If you’ve done classes with me before, we’ve probably created some sort of Zentagle inspired art! They’re one of my favorite activities to warm up with or combine with other art projects. They’re something anyone can create and have unique results! If you haven’t yet made a Zentangle; The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Learn more at zentangle.com. According to the method, true Zentangles are completed in black ink on white paper (and can include some pencil shading) on 3.5″ square pieces of paper, however, you can create art inspired by Zentagles many different ways – I like to mix them up with other projects too! I’ve included below my inspired method for creating Zentangles and a few examples of ways you can apply them to other art! *”Zentangle” is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.
What you need to get started with a basic inspired Zentangle art:
- Paper – I use white card stock or smooth bristol paper, however, any paper will do (you could even use colored card stock or construction papers). The traditional size for a Zentangle is a 3.5″ square – or change it up and make your Zentangle into a bookmark, greeting card or any size or shape you’d like!
- Black Sharpies – a regular sharpie marker and a sharpie pen. You can use any black ink pen or marker you have on hand though! Or change it up and use the same methods but with colored pens & markers!
Step one: My favorite way to get started is by drawing a few lines across your paper – edge to edge. I use the sharpie marker for this step. It’s okay if your lines overlap or start and stop on the same edge. The lines can be wavy, zig-zagged, curvy, etc. My finished Zentangle will be a bookmark!
Step two: Your lines have created spaces, or shapes, that we now get to fill with patterns! I like the smaller sharpie pen for this step. Your patterns could be repeating lines, shapes, or a combination! Take a look around to find inspiration for your patterns – there are lines, shapes & patterns everywhere!
Step three: Continue to fill in your spaces or shapes with patterns until you have them all filled in!
Variations – Instead of filling in the whole piece of paper with Zentangles you could first draw an outline shape to fill in (trace your hand, use a stencil or freehand a shape/object). Make it collaborative – it’s fun to have everyone join in, each person can fill in a different space after the lines have been drawn or each person can start a Zentangle which can then be passed to the next person, added to, and then passed along again! You could also add color to your completed Zentangles. Or make a painting into a Zentangle – paint a picture fist and then draw Zentangles on top (see the butterfly and cat pictures below).
Some examples of student Zentagles and variations! If you still need more help getting started or would like more inspiration to get started with check out my inspired Zentangle packet! Happy Zentangling!