In this blog post, I will show you, step by step, how you can draw this new Zentangle® pattern called Ludlow.  

When you start practicing with the Zentangle Method, you often are looking for new Tangles to jumpstart your creativity. Likewise, when you have been practicing for a while, learning a new tangle can be inspiring too!

As a refresher, Tangles are patterns composed of simple steps that pretty much anyone can draw. You get into the flow by simply drawing these repetitive strokes such as a line, a dot, a slight curve, or a roundish shape. In the end, you end up relaxed and have created a beautiful piece of art.

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Isn’t that cool?

If you’ve never heard about the Zentangle Method, you can read more about it on the Zentangle website or in this article called What is Zentangle?

When you first start drawing, there may be times when you are not sure what you want to draw. You may wonder what the next step is? Or how you should draw something.

What I like the most about practicing the Zentangle Method, is its simplicity. Each step is clear and, at the same time, allows your creative inspiration to come forth. It reveals the artist in you.

There are 8 steps in this method. These 8 steps guide you along the way, always present but not limiting. There are a guideline, a rope, a path you can follow. You are free to follow along or meander on the way. This is a journey of creative (self?) discovery.

This article will give you more detail about the 8 Steps that add to your creative practice.

One of these steps is about Tangles.

Tangles are like colors for the Zentangle Method. When you start to draw, eventually, at a certain moment, you are inspired by one or more tangles to fill the space on your paper.

Tangles are something to experiment and play with, add interest to your artwork and express your creativity.

Tangles are deconstructed into steps -using elemental strokes. You or pretty much anyone can then use these steps to draw the tangles on paper.

Tangles or patterns abound around us.

As you start practicing with the Zentangle Method, you usually end up seeing patterns everywhere! You may even want to create your own step-by-step instructions on how to draw a tangle. [Insert block to direct people to my step-by-step instructions download]

In this article, I want to present you with a new pattern or Tangle called Ludlow.

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I wanted to deconstruct this pattern as soon as I saw that picture in a magazine.

Inside this magazine was a beautiful picture of some sort of plant – please don’t ask me its name, I am abysmal with names and plants’ names even more so.

It was lush and green, with fronds that went this way and that way. You could almost feel the wind and the heat of the sun, just by looking at it. It made me think even more of the sun, the sea, and blue skies.

As a side note, at the time, I was on the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle, in a town called Port Ludlow. It was a rainy weekend. This is not an unusual occurrence when you live in the Seattle area. I was facing the dark grey skies and the sea. It was a such lovely sight. Just not very sunny and warm.

There and then, I decided to see if I could find a way to make this plant into a Tangle. Who knows? Maybe I wanted to feel the heat of the sun for a little while in winter.

Unfortunately, I cannot find the picture of this plant anymore! I will leave this to your imagination.

Fortunately, it so happens that Tangles are usually not representational. It might even be better not to have an image to start with. There is no risk then of comparison or setting an expectation to draw it perfectly.

In the end, I deconstructed this plant into step-by-step instructions, using simple lines.

You can choose to draw this Tangle with more curves, more lines, or more spaces in between – anything works.

Let the wind, the sea, the sun, the dark grey or blues skies, the heat or the rain, fill you as you draw to see where they will take you.

Mental images and inspiration can guide you along the way to your creative expression on paper. Let it flow freely and see where it takes you.

Now let’s learn how to draw this pattern called Ludlow.

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The first step to draw this pattern Ludlow starts with two simple lines.

This is the first basic step; you start by drawing a slightly curved line and adding an aura. In the Zentangle Method, an Aura is a line like the one you just drew but slightly away from the first one.

As you can see, there is not much to a Tangle step-by-step instruction. Lines are simple and easy to draw. And, usually, there are very few steps to follow.

You can always experiment with that first step:

  • How long do you want to draw these first two lines?
  • How large is your aura?
  • Will you draw these lines more or less curved
  • Or maybe you will draw them more like an “S” shape?

Don’t hesitate to try and see what happens when you change a parameter.

A continuous line with spikes is the next step.

The next step is the step that will really change the look of your Ludlow. It is a continuous line that makes it look like a series of spikes or fronds.

Follow along as you draw, find your rhythm. You will create an overall sense of shape with the length and width of your spikes or fronds.

  • Do they fan out progressively?
  • Will these spikes or frond grow first and then reduce in size again?
  • Do you want roundish spikes or very pointed ones?
  • Are all your spikes very close to each other, or do you like it better when you leave space in between?
  • How else would you want to draw these lines?

You might end up creating something so different that it could become a tangleation – a variation of a Tangle.

Have fun with this step!

Step 3 adds a little shadow or rounding to create some drama.

Now comes the last part. In this step -that you can skip if you want, you can add some drama or intensity to the Tangle you just drew.

Will some rounding add some interest to some part of your tangle?

Rounding is exactly what the name suggests.

You add some intensity to your Tangle by rounding some corners or intersections and filling them in black.

  • Can you see what that will change for Ludlow?
  • Do you want to try the same on your drawing?

You can use shading if you prefer.

That is another option to play with Ludlow. Add a little shading to the center of the Tangle or shade the fronds or the stems.

Experiment with both the rounding and/or the shading.

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This Tangle or that Tangle ?

Some Tangles work better for us than others. One thing I know for sure, is that you should always try a tangle, and see what works for you.

Our mood, how we feel, change, and that also changes the way we draw or what we like to draw. Don’t hesitate to try a tangle on different days. You might be surprised to see how differently you can draw a tangle when you experiment with it at different times in your day or life.

Sometimes, it may feel difficult to pair tangles together. Don’t let that thought stop you in your creative practice.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to draw.

There is only this way that happens at this moment.

Good or bad, right or wrong, it is the way you draw at that moment. We choose to add a label to it.

  • How often do you stop yourself by adding a label?
  • Can you try to just enjoy the moment of putting pen to paper?

Find your way of playing with this pattern called Ludlow and have fun!

And you are most welcome to share, in the comments, how that worked for you, as I would love to hear about your journey with Ludlow.

Tangle on,

Juliette

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