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Tangle Refresher 145 – Featuring tangles that are good for Zentangle newbies

Tangle Refresher!Welcome to the first Tangle Refresher of 2017.

For those new to the Zentangle® community, the Tangle Refreshers usually appear every other Friday and they spotlight tangles that appeared about a year ago on the site. I also call this series “Buried Treasure”, ’cuz it is.

The Refreshers can introduce you to tangles you haven’t come across yet, as let’s face it there are hundreds and hundreds on the site and it can be hard to keep up. If you’ve been around TanglePatterns.com for a while the Refreshers can remind you of some great tangles you’ve forgotten about. Buried Treasure. At the end of each Refresher is also a good list of links to check out.

Some tanglers in the community like to use the tangles featured in the Refreshers as their “random tangles” for their tile-of-the-day.

With every Refresher I also challenge myself to include an introductory article of interest — either Zentangle-related, or not, depending on my whimsy and/or the occasion. For today’s introduction and because it’s timely, I’ve decided to revisit a Refresher from a year ago that’s little longer than most. Thus, with a little updating, here is the gist of last year’s Refresher introduction …

The new year always brings many new people to Zentangle® and then come the emails asking “which tangles should I start with?”. Which ones are good for Beginners?

While it’s true there’s a mind-boggling array of great tangles on the site, as Rick and Maria say “Anything is possible … one stroke at a time.™” This applies to tangles and the mindful practice of deliberate stroke-making.

Thus, every tangle is good for beginners. Some require more focus than others, and that is all. Not more experience or more artistic “expertise”, simply more focus. One stroke at a time.

As I’ve reminded elsewhere, “Remember that Zentangle is a mindful process, not a picture-drawing race against time. Savor each stroke!”

My personal advice for beginners is to start with what are often referred to as “the official tangles” — the official tangles are the Zentangle-originals (from Zentangle HQ) that are listed and linked on the top menu bar under ZENTANGLES > LINDA’S LIST OF OFFICIAL TANGLES.

You could create Zentangles for the next year with just a few of the Zentangle-originals with instructions available from that list and never get bored playing with them and variations you come up with yourself. If you add strings from the site’s String resource into the mix, you have an unlimited palette to experiment and chill out with.

From the Zentangle-originals list of tangles, here are few that are perfect to get everyone tangling:

  1. Crescent Moon – with this tangle we learn the technique of the aura and it’s the classic starter tangle with potential for lots of creative variations
  2. Hollibaugh – with this tangle we learn the Zentangle technique of drawing behind
  3. Bales – a basic grid tangle that is almost infinitely variable and it’s a core official tangle
  4. Printemps – a fun tangle full of swirls
  5. Cadent – a little more challenging than the first four, but another classic tangle that’s infinitely variable as you’ll see in CZT Margaret Bremner’s excellent tutorial
  6. Ahh – so simple and can add a bit of lightness and movement to a tile

To my CZT colleagues: you are welcome to chip in with your favorite tangles for beginners in the comments!

Another little tip … for best results try to use at most 3 or 4 tangles in a tile, more than that and your Zentangle will probably look very busy. Monotangles are also very popular, this is where you use one tangle (with or without variations) for a Zentangle. For explanations of these terms, see the ZENTANGLES > ZENTANGLE TERMINOLOGY page.

My TanglePatterns BEGINNER’S GUIDE to Zentangle contains a longer list of tangles that are good for beginners but these few are a great start.

Just jump in and tangle! Zentangle tiles are designed to be small and manageable so you’re not overwhelmed. And as you do more and more of them you’ll be delighted to see your art improve with each one.

Want proof? These are my own examples of Printemps. The one on the left is the one I first posted for Printemps when I started TanglePatterns almost seven years ago as a complete novice drawing anything at all. The example on the right is one I drew to replace my original after a couple of years of tangling. Practice improves your fine motor skills and thus your pen control.

printemps-before-and-after

Keep all of your tiles! Sign and date the back. In a few weeks and months to come you can look back at your first tiles and see just how far you’ve come. And remember what you were doing at the time.

Once you get going, remember to have a go at more of the Zentangle-originals on LINDA’S LIST.

I leave you with a quote from the article “Brené Brown on the Physics of Vulnerability and What Resilient People Have in Common” on brainpickings.org,

Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. We are born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration — it is how we fold our experiences into our being… The Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea has a beautiful saying: ‘Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.

* * *

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from a year (or two) ago for your tangling pleasure. Remember to check out the “More Good Stuff” links below too.

BTW as you visit these tangles please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. And please share a link to your favorite tangles with your followers on all your social media. Thanks!

Zenful tangling!

Buried Treasure from the tangling past
Zentangle pattern: Molygon. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Molygon
Zentangle pattern: Heart Divided. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Heart Divided
Zentangle pattern: Join. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Join
Zentangle pattern: Luffline. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Luffline
Zentangle pattern: Pixioze. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Pixioze
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 117

More good stuff …

Enhance your Zentangle experience ...

NEW! Over 1,000 tangles! TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2017 Edition

TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE - 2017 Edition The newest Edition of my TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download 54-page digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2016. With over 1,000 tangles, 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!
GIFT ORDERS: To give the TANGLE GUIDE as a gift, visit this page to place your gift order.
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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5 comments to Tangle Refresher 145 – Featuring tangles that are good for Zentangle newbies

  • Thank you for this post, Linda! In particular … “Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.” Wow!!! That resonates with me. Brené Brown is incredible, isn’t she?

    And since you asked, a few of my favorite tangles to teach beginners, in addition to the ones you mentioned, are Shattuck, Florz and Tipple.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Thanks, Jan. That part of the quote resonated with me too, so I added emphasis to it. And thanks too for the three good tangles you’ve mentioned. I don’t think Florz gets its due, there are lots of great variations for that one.

  • Maryann S

    What a helpful article, thank you Linda. I’m new to Zentangle and this gives me more confidence I can do this. Your site is so comprehensive, I know it must be a ton of work and I thank you for your dedication. I’ve just bought your 2017 guide and my contribution is on its way.

    • sherri

      Thank you Linda, for sharing your beautiful talent with the world. My spirit is lifted a bit. Mindfulness through simplicity and creating art is soothing. Thankfully you have shown how to get started with Zentangle. Such a caring act. Blessed Be. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Linda Farmer, CZT

        Sherri, thank you so much for your blessings. I am honored. And I am delighted you are finding inspiration and encouragement here … welcome to Zentangle® and TanglePatterns.

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