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Sixth Day of Zentangle

"On the Sixth Day of Zentangle . . ."

On the sixth stroke of Zentangle
R and M produced, 
Tan squares a-dancing

It was early 2013, and all was good in Zentangle land. We were beyond busy with many projects but one idea kept coming back to us. People often asked,  "Why don't you use color?" 

This is a long conversation but our short answer is that we felt it interrupted focus, particularly for an early practitioner. You had to decide which color, where to put it, picking up the right pen, not mixing up the caps . . . Yikes! Of course, none of this is bad, it just changed the process. 

We also appreciate that over time your practice can develop and you have a desire to explore new territories and some of that may include new materials and color. After all, this is Zentangle and there are no mistakes. 

Back at Zentangle HQ we were trying to figure out how we wanted to introduce another layer of tangling for those ready to explore something more, but how?
In October of 2008, Rick and Maria created a body of Zentangle Art to display at a local art gallery. It was a beautiful spread of work and we had a lovely party to kick off the event. You can read and see pictures from it in this newsletter
After the show was over the work found a new home in Rick and Maria's home. Maria had created a series on wood veneer and on tan lokta paper. These drawings were eye catching because the tangles were drawn with blacks, browns and shades of grey and highlighted with white charcoal. 
To add light and dark lines to a mid-tone paper was a familiar technique of the great masters during the Renaissance. After a few years of walking by these drawings, we realized this would be our next tangling palette and surface. What a wonderful way to introduce some subtle bits of color in a way that is both classic and unexpected. 

There was a nice growth sequence involved here, too. On our initial white tile, you added darker lines and shading. On our black tile, you added lighter lines and highlights. Now, by using a mid-tone paper, you can add both lighter and darker lines together with shading and highlights.

We went to work right away to find the paper and tools. We found a beautiful 100% cotton mould made paper for the tiles and added a brown Micron pen and white charcoal pencil to our collection of tangling tools. With this combination of tools you can explore tangles in the tradition of the great Renaissance artists.

In November of 2013, we unveiled the Zentangle Renaissance Tile in the 3.5" square format.

Today, on this sixth day, we use that tile to introduce another new tangle. We call it, "toodles" and we think you will have fun with this one.

Project Pack 02.. Day 6

Rick Roberts


  • Another fun new tangle!

    AndreaR on

  • I wish we could do this all year. There’s a special feeling of connectedness with the entire Zentangle community.

    Susan on

  • Since beginning with a class on Zentangle I have been drawn in to this relaxing art and love every minute! Its made my hands more steady and allowed for a new passion in the winter of my life when new passions dont come as easy! Thank you all!

    Ellie on

  • I am having so much fun learning all of these designs and techniques. Last night I put a design on the front of a blank greeting card and today I am finishing up a small quilted wall hanging with a zentangle design printed on fabric as the focus!

    Shelley Bell on

  • I haven’t tried the tan tiles yet. Thanks for including them in the project packet.

    Debbie J on

  • Love this! Thank you for posting.

    Tisha Cabral on

  • I was thinking the same thing! The tan background gives a restful feeling. Very attractive.

    RosA on

  • I love your 12 days of Christmas idea and i love the walk through the history of zentangling. I first started several year back when my daughter gave me an offical zentangle kit for Christmas. I still remember her story about calling to order and how gracious you were in helping her out.

    This year i have asked for pack two. We traditionally celebrate the 12 days of Christmas from Christmas to Epiphany so if i get the pack i can keep our family tradition by doing your 12 day project then!

    The videos will still be up , right?

    Barbara Barreda on

  • The tan backgrounds have a calming tendency, soothing to the eye.

    Linda B on

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