Zentangle: A Creative Approach to Stress Relief

Zentangle: A Creative Approach to Stress Relief

Somjai Jaithieng - stock.adobe.com

Zentangle is an increasingly popular form of meditative drawing that has been gaining popularity for years. It’s easy to learn and the basic steps can be done in just a few minutes. But is Zentangle something where you can truly relax and achieve a state of mindfulness, or is it just a messy mess? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Zentangle?

Zentangle is a simple yet elegant method of drawing. It involves creating patterns with a few simple strokes, and the results can be stunningly beautiful.

The Zentangle method was developed by artists Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas to focus the mind while creating art. The beauty of Zentangle is that anyone can do it, regardless of their artistic experience or skill level.

Zentangle: Tiff20

Tiff20 - stock.adobe.com

Relaxing Effect

The Zentangle method is said to have a relaxing effect. The repetitive strokes and concentration required can help calm and focus the mind. This can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety or stress.

Mindfulness and meditation have many benefits: they reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase concentration. If you’re looking for a way to relax and relieve stress, Zentangle may be worth a try.

However, it’s important to remember that not everyone can achieve the same results with the Zentangle method. So if you don’t feel relaxed when drawing a Zentangle, it’s not because you’ve done something wrong.

Basic Zentangle Pattern

To draw a Zentangle, you will need a blank, square sheet of paper and a pen. Usually, you draw with a black ink pen, but if you don’t have one at hand, feel free to use something similar like a black gel pen, pencil, or dark-colored pencil to start.

Kelli Blouin explains very well how to proceed with a Zentangle in one of her videos on YouTube. If you like her video, leave her a like or comment, I’m sure she’ll be very happy about it!

If you are looking for a very basic framework on how to draw a Zentangle, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Draw a dot in each corner.
  2. Connect the dots so that a rectangle is formed.
  3. Draw two curved lines, but they must not cross each other. However, one line can touch the other or end up touching.
  4. Draw a pattern of your choice per section and fill it with it.

These steps are a bit different from what Kelli does in her video, but as you can see there are no strict rules for drawing a Zentangle.

5 Elements for Beginners

As a beginner, you can create your Zentangle using five simple elements. Advanced artists add much more complex elements to their Zentangles, such as eyes, flowers, feathers, etc.

  • Dots
  • Straight Lines
  • Curved Lines
  • Circles
  • Half Circles

Is the Use of Color Allowed in Zentangle?

Now that you know the basics of Zentangle, you may be wondering if you can use some color. After all, Zentangle was originally drawn only in black and white.

The answer is yes, you can use color in your Zentangles! However, it is important to remember that the goal of Zentangle is to focus the mind and achieve a state of relaxation. So if you feel stressed or frustrated when you add color to your Zentangles, it’s best to stick to black and white.

There are no strict rules when it comes to Zentangle, so ultimately it’s up to you whether or not you want to add color.

Zentangle: Tiff20

Tiff20 - stock.adobe.com

Zentangle for Advanced Artists

For those who already feel confident in drawing Zentangle, you can try out more complex motifs. The great thing about Zentangle is that you can add the patterns of the Zentangle method to certain drawing motifs, such as animals or people.

With a little practice, you can add Zentangle to any drawing and give it a very personal touch.

Zentangle: Tiff20

Mayavesna - stock.adobe.com

What Supplies Do You Need?

As mentioned earlier, I would recommend starting with what you currently have at home. However, if you’ve found long-term joy in drawing Zentangle, there are sets available for purchase online that will provide you with everything you need.

Is Zentangle a Way to Relax or Not?

You can find out if Zentangle works for you as a method of relaxation by simply trying it out. In my self-experiment, I found out that Zentangle did not help me to relax. Interestingly, I even thought more about difficult situations in my main job and didn’t focus on the lines, circles, and dots. Maybe I should give Zentangle another chance and try to concentrate more on drawing.

How is it for you? Does Zentangle have a relaxing effect on you? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.


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