Or.... the Zentangle, the Zendoodle, the Zendala or maybe the Xen Tangle?
Whatever you call it, in essence it's 'doodling with intent'. As opposed to doodling while on the telephone. Doodling with intent is making patterns on paper in order to have an end result; a piece of artwork. It is also used to facilitate an 'active meditation'. In other words, it is the kind of activity that allows you to disengage your brain while you do it. A bit like driving but without the speed. Or the car.
Doodling is relaxing, it's enjoyable, it's portable. it's fun and it's very, very easy. Anyone who can hold a pen can learn to doodle with intent.
Okay this looks complicated, a super doodle perhaps, but it's simple once broken down into baby steps. On this deliberately delicious doodle delight page, I'll show you how to draw a doodle to be proud of!
Towards the bottom of the page, there is a photo sequence showing each stage of the doodle. Click on the thumbnails to display the full-size image.
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Before you begin to doodle
Oh there's so much you need!
No there isn't.
You need pens, paper and pencils. Oh and an eraser can come in useful too.
As you don't need very much to create these wonderful... er... creations, then you might as well get the best. Yes? These items below are the ones I recommend you try.
Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. These pens last for ages. They come in the perfect nib sizes for your doodle doodles. They don't bleed and they dry fast so no irritating smudging.
Smooth watercolor paper. A small watercolor pad like the Moleskine Pocket is a great product for doodling. There are 60 sheets of good quality watercolor paper and they are all detachable so that you can take your favorites out and frame them.
Good quality pencils like the Faber Castell Graphite Pencil Set will last you a long time.
Sakura 11-Piece Zentangle Set
The fantastic new mini Zentangle kit to get you started. Perfect gift for any Zentangle or Zenspirations fan.
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
Create a doodle template
Start a doodle grid
Grab your pencil and paper and draw two wavy parallel lines anywhere and any way you like. Something like this:
There's no need to be over-particular just go with the flow.
My paper is about 4" x 6". I wouldn't go much bigger than this to start with, although you could go down to 3" x 3"
Double your Doodle
Now draw another two parallel lines but don't draw over the top of the first set.
You will find that 'drawing under' is a common technique; a very simple way to make a design look more complex than it really is.
Grow the Doodle!
Make sure you don't go over the tops of any other sets of lines. Fill the page with these wobbly grid lines until you have created your doodle template.
Now you can see that there are many irregular shaped 'negative spaces' between the grid lines. Start to fill a space with some doodles. This time use a pen. Below are some mini doodle examples you can copy. Feel free to make up your own or steal from someone else. There are more here.
Keep scrolling down the page to see how this doodle ends.
Doodle Ideas - or 'Mini Doodles'
Try to make your pen stroke deliberate and neat (unlike mine above). Don't rush or you'll be missing the whole point of this activity - it's meant to be relaxing.
Scroll down to see my work-in-progress.
Geo-Tangle - by guest artist KNM
There are so many elements in this Zentangle-inspired artwork. Do click on the image to visit KNM's blog, Xplore & Xpress
Try this creativity course...
Although this book is quite new on the Zentangle scene, it has become one of the best sellers.
Once you start doodling, you won't be able to stop!
Doodle With Color
Doodle to music
This is when I like to have some relaxing, tinkly music on, or perhaps an interesting radio program playing in the background. It's amazing how much your brain can absorb while you are doodling.
See My Doodle Grow
It is thought (by me) that a Daily Doodle keeps the stress away!
Keep filling in your doodle spaces. You don't have to do it all in one go. I keep one near my laptop and while I'm .waiting for a big page to load or listening to a news bulletin (okay, not terribly relaxing, I know) or when my wireless connection goes kaput, I turn to my doodle and fill in another section. It's less fattening than chocolate.
All Doodle Done?
Now all the negative spaces have been filled, it's time to focus on those gridlines. You can leave the pencil lines in place if you like, or erase them as I chose to do (see photo sequence). If you wanted to, you could leave it right now as it is - I think it looks pretty cool - but filling in those grids are very satisfying. I've given some examples below.
Gridline Doodles - These are just a few ideas - I'm sure you can invent better ones!
Be creative. How about lettering along all your grids - a short poem or some inspiring words? It's also a good way to copyright your work by adding your name.
The smudged one is made just using pencil to add shadow and then rubbing with a finger tip, tortillion or paper stub.
It's a Done Doodle!
Once you're done, make sure you erase all unwanted guide lines and then use your pencil - I find HB is best for this - to add some strategic shading.
And it's finished!
I have added a photo sequence below so you can see how to create this step-by-step doodle design.