There’s so much to discover in Zentangle® and doodling, and so many wonderful techniques that you can incorporate into your art journal pages, fabric art, collages, and more. Kass Hall gets you started with this tutorial from her book The Zentangle® Untangled Workbook. Best of all, practicing is fun! Grab a pen, some paper, and get started today!
By Kass Hall
The Zentangle® Untangled Workbook is a complement to my first book, Zentangle® Untangled. This workbook is a little different from the last book. Here we work with the three tangle patterns I introduced in Zentangle® Untangled (Honeycomb, Starfish and Five-Oh), as well as four brand-new tangles that I have developed especially for this workbook. You’ll see many other tangles throughout the workbook, but these seven are the ones we will break down, step-by-step, and really develop ideas for.
I cannot emphasize enough that there are no mistakes in Zentangle®. Some people demonstrate immediate talent; some take time to practice. With all art forms, practice really is the key.
What can you expect out of this workbook? Grab your pen, and let’s get started with a sneak peek into week one…
Week 1: Straight Lines and Circles
Ah, if I had a dollar for everytime I have ever heard someone utter the words, “I can’t even draw a straight line,” I’d be cruising the Caribbean on a fifty-foot yacht right now.
Thankfully, I know a secret about how to perfect this very thing, and I can share it with you now: practice.
When you repeat something over and over again, you work out how to do it better, more efficiently and in a way that pleases you. Drawing straight lines and circles is no different. Sadly, I don’t have all those dollars otherwise I might have to give them back with that little snippet of advice.
You’ll see that my lines and circles are not perfect. That is 100 percent fine with me. They’re not perfect, but they’re not terrible either. Most important, they’re mine. That’s actually all that matters.
Practice short lines, long ones, wavy ones. Draw tiny circles, then bigger ones. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
You’ll see I drew some lines on the third example, then added ruled red lines underneath. I did that to demonstrate the difference between my handiwork and ruled lines. The difference isn’t huge—certainly not enough to worry about. It’s a handy way to see how straight you can get your lines with some practice.
Lines and circles are the building blocks of tangles, which is why we’re taking the time to play with them. Yes, play! Grab your pen and a few tiles of paper and let the ink flow.
Once you’ve mastered these day one (of week one) basics you can start adding on to them with color, more complex tangles, shading and also introduce Zendalas to the mix (Zentangle® + mandala = Zendala)! And that’s just week one. Relax, pull up a chair and let The Zentangle® Untangled Workbook guide you start to finish!
Excerpted from The Zentangle® Untangled Workbook, by Kass Hall, North Light Books 2013. (c) Kass Hall. All photography by Christine Polomsky.
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