Draw Regularly with the Zentangle Method

Jan 27, 2023 | English, Practice, Resources

Are you interested in setting up a regular creative practice? I share in this article some tips on how to draw regularly with the Zentangle Method.

The Zentangle method is an easy-to-learn method that allows you to relax while drawing with pen and paper. You can learn more by reading the article What is the Zentangle™ Method? or by visiting zentangle.com from Zentangle Method founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

To start drawing regularly with the Zentangle Method, you don’t need much equipment: a pen, a pencil and some paper will work fine. I discuss this in more detail in the article Traveling Light with the Zentangle Method.

Incorporating a regular drawing practice into your daily routine can help you further your skills, realize your creative goals and achieve greater confidence and well-being.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started with a regular creative practice.

First tip: Don’t let a lack of space stop you from drawing regularly with the Zentangle Method.

Often, the lack of a dedicated creative space can be a roadblock to creativity.

If you have the space, set up a dedicated space for your creative practice.

This will help you whenever you have time to create, so you don’t have to set things up every time.

However, you should know that if you don’t have enough space, it doesn’t take much space or materials to start drawing with the Zentangle Method. And it is possible to set up a system that will help you draw regularly.

The basic materials for the Zentangle Method include a pen, pencil, blender or tortillon and some paper. You can, of course, add more materials if you wish.

I recommend that you gather the minimum materials you need and put them in a kit or basket.

Next, make sure your materials are easily accessible or visible.

If you have to take the time to put everything together every time, it will be much easier to tell yourself that you don’t have time.

On the other hand, having materials readily available will help you get started whenever you feel like it or have the time.

Quick Tip: Zentangle materials don’t take up much space. You can also carry a small kit in your bag. That way, you can draw anywhere you go.

Here’s a picture of my Zentangle kit, which I always carry with me when I travel.

My small Zentangle travel kit with pen pencils tortillons and paper

Tip number 2: Find the time that works best for you.

It’s not always easy to find time to create in our busy lives. Why not set aside 5–15-minute slots in your calendar to get started.

Find the time that works best for you:

  • In the morning when you get up?
  • During your lunch break?
  • In the evening before you go to bed?
  • Or even between meetings?

You can have fun and relax with the Zentangle method in just 15 minutes!

Drawing with the Zentangle Method a series of orbs drawn with black pen

The most important thing about drawing regularly with the Zentangle Method is to get started.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t start as regularly as you’d like, but continue at a pace that works for you.

Find small time slots at first, then when it becomes a habit, increase as time and desire permit. The goal is not for it to become a source of stress, but for it to be a time to relax.

We all have our own rhythm. Some people tangle or draw every day. Others are very satisfied with drawing once a week.

Find the rhythm that works best for you.

And remember, nothing is set in stone, so change your pace if you feel like it or need to.

Drawing with the Zentangle Method gives you a sense of well-being.

And the quality of the time spent drawing is more rewarding than the quantity.

Listen to yourself.

Third Tip: Take it step by step

As the saying goes: a journey of a thousand steps begins with the first.

One of the great advantages of the Zentangle® method is that it allows you to work on small formats.

Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by starting with large formats or very colorful Zentangle tiles if that doesn’t work for you.

Start small.

A first tile with a simple monotangle (a single pattern) is a good start. You can choose a Zentangle pattern and draw it quickly. In 15 minutes, you can even have a nice card to send to your friends.

To learn to draw regularly with the Zentangle method, I really recommend you start small. Choose patterns you like and explore what you can do with them.

Learn to tangle and compose your tiles little by little. Explore shading.

There’s a lot to explore with the Zentangle method.

Taking it step by step also helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too much complexity and enjoy the elegant simplicity of black and white tiles.

And finally, if you don’t have time to finish, that’s okay too! You’ll continue the next time you have time.

It’s better to draw a little than not at all.

Orbs drawn with blue pen on paper

Tip #4: To draw regularly with the zentangle method, plan ahead.

Still short on time? You’ve found some time to draw, but it still seems too short to do it… you don’t know what to draw and finding ideas take time!

Why not plan ahead what you are going to do?

Please note that I am not asking you to determine in advance exactly what you’ll draw. The Zentangle method helps us to draw and relax precisely because we don’t start with a predefined plan or an exact idea of what we are going to draw.

What I propose here is to prepare some suggestions, some inspirations that will guide you when you are ready to start.

Prepare activities ahead of time so you don’t have to search for ideas when you are ready to draw.

When you’re on your phone looking at Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, why not write down the names of the designs and tangles you like for reference later?

Make yourself a list of tangles and strings for those uninspired days or when it’s really too much of a rush.

You can search tanglepatterns.com for tangles or strings you like.

You can also build a tangles directory, so you always have ideas for patterns to draw. 

If you need help creating your tangles directory, here is an ebook to help you (in French or in English).

Also, don’t hesitate to look around, you might just find something to inspire you.

And if you really can’t practice regularly, get some help!

Choose a few friends to get started with.

Find a class that will motivate you to draw regularly.

Tip #5: Use what you have on hand

You know you had your supplies ready, but you still can’t find them!

Don’t give up.

Are you likely to find a ballpoint pen and paper or something else to draw with? Start with that.

And if you really don’t have anything handy, why not try to imagine what you are going to draw?

Drawing with the Zentangle method is also a state of mind. I know you have it in you.

So take five minutes today, grab a pen and a piece of paper and draw this Tipple monotangle, which I’ll share with you below with step-by-step instructions.

How to draw the tangle Tipple a series of orbs touching each others

How many different ways can you draw it in a short time?

Image of Tangle Tipple with orbs in different colors

Want to learn how to draw Tipple? Check out the Mini Course in French.

Example of Tipple drawn with Zentangle Method
Skip to content