how to draw play doh

How to Draw with Play Doh

Play Doh is a popular modeling compound that has been around for decades. It’s typically used by children to create sculptures and figures, but it can also be the perfect medium for drawing and doodling. In this article, we’ll show you how to get started with Play Doh drawing and teach you some tips and techniques for taking your creations to the next level.

Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing with Play Doh

1. Choosing Your Materials

  • A set of Play Doh modeling compound in different colors is essential.
  • You will need sculpting tools, such as rolling pins, cutters, shape molds, or simple household items like forks, toothpicks or straws.
  • A smooth surface or work area that doesn’t stain easily is preferable. You can use a plastic mat or even a newspaper.

When it comes to choosing Play Doh for drawing purposes, it’s best to use softer varieties so that you can sculpt them into different shapes easily. Sets like the Play Doh Classic Fun Factory are perfect for beginners.

2. Preparing Your Workspace

Creativity flows better when you have an organized workspace, so take some time to prepare your working area before starting your project. Clear out any distractions and make sure that all the necessary materials are within reach.

3. Basic Techniques for Shaping and Slicing Play Doh

The basic techniques allow you to create flat surfaces or 3D forms in minutes.

  • Rolling: Flatten out a piece of your chosen color by rolling it back and forth on the surface until it becomes flat like a pancake. For a cylinder shape, roll between your hands or on a flat surface.
  • Twisting: Pinch off a small chunk of Play Doh and twist it between your palms to create ropes that you can use for forming various shapes.
  • Folding: Gently bend or fold clay in half and press edges together, making sure not to leave any air pockets.
  • Cutting: You can use cutters or knives to cut through rolled material quickly and with precision. But you can also use scissors or even food utensils, depending on the size and shape desired.
  • Flattening: Use your hands or rolling pins to flatten out once more the material if you feel it’s too thick.

To create different shapes and textures on your Play Doh, try using some of these simple techniques like pressing with forks, stretching with hands, stamping with rubber stamps, carving with wooden sticks, scoring with wire, texture plates or sponges.

4. Advanced Techniques for Adding Details and Dimensionality

If you want to give your creations more depth and personality, there are several advanced techniques that you can use:

  • Layering: Stack layers of different colors together to create patterns or surfaces.
  • Attaching pieces together: One way of attaching pieces together is by gently pressing the two pieces into each other while twisting them at the same time. Or by using some adhesive like water, glue or even cornstarch paste.
  • Adding texture: Different textures can be created by using tools and molds such as rubber stamps, texture plates or natural objects like leaves or shells.
  • Adjusting thickness: You can manipulate the thickness of clay by rolling it thinner or folding it repeatedly to make it thicker.
  • Sculpting: The limitation of Play Doh is only the size of your imagination. Sculpturing 3D characters and realistic animals are great examples that can involve blending, shaping, layering and even working from references if desired.

You can use these techniques to create specific objects or scenes. For example, you can use layers of greens to create a garden filled with different plants or build animals like a lion, bear or even unicorns out of materials.

5. Troubleshooting Common Problems

Though Play Doh is generally easy and fun to work with, here are some common issues that you might face:

  • Drying out too quickly: If the clay feels too rigid, try kneading in some oil to make it softer again.
  • Sticking to workspace or tools: Rubbing some powder to your hands or surface area helps prevent sticking. Also, try to use non-stick rolling pins or parchment paper to prevent any further sticking issues.
  • Losing shape or detail: If you accidentally demolish your creation and you want to start over again – no problem! Roll it back up into a ball and then start re-shaping again as desired.

Tips for Taking Your Play Doh Art to the Next Level

1. Experiment with Mixing Colors

You don’t have to limit yourself to the standard colors. Get creative by mixing some of them together! You can use color inspiration from photos, artwork or the natural world if you need some variety. Some color combinations that can work well are navy blue and pink, purple and green, yellow and orange, black and white and many other different mixtures to your liking!

2. Incorporate Other Materials into Your Work

You may want to combine Play Doh with other art media like paints, fabrics or markers to give your artwork a distinctive touch. Try experimenting with these different materials and seeing which ones work best for you.

3. Showcase Your Artistic Style

No matter what type of artwork you create with Play Doh drawing, make sure it reflects your style. Your art is an expression of who you are as an artist- make sure it stands out!


Drawing with Play Doh is an amazing way to boost creativity and showcase art skills in a fun, tactile way. Our step-by-step guide gives you all the tips and techniques you’ll need to get started, whether you’re a beginner or more advanced artist hoping to carve out more depth and detail in your designs.

Remembering that there isn’t a right or wrong way of making play doh art as long as you enjoy the process. So go ahead: grab some Play Doh modeling clay – let’s start creating!

How to Draw Play-Doh: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to draw Play-Doh?

A: To draw Play-Doh, you will need Play-Doh modeling clay, paper or sketchbook, pencils, and an eraser. If you want to add color to your drawing, you can use colored pencils or markers.

Q: How do I start drawing Play-Doh?

A: Before starting your drawing, knead the Play-Doh clay to soften it. Then, choose the colors you want to use and start molding the clay into different shapes, such as animals, food items, or cartoon characters. Use your creativity and imagination to bring your Play-Doh figures to life.

Q: Can I combine different colors of Play-Doh for my drawing?

A: Yes! You can mix different colors of Play-Doh together to create new and unique shades for your drawing. Just make sure the colors are evenly blended before using them in your illustration.

Q: Should I draw my Play-Doh figures with pencil or marker?

A: It depends on your personal preference. You can use a pencil for a more traditional look and to easily erase mistakes, or opt for a marker for a bolder outline and more defined look.

Q: How can I make my Play-Doh figures look more realistic?

  • Study real-life objects and animals for inspiration and accuracy
  • Add texture by pressing small dots or lines onto the surface of the clay
  • Use shading techniques to create depth and shadow on your figures

Q: Is it easy to draw Play-Doh for beginners?

A: Yes, drawing with Play-Doh is a great way to introduce young and adult artists to the world of 3D modeling and sculpture. The soft texture of the Play-Doh clay makes it easy to manipulate and shape into any form you desire.

Q: What are other creative ways to use Play-Doh in my drawings?

  • Make a Play-Doh background by creating a landscape or setting for your figures
  • Create different textures using Play-Doh, such as fur, feathers, or scales
  • Add Play-Doh props, such as food items or toys, to enhance your drawing

keys takeaways

4 Tips for Drawing Play Doh

If you’ve ever played with Play Doh, you know that it’s a versatile substance that can be molded into just about any shape you can imagine. But did you know that it’s also a great material for drawing? Here are four tips to help you get started:

1) Start with a clean surface

Before you begin drawing, make sure your surface is clean and free from any leftover bits of Play Doh. This will help ensure that your lines are smooth and consistent.

2) Experiment with different tools

There are a variety of tools you can use to draw with Play Doh, from the simple (fingers and toothpicks) to the more advanced (rolling pins and cookie cutters). Try experimenting with different tools to see what works best for you.

3) Focus on texture

Play Doh has a unique texture that can add depth and dimension to your drawings. Try using different techniques to create texture in your work, such as rolling the Play Doh into thin strips or pressing it flat with your palm.

4) Don’t be afraid to mix colors

One of the great things about Play Doh is its vibrant colors. Don’t be afraid to mix colors together to create new shades and tones for your drawings. Just like painting, blending colors can add depth and interest to your work.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful works of art with Play Doh!

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