Zentangle patterns; Adrawingaday project thirteen

Adrawingaday project featuring zentangle-like patterns

I did not understand zentangle when I first came across it. I initially noticed the concept tagged often as ‘zendoodles’ on Instagram, and really liked the repetitive, heavy line-focused patterns that people are creating. But looking into zentangle patterning outside of this had confused me.

From WikiHow’s Make a Zentangle;

A Zentangle is an abstract drawing created using repetitive patterns according to the trademarked Zentangle Method. True Zentangles are always created on 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) square tiles, and they are always done in black ink on white paper. The invention of the Zentangle® was intended to make the act of drawing pleasurable, meditative and accessible to all.

I am a little bit unsure about how the ‘accessible to all’ label applies when you perhaps need to purchase specialty supplies to take part in the process.

There are also several rules to this form of free, creative expression.

  • The tile should not have an “up” or a “down” – it is without orientation.
  • It should not be representative of any certain recognizable object; rather, it should be abstract.
  • The drawing should be completed in black ink on white paper.
  • A Zentangle is meant to be portable, so that it can be created at any time the mood strikes.

The creators at Zentangle.com are reassuring about this need for rules;

‘even though it is a specified series of steps, it results in a creative expression that transcends its own rules…it is sufficiently structured and organized so you can enjoy and benefit from an activity that otherwise might be considered whimsical’

So what I do is not true zentangle, which is fine for me. Like the mandalas, these drawings are part of the adrawingaday project more than anything else.

I certainly did enjoy dividing up the page into fifteen squares each; deciding which series of lines or block colour I would use for each square as I arrived to it. There was a hypnotic quality to the process of completing each one; I was almost in a trance-like state by the time I reached the last square on the page.

Initially, I was worried that I would run out of patterns to do, but there was no need. There might be an infinite variation of patterns you can do with different pen strokes, dots, whirls and blocked out sections of ink.

So, here are the results:



I have been doing this daily project for almost 6 months now. I post daily on Instagram, find me @kellymarietheartist .

The adrawingaday sketch project archive

More information on the principles behind the Zentangle method for mental health, and a fuller definition of the difference between a zentangle and a doodle here.


About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
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