by Michelle Houghton

Have you tried, without success, to draw borders around your page? Maybe you can’t get a circle to look like a circle so you have given up on adding doodling or hand drawn elements to your page. Let me share my number one trick with you. Get your elbow off the table!

When you draw any line on your page you can have more success by getting your elbow off the table. Your entire forearm, including your elbow, acts as a compass pivot point and creates an arching line if left attached to the table. So instead of a nice long line going along the edge of a 12″ x 12″ page you end up with one curved line or several short choppy ones.

Try this: on a scrap piece of paper leave your forearm down on the table top and try to draw one long continuous line across your page. Now try again, but this time lift your elbow off the table, let the movement across your page come from your shoulder not your wrist. Do you see the difference? Can you feel the difference?

But now you might be shaking all over the place trying to swing your arm around midair. Here is the cheat to stabilize your arm and keep it moving freely. Let your wrist touch down on the table and let it glide along as you move across your page. I realize this is hard to imagine and sounds like some contortionist move, so here is a shot of the position your arm should be in when trying to draw those beautiful long lines flowing across your page.

Hope this helps!


Michelle Houghton is a wife, mother and artist living in Iowa.  Teaching high school art, doodling, scrapbooking and Copics has been her passion for over 15 years.  You can find Michelle’s classes at Creative Passion, her tutorials at Get It Scrapped and Tiffany Doodles, and her blog at Scrapweaver