What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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How to draw CHI

First I’d like to wish a very Happy Bastille Day, or Fête nationale, to all our French tanglers! It’s only fitting that a French cyclist is riding with the coveted yellow leader’s jersey in Le Tour today, and our German friends are celebrating their glorious win over Argentina for the World Cup. All is well in the sports world 🙂

Bastille Day in Paris

Bastille Day celebrations in Paris

* * *

Zentangle pattern: Chi Chi is a lovely new tangle pattern from Ohio school science teacher and counselor Cynthia Gannon, and it’s her first on the site. Cynthia is also a graduate of CZT seminar 10 and owner of the Cleveland Bead Company.

Chi is a grid-based tangle with lots of potential for variations. My example here is just a slight variation of Cynthia’s original version.

Zentangle pattern: ChiUsing your tortillion to smooth out graphite fills really makes a big difference, it gives almost a polished finish to the fill. The top two rows of my Chi example on the right have been blended and smoothed with the tortillion, the bottom row has not and I think you can see what a difference it makes.

Lately I’ve been using a 4B pencil by Koh-i-noor and really enjoying how its soft lead performs. Be sure to try using a tortillion or blending stump on your graphite shading and fills if you haven’t done so yet. I think you’ll be very pleased with the results.

Zentangle pattern: ChiThis is an example of another Chi variation. Proving that there are no mistakes in Zentangle, I thought I’d followed Cynthia’s steps correctly and came up with this. Then I realized I’d done something a little different but the result is also very pretty. Can you spot how I went “wrong”?

And as always, although I used a square grid in my examples, I want to remind you that grids do not have to be drawn exactly square. Make your lines curved, or warped as I like to call them, and see how much fun you can have with pretty much any grid-based tangle.

Here’s Cynthia,

My husband and I went on a cruise with my sister and brother-in-law out of Venice recently,  and one of the ports we cruised to was Mykonos, the Greek island in the Aegean Sea. The colors of the water, the sky, the architecture, the food– it was quite a fabulous place. The windmills are an important landmark of the island and, for me, they are a symbol of its beauty.

[For my tangle name] I came up with the Greek letter ‘Chi’ (pronounced ki with a long i) because it is an ‘X’ and that’s the shape the vanes on the windmills. It is also the Roman Numeral for the number 10 and that’s the Zentangle Seminar I attended with Rick and Maria for my certification to teach Tangling!

Cynthia lives and teaches in Highland Heights, Ohio, and you can find information about her class schedule here.

Cynthia illustrates the steps for drawing Chi below and shows ways to vary it. If you find the angle of the strokes in Step 1 a challenge to judge, try starting by placing the triangles of Step 4 first, but don’t make them too big because you need to allow space for the rest of the shapes. It also helps to imagine a small circle in the center of each grid square and that’s where all the points meet up.

How to dfraw CHI by CZT Cynthia Gannon

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. Republishing or redistributing pattern deconstructions in any form is prohibited under law without express permission of the copyright owner.

Check out the tag cynthiag for more of Cynthia’s patterns on TanglePatterns.com.


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
The Official Zentangle Kit Another great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.

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