Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Shoshi’s in a Tangle Again

Note: This post has been edited for copyright reasons.

After several months’ break, I’ve started drawing Zentangles again. At least, I’ve been putting some more tangle step-outs (step-by-step instructions) into my Zentangle journal. I have recently discovered a wonderful new Zentangle blog, owned by the brilliant Sandy Hunter – do check her out – she’s amazing! She has a fun turn of phrase too, which is very entertaining. She is so imaginative, and often combines different patterns together, which has inspired me to try some of the same.

These pictures are all from my Zentangle journal, which is pretty sketchy, and serves as a reference guide to different patterns that I like. The quality of the paper isn’t that good, and it doesn’t seem to photograph very well and requires a lot of photo editing (I use Serif PhotoPlus which is just as good as Photoshop and costs a fraction too). I hope you will bear with me over the quality of these pictures.

The first picture is one I drew some weeks ago. It’s a great tangle, called Cruffle, and I know I shall use it a lot. It can be used as a border, or in groups, or randomly spaced, as you like.

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Sandy has produced some very nice variations on Cadent, which is another of my favourite patterns and a new pattern for me, Unbatz, another which has lots of potential for variations.

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Next are the step-outs for Snircles and Veezley, also useful and lovely patterns. As you can see, I found Veezley rather difficult to do – it really shows if you don’t line up the diagonal grid properly.

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Here are some more variations on Veezley – not at all easy to do because it’s essential to get the diagonal grid even! Mine look more like my knitting on a bad day. Also Sweet 101 – Sandy tells us that she used to decorate cookies (check out her awesome cookie zentangles!!), and this pattern was inspired by that. You can see that I’ve made several unsatisfactory attempts, and then I managed a small patch of pattern that I was more satisfied with.

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Now follows Wunderwall. This is a great pattern, and requires the original dot grid to be wider than it is high to give good results.

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There are lots of variations on this pattern. Sandy then combines it with ’Nzeppl, a favourite pattern of mine, to good effect. She calls this Wundermutt.

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Next I have drawn Crescent Moon and Eyelet & Ribbon (lovely pattern, this!), and Sandy’s combination of these two patterns, which I eventually managed to get right!!

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A quick sketch of the easy pattern Hypnotic, and then Sandy’s idea of combining this with one of my favourite woven-effect tangles, Huggins. This works very well. I drew a large dot grid, and decided to try some different combinations of patterns with Huggins, some more satisfactory than others.

You can see from the picture that I tried one particular pattern, Reticulated, first on the short sides of the Huggins pieces, which really didn’t work, and later on the long sides, which worked out fine. I repeated this with Japonica and Eyelet & Ribbon, both of which worked very well, and also with some Cruffles, which were OK but not outstanding.

This experiment showed me that Huggins works very well indeed in combination with patterns with a strong linear border design, following the line of the weave to great effect. There’s definitely potential in combining patterns like this, but they do have to be drawn quite large to start with, in order to get the full effect.

The final photo in this set is two complete drawings of combinations with Huggins. You can see how well they work.

I have had great fun exploring Sandy’s blog from beginning to end, and enjoying how she thinks! She must have been reading my mind, because I discovered a post she made, concerning how she stores her samples. My Zentangle journal is now becoming quite full, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the patterns I want while drawing, which is very frustrating because it all takes so much time. Her idea is so cool and clever! I think I will do something like this, but with larger cards (possibly ATC-sized) so that each one can incorporate the step-out as well. I shall continue using my journal as I’ve been doing, for collecting and practising samples, and the ones I like (and that I can draw decently!) will then be transferred to individual cards. This system, with the cards stored in transparent wallets, is better than a card index system, which I’d been thinking about, because so many patterns are visible simultaneously. I popped her idea up on Pinterest because I thought it might help others, too.

It’s been fun, drawing again. As I practise tangles old and new, I hope to get inspired again to do some more Zentangle-Inspired Art (ZIA).


  1. A great peek at your work and thought processes! Know your final results will be outstanding

  2. Fabulous designs Shoshi - I love the Huggins one, especially the eyelet and ribbon - so clever. It's something I feel I want to try but I don't think I'll have the patience!

  3. So fun to see your zentangles, Shoshi - they are awesome. My favorite is the Huggins with eyelet:)

  4. Good to see you back and all tangled up again hahahaha. love your step by step photos

  5. Its so exciting to see your workings and ive personally had some good feedback about your pages from the SKETCHBOOK FRIENDS members.
    People love to see a process of thoughts.
    Thanks Shoshi
    Lynn :)


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