Learn How to Draw a Zentangle
What is a Zentangle? In a word, a doodle. A structured, contained doodle. The term 'Zentangle' was coined by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas when, one day, Maria described her experience, as she created her art, as "feeling timeless, free and engendering a sense of deep well-being". Rick recognised that she was in a meditative state and so Zentangles were born.
I use the technique of Zentangle in my own artwork, incorporating them into sketching, art-journalling and collage. Originally I created individual Zentangles, as shown on Rick and Maria's website Zentangle Homepage but then began to incorporate them into my art journals.
On this page, I will describe how to draw a Zentangle from scratch, what materials are required for Zentangles and also show you how to use the techniques imaginatively in your own work.
Note: Zentangle-inspired drawings are often called 'zendoodles'.
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Tags: Zentangle, doodle, Zentangle-inspired, zendoodle, zendala, pen and ink drawing, Sakura Pigma Micron, Zentangle how-to, Zentangle instructions.
Materials for Zentangles
Smooth watercolor paper - I use Fabriano Artistico HP
Fine liner pens - My favorites are Sakura Pigma Micro, size 1 to 5
Sakura 11-Piece Zentangle Set
Sakura and Zentangle have teamed up and put together this fantastic little set. All you need to get started on your Zentangle adventure of artful loveliness!
This zentangle set includes a pencil and pens plus zentangle tiles upon which you can create fun and relaxing art
There are 5 pens with 4 tips sizes (0.25-mm, 0.35-mm, 0.45-mm, 0.5-mm)
The micro pigment ink is waterproof, fade proof, and acid free
The pencil is pre-sharpened and the drawing tiles measure 3-1/2-inch square
Includes 5 pens, 1 pencil, and 5 zentangle tiles
How to Draw a Zentangle
Begin small, work on a piece of paper approximately 3.5" x 3.5" (9cm x 9cm).
I am using a pen for the initial steps so it shows on the scan but you should use a pencil.
Draw a border around the square of paper, about a half inch (1cm) from the edge as shown. Do it freehand and let it be 'rough'.
Draw a 'String'
Again, with a pencil, draw a light random line within the border - it can be anything but keep it simple to begin with. Rick and Maria call these lines 'strings', which helps you to visualise the kind of lines that work. You are aiming to create areas in which to doodle. Experiment until you get something you are happy with.
If you need something to get you started at this stage, you can print out a pre-drawn string or template: Zentangle Templates
Fill Your Zentangle
Switch to a black fine liner pen such as a Sakura Pigma Microm #1 and using some of the examples on this page and on the Zentangle page begin to fill the shapes made by your string. Oh... and put some soft music on and allow your mind to wander. These simple patterns are called 'tangles'. You can see lots of them at Zentangle.com
Are You Relaxed?
Keep going. Don't fret over what pattern to use, you will find as you do more, that the next pattern seems to suggest itself.
My example here is very rough and I seem to have misplaced the border while scanning, but I'm sure you get the idea.
As you can see, I have worked up to the border, making my Zentangle a square, however, you don't have to do that - leaving white space can work well too.
Here is my rather rough and ready example finished.
Erase all the pencil lines and use a little shading in order to make your drawing more three dimensional.
Creating Zentangles - by KNM
KNM has kindly donated this image that show the processed of creating individual tangles. Click on the image to be taken directly to her blog, Xplore & Xpress.
Teaching Zentangle to children helps their hand-eye coordination, develops their concentration, promotes creativity and produces wonderful art they can be proud of. This kit supplies a class of up to 26 children.
The classroom kit is also available in the UK
New: Zentangle With Color
New Zentangle page: Zentangle With Color. Supply list and examples.
Search for Zentangle and Zendoodle Books
Do you create Zentangles in the UK? You can search for books on Zentangles right here:
How to draw a Zendala - by Milliande
Sit back and enjoy this lovely video as Milliande shows you how to do it properly! Also, if you would like to become part of an arty community, join Milliande's group - everyone is lovely
Using Zentangles in Other Art
When I initially discovered Zentangles, I was addicted and drew over a hundred over the course of a month or two. Eventually my enthusiasm wore off and instead I began to use the technique with other projects. I find it is very effective in my art journals. Here's an example of watercolor, collage and Zentangles combined. You can see that I used a white pen for some of the Zentangling on the man's clothes.
In this project I also decided to use Zentangles to border the facing pages.
'Zentangle' has been featured on the... - Abundance Blog
Also take a look at my Zentangle/Zendoodle articles on Hubpages
- Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online
"For all those who feel stuck in the left-side of their brain, and who desperately want to create something and begin to awaken their right-brain hemisphere, below you'll find 17 resources-some free, some not-that will help get you started.">
- Zendoodle/Zentangle How-to
How to create a Zendoodle, using a grid-like string.
- How to Find Unique Tangle Patterns
Finding tangle patterns all around.