Have you heard of Zentangle? Have you tried it?

Zentangle is a type of doodling, in which you draw repetitive, structured patterns. Actually there's nothing new in the Zentangle artistic style: Many of us have doodled black and white patterns when talking on the phone, or when listening to a lecture. Now it has been widely acknowledged that doodling is a great way to both focus and to relax. It's a way of 'artistic meditation' that anyone can do, without expensive tools nor special supplies.

Zentangle textures

What is a Zentangle?

Zentangle method was developed in US by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. They realized that when focusing on doodling the person was experiencing similar emotions than when meditating; feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being.

"The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. [...]
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages."

Source: Zentangle.com: Zentangle Method

"Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific Method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. Zentangles are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create."
Source: TanglePatterns.com: What is a Zentangle?

A few weeks back I bought a German magazine about Zentangle, and was intrigued about the described methods. I ordered myself a Zentangle book, did some googling, and made my first Zentangle drawing. I did not use the 3.5" tiles nor followed the method theory rules too strictly ("In our Zentangle way, you draw each stroke consciously and deliberately"  zentangle.com/zentangle-theory). I was amazed: it was easy, fun, and very relaxing!

Zentangle inspiration

For collecting inspirational Zentangle patterns and tutorials I created a board in Pinterest, dedicated to Zentangle. Please follow this link to see what I've pinned on that board!

My very first Zentangle: Owl

The basic idea in Zentangle is not to spend too much time on one design i.e. to keep the designs small enough to be able to finish them in 15-30 minutes. However, keeping the time limit was not my target at all: I'm not the fastest crafter, and was making the drawing on Saturday evening without any time pressure. The main thing was to have some doodling fun, after viewing some amazing animal shaped designs in Pinterest I knew for sure what I wanted to draw: An owl!

Zentangle owl

I started with sketching the owl with a pencil, and erased the pencil lines after the drawing was finished. Many amazing Zentangle drawings look really 3-dimensional due to the beautiful shadows and highlights the artists create in their projects. I like shadowing with markers, and therefore used my set of warm grey tone colours.

Zentangle tools

I wanted to keep my drawing monotonous, but still thought my artjournal page needed a hint of colour. For adding a soft touch of dark yellow I took a water-soluable Distress Marker and the Spritzer tool. I softened the colour a bit by brushing the colour with water.

Zentangle patterns

I loved the creative process, and the relaxing flow of doodling and drawing. And I like my owl a lot!
Now my head's spinning with new ideas for incorporating Zentangle elements into my future projects!

Zentangle owl

If you are already hooked with Zentangle I would love to see what you have made. Put a link to the comments and I'll be happy to stop by in your blog!

Wishing you a nice Sunday,
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  1. Tuo tekniikka näyttää niin kiinostavalta...kirja ja kynät hankintalistalle!