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Adult Colouring

Learn how to create Zentangle cards


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Zentangle is one of the newest niche papercraft trends to emerge, so we asked our colouring maestro, Ingrid Vichova, to explore it further. ‘Tangling’ is where doodling and colouring come together in one brilliant pastime to create exquisite abstract artwork; think of it like paper patchwork and you’ll soon understand. See how the magic happens in Ingrid’s fabulous how-to here.

What is Zentangle all about?

Zentangle is more or less an organised form of doodling but it uses repetitive patterns, ‘tangles’, formed in 9cm square tiles. My favourite method is creating designs on a grid, which I’ve shown you step-by-step (right). Depending on the pattern you follow, you can achieve a different design each time; from a basketweave print, to a psychedelic pattern like this one!

How can I get started?

Firstly, spend time learning basic patterns and perfecting your techniques. Fine line pens, Promarkers and Zentangle tiles make a perfect little beginner’s kit. Start by decorating a focal image to top your card with. For the design opposite, define the edges of your card by drawing a faint line around it for a border. Pen a flower in the centre and separate petals in two or three sections, doodling different patterns in each. Extend the design and Zentangle all areas until you’re satisfied, then create a separate striped pattern in the margin to frame the image.

How can I create the design?

Draw a 2.5cm wide strip on the left hand side of a blank, then add evenly spaced horizontal lines down the panel to create a grid. Draw a pattern until each square has been completed. When you’re finished, colour your sections in bright, punchy colours, or use highlighters to make the psychedelic pattern neon. Use squares of watercolour paper if you don’t have Zentangle tiles handy as their surfaces are very similar and absorb pen and ink brilliantly. Finally, add your focal image using 3D foam pads and stamp a sentiment to finish.

Rule a Zentangle tile or square of watercolour paper into 1cm squares

Use a black fine line pen to draw a repeating pattern in each space

Build up the pattern and colour in the design

Add shading to enhance the pattern as desired

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