fountain pen doodles spread pattern emerald of chivor

Doodling With Fountain Pens: Spread Pattern

John BosleyHow To 6 Comments

The next pattern in my Doodling With Fountain Pens series is one that is fairly soothing and simple to draw. Every time I look at this pattern I feel like it’s spreading across the page, so I’m calling it Spread. If you’re ready, grab a pen and some paper and let’s get started!

fountain pen doodles spread pattern kwz old gold

Here’s a version I did with KWZ Old Gold

Thoughts On This Pattern

Similar to the Petals pattern, I first came across this pattern (or my inspiration for it) years ago in one of jkwrites’ Instagram posts. I think it’s another zendoodle pattern. While I didn’t change much about it, I do like the way it feels more organic when it spreads across the page from a central point, so that’s how I prefer to draw it.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern early version

This early version I did had all of the bunches going in the same direction

How It’s Done

This pattern consists of small variations on a single shape, repeated many different times. The basic shape is an elongated teardrop, so you may want to practice drawing this a few times to figure out your preferred line direction and point orientation. For example, do you prefer to start with the point at the bottom or the top? Do you like your pen to travel in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction?

fountain pen doodles spread pattern drops

Practice drawing the drops to figure out your preference

Once you feel comfortable drawing the teardrop shape, it’s time to create your first teardrop “bunch”, which is the building block for this pattern. There are two variations on these bunches you should try out. Both can be used in this pattern, but if you only want to use one that’s fine as well.

The first variation uses a central teardrop with a few on each side. To start, draw one teardrop. This will probably be the longest and straightest in the bunch. Now draw a few on each side, bringing each one down to the same starting point. This will give your bunch a fairly stable, symmetrical quality.

The second variation starts with a teardrop on either the right or left side. This is drawn in the exact same way as the first variation, only all of the next drops in the bunch are drawn in one direction away from the initial drop. This will give your bunch a directional quality and, when used in your doodle, can give a feeling of motion.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern bunch

You can draw the bunches a few different ways

I tend to have 4-6 drops per bunch, but there will sometimes be more or less depending on space requirements.

The final thing I like to do with each bunch is round out the top and fill in the gaps between drops. You can do this by drawing one continuous line across the bunch and then filling in the empty space, or by filling in the empty space between each drop and then rounding out the overall shape. Be sure to try them both to see which you prefer.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern fill

You can fill in the gaps a few different ways

Now that you have a good feel for drawing the basic shape, it’s time to start putting them together to create the pattern. Start out with a single bunch of drops.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern first bunch

This is the start of the pattern

Now draw another on the opposite side of that first bunch. I like to have the points touch, which gives an overall starting point for the pattern to radiate from.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern second bunch

Draw a second bunch. It doesn’t have to be symmetrical to the first.

You’ll now probably have two spaces on each side that need to be filled in. This is where the symmetry will start to break down and the doodle will begin to get a more organic look. Don’t worry if these bunches are not exactly the same as the first two. Just do your best to make them fit the space.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern center

This is the starting point for your doodle

Now I like to fill in any empty spaces and round out the top of each bunch.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern fill

Filling in the spaces really makes this pattern work

You now have a central grouping of bunches that you can work from. Draw a new bunch that is coming out of this central bunch. Repeat around the perimeter of this central bunch. Don’t feel like you have to put the new bunches in specific spots. I like to vary where they emerge from the previous layer.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern new layer

This is the start of a new layer

fountain pen doodles spread pattern more

Keep going with new bunches

That’s pretty much it! You can continue drawing bunches around this central grouping until you’re happy with the way it looks.

You can also start a new central grouping and eventually merge the two.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern new group

Here’s the start of a new grouping

fountain pen doodles spread pattern finished

And the finished doodle where both have merged

Wrapping Up

I think this pattern is really nice to play with because it’s almost impossible to mess it up. Each new bunch that you draw leads to new possibilities. What’s even better is that, since you’re essentially closing up each bunch once you draw it, it is quite simple to stop at any point in the doodle and call it done.

fountain pen doodles spread pattern pattern mix

In this doodle I mixed two different patterns with complimentary ink colors

fountain pen doodles spread pattern emerald of chivor

Comments 6

  1. Another beauty I look forward to trying. Can you name the two inks you used in the picture second from the bottom (with the gold clip)? Such a beautiful combination, I’d like to try it myself. Thanks yet again, John!

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      Those two inks are KWZ Old Gold and Iroshizuku Syo-ro. They do make a great combo that I’ve used a few times. If you’ve got them both, definitely pair them up! I’d imagine KWZ Honey would work just as well if you don’t have Old Gold.

  2. I just tried this doodle! I didn’t fill in the center bits as the one I made looked good with just the outer edges colored in.
    This came JUST as I received a bottle of Robert Oster ‘Honey Bee’ ink I wanted to try out! Made the whole doodle a lot more fun for me. It’s a nice golden brown color.

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  3. John, i just discovered your YouTube channel. It looks like you stopped updating it 4 years ago. Are there more? Your channel, as it is, is excellent and inspirational. Please advise-i want more! Allen

    1. Post

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