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The Ultimate Guide to Zentangle Art Form

The Ultimate Guide to Zentangle Art Form

Zentangle art is an American drawing technique known to encourage focus, imagination, and increase personal well-being. It is ideal both for beginners and ardent hobby artists. 

Hence, in today's blog, we will introduce the Zentangle Method & art form, it's benefits, Zentangle art supplies, and how to draw a Zentangle. 


What is Zentangle Art? 

With unique shapes, Zentangle is easy to understand, soothing, and a fun way to make stunning pictures. 

The term Zentangle can be broken down into two words: Zen & Tangle. Zen is a state of mind where any emotion or thought does not bind you. The created patterns are referred to as "tangles" and are mixtures of dots, lines, basic curves and orbs. These shapes are the 'elemental strokes' of a Zentangle art piece. 



You draw on 9x9cm (3.5-inch square) paper pieces or tile for the sake of convenience, to decrease the difficulty of the drawing process. These small white tiles then can be assembled into one large mosaic of the Zentangle masterpiece.

You will see your success within a brief amount of time through numerous patterns (like strokes or waves). But before we move on to know how to draw a Zentangle, let's have a look at Zentangle art history. 


How was Zentangle Art invented? 

The founders of Zentangle Art are Rick Roberts - a monk, and Maria Thomas - an artist. 

At art fairs, Rick and Maria sold prints of Maria's botanical drawings. Maria would inscribe each botanical she sold. According to their story, customers would watch her inscribe them and get overwhelmed when they saw her exquisite lettering surface on the page and screamed how they wished they could do what she did.

After some time, on a peaceful Saturday afternoon in fall, 2003, Rick disrupted Maria in her studio where she was drawing patterns to the backdrop of a sizable gold-plated letter. 

Just before he had interrupted her, Maria experienced selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness, and a rich absorption in what she was doing. She shared her experience with Rick, and he said, "You are defining Meditation."

As Rick and Maria explored what had just happened, they noticed that the beautiful patterns behind the gold-leafed letter were easy to draw, unlike the specific letter types. They then recalled all those who aspired to be artistic, but could not spend the time required to become an expert lettering artist. They would enjoy learning how to draw these patterns, maybe. 

And so, the Zentangle method came into existence. The drawings made through the Zentangle method are Zentangle art forms.


What is the Zentangle Method?

Roberts and Thomas developed eight stages of the Zentangle Method. You practice your imagination as well as indulge in self-care by pursuing them. The Zentangle method forms the base of the Zentangle art form. The eight steps are:


Gratitude and appreciation

Be in the moment and be grateful for your art supplies and tools, and the time for something to create.


Corner dots

Don't be afraid of the blank page. They direct you to place a 'light pencil dot' in each corner of the square paper which is a pen's width away from the edges. 



Connect the dots to create a square. 



Make 'strings' to divide the square border. These 'strings' are nothing but simple lines that can be curvy or straight. 



A sequence of simple strokes that result in a pattern is called a tangle. Within the strings and borders, draw these elements. When you make your strokes, be intentional, and concentrate on the pen as you do so. They write "Trust that you'll know what to do next, when the time to do it comes." 



With a graphite pencil, apply shades of grey to offer the tile contrast and depth. The black and white two-dimensional tangles transform by coloring and become three-dimensional. To soften and mix the graphite, you should also use a tortillion (a paper mixing stump).


Initial and sign your work

That's the Zentangle art you have made. You should sign it. On the front, place your initials. Place your name, dates, remarks, and thoughts on the back.



Hold your artwork and rotate it around. Enjoy and appreciate what you have created. 


What is so unique about Zentangle Art? 

Zentangle is not about sketches that are good or bad. It is not a matter of right or wrong. The drawing itself is all that matters. Zentangle is also a recognized treatment in the United States to achieve therapeutic experiences for depressed patients.

Many disorders like the following can be treated using this art form, 

  • anxiety
  • sleep disorders
  • stress
  • hyperactivity
  • addiction problems
  • concentration disturbance


What is the difference between Zentangle & Doodle Art? 

A doodle or scribble is done while you are doing something else. For example, you are in a class, and you scribble or doodle little patterns in the corner of your page. This happens without any thought. But when it comes to Zentangle, it's otherwise. 

You reflect on the painting process, which is why you sketch with considerable focus with more deliberate efforts.


How to Draw a Zentangle? 

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to draw a zentangle, 

  1. Take a 9*9 CM or 3.5*3.5 Inch piece of paper or a prefabricated tile.
  2. On the surface, make corner dots. Link these dots through a straight or curved line. 
  3. Divide this border by drawing a string into smaller pieces (stroke). It may be either smooth or curved.
  4. Start now by drawing your first tangle. You can switch to a fineliner from a pencil. Do not change the pencil if you're still a little confused. Start by filling the respective areas with your choice of patterns. The narrower the fields, the faster the drawing.
  5. You can eventually decorate your tiles with colours, or even choose a particular colour.


Art Supplies You Need To Zentangle: 

King's Framing & Art Gallery has been there for all your artistic needs since the last 12 years. So, when it comes to shopping for your Zentangle art supplies, we are a top choice. 



Graphite Pencils

Tombow Mono Professional Drawing Pencils

The Professional quality pencil for drawing and drafting is a favorite among many artists and illustrators because of its superior extra-refined, high-density graphite, smear-proof lines, and high point strength.

General's Primo Euro Charcoal Pencils

These are beautiful to create a form with blending stumps. Handmade in small batches with rich, organic blacks to achieve intense drawing tones and values, Euro Blend™ Charcoal is a creamy, rich, premium charcoal drawing formula that can be used alone, or in combination with other charcoal, graphite, pastels, or mixed media.




Shop for a wide variety of Zentangle Tile set, Pen Tile sets at great discounts. The Pigma Professional Ink Brush Markers have durable brush nibs responding to instant changes in pressure or direction with a silky smooth, accurate, and consistent ink flow. The deep black, archival quality Pigma® ink ensures the mark will last a lifetime.

Micron Pigma Archival Individual Pen Markers

The Pigma® Micron is a fine-point drawing and illustration pen that utilizes the highest quality archival formula -known as Pigma ink.

Derwent Graphik Line Marker Pens

The Derwent Graphik Line Maker pens are fine liners used for drawing, sketching, illustration and design. Available in three colour ranges, black, graphite, and sepia, the pens are filled with high-quality, water-based, lightfast pigment ink and their Japanese nibs come in a total of six sizes. You can also shop for coloured Derwent Graphik Line Marker Pens

Gelly Roll Gold Shadow 5 Piece Set

Gelly Roll Gold Shadow™ writes in two tones: gold metallic outlined by a contrasting gel ink colour. This golden, shimmery gel ink is perfect for events, invitations, handmade cards, lettering templates, and drawings.


Canson XL Recycled (Fold Over) Sketch Pad, 3.5" X 5.5"

These pads are ideal for quick sketches with pencil, charcoal, pastel, or felt-tip pen. Each pad contains multiple sheets of acid-free paper made from 100% recycled cellulose that is alkaline-buffered and contains no optical brighteners.

Super Deluxe 6" X 6" 93 Lb. (150 Gsm) - 60 Sheet

The only sketchbook you'll ever need! Heavyweight 93 lb. (150 gsm) NpH archival quality drawing paper is well-rounded for mixed media. This natural white sheet has two distinct surfaces. The top side of the sheet has a tooth for dry media and works well as a cold pressed watercolour sheet. The bottom side is fabulous with pen and ink and works well as a hot-pressed sheet for watercolour and other mixed media. This size is perfect and they can just tear the pages out as they complete or leave as a Zentangle journey 

These Strathmore would be great for Zentangle like the Vision watercolour pad, Toned Mixed media pads (300 g/m2), and Strathmore 500 Series Heavyweight Mixed Media Pads (570 g/m2) and cards. The printmaking cards are also great for dry media Zentangle. 

With these, you might also need accessories like erasers, sharpeners, Art Blending Stumps, and other drawing accessories that you can easily get at King's. 

It's the new year, and it's the perfect time to try a new art form like Zentangle. 

So, get creative and make a Zentangle.

And don't forget to shop at your favorite art store, King's Framing & Art Gallery! 

Happy heART to you!


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