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I remember there being a technique for scribbling on paper (semi-absent-minded-ly), then looking at the scribbles to find shapes and inspiration.

This is an example of it: https://youtu.be/4JnssoinaUI?t=57s

I cannot remember what it was called or find any information on it.

Any idea what it might be called?

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I think what you mean is called ‘automatic drawing’ - it was something done by the surrealists, among others André Masson (the pioneer) and André Breton (probably most famous).

Edit. Then you are probably thinking of the so-called ‘rest-of-the-owl’ technique. Look it up on reddit. Here’s an example:

enter image description here

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  • Hey, thank you for the reply. I do not think that is the technique I am looking for. – atwright147 Jan 23 '18 at 19:07
  • @atwright147 maybe found the answer for you. See my edit – Nothingismagick Feb 21 '18 at 4:01
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Doodle-art

Playing doodle-art was the game, when I was a child, that taught me to draw!

My mother called it 'Squiggles'. We would take it in turns to draw the 'squiggle' and to create something from it.

A more artistic way of saying this might be 'doodle-art'.

Doodles are little scribbles done in the margins of one's exercise book when bored - often very free and creative, for being made when the conscious mind is engaged in something else (a phone call, for example.)

If you google 'doodle-art' you'll see many examples similar to the one you have given:

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=doodle+art&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-sg&client=safari

And here is how to play 'squiggles': http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-play-Squiggles/

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