Let Me Show You The Steps


People laugh when I tell them I can’t draw, but seriously – I can’t! What I can do is take something one step at a time, and keep adding and building on it until I am finished. Let me show you what I mean.

Let’s draw this tile. This is my completed project and is was easy peasy to do. (Is that how you spell that? I always think about English peas in a can and just add a ‘y’ to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.)

Anyway, let’s draw! I began with a 3 1/2″ square piece of paper. In the tangle/zentangle world we call this a tile. (And I am going to go ahead and apologize for the angle of these pictures. I took these on a night when I was once again having achilles tendonitis issues and was sitting on a chaise lounge icing my ankle. Thus the angle. Sorry.)

So. Take your tile and a pen (I use a Sharpie fine point) and draw a random squiggly line across a good portion of the tile. This is the line you will build your drawing from.

Then start at one end of the line and draw a running zig-zag line from one end to the other, crossing back and forth over your original line. This tangle – or pattern – is called rain. It is one of the official zentangle patterns. Your zig-zag does not need to be evenly sized, so don’t worry about that!

Now use your pen to fill in all those lovely little triangles with ink. You will have a curvy rope of blackened triangles when you are done.

(One little trick to remember – and it will make a world of difference – is to turn your tile as you draw. If it is easier to draw with the tile turned in a particular direction – turn it. I find myself rotating mine all the time to make it easier.) Next I want you to mimic the triangles with a running line that lightly borders it. This is called an aura – which is defined as Β an emanation surrounding something. I try to do mine about 1/4″ from whatever I am auraing. (Say that 20 times fast – auraing, auraing, auraing, auraing, I can’t even type it fast!) Draw your aura along one side of the triangles, then turn your tile and draw an aura along the opposite side of the triangles.

Now I want you to aura the whole thing. One looping aura on each side of the rain line and zig-zags. Then I went back inside the four inner loops and made another little aura in those. You may or may not have these loops – depending on how big you drew your line originally.

Inside those four loops, I drew a tangle I designed and named matahari. There is a bit more to it, but I just used part of it for this drawing. Start at the top of one of the loops, make a rounded v-shape down into the loop, and add a little tiny tear drop – like water dripping off – under it.

Next, thicken up those outside lines. You can either do this with a wider pen/marker – or you can draw another line close to your outer auras and fill it in with black. Whatever is easiest with the pens you have. I just loped it across the top and under the bottom. I think this is called thickening your lines, but I’m not absolutely positive. (This is my blog, so I guess I can call it anything I want to. Right? Hehehehe!)

Along the outer edge of those thickened black lines, add a line of little black humps – try to space them somewhat evenly. This is beginning of another official tangle called crescent moon.

The next step in crescent moon involves more auraing – yay!!! you should have that auraing thing down by now. So, I want you to aura two lines around those crescent moon shapes along both sides of your drawing. Remember – turn your tile as often as you need to.

(And can you believe it? You are almost done!)

Next, I took a white gelly roll pen and made a little tiny circle in the center of every one of those crescent moon hump shapes. It just adds a nice highlight. If you don’t have a gelly roll pen, a white pencil may also work. (Or you could leave that part out and come back to it after you make a trip to Michael’s to buy a white gelly roll pen. Hahaha! I know you want to!)

I have a clear glittery gelly roll pen that I used to fill in the outer auras. This is not a necessary step, but one I enjoy using a lot!

Your drawing is now complete. To give it some depth, some 3-D’ness if you will, take a pencil and light shade a line along the inside of those large auras. I just use the side of a regular pencil – along with a light touch! Then you can smudge that line with the tip of your pinkie finger. This little bit of shading will make a world of difference in your finished drawing. It makes those curves recede and gives more dimension to your art. You now have a finished piece of art that you can be proud of! (And if anyone cares – we used three tangle patterns in total.)

There are lots of tangle patterns! I mean loads and loads! There are a couple places you can find them if you want to try your hand at some more drawing. I have a bunch of pinterest boardsΒ here that show the steps to hundreds of tangle patterns, as well as boards showing completed tangle art. You can also find patterns online at Tangle Patterns here. Β New ones show up there all the time. Now, go have some fun! You’ll be glad you did! And congratulations on that awesome piece of art you created!

12 thoughts on “Let Me Show You The Steps

  1. Great tutorial!! I have been tangleling for a couple of years and have been teaching since Feb…I love your approach!~ Kim VanZyll

  2. Thank you so much Alice this is a wonderful kind thing you are doing your blog is great its funny I can draw but this now is very hard for me Some people have one lesson and off the go it comes so easy well my fitst class with Cheryl my tiles were amazing then at home forr a while. It would flow now for some reason very har! I can't wait to try this one thank you so much!!! By your art oh urs you can draw!!! <3

    • hahaha! thank you so much, lynne, but if you will look at anything i've drawn – you will see it's entirely made from different tangle patterns. formed into a picture πŸ™‚ even my little minion dudes. so i'm good at adapting – how's that?and thank you for the comments about the blog – this is what i am hoping for – you touch my heart and help me know i'm on the right track πŸ™‚

  3. An absolutely brilliant post, so useful for anyone starting out, plus – since you're a CZT you have an official endorsement behind you. Life getting bit crazy so not able to comment as used to. Had to giggle over not being able to draw – EXACTLY! I can't either. Paula (PEP)

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial. I look with much envy when people post images of their doodling. I cannot even work out where they begin usually. I would love to source more step by step tutorials so that one day I may even be able to create something wonderful. Thank you again Alice.

    • i enjoy posting tutorials, it's just hard to remember to take the photos needed. hahaha! i'll work on another soon, thanks πŸ™‚

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