Easy to Draw Zentangles

Easy to Draw Zentangles

It’s easy to draw Zentangles. And there are so many patterns to try. In addition to HQ’s original patterns, CZTs around the world have created beautiful patterns too.

Zentangles are easy to draw

Zentangle patterns are repetitive and meditative, meaning it doesn’t take years of practice to start reaping the benefits. Each time you draw a pattern, you add it to your repertoire. Like making words from letters, you can make gorgeous art one pen stroke at a time.

Zentangling is empowering

With Zentangle, you decide what to draw. The patterns start and stop wherever you want them too or wherever your string takes you. You decide whether to plan a composition, randomly draw patterns from a hat, or let your hand draw intuitively.

There’s no right way to draw, and no wrong way to draw. And because there are no mistakes, you have the opportunity to create what brings you joy. The power is all yours.

Bijou Tile Zentangle Pattern Floral Waves
Floral Waves by Svetlana Krasnobay
Bijou Tile Zentangle Pattern Pineple
Pineple by Mei Hua Teng, CZT
Bijou Tile Zentangle Pattern Heartlock
Heartlock by Candace Mok

Start with the patterns you like

Sometimes hobbies just come more naturally when you enjoy them. Like sports and exercise, you probably won’t keep at anything long if you don’t like it. Some of my early favorites—like Floral Waves, Pineple, and Heartlock—felt easy to draw because they were created with simplicity in mind, but they have an intricate aesthetic when they’re complete. You might think they’re too difficult to learn at first glance.

You’ll find tutorials for these three Zentangles and more than 50 others in my 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns for Beginners playlist. (Patterns are curated by theme into groups of 9 tangles for each video.)

For more patterns, see the ABCs of Zentangle.

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.

5 Types of Meditative Art for Anxiety

5 Types of Meditative Art for Anxiety

Before I list my favorite types of meditative art, we really should have a mutual understanding of what it is.

My working definition is this: meditative art is anything creative that brings you into the present moment and keeps you from focusing on past trauma or future worries. (The stuff that makes us anxious.)

For this post I will be discussing visual art.

divine dove Zentangle with colored pencil on kraft notebook paper

What are the benefits of meditative art? Well, I’m glad you asked. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, meditative art can bring clarity and help you examine your emotions, express yourself, and find a sense of freedom and empowerment. However, anxiety is something I know really well.

Zentangle Art

As a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) it should come as no surprise that the Zentangle Method is my favorite form of meditative art. It involves drawing repetitive patterns on small tiles. The folks at Zentangle Inc. have a great YouTube channel if you’d like to give it a try. They are currently doing a 21-day series focused on mental health. You can also learn more about ‘tangling in my guide for beginners.

Neurographic Art

Neurographic art is another meditative art form that can reduce anxiety. In many ways it is similar to Zentangle, but there aren’t patterns to learn, just rounded intuition-guided lines and shapes. Creating neurographic art emphasizes intuition, actually. For a great introduction and turorial, I recommend this video by Jules White.

Mandala Art

In ancient Sanskrit, mandala means “circle.” In art, a mandala is a geometric design or radial pattern that grows symmetrically from the center. The Zentangle Zendala is loosely based on the Mandala, though Zendalas may or may not be symmetrical like a Mandala. The repetition is what makes it meditative. To try your hand at making Mandala art, explore Mandala Drawing for Beginners from Tombow.

Abstract Art

Not all abstract art is meditative, but it has the potential to be because it doesn’t attempt to represent reality. The goal with abstract art is to reach people through forms, shape, color, and texture. But if you’re thinking about what you want to create, you might be missing out on the meditative qualities of making art. Like with neurographic techniques, relying on your intuition will serve you well. Try this video tutorial from Deco Art.

Adult Coloring

Before I became a CZT, I colored. Then, after my dad died, I found it was easier to get to sleep if I watched ZucchiniKitty’s coloring tutorials. From filling abstract shapes with marker to coloring intricate lineart with professional pencils, there’s something truly enjoyable, meditative, and liberating about leaving the drawing to someone else and focusing on the art of color. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite ZucchiniKitty tutorials.

Media Swatching

The first thing I want to do when I get new supplies is swatch them. Professional artists swatch everything for obvious reasons, but the act of swatching is itself meditative, and—to me at least—it’s one of the most satisfying forms of art I can think of. You don’t need a tutorial for this one. Just take the art supplies you already have lying around and have at it!

Meditative art can benefit everyone. I hope you’ll explore and find something that brings you joy, sparks your creativity, and gives you peace in this present moment.

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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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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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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.

Addressing Zentangle Criticism

I’ve come across a fair amount of Zentangle criticism since I started tangling, and I’d like to address some of it.

Bold Zentangle featuring drama tangles on s Zentangle string created by HQ for CZT training

Sometimes people who’d like to give it a try are discouraged from exploration when they see others’ misgivings. I’m compelled to offer my perspective and a few rebuttals in the event anyone cares what I think.

Some people genuinely don’t like Zentangle, and that’s absolutely fair. If everyone liked the same things, what would even be the point? I’ve not met every CZT on the planet, but the ones I do know are perfectly fine not force-feeding people patterns and making everyone draw.

Different strokes (pun intended) and all.

Zentangle Patterns are just things I doodled in high school.

Yes, that is almost entirely the point. If Zentangle Patterns were overly complicated people might give up, the practice wouldn’t be enjoyable, and CZTs would throw up their hands in exasperation and be like, “Screw this. I’m out.”

Those who want a Lamborghini don’t tend to find them at Ford dealerships. People who want an advanced art class will probably have to look elsewhere.

Zentangle is accessible for kids, adults, and seniors. Heck maybe your cat can do it too. Enjoy Zentangle. Or don’t. It’s your decision, and we all want you to find something you enjoy (if for no reason than you might be distracted and leave us alone.)

Zentangle Pattern Molygon from CZT training day 3

I don’t like that CZT.

When I first started making YouTube videos, I criticized Trump and got blowback from a Trumper in the comments. A few people also leave cranky-pants feedback because I don’t make content tailored specifically to their preferences, without knowing at all how hard it is for me to make a video while simultaneously drawing and brain tumoring.

Seriously. Internet strangers have had problems with me since 1995, and I don’t anticipate that changing. Ever.

But however personable I am (or am not) and whatever my politics, I want everyone to know loathing me is not a sound reason to refuse to explore something as enjoyable as Zentangling.

Passing on Zentangle because a specific CZT turns you off is like not eating because you don’t like broccoli. In Zentangle, as in life, find your people.

Supplies cost too much.

I’m no stranger to the unaffordable, but I try to think about it like this: small businesses need to turn a profit to pay themselves and employees. If that means I can’t afford it, I can’t. It’s not a personal insult when something is out of my price range or feels like an unjustifiable splurge.

I mean, I think people who spend $50 to get their nails done when they could be buying a Project Pack are missing out on a bargain. That’s just me, though. You do you.

Zentangle Pattern Tripoli on White Zentangle Tile

The Zentangle Method feels religious.

Confession time. I don’t always take time out to do the gratitude thing when I Zentangle. If it makes you squirm, skip the part of the video that feels like woo to you. Zone out if you’re in a class at the library. Or decide that Zentangle isn’t your thing. As long as you’re not stealing someone else’s moment of Zen, we all just want you to be happy.

Bottom line is if you want to try it, I hope you will. Despite any criticism. Decide for yourself if you like it or you don’t.

9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

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.

Get started now

Free videos: 9 Easy Zentangle Patterns

One Zentangle Page a Day

One Zentangle Page a Day

I spent the entirety of this weekend working on my website. Things went well until I broke a couple of pages, including my How to Draw Zentangles: One Zentangle a Day page.

Luckily (or not) I had a single small cup of coffee yesterday morning and was awake all freaking night anyway. So I fixed it.

And by fixed it, I mean I started over from scratch. I’m slow and inefficient, but I didn’t want the page to be down longer than necessary. I’m trying to pay bills, and I need search engines to send traffic my way.

Hopefully How to Draw Zentangles: One Zentangle a Day (yes, that’s a clunky sentence but I need the keyword and my brain is mush) is slightly better now. It was really getting bogged down while trying to load far too many embedded Zentangle videos from YouTube.

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Plus, it was probably just time for a refresh. No one needs all 42 series videos on my site. It is literally YouTube’s job to host them.

I’m doing all these refreshes and tweaks and updates from my phone because I am still struggling to use my right (dominant hand) to control and click a computer mouse. Yes, my muscles are that weak.

It’s not ideal, but it’s possible. So I’m rolling with it.

I hope to revamp some more Zentangle webpages here soon, but some of the ideas I have are too big to implement without help, and I don’t think I can explain what I want or how to do it without utterly exhausting myself. And, at that point, why not just do it myself?

That’s the story of my life. The inability to delegate. So I’ll take it slow and maybe try to update One Zentangle page a day. Wish me luck or something.

Zentangles and Other Signs of Life

Zentangles and Other Signs of Life

One of the ways I can tell I’m feeling better is that I am getting things done again. That includes posting a new Zentangle video that went live this morning. Also I’m already thinking about new ones to create. Signs of life.

My hands are unsteady and my grip feels weird, but I did it. Taking a few minutes to watch this helps my channel, especially after a long hiatus like I took following my dad’s death and then doing more chemo a few months later. So, if you like Zentangles or just want to help a girl out, here you go:

These are actually the first nine patterns in the Project Pack 10, L5 spread. Sometimes what I need to do is go back to the basics. Anyway, if you’d like to take a look at the original videos from Zentangle HQ, you can find them here: Zentangle YouTube Channel.

I plan to film Part 2 soon, but I have to make sure I take some time off to take care of me and ordinary life things, and that requires being very intentional about how I spend my time. So check back here or subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to know when the next video drops.

Thanks for supporting me and my channel.

More later, kids!

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