What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.


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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2015 Edition to help you select tangles. See Page 6 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings.


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How to draw EMINGLE and AMBLER

Zentangle pattern: EmingleEmingle is composed of a repetition of one of the oldest classic design forms known as a fret. This pattern is one of the Zentangle®-original patterns introduced by creators Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

I found Emingle in Sandy Bartholomew’s book, AlphaTangle. Currently there are no online instructions for drawing Emingle, but it is a simple pattern to decipher.

First I drew the basic grid, then I filled the resulting squares with the fret form – each one using the same starting point in the upper left. You can vary this by making your grid curved and/or irregular, and you’ll end up with a variety of sizes and shapes of the frets. It’s really a fun filler to draw. You could shade the centers to make it more 3D too.

Zentangle pattern: AmblerAn original Zentangle® variant of Emingle, named Ambler, is composed by starting each fret in sequence clockwise or anticlockwise using each corner of the square. At least that’s what I deduced from seeing it in AlphaTangle. Here I started the first fret in the top left corner, the next in the bottom left, then bottom right, then top right, and repeating the sequence. I filled in the centers just for fun. The grid variants mentioned above also apply to Ambler.

According to Clarence P. Hornung in his Handbook of Designs and Devices,

The fret, or meander, is a plane, rectangular motif taken from early Greek ornament. It is also, in some instances, known as the key pattern … fret patterns are the angular or rectangular counterparts of the spiral.

Check out the tag zentangle for more Zentangle®-original tangles on TanglePatterns.com.

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11 comments to How to draw EMINGLE and AMBLER

  • Krystal

    Love them, need to add them to my collection!

  • Trish W.

    Thanks for posting this — I know there are 100+ “official” tangles, but haven’t found them named as such online (let alone all the instructions!). Will definitely add this to my collection!

    *Really* appreciate all your work building this site. It’s an awesome resource & the only one of its kind online that I know of. I’ve referred several beginning tanglers here :-)

  • Linda Farmer

    Thanks Trish, it’s a ton of work but worth the effort when lovely people like you take the time to let me know. I do hope it will be a great resource for years to come. Thanks for the referrals!

    PS – Love your beautiful rose gravatar. If anyone else would like to know how to get their own personal FREE gravatar – and it’s as easy as can be – check out this post I wrote some time ago.

  • Cat

    I would tag this greek key

  • What I understand from the pages of tangle patterns distributed at the CZT training in May 2010 is that Emingle is the square spirals done to fill a field. Ambler is the same square spirals done in a row to create a line or border.

    Margaret Bremner
    CZT, Saskatoon SK

    PS – Greek Key is a lovely pattern where the square spirals all go in and then come out and connect with the next one. It’s fun, but much more tricky (and not an official ZT pattern).

  • Shari Peters

    I am new to zentangles and am so happy to have found this site. There are so many patterns I am in a state of happy overwhelm. Thank you for putting this on the web. I know it is a lot of work but we are truly appreciative of your time and effort. Thank you again.

  • Sue Zanker

    These are great little patterns ! I’ve used both in ‘grid’ form, but the other day, I had a smallish vacant spot on my tile so I filled it with ‘random’ “emingles” and “ramblers”, small and larger, straight, upside down, and crooked etc, it it worked really well !

  • Linda Hunt

    Tangle drawing has changed my art life. I’ve always loved to doodle. I live in Argentina and most people here are pretty conservitive.They asked me if I was a hippie when I was younger. I make crazy looking animals out of paper mache and ztangle on them. I must admit they are great.Thank for your sharing and artistic ability and your willingness to share.

  • Jennifer sparrow

    Your index and instructions are amazing. I am new to all this. I feel like a kid in a candy shop! Thank you for this wonderful treat!

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