Color Wheel

Exploration an aesthetics: Zentangle

The art form I want to explore in this post is Zentangle.

Color Wheel

Here is the Zentangle inventors’ portfolio sites.

And below is a video that introduces Zentangle film by the National Museum of American Illustration.

The lecture delivered by the couple is truly inspiring.The feature image of this post is the Color Wheel, which is composed of Zentangle methods.

Each section of the wheel is a tangle, containing different kinds of patterns in the classic Zentangle art style.
Each of the tangle styles has a name.
The origins of those art patterns point out one thing: “Nature draws in behind.”
The simplicity and delicacy just convey the core idea of nature.


Zentangle is a kind of art style created by a couple, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. According to the Zentangle method, the elemental strokes are five: straight line, C-shape, S-shape, Orbs (Circles), and dots. Together, they form the word “ICSO”.

The idea is that if a person can write the word “ICSO”, they shall probably draw Zentangle.
Zentangle is a form of meditative drawing or doodling.

How does it help you relieve stress?
Creating Zentangle work is a kind of healing activity.
It also helps you reach a mental status similar to meditation while drawing Zentangles.
It generates a feeling of peace, positivity, calm, and soothes your emotions, relieves stress, and allows you to be more concentrated on work. Last but not least, it provides a strong sense of fulfillment after you finish your Zentangles art.

There are eight steps to creating Zentangle art:

First, show your gratitude to the things or people that you want to thank, and take deep breaths.
Second, draw four spots on the corners of your paper with your pencil
Third, draw the border lines with a pencil.
Fourth, create dark lines with a pencil.
Fifth, use Technical pen line- art pencil to do the Zentangle shapes on paper.
Sixth, draw the shadows with a pencil.
Seventh, sign and write the date, and a sentence to describe your feelings.
Eighth, appreciate your work! End the session by being grateful to others.

There are some basic shapes I have tried in Zentangle on my sketchbook:

For example, Hollibaugh(Highway)

Crescent moon (New Moon)

Printemps (Spring)

Knightsbridge(Chess board)

I tried the Zentangle art for the first time by myself. I use those patterns on the character’s cloth style. I drew the girl’s outline first and I left blank spaces on her clothes. It was really an amazing journey to draw a Zentangle art. I surprisingly entered the meditation status while drawing all those patterns on my paper. I have to admit that it is really simple and drawing Zentangle art is an easy way for you to release stress or negative thoughts. I am a person who lacks patience, but still, I can finish this Zentangle practice in less than 40 minutes. If you haven’t tried to draw Zentagle art, I recommend you to pick up some time, grab a pen and a piece of paper, and try it yourself. It is worth trying!


Tangle Wheel Print :



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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Chin-Hsuan(Andrea) Wang
    February 5, 2023 11:46 am

    I think it should be classified as Organic Design on the graph we saw this Friday in class!
    The creators said that they are promoting this art style to all people who want to doodle something but they don’t have much time or specific art tools to do so. It’s the simplicity and easy-approaches that charm people around globe.

  • This is really fascinating! I have not seen many examples of an aesthetic having such a clear point of origin, both in person and time, is Zentangle an aesthetic you can find within other aesthetics? or does a pattern found in one style become adopted by the new theme entirly?


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