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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Guest Contributor: Genevieve Crabe on Stippling to Create Shading

Geneviève lives and teaches in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. She illustrates that by using the technique of stippling you can achieve shading with pen and ink as well as with a traditional pencil.

Genevieve Crabe

Geneviève Crabe – Artist, Writer, Teacher, and CZT

Stippling in Pen & Ink

Shading is an important part of Zentangle®. The purpose of shading is to give the illusion of depth and dimension.

In pen and ink art, there are a variety of methods for achieving this illusion, like parallel lines or cross-hatching. My favourite is stippling, where the shading values are achieved with small dots of ink by varying the density of the dots.

Here is an example showing how I can make a flat circle look like a round sphere:

Stippling a flat circle to make it appear to be a round sphere

Just like Zentangle® strokes, each dot must be deliberately placed so that the dots are as even as possible. The finer the pen you use, the smoother the shading will look.

You can see some examples of my pre-Zentangle pen & ink work on Flickr.

You can also use colour along with the stippling. In this example, I stippled the rose and then added a single colour using watercolour pencils:

Stippled Rose with Watercolor

Here is an example of a Zentangle® where I used stippling for shading instead of graphite:

Stippled Zentangle

If you want to learn more about stippling, check out my online class, Pen & Ink Rose.

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Related Posts:

TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2016 Edition

TanglePatterns.com TANGL GUIDE, 2016 Edition The current Edition of my TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2015. It's a must-have tool for using the site.
Visit the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page.
Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page for more information and support TanglePatterns.com by getting your copy now!
If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my TanglePatterns.com BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.
Zentangle Primer Volume 1 Remember you can get your official Zentangle supplies here too, including the fabulous new Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®! Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H


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5 comments to Guest Contributor: Genevieve Crabe on Stippling to Create Shading

  • Rachel

    I just tried this technique for the first time last week! This was the first tangle I ever did that truly came out exactly the way I had envisioned it…the only one so far that I haven’t felt the need to tweak after I finished it.

    It’s a great technique, and I will certainly be using it again!

  • Wonderful! I love stippling, but I’m not nearly the master of it that you are!

  • I took Genevieve’s online Pen & Ink rose class and I have learned so much! Great class and stippling is really a neat art technique. I will be stippling more and can’t wait to try it with Zentangle! Thanks, Genevieve!

  • Sue Williams

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and creativity. Greetings from South Africa. Sue

  • Sharon Wrench

    I enjoyed working on my ‘first; stippling project. I found myself wanting to shade with a pencil, but decided to shade using stippling only. The results are very nice. Thank you for sharing.

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