Materials: Paper. Marker/Pencil/Crayon.

Zentangle is a relaxing way to explore art. This non-representational drawing method was invented by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts in Massachusetts. The picture you draw won’t be of a specific thing, but rather a random assortment of lines, shapes and patterns.

It is a great way to increase focus and mindfulness. Zentangle can be a way to calm down when you are feeling angry or upset, and a fun thing to do when you are feeling bored. Everyone can enjoy and explore Zentangle with a piece of paper and a pencil or marker. You could even draw Zentagle doodles in the dirt outside with a stick. It is an easy and entertaining way to express yourself.

Art elements for this exercise:

Line – A mark made by a pointed tool like a brush, pen or marker; a moving point.

Shape – A flat, enclosed area that has two dimensions.

Design principles for this exercise:

Pattern – A regular arrangement of alternated or repeated elements (shapes, lines, colors) or motifs.

Contrast – The relationship of different elements of design (dark and light).

Begin by making random lines that break up the space on your paper. Be bold.

Add shapes to break the space up into smaller areas.

Begin to fill in those areas with lines, smaller shapes, and patterns. Use as many different shapes lines and patterns as you can.

Fill in around shapes and inside shapes to create contrast.

Fill as much space as you can to make your drawing as interesting as possible. Add shapes, lines, patterns and contrast.

Reflect: What is something you notice about your drawing? How did drawing your Zentangle make you feel? How many different shapes did you make? How many different patterns did you use? Do any of your patterns repeat?

To learn more about zentangle, click here or check out this book.

Lesson by: Audra Lambert