It seems that colouring in isn’t just for little ones, beautifully intricate and ornate illustration coloring books for adults are rising in popularity, with the art form of Zentangle becoming increasingly popular.
It’s a great way of relaxing the mind and body, and at the same time creating something beautiful that you could display in your home . . .
How to Draw Zentangle Patterns
A zentangle is an abstract drawing, which is created using repetitive patterns to fill your paper. They are traditionally drawn onto white paper using black pen within a small square. They were designed to make drawing accessible to everyone and to relax and calm the mind whilst making them, acting as a form of artistic meditation. You don’t have to be a skilled artist to create a zentangle, anybody can make one!
A true zentangle should be drawn within a 3.5-inch square but you can use any size of paper to draw one. With your pen and paper in front of you start your zentangle by drawing a series of lines. A zentangle should be completely unplanned, so draw your lines wherever you like and don’t use a ruler! Make them curvy or straight and create interesting shapes by overlapping and joining them.
If you want to make your drawing more structured you could pick an object or form to fill with pattern. This isn’t considered to be a true zentangle as you are introducing an element of planning into your design, however it is a fun way to incorporate the techniques. For example, I drew the outline of a bird to create my zentangle-inspired image (see below). I then drew shapes within its body and flowers surrounding it that I then filled with pattern.
Think about the marks you are making and instead of erasing any rogue strokes, use them to create a new pattern; this is what makes a zentangle completely unexpected and random. This is also why you should use a black pen and not a pencil!
When you have your shapes and areas drawn you are ready to fill them in! Using an array of different patterns, fill the sections of your zentangle until you feel you are finished. The patterns follow no rules so you can literally draw anything you like; wavy lines, checkerboard, fish scales, dots, zigzags, triangles, paisley, floral, spots, lines, diamonds etc. If you look closely at my bird drawing you can see that each section is filled with a different pattern.
The main thing is just to relax, have fun and see where the pen takes you!
A little something to get you started . . .
Simply download and start colouring!