Zentangle doodling is a form of artistic expression anyone can do at any time. Personally, I've been guilty of zentangling in meetings during longwinded monologues as well as during long flights and other situations. I've done it enough where I use the word as a verb as you might have noticed.
Zentangle is an abstract art form where the artists draws repetitive, simple patterns. Usually the patterns are drawn using a black marker on white paper and sometimes the artist will color them in. The patterns can be various forms of hash lines, circles, triangles, squares, flowers, spirals, paisleys, etc. The overall image can be something familiar like a bird or a flower, or any geometric or abstract shape.
Step 1: Materials
Zentagles require just paper and some kind of pencil, pen or marker. I am personally fond of black permanent markers because I might use something like watercolors later to color in some of the drawings.
- Paper (coldpress watercolor paper was used for this example)
- Black permanent marker
- Pencil (optional)
- Eraser (optional)
- Watercolors (optional)
Step 2: Drawing Your Zentangle
Zentangles can be abstract shapes or specific images like animals, flowers, etc. For this example, I will keep it simple by drawing an abstract shape, which are more forgiving if you make a mistake. I tend to draw directly with the marker on the paper but if you feel nervous, it's OK to first draw the shape with a pencil and then go over the lines with a maker.
- Draw any shape you feel like drawing. I tend to mix freeform shapes with geometric shapes, but it can be really anything
- Divide up your shape into sections
- Start filling in your sections with patterns of your choosing
Step 3: Patterns
Zentangle patterns are simple, repetitive patterns that are mixed in the overall drawing. These simple patterns can be various forms of hash lines, geometric shapes like circles, triangles , squares, or more complex patterns like scales, flowers, etc. The suggested patterns are to give you some ideas to get you started but there are endless possibilities.
Step 4: Finish It Up
When you are done filling in the patterns you can leave the zentangle as is, black and white, or add in some color. Zentagles make great postcards or artwork. Zentangles are also a great activity to do with kids. Depending on their age, they can draw their own zentangles or just color in yours :)