Best Zentangle Pens: Inside a CZT’s Pencil Pouch

Best Zentangle Pens: Inside a CZT’s Pencil Pouch

You can draw Zentangle patterns with any kind of pen you want, but these are some of the most popular pens among Zentanglers. I’ve included affiliate links from Dick Blick and Amazon for your convenience, but feel free to look for these items wherever you buy art supplies. 

Product Name: Sakura Pigma Micron Pens

Count: 6, assorted sizes

Ink color: Black

Details: My top pick and pretty much the gold standard. Used by Zentangle HQ and many CZTs as well as by other fine artists. Archival, waterproof ink that gets consistently high marks from artists at a fair price.

Product Name: Copic Multiliner A – 2

Count: 7, assorted sizes

Ink color: Black

Details: Used frequently by professional artists. High price, but the Copic brand is well known for making high-quality pens, and is a favorite of illustrators and journalers.

Product Name: Kingart Inkline Artist Pens

Count: 10, assorted sizes

Ink color: Black

Details: A budget-friendly pen for your Zentangle line art. Nice if you’re just getting started and want more line weight options for your buck as you explore what suits your art style.

Product Name: Sakura Pigma Micron 05 Set Pens

Count: 6, .45mm nib

Ink color: Assorted

Details: High quality ink but in different colors for when you want something a little brighter than standard black and white. Brown ink,for example, is frequently used by Zentangle HQ. All pens feature the same size nib.

Product Name: Sakura White Gelly Roll Pen

Count: 1

Ink color: Opaque White, Bold Tip

Details: These pens are great for finishing Zentangles with bright white highlights. The opaque ink sits on top of ink and graphite, and can be used to correct small areas you don’t like when you’re working on white tiles.

Product Name: Sakura Dark Metallic Gelly Roll Pens

Count: 5

Ink color: Assorted, Medium Tip

Details: Includes one each of Sepia, Burgundy, Hunter Green, Blue/Black, and Black.

Product Name: Sakura Metallic Gelly Roll Pens

Count: 10

Ink color: Assorted, Medium Tip

Details: Two Metallic Gold pens and one each of Metallic Purple, Metallic Copper, Metallic Red, Metallic Silver, Metallic Pink, Metallic Green, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Emerald.

Whatever pens you choose, Zentangle gives you an opportunity to make beautiful Zentangle art. For pattern tutorial videos, check out my curated sets of 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners.

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Easy Zentangle Patterns For Beginners

Easy Zentangle Patterns For Beginners

Sometimes you just want to chill out and draw, right? Each video in the 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners series is designed to get you drawing fast. Follow along with the videos to learn more than 50 patterns, enjoying the ones that appeal to you the most.

These patterns are easy, but you can modify and embellish them to suit your style. After all, the whole point of tangling is to have fun, relax and express your creativity.

The Tutorials

Organic & Botanical Patterns
Heart Patterns
Freeform Patterns, Part 2
Lines & Orbs
Freeform Patterns, Part 2
Original Patterns, Part 1

Patterns are curated loosely into themes. If there’s a specific Zentangle you’d like to see me draw in an upcoming video, let me know with a comment. Sometimes seeing how someone else approaches drawing a pattern can make it easier.

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The Video that Started It All

Hi everyone! Today I have a video showing you how to draw 9 easy Zentangle patterns for beginners. As you can see, you don’t need any super fancy art supplies to get started. Just grab a piece of paper and something to write with. (I wouldn’t recommend using a ball-point pen, but it’ll still get the job done!)

In case you’re new to Zentangle art, here are the basics of the Zentangle method: It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas as a meditative form of art that’s accessible to everyone at all levels. It stresses drawing repetitive lines, simple marks, orbs, and other familiar shapes. Each mark is called a “tangle,” and you can combine tangles infinite ways to create “tiles,” or miniature drawings. 

The easy art Zentangle patterns I cover in this video are: Footlites, Wist, Roxy, Kuazeela, Squares Squared, Inapod, Wormholes, Embellish, and Narwhal, but there are literally hundreds more to try once you’ve got these down.

If you want to learn more about how the Zentangle method of drawing got its start, I recommend checking out Rick and Maria’s official website.

Zentangle Pattern Tripoli on White Zentangle Tile
Tripoli on White Zentangle Tile

Zentangle is a very relaxing, meditative form of drawing that got me through some pretty rough days while I underwent chemotherapy and radiation for a brain tumor. Even though I’m done with cancer treatment for now, I found drawing Zentangles to be so calming and therapeutic that I continued with daily practice and weekly videos on YouTube.

So sit back, relax, and let your inner artist follow along as you learn these beginner patterns. If you want to see more, subscribe to my YouTube channel. And don’t miss my suggestions for the best Zentangle pens.

Inktober Zentangle Patterns and Tutorials

Inktober Zentangle Patterns and Tutorials

Materials

These are some of the supplies I used for my Inktober Zentangle tutorials. More detailed lists can be found on YouTube under individual video descriptions.

Zentangle Tutorials

Day 1: Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners – Inspired by Project Pack No. 11
The wonderful people at Zentangle HQ create project packs a few times a year with accompanying Zentangle tutorials. If you want to learn more about the Inspiration for this Zentangle using phi proportions, be sure to see the official instructional videos for Project Pack 11.

Day 2: How to Draw Zentangle Pattern Khala
This pattern is a stunning variation on Celtic knots created by Zen Linea. I’m still learning to draw it confidently and find that starting with a pencil sketch is a good idea. I would recommend this Zentangle pattern for intermediate to advanced Zentangle fans.

Day 3: Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners: Huggins
Huggins is a fun tangle pattern drawn by constructing a grid out of dots. It’s an easy pattern that can be embellished as much or as little as you like. The variation of Huggins follows the same steps, but the dots are placed more randomly instead of on an evenly spaced grid.

Day 4: How to Draw a Zentangle Gem
Incorporating colorful gems into Zentangles is so much fun and adds a lot of dimension to your art. The gem in the video was colored using a basic set of colored pencils. Higher-quality pencils, however, are typically easier to blend and would allow for an even smoother result.

Day 5: Easy Zentangle Art Inspired by Home
Patterns are everywhere from wallpaper and pottery to fabric and ferns. But this prompt could inspire so much more than trying to recreate an existing pattern. I decided to use the design on a piece of heirloom furniture as the string for this meditative Zentangle art.

Day 6: Subversive Cross-Stich Inspired Zentangle
If you’re just getting to know me, I should probably tell you that I am a HUGE fan of subversive cross-stitch sayings. I borrowed the saying “Maybe Swearing Will Help” from a picture I found on Pinterest. What can I say? Swearing speaks to me.

Day 7: How to Draw a Zentangle Heart
Switched up my materials today and grabbed an alcohol marker, a purple Micron, and a purple Gelly Roll pen from the Moonlight set for this super easy to draw Zentangle Heart. Of course, I couldn’t draw anything until my cat Izzy rolled around on my desk for a few minutes first.

Day 8: Zentangle Art Illuminated Letter
When I chose this prompt for myself, I had illuminated letters in mind, like the ones Zentangle founder Maria Thomas creates. I didn’t have any metallic media to use at the time I created this Zentangle, so it’s colored with alcohol markers instead.

Day 9: Zentangle Art Inspired by Delftware
The first time I saw someone working with the blue inks in Project Pack 7, I immediately thought of Delftware. But you don’t necessarily have to try to copy a Delft pattern for today’s prompt or even use blue ink. Just a friendly reminder to use these prompts as inspiration, not necessarily as rules or specific assignments. You do you, baby!

Day 10: How to Draw Zentangle Border Pattern Coil Around a Circle
Lots of Zentangle patterns lend themselves to being used as a border and many of those border patterns are excellent for using as circle borders specifically. Or they could also be used as the edge of a Zendala or drawn within inside rows too..

Day 11:  More Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners
In this video, I fill an entire page in my sketchbook from edge-to-edge with some basic Zentangles. I drew in a pencil string first to divide the page into smaller sections, but there was no pre-planned composition. I just drew whatever I felt like.

Day 12: How to Draw Organic Zentangle Patterns
Organic Zentangle patterns tend to be my favorites. In this Zentangle tutorial video you can see step by step how I created this mosaic-style tangle by outlining a Bijou tile and using flower pattern Henna Drum.

Day 13: How to Draw Zentangle Patterns Cubine and Zonked
When I’m drawing geometric Zentangle patterns it’s easy to get into a rhythm and zone out for some relaxing tangle practice. These two grid-based patterns aren’t difficult to draw, but they do take a little time and help me settle into drawing when I need pleasant distraction.

Day 14: Zentangle Pattern Crescent Moon with Louise Belcher Fan Art
Today’s Inktober Zentangle prompt was “fan art”. I today’s tangle is a little light on the Zentangle, but once I finished learning how to draw Louise from Bob’s Burgers, I almost didn’t want to add a single thing to the page!

Day 15: How to Draw Zentangle “Holes”
For the prompt “holes” I used an alcohol marker plus a graphite pencil and tortillon for shading to make circles that look like three-dimensional holes in the sketchbook paper.

Day 16: Combining Easy Zentangle Patterns with Stickers
I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of fun stickers. I plan to use them directly in my art for today’s prompt but you could also make Zentangle stickers.

Day 17: Easy Zentangle Inspired Art
Zentangle art can be used to fill larger objects and scenes. Although basic shapes make up most of the composition here, you will find the Zentangle patterns Printemps and Yincut easily.

Day 18: How to Draw Zentangle Pattern B’tweed
A monotangle makes use of a single pattern. I have divided a circle into eight parts and used B’tweed in all of them and created a Zentangle that looks spherical after it’s shaded.

Day 19: How to Draw an Offset Zentangle Zendala
For today’s prompt, which is “Zendala” I wanted to draw a Zentangle that was different from what I usuallly do. So instead of using concentric circles that share the same center point for my string, I decided to do an offset Zendala.

Day 20: Easy Zentangle Art with Metallic Watercolors
I drew and painted some basic fall leaves and added couple of Zentangle patterns to create a simple drawing with an autumn feel.

Day 21: Easy Zentangle Patterns from the Zentangle Legend
The L5 spread of the Zentangle Legend booklet features 20 of Zentangle’s original patterns. I used the 20-sided die that comes in the project pack to randomly choose patterns Xircus, Poke Root, Keeko, and Hollibaugh.

Day 22: Zentangle Inspired Meditative Art
Today’s prompt was “Grid” but I wasn’t really feeling like drawing the same exact square a dozen times. I decided to explore changing the grid size in different sections, which turned out to be a lot of fun.

Day 23: Black and White Zentangle with India Ink
I painted on a flat wash of India Ink to create a contrasting background in the Zentangle tutorial.

Day 24: How to Draw Zentangle Pattern Bronx Cheer in Minimalist Style
In keeping with the minimalist theme, I’ve used a single Micron and graphite for shading a beginner Zentangle pattern.

Day 25: How to Draw Solar System Inspired Zentangle Art
I attempted to create a Zentangle art solar system. Disclaimer: my solar system is not to scale and I’m missing a couple of planets.

Day 26: How to Draw Easy Zentangle Flowers from Inkblots
I decided to put down some random black india ink blobs and turn them into abstract Zentangle flowers.

Day 27: How to Draw and Shade an Embossed Zentangle
A faux embossed look can be given to Zentangle art when shading and highlights are used to create the effect.

Day 28: How to Add Contrast to Zentangles with Masking
The prompt for today was “masking”. I used regular blue painter’s tape to mask the areas of the paper I wanted to preserve.

Day 29:  7 Easy Zentangle Patterns in 1 Zentangle
In all, there are seven Zentangle patterns in this piece: Xander and Printemps are used within the pattern Aquafleur and the larger composition is accented with Flux, Flooish, Fescue, and Springkle.

Day 30: Zentangle Zendala Step by Step
I pulled out my sepia colored Micron pens to create this Zentangle Zendala — or Zentangle inspired mandala. I coordinated with brown Micron pen to add a little bit of contrast to the tangle.

Day 31: Zentangle Tranzending
Tranzending is drawing on top of an already completed tile. The layered effect can add extra depth to your tangles and help hide parts of a tile you don’t like.

For more Zentangle patterns and tutorials, see my One Zentangle a Day video series.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Zentangle Folk Art: Day 41

Zentangle Folk Art: Day 41

About Zentangle Folk Art

The penultimate lesson for One Zentangle a Day is now complete! The lesson for Day 41 was to create Zentangle folk art using folk patterns. You can see those patterns in the art I created for the video. It includes wolf’s tooth, primrose, and pussy willow patterns plus a couple of others. All of them have symbolic meaning in traditional folk art.

I finally got my hands on a Helix circle and angle maker this week. My intent was to use them on Zendala art, but I was so excited to see how it worked that I just had to use it on this video. I can tell it is going to be my go-to tool for making Zendala (Zentangle mandala) tangles, and it only cost $5.

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But back to this Zentangle.

I also tried using my artist’s pencils for shading instead of the stubby little pencil that came with my original Zentangle kit. In the interest of time, I didn’t go all-out trying to make gradients for the Zentangle folk art piece, but I did enjoy working with a full-sized pencil. The brain tumor has impaired my fine motor skills enough that I really do benefit from have something substantial to hold on to. My hand cramps less and doesn’t fatigue as quickly — both good things for video making!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this tangle. Let me know what you’re creating these days.

Check out other posts in this series.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Day 40: Letters as Zentangle Strings

Day 40: Letters as Zentangle Strings

Sometimes when you have a chronic illness seemingly small things mean a LOT. That’s why I’m so proud of myself for publishing another Zentangle video. Today is One Zentangle a Day – Day 40. Freaking wow.

Day 40 of One Zentangle a Day focuses on using letters as strings to create Zentangle inspired art. For this exercise, I’ve chosen to tangle the letter A.

About Zentangle Strings

Last week I met with my new primary doctor. (It turns out she is wonderful, and I am so relieved. I will write more about the visit in a future post.) One of the things she asked me: was I willing to try was taking nortriptyline for chronic pain?

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I said yes, but I’ll be honest. It didn’t go well. And I remembered why I stopped taking it back in 2016 before my brain tumor diagnosis: it takes my illness-related chronic fatigue from a from a 4 to about a 28 on a scale of 1 to 10. And that’s on a good day!

So I worked on this Zentangle trying to push really hard through a drug-induced haze. And, honestly, I think it shows in the final product. It was still a valuable exercise to create this tangle, but it was more of a “learn what you don’t want to repeat next time” kind of experience for me. I think the lesson here is that cancer or no cancer, we’re all going to have off days. Part of learning how to Zentangle is learning how to be okay with imperfection.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video for what it is, and I hope you see in it something you like or would like to change and you just run with. If you Instagram your art, leave me a comment with your username so I can be sure to follow you there.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Zentangle Pattern Warmth: Day 37

Zentangle Pattern Warmth: Day 37

I’m no Bob Ross, but I like to think that posting these doodle art videos will be relaxing and maybe even inspiring for some of you. This One Zentangle a Day practice has helped me clear my head and distract myself from all the yucky things I torture myself by thinking about during the day. Let’s look at Zentangle pattern Warmth.

Day 37 of One Zentangle a Day includes the Zentangle pattern Warmth. The Zentangle inspired art created today once again uses an official Zentangle tile and the same alcohol-based markers I used for day 36.

Even though it’s not the most complicated or intricate of Zentangle patterns, I’m very happy with how this turned out. I have a feeling that the pattern combinations I used on today’s tile might find their way into some other larger projects I take on down the road.

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I’ve been reading up a little on Zentangling and the creators of the practice. I learned that they actually have training seminars so enthusiasts can become certified teachers. Even if I could, I don’t think I’d want to teach Zentangle, but I’m a little interested in going through the workshops just for the sake of learning if they’re ever offered near me.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Zentangle-Inspired Mandala Art: Day 35

Zentangle-Inspired Mandala Art: Day 35

For Day 35, we’re practicing our third and final Zendala, which is Zentangle-inspired mandala art. The outline for this Zentangle was taken straight from Beckah Krahula’s book One Zentangle a Day: a 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun, in case you were wondering why how I got it to look so symmetrical. The answer is — I traced it.

I highly recommend the book, by the way, if you are wanting to learn to Zentangle or if even you’re a Zentangle master just looking for inspiration to get back into a daily practice. You can just look at the pictures and tear through the exercises with abandon, or you read each carefully constructed lesson and really dig into the whats and whys and hows of the art.

I’ve been trying to post each of my videos here on the blog, so check out the Zentangles topic if you’d like to have a glance at what else I’ve created during this series. As always, I hope you’ll like and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re enjoying these videos. That lets YouTube know you like my channel and it helps other people find it through search and related content suggestions.

Zentangle Zendala Tile: Day 34

Zentangle Zendala Tile: Day 34

For Day 34, we’re practicing another Zentangle Zendala tile. A Zendala is a combination of Zentangle- and mandala-inspired art. What I like about them is the symmetry you can achieve by outlining a basic 360-degree pattern and then filling it in.

The Zendala I created for today’s lesson has a very geometric look to it, but you could just as easily use more organic, flowing patterns to give the art a softer more flower-like appearance.

In fact, I’d suggest making several copies of the basic outline in a sketchbook and then trying several different approaches to filling them in. The ‘Tangler in me really wants to fill every page of a notebook with the same basic outline and see how many different Zendalas I can create. Because some days, when my hands are too cramped or my pain is off the charts, I like to just flip through the library of art I’ve created. I promise it’s every bit as relaxing as actually drawing the art. Maybe even more so.

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Anyway, I wanted to add color to today’s piece, so I went for a more simplified design this time around and used my Bianyo alcohol-based markers. I’m still learning how to select a good color palette, so I’m not crazy about the end result here, but I don’t hate it either.

Want to try your hand at creating your own Zentangles? I recommend Beckah Krahula’s book One Zentangle a Day: A 6 Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun. For pattern ideas, check out my post Zentangle Inspired Doodles.

Zentangle Zendala: Day 33

Zentangle Zendala: Day 33

For Day 33, we’re practicing a Zentangle Zendala, which is Zentangle inspired mandala art. At the request of one of my patrons, I’m slowing things down a bit and offering you what I hope to be a super relaxing and satisfying Zentangle video.

Because this video is real time, it’s a several minutes longer than other other videos I’ve created in this series. But hopefully you’ll find it’s well worth the watch time. If you like it, you can thank my friend Becky for her support and the video suggestion! And remember, if you’re pressed for time, you can always speed up any video by manually changing the playback rate through the YouTube interface. (Click the ‘Settings’ wheel on the bottom of the video and choose the playback speed you prefer.)

I’ve been enjoying creating this series for you guys. Putting these videos online is giving me an opportunity to pick up some new skills in addition to practicing art. For one, I’m learning some very basic video editing skills with Shotcut, but I’m learning the basics of growing a YouTube channel. Starting a channel from scratch helps me appreciate how truly effortless my favorite art YouTubers make this stuff look. There is so much that goes into creating video content, but so much more that goes into marketing, sharing, and optimizing those videos for search. Because if your videos don’t come up in a search, new people can’t find the stuff you worked so hard to create.

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So, having said all that, I hope you’ll consider giving my videos a like on YouTube and subscribing to my channel. Every time you interact with my content, it lets the YouTube algorithms know that people are engaged. And that means they’ll suggest my videos to other people interested in Zentangle art. And *that* means I’ll be able to connect with other fans of the practice.

Zentangle Video: Day 32

Zentangle Video: Day 32


Y’all, I am so excited about today’s video. If you have seen any of the previous videos in this series, you know that I’m basically a video editing n00b. I am just learning as I go and hoping that with each day comes a little improvement in the quality of my One Zentangle a Day series of YouTube videos. Today’s Zentangle video feels like a personal breakthrough, and it’s exciting to see my own progress!

Some days that improvement just translates into me getting through the video editing process a little quicker. Other days, it means trying out new music or experimenting with voiceovers and all the editing that requires.

Today, I was playing around in Shotcut software, and I tried laying two (Yes, TWO!) background audio tracks. One is a lovely little classical number and the second is a forest full of birds chirping and singing.

Pairing the two audio tracks resulted in the most soothing, satisfying Zentangle video I’ve produced to date. I want to watch it over and over, which is uncommon for me. Normally I cringe all the way through these things on playback.

Anyway, I don’t know if this will be your cup of tea or not, but I hope it is. Thanks for watching today’s Zentangle video, an I will catch you in the next one.

Happy tangling!

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