Zentangle®: The Beginner's Guide | Martha Arrington | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Zentangle®: The Beginner's Guide

teacher avatar Martha Arrington, artist, educator & czt

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. 1. Introduction

    • 2. 2. Background

    • 3. 3. Tools & Materials

    • 4. 4. Corner Dots, Border & String

    • 5. 5. Crescent Moon

    • 6. 6. Hollibaugh

    • 7. 7. Printemps

    • 8. 8. Florz

    • 9. 9. Shading

    • 10. 10. Initial & Sign

    • 11. 11. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This class is a basic introduction to the Zentangle® Method. It will cover the history, tools & materials, and steps to create an original Zentangle tile. This class is for all levels and requires no artistic experience. It's super simple and great for unwinding after a long day.

This is a great starter class that will definitely leave you wanting to learn more!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Martha Arrington

artist, educator & czt


Related Skills

Fine Art Creative

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. 1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Martha Arrington and we're here in my creative space that my home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am very excited to share with you the Zen tangle method, which is an easy to learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images using structured patterns. Six years ago, I was living in Atlanta and I was in elementary school art teacher. And I was absolutely exhausted. Not only was I teaching full time, but I also had two to three side gigs going to make ends meet. When people would meet me and asked me what I did and I told them, usually the first question they asked me was, Well, what kind of artwork to you make? Most of the time I stood there with this glazed look in my eyes thinking, how in the world is an exhausted teacher have time to be creative? In steps, then tingle changed everything for me. So I took a little workshop put on by two CCTVs, and that's stands for our certified entangled teacher. And they did a quick little workshop. And within 30 minutes I had created this artwork and I'd also decompressed from my day. And for those two reasons alone, I knew that Zen tangle with something that I needed in my life. 2. 2. Background: Then take all is the child of Rick Roberts and maria Thomas. Rick has a meditation background and Maria has an art background. Since its inception. They have strived to create a series of simple steps that anyone, and I mean, anybody who can write their name can easily follow an experience. The benefits of relaxed focus while also creating beautiful art. So in my book, it's a win-win. People shy away from creating art for lots of different reasons. That people say, well, I'm not an artist. I didn't go to art school or my elementary school art teacher told me I couldn't draw or I don't have enough money. It's going to be really expensive. I don't have enough time. There's not a space in my home. Lots and lots and lots of different reasons why people choose not to be creative in their daily life and recover. Maria really took those into consideration when developing disentangle method, and they broke it down into eight simple steps. In this class, we will discuss those simple steps as well as any materials or tools that you're going to need to complete the tile. And at the end, you're going to have this beautiful tile, which for tangles that I've taught you to draw. I'm really excited to see what you guys come up with. And I'm also excited to share this knowledge so that you can leave class and continue to create some tangles on your own. This meditational art form is such a great way to be creative, as well as decompress from your hectic day. I love this entangled method so much and I am so appreciative of all the joy that he has brought me in my life. I really hope by the end of this class you get two, some of that choice as well. I look forward to teaching you. 3. 3. Tools & Materials: Okay, let's talk about the tools and materials that you'll need to create your disentangle tile. The first thing would be the tiles. These are handmade paper tiles, 3.5 inch squares made by Fabriano. A lovely paper, nice little texture to it, a duck-billed edge recover Maria specifically chose this paper for there's entangle tiles and just an Oliver Lovely Pbar. And on the back you'll have this entangle logo, trademark, and a couple of lines that we'll discuss how to use leader, just a beautiful paper. The next thing you'll need will be a secure micron sigma micron 01 pen. I would like for you to get this size specifically. So an O1, it's a very, very fine line. Here I've drawn an example. This top line is 01 size, so it's very, very, very fine If you enlight to get a little bit of a larger pin for coloring in areas. You're welcome to pick up the O5 size. You'll see it's a little bit broader. So the larger the number, though, broader the line, you don't have to get an O five, you do need to get the 01 size. The O5 is optional. And these pens are great. They're archival, they're waterproof, they dry very quickly. So you're not going to smudge your drawing as you're working on it. The next thing you'll need is a pencil. This instance entangle specific pencil. But if you don't want to purchase that, you don't have to, you can just get a number two pencil. You'll notice that the pencil does not have an eraser on it, then that's because we don't use erasers in disentangle. And then the final thing you'll need is a blending stump, also known as a tortilla ion. And we will use this to smudge and smear, if you will, the pencil that we add to our our tangles. So that's what you need. Paper, pen, pencil, and blending stuff. 4. 4. Corner Dots, Border & String: Okay, now we're ready to start putting some marks on our tile here. And we're going to start with our pencil. And the first step is to add four dots. And these are going to be in the corners of the tile. Close, but not too close and not too far away. So just for pencil dots 1234. Next, I'm going to connect those dots with a line. It's not perfectly straight. Also doesn't have to be curvy. Just don't overthink it. And you'll notice how I'm turning my tile as I draw. Instead of trying to contort my hand. I like to draw from left to right. It just feels natural. So I turned my tile so that when I draw and always trawling from left to right. So now we've added our border. The next step is to add the strings. And the string is going to be in the shape of the letter Z. So I'm going to start on one of my border lines. And I'm going to draw through this center here, touch another border, draw down to the bottom, and then back across. So we've added our string and it looks like the letter Z in you should now have 1234 different spaces. And we're going to be creating a different tile or excuse me, a different tingle. And each of these spaces. 5. 5. Crescent Moon: Now that we have added our string, we are done with the pencil for a little while. What we will need next is our secure a pigment micron pen. Again, we are using the O1 size pin, and this is a black waterproof archival smudge proof fade proof ink. Really lovely to draw with if you want to practice drawing with it a little bit on the back of your tile, that's fine. Just to get just to get accustomed to it. You don't need to press hard with this at all. The ink will come out even just barely touching the paper. But if you press really, really, really hard and you tense up your hands and your shoulder and your wrist. You're going to damage the end of the pen. So just draw with it very lightly. We're going to be drawing our first tangle, which is called crescent Moon. And you'll see why in a second. A lot of tangles have unique and sometimes funny names and they each have a story behind them. Why wreck and Maria or one of Maria's daughters came up with the name. And sometimes I'll be able to tell you those stories that go along with the tangle. But the first one again is called crescent Moon. And you'll need to decide where you want to draw the tangle. Now there are no rules for where you put the tangle. You could put your crescent Moon and this space, whereas I could put my crescent moon in this space. And you'll just need to decide, I think that I will choose this corner here to do, to do my crescent moon. So I'm going to start here in the corner. And I'm going to draw a half-moon shape. I'm going to skip a little space and draw another one. And I'm drawing right on this pencil line. Again, don't forget to turn your title as you draw. You never want to contort your hand or your wrist and make it uncomfortable. If you're uncomfortable, you're not doing it correctly. This should be a very relaxing experience. Then it continue drawing these half-moon or crescent moon shapes all the way around the edge of this space. Always leaving a little bit of space between between them. After you've gone all the way around that space with the crescent moon shapes. You are going to draw an oral line, which an aura, which is a line that kind of echoes this existing shape here. So I'm going to start here at the corner, that first crescent Moon. And I'm going to echo that first line with a second line. So it mimics it. You could think of, you know, ripples in a pond. If you were to throw a stone in. I'm going to aura each of those original shapes that I drew. And then I'm going to order up a second time each of those shapes and the lines will start to get closer together. Then you might even have lines that touch each other. And we are going to continue to aura, but a little bit differently for this center space, we're going to continue to draw a line, but it's going to be a continuous line. It doesn't matter where you start. You don't have to start near the first crescent moon that you drew. I think I'm gonna start over here and this space. So I'm going to aura and, or this one, but I'm connecting this line is going to be continuous. The only reason I'm picking up my pen is so that I can rotate the tile. I'm ordering. But when I get back to where I started, I am not going to connect it. So let me zoom in here for you all. So I'm not going to connect these lines. I'm not going to connect to this where I started. Instead, I'm going to just continue to go around or bring this center space. I'm going to get close to it. But then just continuing on, let me show a close-up of that again, where I started and where it came down to meet it, but then just continued on. And sometimes this space is get a lot smaller. And sometimes they're so small that even draw into them. This is getting very, very tight in here, so I think I will just end it right there. Who may hold this up for you all. You can really see. There we go, how I've ended it here. So there's one final step that we'll need to do. And that is to color in the crescent moon shapes, the ones we first drew. And we're gonna make those solid black. So you can just color n was that 01 pen. But if you recall in the tools and materials segment, I mentioned that you could get a second pen. Not absolutely necessary. That you don't have to use a larger pen to color in. You can use the 0.5.0 or excuse me, that 01 pin to color in these spaces. But it does take a little bit longer because it's a finer tip. So if you would like, you can use that O5 size if you decided to purchase it. And because it has a broader tip, it just makes coloring in these spaces makes it go a little bit faster. And we are done. 6. 6. Hollibaugh: The second tangle that we are going to draw is called Holly bar and Alibaba was named for Maria's son-in-law and he's a carpenter. So you will see how this this tingle can look like wood grain and the wood that he uses in his carpentry. So you're going to choose a space. Remember, it does not need to be the same space that I choose. All of our tingle should look slightly different. Entangle should look slightly different. So choose a space. I think I'm gonna go with this area right here. I'm going to pick up my secure a pigment micron 01 pen. And I'm going to draw a straight line. So I'm going to start at the edge of the area and go across to the other side. And then I'm going to draw a parallel line right next to it. Next I'm going to turn my tile and I'm going to draw a second line. The rule that you will follow in this tangle is that when you get to a line you've already drawn, you will pick up your pen, skip over that line, and then continue to draw it on the other side. So I'm drawing a parallel line. When I get to the first line, pick up my pen, jump over, and then continue to draw on the other side. Turn your tile, draw another line in a parallel line right next to it. Get to the first line, pick it up, continue to draw. And sometimes you'll intersect another line and do the same thing. If a line was already there, never cross it. Instead you pick up your pen, jump over, and then continue to draw on the other side. Sorry guys. Move this back to the center of the screen so you can see it better. That was a lot of lines jumping for that one. Alright. When you have pretty good, there's no specific or set number of lines that you need to draw to fill in the space. I went I went into strophe three or four lights. But this is just a good example of just filling the space up. 7. 7. Printemps: The third tangle we are going to create is called print on top, which is French for spring. And I think that I will do it down here in this bottom corner. It can be a little bit tricky. So I will be stopping and showing you close ups at the beginning here, just so you can see it a little bit better than, than this distance here that I have. So start and I'm going to draw a spiral line. And I'm going to go around once, twice. Then I'm going to pick my pencil up. I'm going to skip a little bit of space. And I'm gonna continue back around spiraling. I'm going to stop again where I just stopped on that first go around, pick up my pencil or excuse me, my pen, and then continue on around. And then when I am about to come to that space of third time, I'm actually going to continue to draw and close this off. So it becomes a shape instead of just a line. And what we've created here is almost like a little highlight. The space here that doesn't have lines, you know. So like if a bright light was shining over here from the right side, we would have this little highlight here on this. So I'm spiraling around about two times, stopping picking my pen up, continuing to spiral, stopping picking my pen up, continuing. And on that third go round and actually just connect, continue and then connect here to the line to close it off. I'm going to continue to do the same steps and fill up this entire space. They don't all have to be this big. Your first one is probably going to be the biggest. Sum spiraling around. Pick up my pen, continue to spiral. It got my pen at the same place. Continue to spiral. And I'll my third go round. I'm going to close it off or connected. So these two are about the same size. This one might be a little bit smaller, but let's talk about what happens when you get to one that you've already drawn. You're going to use the same technique that you used in Hollywood, where you pick up your pen and then continue to draw. Once you've passed that. So again, it's going to give that sense of depth where some are on top appears that summer on top of others. So these are higher up and this seems to kind of receipt or go into the background. I'm gonna continue these guys until I filled up this area. When you get to the border here, you're gonna do this same thing. You're going to pick up your pen and then continue back around. And this one's gonna be a lot smaller. Even though this one can be a little bit tricky at the start to learn. I love the way Lux. When it starts to get filled in like this. I don't think I'm going to add any here, but maybe a tiny one here and maybe this one. I don't pick up my pen to do those highlights. I just do a spiral line. I'll show you again. So just spiral. Alright. Pretty much filled in this space. You will notice that there are a few white areas. I want, I'm gonna do now is just take my pen and fill in those areas that are remaining in the background and between with just black. And I think that's all about do it guys. So lovely. 8. 8. Florz: You are ready for our fourth and final tangle. We have this one area left to fill in. And we are going to do it with a tingle called floors. So I'm gonna start off by drawing a series of parallel lines. They don't need to be perfectly straight. They can have a little curve to them. And then I'm going to cross all of these wines with more parallel lines. So it'll look like a checkerboard pattern. And the final step is to draw a teeny tiny little diamonds at all the intersecting points where all of these lines cross each other. So that diamond shape, this can have a little bit of curve to it. So I'm going to hold this up in a second. Once I've drawn a few examples, these little diamonds are not drawn with perfectly straight lines. Let's see if you can see that they're a little bit of curve to them. And what I'm gonna do next is just to fill in those little diamonds so that they are black. And then I'm gonna go and I'm gonna create diamonds on the rest of these intersecting, right? Yeah. There we go. We are dying guys with the ink portion of our child. 9. 9. Shading: Okay, we are ready to shade, are tangles and we're going to shade all four of them. So you're going to need your pencil as well as your tortilla. So we'll start here with the crescent moon. Just a few pointers about shading. I like to hold my pencil using my thumb and forefinger and middle finger. And this will probably feel awkward at first. But what's great about holding it this way is you're going to use the edge of the pencil as opposed to the tip. Sometimes when we use the tip, we tend to press down a little bit harder. And sometimes when you press hard it'll actually make intentions in the paper. So tried to get used to holding it like this. If you want to practice on the back, you can do that. It also helps you just to, to put down graphite a little lighter. We always want to start with just a little because we can always go back and add more. But once we've pressed really hard and added a lot of graphite, it's a lot harder to take off. And since we're not using a racers in this in this practice, what we really want to just take our time and make deliberate marks and just draw lightly and shade lightly. So let's go ahead and get started. I'm gonna take my pencil and i'm going to aura around all of the crescent moons that I drew. And it can be a little messy. It doesn't need to be perfect. Taught me to stay in any kind of line or space. Alright? And then once you've gotten all the way around, go ahead and pick up your tortilla. And using that same technique of holding it with your thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. We're going to use the side of the tortilla to blend in this graphite into the paper. And we're just kinda of smudging it in. So it will really, really goes into the grooves of the paper and said I've just sitting on top. And you can even continue to color out here, shade out here with this tortillas on, the torsion will keep graphite on it, like you can see here. And so even though most of the time we're just going to shade and smudge on top of what we've already coloured with the pencil. You can come out here and use any graphite, residual graphite that's on the tortilla and shade out here in the middle. And what I like about that is it gives it more tones. So instead of just being black, grey, and white, now we have like a black, a dark gray, a lighter gray. And then I'll wait here in the middle. Just makes it more interesting. And there we go. And we have the sub lovely 3D look. Now that we've added the shading. Okay, let's move on to the Hollywood. And we'll get our pencil again. And I'm going to look for that first line I drew. I can tell because there are no other lines crossing it. And I am going to shade on both sides something that you're going to notice if you continue to dive into the world of Zen tangle, that things are drawn and shaded differently. So there's no right or wrong way to add the shading. I'm just showing you one way. So if you see something different online, go ahead and try it, or if you see something different in a book, go ahead and give it a try. Alright, I'm gonna look for another line. And we're gonna follow the same rules that we did when we were drawing the holly ball lines. If a line goes underneath another line, you're shading goes underneath it as well. Here's a good example, this along line right here. So I'm going to shade this line goes under these two. So I'm going to pick up my pencil, skip over, and then continue to shade on the other side. Now when it crosses lines, crossed these two, well then I can shade right on top of that. Pick it up and continue on. And I'm going to shade on both sides of the line. Sometimes I just choose to shade on one side. Sometimes it gets a little confusing trying to figure out where you've added the pencil and added the shade and where you have it up. It looks like this is the last one over here. Now, there's a baby one back in there. Okay. And look, here's another See what I mean. Okay. And once you've gone ahead and oh, goodness gracious. I'm missing a bunch today. That's okay. Okay. I think I have finally finished adding the pencil, so I'm gonna go back with that tortillas and I'm just gonna blend and that graphite into the paper. So this was a tangle, had a lot of white space in it. And now we're just completely changing that up. So it's just a nice balanced look. So you have this dark area and then this very white area. And now I've added this gray. So they're more balanced. Again, I'm trying to figure out all the areas I need to to blend and I think I've got it. Then if I haven't, I can always go back. Okay. Very good. And just hold these up here so you guys can see them better at really, really lovely the way it softens this, this area that had such straight hard lines and okay, so we've done the crescent moon Hollywood. Let's go ahead and do the print top. So remember when we were drawing this, I talked about how were we picked up our pin. It left like a highlight here where this white area is. So we're going to add a shade or shadow to the opposite side. So just directly on the other side of that highlight, I'm going to come over here and shade. And I'm going to shade. I would describe the shape as like a pie shape. And I'm going to curve my lines when I color it in a nice circular motion. Just like a large pie piece on the opposite side of the highlight. Again, if you go online, you might see shading done completely different. And that's fine. And you can try that shade technique. I've shaded this tangle many different ways. And also remember, when we were drawing a couple of these at the end, we didn't create any highlights. So you can just decide where you want to add the shadow. I'm going to put it at the edge here. Alright? And then as I've done in the previous tangles, I'm just gonna blend that in to the paper. The final shading will be here at floors and this is the easiest. You might come across a tangle in your explorations that you're just unsure of how to shade. And this is just a really good goto shading technique. And that is to shade the outside edge of that tangle. I should say the inside edge because we're on the inside of the, the shape. So I'm just going next to the edge of the shape. I am kinda filling in the corners a little bit more and softening them with a curved line. It's always better to start light. And I mean my press light and just add a little bit of graphite and then go back and add more and build on top of it. Once he's pressed hard and you've added a lot of graphite. It is what it is. So I always like to start light. And if it's too light, then I will go back and just add some more. And even though I haven't shaded in here, there's a lot of graphite on my tortilla and you can even see it. Yeah, it comes off on my finger a little bit. So you can actually use the graphite that's already on here to fill in some of the whitespace if there's just too much. So you don't actually have to use the pencil every time. By too much whitespace. You want this nice balance. When recover Maria started this, you know, they wanted the white tile and black and shades of grey. That's all they wanted to do and they want to keep it very, very simple, then we have that. But it's also really nice to kinda balance this out and make sure it's not too white or it's not too black and too dark. But it's just this nice balance on the tile. 10. 10. Initial & Sign: Alright guys, we have one more step in this zen tangle practice. And that is to sign and date are our tile. We want to assign it two ways. The first way is on the front, I want you to create something that's called a chop. So in Asian culture, a lot of artists would use a chalk as a way of signing their artwork. So they would carve a design into a woodblock and then stamp it on the artwork. And we are going to do something. We're not going to stamp it though. But this was something that artists would use over and over and over again to sign the artworks. So if you want to find a neat way to combine the initials of your name. And that's, I think the easiest way to create a chop. And then just rotate your tile and see where you want to add that chop. I think I'm going to add mine right down in here. There are no rules to where you add it. You can add it in the border if you want to, you can add it in the tile somewhere. I always like to add mine right at the edge of the border here. And I'm just going to use my O1 pen. And my chops is my first initial and my second initial. And I connect them there. And That's it. Just very simple. And then the second place I want you to sign is the FAQ. I always just add my first_name and then I leg to date. So you have R reference. And congratulations guys, you have just completed your first Zen tingle tile. And thank you for letting me guide you through this journey. I hope it has been an enjoyable experience. I hope you feel relaxed and really appreciate the fact that you have created something so lovely. I look forward to seeing what you post your, your tiles and seeing that the lovely work that you all have done. Thank you again for watching this class. 11. 11. Final Thoughts : Thank you again for taking this class. We went through the history of Zen tangle tools and materials and the steps of creating as entangled tile. Again, those steps where the corner dots, order, string, tangle, shade, and initial and sign. The four tangles we learned were crescent moon. Holly bought print top and floors. If you are interested in learning how to draw more Zen tangles and disentangle inspired art, please follow my account to get updates on future classes. You now have all the skills you need to make your own tingle tiles anytime. Again, I look forward to seeing yours entangled drawings in the class projects section. And also, please feel free to share it on Instagram. Just make sure you tag me so I can see it. And until we meet again, I wish you happy. Tingling.