About Zentangle

One of my sisters introduced me to the art of Zentangle ® which is an art form created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. At first glance it looks like plain doodling, but they have developed lots of techniques which are simple to learn and look really great. There are certain guidelines to do with colour and size but no one cares if you don't stick to them. You can find out more about the Zentangle method at  zentangle.com.

Here's an example of a piece of art work created using the Zentangle method. I drew it on paper and scanned it. All my Zentangle stuff is hand drawn.

In it's original form Zentangle art is produced on 'tiles' which are pieces of paper or card 9cm x 9cm square. You start with a 'string' which is basically a handrawn line or number of lines. Then you fill in the gaps with patterns - either ones you've learnt or ones you invent yourself. The string for the tile above would have looked something like this (this isn't hand drawn but the original was)

The above string is very angular but most strings are curvy. Strings are drawn in pencil and are only intended to get you started. You can change them to suit what you want. There are some 'official' strings just as there are 'official' patterns (tangles) but as with all the best arts, you can do whatever you want and interpret things in your own way. Originally Zentangle art tended to be black and white using fine black artists pens but there are lots of examples of colour being used now. I've stuck to black and white so far because I'm useless at colour.

As well as the official Zentangle site which I've linked to once but here it is again   zentangle.com I find two other sites useful. TanglePatterns.com lists dozens of tangles (patterns) and links to instructions on how to draw them. I also visit I am the Diva who is a CZT  ® (Certified Zentangle Teacher) and runs a weekly challenge.

The thing I like most about the Zentangle method is that users try to 'deconstruct' patterns to make them easy to teach. Although the designs are normally drawn on plain paper I often practise on squared paper and I have an exercise book where I record the patterns and their steps. This is an example of one pattern in my book showing the steps to draw it.

The last picture I'm going to include is another piece I did which was really done as a sampler, to try lots of different patterns. 

This is the key to the patterns in the 'sampler' above.

                                                 1 Shard              7 Cadent              13 Shattuk
                                                 2 Jessicup           8 Laced                14 Orbs-La-Dee
                                                 3 Snag                9 Y-ful power       15 Flez
                                                4 Spanders          10 Felz                  16 Undling
                                                5 Sanibelle           11 Footlite             17 Pock
                                                6 Chemystery       12 Unme 

Apologies for not crediting all the designers. The instructions for all of them except Pock can be found on Linda Farmer's fantastic site Tanglepatterns.

1 comment:

  1. The sister concerned, if DH asks, was definitely not me! roflmao