Showing posts from January, 2010

Zentangle tangles: Two new tangle links

Both Suzanne McNeil and Sandy Bartholomew have posted new tangle patterns.

Black-eyed Peas from Suzanne and Punch from Sandy.  They're both great (the tangles and the teachers!).

Suzanne McNeil's zentangles and books

I've discovered another website from a certified zentangle teacher, who is sharing tangle patterns.  I was only able to find three, though the last one is numbered 4.

She's written a couple of zentangle books as well.  I've used up my budget for this month, but these are on my list.  If any one has seen these books, please let me know what you think of them.

Raffle Pair-Sun. Feb 14

Raffle Pair-Sun. Feb 14
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas And the winner is--HEINANI! Congratulations!

I just got back from the Oregon coast, and I'm feeling so good, I have to give something away!

I'm raffling off two 6x6 drawings on vellum bristol. Done with Koh-i-noor rapidosketch & and white gellyroll over Acrylic wash.

To enter the raffle, please leave a comment here with an email that I can use to contact you, if you win.  If you are unable to leave a comment, please email me at and let me know you would like to be included.

Good luck, and let the raffle begin!!!

My tangle patterns:Hoodwink

Bright white and deep red.  The sliced apple has a bold and striking appearance.  How could you not want one or two in your zentangles?
I also wanted to show off the cool ATC sized tangle cards I got from Sandra Bartholomew's zazzle site.  They were on sale for half price (not sure the sale is still on, sorry). 

They're an excellent quality--a slick surface that allows a sharp, crisp line.  The steps boxes are a little small for complicated patterns.  She has a larger size available for tangles like that. 
I love 'em.  I've already used up about 40 of them!

My tangle patterns:Caffeine

It's a jolt, it's a slap in the face, it's a wake me up in the morning.  Sometimes it gives you energy; sometimes it just gives you the jitters.

Either way, it's all good for your zentangle.

Zenny Snowman-Example art

Zenny Snowman
Originally uploaded by Focus_
You wouldn't look at this and say zentangle, but it is zentangle-integrated. Marta Myska has used the tangles 'Keeko', 'Wadical', 'Striping', and my pattern 'Lacy' to create a fantastic, whimiscal snowman.

Patterns are everywhere. Zentangles reduce the world to abstract pattern, but tangles can also be used to create a very realistic drawing.

My tangle patterns:Nisqually, Neskowin, Netarts

It's amazing how little it takes to make a whole new pattern from a common beginning.

My tangle patterns:Beams

Have you ever studied the beauty of a timber frame ceiling?  It's a simple design, that calls up images of sunshine and shadow.

My tangle patterns:Ornamental

More fractured geometry.  The loops just keep repeating themselves over and over, and they are beautiful!

My tangle patterns:Dimples

I was looking at a golfball, and thought--what a simple pattern.  Nonetheless, Dimples will brighten up your zentangle and add movement.

My tangle patterns:Goosewing

Wild geese silhouetted against the evening sky are a beautiful sight.  Up close, their feathers are equally beautiful, and elegantly patterned.

By layering the feathers, you create a nice sense of depth.

My tangle patterns:Rosewood

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas This pattern reminds me of inlaid wood. I used to have a rosewood box with a similar pattern..

This tangle adds a touch of elegance that will draw you in.

My tangle patterns:Vortex

A vortex is an irresistable force of nature.  You can't see it without feeling the urge to travel to it's center.
A vortex in your zentangle will draw the viewer's eye.
Start each line on a side at a corner of the box, and draw it across the side.  That is what creates the darkness at the center. 

Example of the Vortex pattern.

Example of 'Squid' tangle

Squid is a fantastic tangle pattern.  I thought it desrved a zen all on it's own.

The beautiful watercolor background was given to me by flowerlady56.  Her work is growing more awesome by the day!

The Squid tangle pattern can be found at Beez in the Belfrey.

Meta post on naming tangle patterns at Beez in the Belfrey

Sandra Bartholomew has written an interesting post on the reasons for funky tangle names. Well worth reading if you've ever wondered why they chose they chose that name for that pattern.

Inspiration Pays a Visit

My tangle patterns:Jester

In times past, the Jester was the Fool that reminded the King he was human.  He'd entertain and play tricks to amuse.

The Jester pattern creates an optical illusion to fool the mind. Adding it to your zentangle will amuse and entertain both yourself and viewers.

Here is a work in progress showing the JESTER pattern.

My tangle patterns:Appaloosa

The wildly spotted coat of the Appaloosa conjures up visions of rugged landscapes, the wild west, war parties. 
This striking pattern will add a bold splash of excitement to your zentangle.
Spread the blanket where-ever you want--top, bottom, on the sides.   Go wild with the spots.  Tiny dots, wild splotches. No appaloosa is ever the same!

Zentangle using Wood-sere, Charm, Elegance and Flair

The Illustrated Story of Cosmic Puppy's search for the Bountiless Bone Pages 16-18. Other pages can be found at my FLICKR site.

I'm working in a 3.5 x 5.5 Moleskine Japanese style album with concertina style paper. When done, the zentanglewill be about 8 feet long!

My tangle patterns:Charm, Elegance & Flair

Simple structures often serve as the cornerstone of more ornate buildings.  Charm is simple, and a sweet little tangle in its own right.  But it can also serve as the base for Elegance and Flair.  One can only imagine how many variations could be created!

New tangle and sale at Beez in the Belfrey

Sandra Bartholomew has posted a new tangle, 'Squid', at Beez in the Belfrey.  It's so-o-o cool!

There is also a 50% sale on her 100 pack tangle-trading cards.  They are cards with boxes for drawing your own tangle patterns.  I'm not sure how long the sale lasts and I had a little difficulty getting the code to work correctly so make sure the price reflects the sales price, when you order.

My tangle patterns:Wood-sere

Dead leaves dancing in the wind. Snowflakes glittering in the moonlight. Trees silhoutted against a frosty sky.  Winter is a time of magic. 
Three is somewhat of a magic number in composition, the layout of an artistic piece, so I decided to use that to create a tree-like tangle. 

Each tree has three branches.  Each branch has three limbs.  Each limb has three shoots of its own.  Vary the length and direction, making sure you don't automatically make all the limbs increasingly smaller as you add limb to limb.

Wood-sere is more realistic than most tangle patterns.  It gives a stark, dramatic flair to your zentangle or zendoodle.  But if you wish a more abstract look, make your branches and limbs straighter. Bend your branches and limbs in square 90 degree angles.

Way Below the Ocean--Raffle ended 1/17/2010

This raffle was won by Margaret Storer-Roche on 1/17/2010.
Prize: This 6x6 drawing done on Mi-tientes paper with Gellyroll, Glaze, Souffle and Koh-i-nor pens.

Rules: Enter a comment telling me what you see in the drawing.  Be sure to leave a name and email where I can contact you, if you win.  If you have problems leaving a comment, please email me at or let me know at my Flickr site.  I'll make sure your name gets entered!

International players welcome.

A name will be drawn from the list of commenters on Sunday the 17th.


Originally uploaded by Margaret Storer-Roche
Margaret Storer-Roche loves cactuses, and draws them often.  In this piece, she uses LACY to complement her beautiful border.  The sharp edges of the pattern emphasize the prickly nature of the cactus.

You can see more of her beautiful works at her FLICKR photostream.

Lacy: Non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Tangle Pattern-Lacy
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas We've long sought to replicate the beautiful patterns of nature.
Throughout the ages, lacemakers have decorated clothing and beautified tabletops and fancied up their furniture with fluffy, delicate, or elegant streams of lace.
You can enhance your zentangles with a touch of LACY. This particular pattern makes me think of my Grandma's parlor.

For a look at fantastic laces and fabrics, visit  Geology Urban Fossil's FLICKR photostream.
 She finds old fabrics, and recreates them into modern treasures.

Link to Dex: New official tangle from

The January zentangle newsletter is out.  If you haven't subscribed to this free newsletter, you can find the latest one here:

It contains the tangle pattern 'DEX', with instructions for two different ways to create it, and an example of how shading can make a difference.

Stubs: Non-official Zentangle/ZIA tangle pattern

Stubs (was Nibs)
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Tangle patterns are everywhere, even in the art of others.

Jennifer Maestre is one artist that thinks outside the box--or rather, outside the drawing. Instead of using her pencils to sketch with, she cuts them up, and sews them into the most incredible creatures.

The minute I saw her work, I realized there was a tangle there, and STUBS was born.

It's a tangle with energy that will add pizzazz to your zentangle.

Buoy: Non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Sometimes you need a little help.

Buoy is a simple little doodle that adds zing to repetitive backgrounds such as pebbles, or KEEKO or YINCUT. It's a handy dandy lifesaver shape.

Underwater scene ATC-Traded

Underwater scene ATC-Traded
Originally uploaded by flowerlady56
I love sharing my zentangle zendoodle tangle patterns with people, and seeing what they do with them. No one does a tangle in exactly the same way.

Here is a gorgeous zentangle done by flowerlady56 using STUBS, VORTEX and BUOY from my patterns. She's using PRINTEMPS, HOLLIBAUGH, MSST and PEARLZ, which are official zentangle patterns, and a few patterns that I believe are her own.

She's using color to great effect, and I just love what she's done.

You can see more of her work at:

Sandra Bartholomew's Tangle of the week and Alphatangle book

Sandra Bartholomew is incredibly generous in sharing new patterns.  As a certified teacher, she shows some of the official zentangle patterns and some of her own incredible patterns.

This week, she has incorporated the tangle-of-the-week in a slide show of her studio.  Her studio is funky and lots of fun.  Well worth a click away to see it. 

Tangle of the week and studio tour of Sandra's studio:

And don't forget to check out her new book.  It may be sold out at the moment, but I suspect she'll have more available soon.  It's a terrific little book with great examples of approximately 100 tangles!  She isn't sharing the patterns in this book, but she's preparing a tangle pattern book that will be on sale soon!

Sandra Bartholomew's Alphatangle book:

Upwall: Non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas The mind is a funny thing. It takes clues from shadow and shape, size and detail, and interprets how big, how far, how deep.

You can fool the mind into believing there are three dimensional shapes and distance between objects by using shadow and detail.

Upwall is a fun little pattern that plays tricks with the mind.

What is a zentangle. How does it differ from a zendoodle?

Defining the zentangle can be difficult.  Information can be elusive, but it does exist.  Part of the elusiveness exists because a zentangle is different things.  It is a method of relaxation.  It is a patented name with a kit and specific patterns, paper, and pens.  It is a drawing done on a piece of paper.  There is zentangle-inspired art, and zentangle-integrated art, and there is zendoodling. 

I was confused, so a while back, I wrote to and asked what a zentangle was, and how it differed from a zendoodle.  Here is the reply:

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for writing.
Our core concept is to use a "string" which defines an area (this is usually done in pencil) and then that area is filled in with a repetitive pattern chosen from an existing list of patterns, or "tangles." There is much more, such as using good tools, not being concerned with up/down orientation, shading, etc. - much of which is on our website. Our string and tangle approach is an essence of Z…

Gasket & Carpet: 2 non-officialZentangle/ZIA patterns

Gasket & Carpet
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Triangles and Squares and Circles, oh my! The most basic of shapes become fragile and beautiful with fractal geometry.

Waclaw Sierpinski was a Polish mathmetician who described the properties of these two fractals. They are interesting both mathmatically and visually.

You can create a delicate, lacy effect in your zentangles by adding one of these wonders of nature to your work.

Crossroads: Non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas We all come to a crossroads sooner or later, forced to make a choice that will change our life.

This crossroads pattern isn't life-changing, but it is bold and striking and can change your zentangle in elegant ways.

Peacock Pride: Zentangle Inspired drawing

NFT-Peacock Pride
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas

Peacock Pride by Sandra Kay Strait aka Molossus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

I varied my peacock pattern for this zentangle inspired drawing.

8.25 x 5 moleskine sketch journal. Various artist and brush pens.

I've been drawing in various journals. The moleskine has a smooth finish and works wonderfully with both ink pens and brush pens.

Peacock: non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Peacocks are such silly birds but they know they are beautfiul, strutting slowly so all can admire their radiance.

This peacock feather isn't true to life, but it's frilly and soft and perfect for that last embellishment in a zentangle.

2 Feathers
A beautiful ATC
by Carolion.

You can see more of her work at:

Xpetal: non-official Zentangle/ZIA pattern

Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Fractal Geometry--math and image combine to crystalize patterns in rare and elegant designs. Each image twisting itself into spirals of mathmatically perfect repetition, over and over.

You don't need to be mathmatically perfect, or even understand the math, to use fractal designs in your zentangles. Just repeat an image a few times or until it fills the page.

Xpetal creates a lovely floral pattern that adds grace and beauty to your zentangle.

Leopard or Jaguar: non-official Zentangle/ZIA Pattern

Tangle Pattern -Leopard or Jaguar
Originally uploaded by molossus aka rooibas Big cats are the embodiment of grace and power. They glide through the jungle, their coats rippling over muscle.

The spot pattern of the leopard or jaguar makes a simple, but striking tangle that provides movement and power to a zentangle or Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA).

The spots on both cats are similar.  Just add a dot or two in the center of a leopard's spots, and they become jaguar.