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Zentangle Guide

This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of zentangle, looking at its key benefits and explaining how it could have a positive impact on your day-to-day life, all the way through to how to get started with different tangling ideas and templates!


Zentangle is the art of creating an abstract drawing using a series of repetitive patterns. You can use a background template, which contains pre-arranged lines producing segments that you can 'tangle' within, or you can simply start with a blank piece of paper. Using a fine marker, a pen or pencil, produce small, deliberate marks that accumulate to form a pattern – and so your creation is formed!

At first glance, a completed zentangle creation can appear infinitely complicated, but once you learn the technique and have a go for yourself, you'll see just how simple it is to create something impressive. Not only does it increase focus, creativity and your sense of personal wellbeing, but it also provides immense artistic satisfaction in each and every creation.

A Brief History of Zentangle

One day, one of the founders of zentangle, Maria Thomas, found herself doodling background patterns on a manuscript she was writing. She found that while she drew, she experienced feelings of liberation, well-being and complete focus, with no usual thoughts or worries entering her mind. This is how people describe meditation – and now it's how people are describing zentangle!

In zentangle, each tiny, individual stroke is drawn deliberately, with no concern for the appearance of the overall completed piece. There’s no eraser, and mistakes simply become the foundations for new patterns, taking your designs in yet another direction. With no predetermined result, zentangle offers you freedom and focus; it's something you simply cannot fail at, because there is no one correct solution.

Zentangle can be used to improve self-esteem and help channel thoughts during times of stress or anxiety. As it’s had an inspirational effect on the lives of so many people already, why not see where it takes you?