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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!

What is Zentangle?

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?

Zentangle Inspiration

Looking for a little inspiration to get started in the wonderful world of zentangle? If you prefer crafting in groups or using different artist mediums in your crafting, this versatile technique gives you free rein to alter it to suit your needs. Here are a few ideas for how you could mix it up a little.

Get Social

Get Social

Zentangle is a fantastic solo activity, but can be great fun to do as a group too. So get some like-minded friends together and let the creativity flow! You could print or produce the same zentangle background design for everyone, and compare each individual's finished results once the designs have been tangled! Alternatively, you could each start on one page, then swap with someone after 30 minutes to let them complete the second half.

Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Why not try adding another medium to the mix? You could fill in the blank spaces in your zentangle background design with watercolours, acrylics paints or coloured inks, wait for them to dry, then tangle in black ink over the top.

Embellish

Embellish

Add some glamour to your finished zentangle pieces with glitter or gem embellishments. You could even selectively apply shimmery glue to enhance some of the intricate details and create instant dimension. Once complete, seal your work of art with decoupage glue for longevity.

Create Your Own Templates

Create Your Own Templates

All you need is a fine-tip black pen (pigma micron pens are ideal), a piece of paper and a shaped object. To produce circles, you could use an empty cup or cardboard tube; to produce squares, a stack of post-it notes would do. Simply trace around your chosen object multiple times over your piece of paper to produce the outline of your desired shape, ensuring that some of them overlap.

We want to help you get started on your newfound adventure, so simply click one of the downloads below to begin your zentangle journey... you'll be amazed at what this simple art can do for you!

Benefits of Zentangle

Besides being a fun hobby, zentangle has so many other benefits for both body and mind! Below, we’ve listed just a few of the perks of getting involved with this fascinating creative trend.

Intuitive

Intuitive

Absolutely anyone can zentangle. It's based on a simple technique, whereby you follow a series of specified steps using repetitive patterns to build larger designs.

Meditative

Meditative

Creating zentangle art provides a fun way to relax, but also initiates a shift in your focus and perspective. In a time of computers, mobiles and touch-screens, it can be incredibly rewarding to engage in putting pen to paper and experiencing the comfort and familiarity of creativity at its most basic level. Zentangle provides a structured format in which you can be expressive and imaginative, freeing your mind from the burdens of day-to-day stresses. It can become a wonderful daily ritual to promote wellbeing.

Spontaneous

Spontaneous

Unlike most illustrative art, when you sit down to begin your zentangle design, you'll have no preconceived idea of how the end-result will look. You creativity is completely unrestricted, and you are free to let the tangles take you anywhere!

Convenient

Convenient

You don't require an excess of expensive equipment to zentangle; everything you need to start creating this beautiful, timeless art will fit directly into your pocket. You can do it almost anywhere – at home, travelling, at the park, alone or with friends.

Quality

Quality

We have a wide range of zentangle guides and resources to help inspire you, plus technical pigma micron pens ideal for tangling with, as well as a wide range of high quality paper and card for you to produce your designs on. Not only will zentangle relax you, but you are also left with a beautiful piece of art you can keep, collect and reflect upon for years to come.

Empowering

Empowering

Zentangle will prove to you that you can deliberately relax when you need to, and direct your attention with purpose towards creating your own unique and beautiful works of art. Discover what you're capable of with the help of zentangle.

You'll gain far more than just a pretty piece of artwork from practising the zentangle method! Here are just some of the benefits crafters have discovered since taking up the art of tangling: