Should You Use Color in Your Zentangle Art?

There are times when we create art because we have a specific message to convey; we want to share a memory, a dream, a fantasy, or a belief. And then there are times we create because something calls to us, and we’re not satisfied until we’ve squeezed out every last drop of creativity to simply make something that didn’t exist prior to our actions. For me, Zentangle® falls into this latter category, and one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is because it can be as simple or as complex as I choose to make it. I can always go back to a tangled drawing, and add more details and contrast.

Speaking of color, I recently started adding just a tad to my tangles; it’s a simple way to really change the appearance of the piece. In Creative Tangle: Creating Your Own Patterns for Zen-Inspired Art, Trish Reinhart addresses the current conversations that I’ve been hearing, regarding tangling in black and white versus color.

Zentangle ideas | Trish Reinhart,
PIN it! In this spiderweb tangle, Trish Reinhart uses just a splash of color to bring out the spiders and the butterfly (good luck, winged friend!).

“There are many people who believe all Zentangles should be done in black and white,” Trish explains. “If you consider yourself to be a ‘purist,’ then it’s perfectly fine to stick to the original method. However, the more I researched this art form, the clearer it has become to me that there are no set rules on how far you can take Zentangle. The stage has been set—what you perform on it is strictly up to you. I’m an artist, so my choice is to delve into the world of color. I suggest that you first get comfortable with black and white before experimenting with color.”

Zentangle ideas | Trish Reinhart,
A monochromatic tangle by Trish Reinhart

Trish goes on to explain various color combinations, including using a single color to add a pop to your tangles. This is one of my favorite ways to tangle because I can’t go wrong. “Monochromatic color schemes are, by far, the simplest palettes to grasp,” she says. “The root ‘mono’ means one, so it’s easy to remember that the color scheme refers to one color and the lights and darks of that color. To make a monochromatic color palette, choose a color on the wheel and add tints of white and black to it. In order to prevent this palette from becoming too one-note, it is best to pair it with a neutral: white, cream, gray, taupe, or black. This will not only provide visual impact, but will create balance and cohesiveness in your piece.”

In Creative Tangle, Trish also shares drawing templates, plus projects for wine glasses, decorative wrappings, pendants, zendalas, tangled pet portraits, and more. It’s newly available as part of the exclusive Tangle, Color, Create kit that also includes The Coloring Book of Tangles and a Zentangle 11-piece set of pens with a graphite pencil and art cards!Color me happy,

The Zentangle® Method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc



Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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