Drawing Zentangles®

Zentangle® example

What is a Zentangle®? Combining the word Zen+Tangle, Zentangles are a form of structured doodling with a purpose - relaxation. In Yoga for your Brain Sandy Steen Bartholomew describes Zentangles as 'meditation achieved through pattern-drawing...a complicated looking drawing that is built one line at a time'.

As these examples show, Zentangles can involve many different patterns, but the basic component is a drawing of repeated and contrasting lines and shapes.

To get started, using the usual process, you need a small, square piece of paper, a pencil border around the edge, and a 'tangle' or curvy pencil line inside the border, which gives a starting structure to your Zentangle. 

Drawing Zentangles® can be a relaxing, almost meditative activity. The reason there is a small ® beside the name is because the name Zentangle is a registered trademark, however there are many examples of Zentangles freely available on the  internet that you can refer to - the people who developed the technique, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, have a website here

Another resource I have found useful for getting started is the Zentangle untangled workbook by Kass Hall. Both books I have referenced have easy to follow, step by step instructions for creating many different tangles, and the Hall book also has practice spaces for you to try  them out. 

Zentangles are fun and relaxing patterns to draw when you have run out of inspiration and are feeling in need of some direction, when you are tired, or when you just want some time out. All you need is paper, a pencil, and a fine line pen. Of course, you can also add colour with markers, coloured pencils, or even watercolour paints. 

This might be a good activity for the long weekend - enjoy!