Embrace Your Inner Artist — How to Doodle on Your Photos and Bring Them To Life!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1 2 3

Since the dawn of time people have doodled: caves, note pads, post-its.

Even your friend’s cast has enjoyed being a doodler’s canvas.

Now our photos want to get in on the fun! You can spruce up your friend’s wardrobe, hand tint your black and white photos, and even add a frame right onto your print.

We’ll show you all you need to know to create epic photo-meets-imagination images with just a print and a pen.

The Why, How and What to Draw on Your Photos

p.s. Follow us on Twitter *today* + use “@photojojo” creatively in a tweet for a chance to win 1 of 5 Photojojo gift cards we’re giving away! (We’ll RT our faves, too!)

You Can Do What Now?

beforeDrawing on a print can cause a double-take worthy reaction. You can take a so-so image and make it pop! Or make an amazing image even more fun in just a few minutes. Give it a try and you’ll get addicted fast!

Dig out some prints that weren’t quite right, or have a lot of empty space. Then doodle out that distracting background, draw a unicorn in that empty field or give that gorgeous shot the frame it deserves!


  • The Best Pens for the Job

beforeIn our extensive testing we discovered that Gelly Roll Moonlight Pens work the best – go figure!

They are cheap, colorful, dry quickly,  and cover what is underneath ‘em really well. Plus they’re acid free and will last as long as your photo does (sweet!) Your little sister might have some, so go raid her desk before you go to the art store.

We also used Souffle pens to get some more colors but they can be pricier and take their sweet time to dry.

  • Glossy vs. Matte, how about that?

beforeMatte prints are a bit easier to work with than glossy prints. If you are going to be printing photos just for this project and you have the option – go matte.

But don’t fret, all of our sample photos are glossy (we like shiny things!) They work great too, they just take longer to dry.

  • Ready, Set, Doodle!

beforePut pen to print and you’re on your way. You’ll want to let each layer dry completely before you try to go over it.

Pro-tip: If you want to get really detailed, use the gel pens as an under layer, then use a normal fine-tipped pen on top of the dried gel ink for the details.


  • Play Dress Up and Give ‘em Props

beforeYour friend looks pretty snazzy, but add a mustache and …. Hott! Add a hat, dress, jacket, glasses, scarf, even a jet pack with just a few flicks of your wrist. Let your friend’s pose inspire their new wardrobe!



  • Lions, Tigers, and Jackalopes – Oh my!

beforeAdd a mythical creature to a previously innocent landscape.

Draw King Kong attacking your favorite skyscraper, aliens abducting your house, or the Loch Ness Monster swimming through your last seaside vacay.


  • Frame It!

beforeA photo’s favorite thing is to be framed. But frames can get pricey and bulky. Why not draw a frame right on the picture?

Google image frames for inspiration and make sure you color coordinate it to your model’s outfit. Se magnifique!


  • Background Be Gone

beforeEver take that perfect shot, only to realize later that there is a trashcan right behind your bestie?

Draw a simple pattern (stripes are our fav) over the background and that can-o-trash will fade into oblivion!


  • Hand Tint with the Best of ‘Em

beforeBack in the day of Black and White, folks would actually paint their prints with special tinting paints to give a color effect. It took skillz to mix colors and stay inside the lines.

You can pay tribute to our photo forefathers without getting paint all over your dining room table. Take a black and white print and color it in – easy peasy!

Doodle on!


  • Use the prints from last years 365 photo-a-day project, as this years journal. Just write the day’s highlights on last year’s print!
  • Give a doodle of your friend to your friend! Mail it, wrap it, frame it or make it into a card.
  • With Instax prints you can use dry erase markers! Write. Erase. Repeat. Here’s How!
  • Don’t have prints? There’s a doodle app for that: You can use Picnik.com to doodle on any digital photo you’ve got (You’ll find “Doodle” in the Create tab’s Effects toolbar.) Or try out brushes on your iPhone/iTouch/iPad and Doodle Wish on your Droid