Palette. Her basket was full of magical designs just waiting to be added to a frock or a cushion. Some plain, some fancy, some simple, some complex, woven together they created a magical mixture for the customers to choose from. The basic string for this Zentangle came from the “Tangler’s Palette” stencils from Acadia Laser Creations on Etsy. I wanted this set of stencils as soon as I saw them.

If you saw my New Year’s post, then you know that I have challenged myself to work on black tiles more frequently this year. I want to develop techniques and find the materials that work for me. For that reason, for every challenge or lesson from Eni or any other artist, I am making a black tile for the theme as well as a normal one. To that end, this is my black tile from Eni’s Zentangle Basics lesson.

The newest Art Club video from Eni Oken’s Art Club is a lesson on Zentangle Basics. Almost everyone, when they take their first Zentangle lesson from a CZT, creates a basic tile, using certain tangles that illustrate what Zentangle is all about. Eni’s video is no different, (after all, she IS a Certified Zentangle Teacher!) This is the tile I created while watching the video. I’ve been tangling now for many years.

This tile is a direct result of following the instructions on the blog post for the First Day of the 12 Days of Zentangle over at The purpose of this exercise was to draw each of the tangles that are used to teach a brand new person how to tangle. The most common tangles used for a beginner’s tile are Crescent Moon and Hollibaugh and they are often followed by Florz (or Bales) and Printemps.

From the Zentangle Primer: Lesson 3, page 55, Exercise #8. For this string exercise we were to go “beyond the string,” and push past boundaries. I think Amanda did a fantastic job, compared to her original string, which you can see below! I love the way her Pokeleaf meandered around part of the string and then went up and joined into the Verdigogh at the upper right! Amanda’s talent and distinctive style is slowly emerging with each exercise that she does!

From the Zentangle Primer: Lesson 3, page 55, Exercise #7. In this lesson, we are learning about strings. For the first exercise, we are supposed to combine two (or more) sections of our string together to form a new section that is better suited for the tangle we want to use. Here is what Amanda’s original string looked like, so you can compare it with her finished Zentangle above.

From the Zentangle Primer: Lesson 2, page 45, Exercise 4. For this exercise, we were to use all the same tangles: Shattuck, Jetties and Bales, but use different shading. I think Amanda (above) did a fantastic job with this tile! I love that she used several tanglations: Bales, Hollibaugh, Florz, and Jetties! My favorite is her version of Bales. It has so much depth to it now! My artwork is above.

From the Zentangle Primer: Exercise 2, page 33. For this tile, we were told to select two tangles and to alter or combine them to create a new tanglation. I chose to use Printemps and used it to create the strips for Hollibaugh. This ended up presenting a challenge, because it was difficult to distinguish edges where the strips crossed over each other. I ended up outlining each strip with a wider-nibbed pen to create stronger edges.

From the Zentangle Primer: Exercise 1, page 33. For this exercise, we each had to create a Zentangle using the same tangles as the first. However, we were to shade them differently. Amanda’s artwork is above. You can see how she shaded around the outside of the central bobble which makes it appear more like it is floating above the tile. She also altered Printemps from her original style.

From the Zentangle Primer: Exercise 1, page 33. For this exercise, we were to create another Zentangle, using the same four tangles as the first tile. However, this time, we were instructed to shade each tangle differently. In addition to changing the shading, I also changed the style of each of the tangles. I chose to wrap Florz around a bobble and give it more of a 3D, or dimensional feel.

Halloween. All the goodies were ready, filling the bowl, nestled into the spider’s web. She waited on a bench by the door with the bowl in her lap. Would they come, dressed in outlandish garb? Or would they dance in the light of the fire and simply ignore her? This is a very simple tile, with only three tangles. But by overlapping and allowing various parts to grow outside of boundaries, the tangles take on a life of their own.

The Zentangle Primer. Our group has changed books. We originally wanted to use the Zentangle Primer, but we had to wait because Amanda did not have a copy. So, while we were waiting for hers to arrive, we have been using the One Zentangle a Day book. Amanda received her Primer on Saturday, so we have both been reading/rereading the Primer. Today’s post is from the Primer, Lesson 1, Your First Tile.

Portals. The window was made of many openings. As she looked through each portal, she wondered why it was different from the others. What were those strange patterns. What kind of life forms were there. So many questions in need of answers. I love this form of Hollibaugh, using rounding to create graceful openings between the crossed bars. Zentangle drawn on Strathmore Vellum Bristol using a black, Micron pen.

Portals. So many choices. Where will they all lead. Some appear to be places with natural growth and others more rigid, enclosed. So many choices. Zentangle drawn on Strathmore Vellum Bristol using a black, Micron pen. Shading done with graphite pencil. Tangles: Bucky Drupe Evoke Fescu Frondous Hollibaugh Sedgling Stoic Ticings Tortuca Vega

Sticks. Do you know what a Talking Stick is? It comes to us from the Native American Traditions. It was a decorated stick that was used during group council meetings. Whomever was holding the stick had the floor, and was the speaker. They were the only person allowed to talk and could continue until they relinquished control of the stick. As I was drawing these bars decorated with Scute, they kept reminding me of talking sticks!