Coming from a design teaching background I found it hard to create a finished doodle that I could feel was cohesive and had a balanced complete look. None of my free form drawings looked balanced so I am now drawing within a shape. I start with an outline, eg a star or a vase shape and draw my patterns inside the shape. This gives me that control that I need and tells the patterns which way they should start and end.
That makes sense, Patricia.
You still can create free form while working within a cohesive shape.