Book Review: One Zentangle a Day

Book Review: One Zentangle a Day

In 2018, I began my doodle art journey with the book One Zentangle a Day by artist Beckah Krahula. I’d seen some videos here and there of people turning meditative patterns into gorgeous art, and I thought to myself it looked like fun—drawing for the pure joy of it. Maybe, I thought, I could learn to Zentangle too.

Enamored with the oddly satisfying doodle art videos I’d watched on YouTube after my adjuvant cancer treatments, I decided to record my daily lessons along the way. I tried new patterns and then put them together. The results were not great at first. As I learned and improved, I realized I was also creating a really thorough review of the book.

So, if after this written review of One Zentangle a Day, you’re still undecided, there are 42 more videos on my YouTube channel to help you.

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Price

$10.49* (Amazon)

Pros

One Zentangle a Day is great for self-paced learning. The lessons are easy to complete and leave you with a sense of accomplishment each day. Explanations are detailed without being cumbersome, and the examples for using the patterns to create your own art are inspiring.

  • Structured daily lessons
  • Detailed text accompanying illustrations
  • More than 50 patterns
  • Step-by-step drawing instructions
  • Inspiring examples

Cons

I might be slightly biased, because it was my first foray into the world of Zentangle, but it seems to me this book has everything. Well, except the pens and paper you need to get started with Zentangle doodle art.

  • It’s square and doesn’t fit nicely on my bookshelf

Videos

If you don’t mind spoilers, watch the videos in my One Zentangle a Day YouTube playlist. You’ll get a brief glimpse at some of the pages, and a chance to see how I approached the 6-week course.

Bottom line: my review of One Zentangle a Day is glowing, and I highly recommend it. Not only is it a fun way to learn to Zentangle, but it’s a great reference for when you need to go back to a pattern or want some ideas for creating your own Zentangle-inspired art.

Here are some of the Zentangles I created while following the lessons in One Zentangle a Day.

I plan to continue doing Zentangle book reviews as I have time and money. If there’s a book you’d like to see me prioritize, you can leave a comment with your suggestion or gift a book from my wishlist.

* At time of post publishing.

This post contains affiliate links.

Zentangle Pattern Bijou Tile Gallery

Zentangle Pattern Bijou Tile Gallery

Close-up tiles from my YouTube series videos. Which pattern will you draw next?

Thanks for browsing the Zentangle Pattern Bijou Tile Gallery! If you want more patterns to try, watch the ABCs of Zentangle Playlist.

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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.

Shop Zentangle Sets

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.

10 Zentangle Benefits for Cancer Patients

10 Zentangle Benefits for Cancer Patients

As a brain tumor survivor, I want everyone I know to try meditative art. It’s fun, but there’s even more to it. I mean, if oncology nurses reported Zentangle’s a good stress reliever in a pilot study, there must be Zentangle benefits for cancer patients too. And what about caregivers? Maybe we all need a little Zentangle in our lives.

Zentangle Pattern Molygon from CZT training day 3
Molygon pattern from CZT training

Calms Anxiety

Focusing on learning new Zentangle patterns is a way to take a break from worry. You deserve that respite, and when you Zentangle your mind just naturally drifts away from the things that cause you to dwell on your anxietes.

Distracts from the Pain

No matter if your pain is caused by the cancer itself or the treatment, concentrating on your Zentangle can distract from the stuff that hurts. Giving you something pleasing to focus on is one of the greatest benefits of Zentangle.

Passes Time

Having cancer can be lonely. Sometimes you just need to pass the time and Zentangling is a great way to do that. Plus at the end you have something nice to look at that you created. You can hang on to your art, or you can give it away.

Increases Gratitude

Taking a little time to appreciate our supplies—and the practice of Zentangle itself—is good for the soul. It’s easy to get caught up thinking about how terrible everything is while forgetting the good stuff is still there too. 

String taught by Sandhya Manne

Strengthens Family Bonds

Like a tabletop game, Zentangle gives you the opportunity to bond with the ones you love. When you’re done you can appreciate what each of you have created and there’s no age limit—kids, parents, and grandparents can all participate. 

Connects You with Patients

If you’re looking for something social to do at the infusion clinic, why not try Zentangle? You can learn new patterns or try a YouTube tutorial while you wait on that IV bag to empty.

Reduces Stress

Every part of having cancer is stressful. From commuting to treatments to wondering how you’re going to pay the bills, Zentangle can give you a break from all of that. It’s like, as the book is aptly titled, Yoga for Your Brain.

Bijou Zentangle Pattern Arukas
Arukas Zentangle Pattern

Provides Enjoyment

Drawing and doodling are two very therapeutic and enjoyable activities. The brain naturally relaxes when you do something creative like Zentangle.

Flexes Creativity

The human brain needs to be creative,  but cancer fatigue and chemo brain can make that difficult. Zentangle doesn’t require elaborate sketching or planning. You just go with it and see where each Zentangle pattern takes you.

Combats Insomnia

Whether your meds, the nausea, or the worry are keeping you up at night, you can occupy your time with meditative art. And because you don’t need an elaborate studio or fancy supplies, you can Zentangle in bed or from the comfort of your favorite chair.

I’m a huge fan of Zentangle obviously, and I recommend it to almost everyone I know. It’s great for cancer patients or anyone who needs a little break from the stress of life.

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Free videos: 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

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