Your visual journal is more than just a notebook for random sketchbook doodles and sketches; it’s a treasure trove of art that can be turned into a beautiful gallery wall – without breaking bank!

If you’ve filled your sketchbook with a collection of drawings, doodles, and illustrations, it’s time to consider turning those arty gems into a stunning collection for a gallery wall.

This blog post is a guide for how to transform your easy sketchbook doodles into cost-effective and vibrant wall art.

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Curate Your Sketchbook Doodles

Before diving into the measuring out your gallery wall, first curate your sketchbook doodles.

Review your sketchbook/s and pick out the doodles, drawings and sketches that resonate with you the most.

What I find really helps is to spot common themes, styles, or motifs that will tie your gallery wall together cohesively.

Things to consider when curating your sketchbook doodles:

Sketching Theme

Do your doodles revolve around a specific theme, such as nature, animals, or abstract shapes?

Keep in mind the aesthetic of your interior space – the place where you’re planning to install the gallery. As well as your intention with the art itself.

For instance, is there a message or theme you want to convey? Or do you simply want to entertain and delight viewers with fun, vibrant art to create a gallery wall with a more eclectic feel?

Color Palette

Are there recurring colors in your doodles that you’d like to incorporate into your gallery wall?

If you find that the majority of pages in your sketchbook already contain similar colours used over and over again, that could help you curate this collection. You will actually find it easier to arrange or group artworks together based on the general colour palette you see across these pages.

Doodle Style

Do you have a preferred artistic style or technique that you’d like to showcase?

Variety

Aim for a balance of different doodles and sketches that create visual interest and diversity on your gallery wall.

The more contrast and diversity you have on display, the more interesting it becomes. It’s also a great conversation starter when you guests over.

Create digital versions of your Sketchbook Doodles

Once you’ve selected the doodles and sketches you want to feature on your gallery wall, convert them to a digital format by taking a photo or flatbed scanning it.

Scanning your drawings is the ideal way to ensure high-quality reproductions. Scanning also picks up more detail in your drawings than a smart phone or tablet device photo. If you have a digital camera, that will work well, just make sure that you are shooting super high resolution and to a professional (photographer’s) standard.

And remember to setup good lighting if you’re photographing your artwork!

Here’s how to digitize your sketchbook doodles effectively:

Choose a High-Resolution Setting

When using a scanner or camera, select the highest resolution or quality setting to capture fine details.

Make sure you have Good Lighting

Natural light is best for capturing your doodles. Shoot at golden hour. Don’t shoot at midday because that’s when you’ll see hard highlights that will be very difficult to edit or retouch out. Avoid shadows and glare by photographing your sketches in well-lit areas.

The best lighting for shooting artwork is studio lighting so that you get the best clarity and manipulate the light to achieve the flat representation of the art.

Use a Steady Surface

If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, stabilize it on a tripod or flat surface to minimize camera shake.

Crop and Edit

After digitizing, use photo editing software to crop, adjust colors, and enhance the contrast if needed.

Before printing or arranging your doodles, plan the layout of your gallery wall. You can do this by sketching the arrangement on paper or using digital tools.

While you’re measuring out the gallery wall layout, keep these tips in mind:

Balance

Achieve a balanced composition by mixing different sizes and orientations (landscape and portrait) of sketchbook doodles.

Spacing

Ensure even spacing between doodles, typically around 2-3 inches, to create a cohesive look.

Centerpiece

Choose one or two doodles to serve as focal points, anchoring your gallery wall.

Best to start with your personal favourite if you can’t decide on a focal point. It takes the pressure off and makes it easier to built out the layout by arranging all the other doodle artwork around that.

Review the Layout on the floor first

Before committing to hanging, lay out your doodles on the floor to experiment with different arrangements.

That way, whatever bothers you or what is simply not working, you can just shuffle around and reconfigure the layout without peeling or removing from the wall.

Printing Your Sketchbook Doodles

Now that you have digital versions of your sketchbook doodles, it’s time to print them out.

There are several options for printing, each offers a unique result:

Home Printer

If you have a high-quality printer, you can print your sketchbook doodles at home on archival paper or specialty art paper like Epson or giclee photo paper.

Professional Printing Services

Consider a professional printer that specialize in fine art prints. They often provide a variety of paper options and can ensure color accuracy.

Online Printing Services

Many online platforms or print-on-demand, offer custom printing services where you can upload your digital files and select your preferred print size and material.

DIY Printing

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try printing your sketchbook doodles on canvas or fabric at home using a transfer method or iron-on transfer paper.

Ensure that the print quality and paper type you choose match the aesthetics and longevity you desire for your gallery wall.

Frame Your Sketchbook Doodles

Selecting the right frames can elevate your gallery wall art.

When choosing frames for your doodles, consider the following:

Frame Style

Decide whether you want a uniform look with matching frames or a more eclectic mix of frame styles that complement your doodles.

Frame Color

Choose frame colors that enhance and harmonize with your doodles. Neutral colors like black, white, or natural wood are versatile choices.

Matting

Depending on your preferences, you can opt for matting to create a classic, sophisticated look. Matting can also help highlight certain details in your doodles.

Glass or No Glass

Decide whether you want to use glass or opt for glassless frames to reduce glare and reflections.

Your interior space

I think this is the most important consideration because you do not want your redecorate based on your new gallery wall. So find frames that work with what you already have.

Check out this related article for some create frame ideas.

Installing your gallery wall requires some precision and planning to ensure your doodles are displayed at their best.

Here’s how to hang your gallery wall art:

Measure and Mark

Use a tape measure, level, and pencil to mark the desired placement of each frame on the wall. Ensure the spacing and alignment match your planned layout.

Hanging Hardware

Attach appropriate hanging hardware to the back of each frame. This could be D-rings, sawtooth hangers, or wire, depending on the frame type.

Start with the Centerpiece

Begin by hanging your centerpiece doodles first, ensuring they are perfectly aligned with your layout.

Gradual Placement

Work outward from the center, gradually adding and adjusting the remaining doodles according to your layout plan.

Use Tools

Don’t hesitate to use tools like wall anchors or adhesive strips to securely attach your frames to the wall. This prevents them from shifting or falling over time.

Show off your Personal aesthetic

To make your gallery wall truly unique and reflective of your personality, consider adding personal touches:

Captions or Titles

Write captions or titles for your doodles and place them beneath or beside the frames.

This provides context and adds a storytelling or narrative element to it.

Memorabilia

Integrate small mementos or objects that hold sentimental value, such as tickets, postcards, or small sculptures, among your doodles.

Consider installing gallery lighting to accentuate your artwork and create a dramatic effect, especially in dimly lit spaces.

Also, wall art lighting adds clarity to the detail on certain artworks. Especially ones with fine drawing detail that are part of the narrative of an art piece and worth illuminating.

Check out this article that talks about wall art lighting.

Maintenance and Rotation

Maintaining your gallery wall is essential to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

Dust your frames regularly and inspect for any signs of wear or damage.

Additionally, consider periodically rotating your sketchbook doodle art or updating with new ones. After all, you are the artist and you have tons of ‘stock’ right in your sketchbook!

This way you can regularly refresh the display and keep your gallery wall art evolving.

Conclusion

Your sketchbook doodles are a rich source of creative potential and I so hope you found this blog post inspiring and motivating.

By curating, digitizing, printing, framing, and arranging your sketchbook doodles with care, you can create a personalized and vibrant gallery wall that reflects your journey as an artist – whether as a hobbyist, beginner or seasoned – and adds character to your living space.

So, go ahead and turn your sketchbook into a gallery that tells your unique artistic story.

And remember this wonderful and very enriching exercise is for all artists and non-artist alike!

If you liked this blog post, you’ll love this one about how to create a gallery wall on a budget.

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