Sketching Tutorials Basics Art Supplies Painting Arts & Crafts By Helen South Helen South Artist Helen South works in graphite, charcoal, watercolor, and mixed media. She wrote "The Everything Guide to Drawing." Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 03/06/19 Doodling is often defined as absentminded scribbling and many people find themselves doodling flowers. It's only natural because flowers are very familiar to us and they're beautiful plants with a variety of interesting shapes that are easy to draw. When you're just drawing for the sake of drawing, there are no rules and you can create new floral motifs that stretch the limits of your imagination. It's fun, it's something to keep your hands and mind busy, and it's also good practice for more serious drawing pursuits. Some people even think that flower doodles have extra meaning. Flowers Are a Popular Motif Simple looped flowers occur early in the development of a child's visual vocabulary, so they quickly become popular motifs. They are also common in adult doodling because they are such a natural and familiar sight. Flower patterns abound in our environment and go in and out of fashion. Flower doodles might be inspired by flower motifs on clothing and furnishings, or simply by the enjoyment of flowers in springtime. Flowers are often drawn by women, but should not be interpreted as effeminate if drawn by men. To some people, flowers indicate that the doodler has a gentle nature and a love of the natural environment and gardens. They can also have a childlike innocence or wistfulness. The Language of Flowers Certain flowers have specific meanings in different cultures as well. For instance, the lotus flower, with its roots in the mud and a stem stretching through the water only bloom in the sun, represents enlightenment in some spiritual beliefs. Similarly, the spring bloom of a tulip or lily can remind us of rebirth and renewal. In some symbolic systems, flowers represent the feminine, passive aspect of the universe. Flowers with a star-like structure are often associated with the sun or a deity. The rose often symbolizes love, but a rose with sharp thorns may indicate betrayal and one of a dark color can signify mourning. There is also an old practice of arranging flowers following what is called the language of flowers, or floriography. It flourished in Victorian times, though it dates back even further, and many florists and flower lovers continue to subscribe to it to add special meaning to a bouquet. The language of flowers ascribes particular moods, thoughts, and messages through the choice of flowers and different colors of flowers. For example, the begonia has a cautionary meaning, the carnation fascination or admiration, the daisy innocence" and the violet modesty. It's all rather complex and a lot can be read into it if one wants to pursue that path. An Exercise in Doodling Flowers All of this is not to say that your flower doodles need to have some profound meaning. It's more of a fun thing to think about and interesting bits of information to file away for later use. Quite often, doodles are just doodles and nothing more than drawings of what we know. That is why an exercise in flower doodling can be a lot of fun. There are no rules to this exercise, just as there are none in doodling. Begin with a blank piece of paper and simply start sketching out floral patterns, bunches of flowers, or little vignettes of gardens and vases. Mix and match these and allow each flower to inspire the next. See how many different flowers you can create and fill an entire page with nothing but a garden of flowers. If you like, go beyond the simple thin line of a pencil or pen and trace over some lines with a thick marker to add dimension. Add colors or patterns if you like and go as traditional and realistic or as weird and wacky as you're compelled to go. Do all of this without preconceptions of right and wrong and try not to critique yourself while doodling. Just draw and see what you create.