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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher
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RANDOM SELECTOR

Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings.

ARCHIVES

Tangle Refresher 176 – Featuring a roundup of some excellent online guides to pens, a random string, plus how to draw Pepper, 1/2 Orbs, Mariposa, Kirkland, Arches

Tangle Refresher!A couple of years ago we reviewed some excellent online guides to gel pens, calligraphy pens, drawing inks … and more.

For those who are new to the site, and for those who’d like another look, I think the updated article below is worth repeating.

You’ll want a cup of tea for this one …

Many of us have, or are developing, a passion for pens. There’s no such thing as having too many. AmIright?

Today I thought I’d share links to some excellent online reference guides to gel pens, calligraphy pens, drawing inks … and more! You might be familiar with the online retailer JetPens, but perhaps you’ve not noticed their wonderful series of detailed guides. Here is a roundup of a few of the more relevant ones for tanglers.

BTW if you become a new customer of JetPens, be sure to tell them TanglePatterns sent you! JetPens does not have an affiliate program and this is not a paid advertisement, just a useful reference from moi for you.

GEL PENS

gel-pens-guidesJetPens has 26 guides together under the heading of Gel Pens. These are direct links to the most Zentangle®-relevant ones and if you click the image above you can see all 26 guides:

  1. Eco-Friendly Pens – “Doing our part to help protect the environment is important—and getting more important every day. Even seemingly small steps, like choosing reusable and responsibly made pens, can add up to a big difference over time.”
  2. Sakura Gelly Roll: A Comprehensive Guide – truly a comprehensive guide. “It’s the gel pen that started it all. As the first pen to use gel in its ink formula, the Gelly Roll paved the way for other well-known gel pens such as the Hi-Tec-C and Signo. With its smooth-flowing ink, pigmented colors, and huge range of finishes, the Gelly Roll’s iconic status should come as no surprise.
  3. Planner Decoration: Plan With JetPens!
  4. Guide to Choosing White Gel Pens and Markers – excellent guide analyses tip material, line width, opacity. A detailed chart at the end even gives approximate drying times for each type of pen. Staff favorites: Uni-ball Signo Broad Gel Pen (also highly recommended here on TanglePatterns), and the Sakura Decorese Gel Pen.
  5. Guide to Ergonomic Pens – “Pens are often advertised as being ergonomic, but the meaning of the words tends to get lost in a haze of marketing speak. What exactly makes a pen ergonomic? There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, since ergonomics vary from person to person, depending on the size and shape of their hands, as well as any pre-existing medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel or arthritis. With that in mind, this guide will help you parse through ergonomic pen options and also give some tips and tricks along the way.
  6. Guide to Metallic and Glitter Ink Pens and Markers. For Zentangle®, remember to look for pens with archival inks in the excellent pens/markers/brushes chart at the end of the article. The two archival brands given there are: Zebra Sarasa Retractable Gel Pen – Metallic Colors – and Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Gel Pens
  7. The Best Fine-Tip Gel Pens. “For the best fine-tip gel pens around, we need to look to Japan. … The reason Japanese gel pens are so much finer than Western gel pens is that Japanese characters are denser and more complex than the Latin characters we use. Even for those of us who only write in English, however, there are plenty of other reasons to use a fine-tip gel pen.”
  8. Tips & Tricks for Ballpoint and Gel Pens. “As you can imagine, we receive a lot of questions about how to troubleshoot pen problems and which pens to choose. In this guide, we’ve compiled ballpoint and gel pen tips and tricks based on common customer questions. We’ll cover six major categories in this article: Pen Differences, Refill Installation, Common Pen Problems, Pen Care, Pen Selection, and Special Pens.

MANGA & COMIC PENS

comic-manga-pens-guidesJetPens has 7 guides together under the heading of Comic & Manga Pens. These are direct links to the most Zentangle-relevant ones and if you click the image above you can see all 7 guides:

  1. Guide to Drawing Pens – includes the Sakura Pigma Micron. “To address the issue of cost [of technical pens], manufacturers changed the tip material from metal to plastic, making it cheaper to produce and removed any need for maintenance. Longevity was sacrificed but performance was actually improved in a certain way as plastic tips are capable of a wider range of drawing angles and don’t need to be held perfectly perpendicular to the page to work. Thus was the drawing pen born.
  2. Guide to Technical Pens – Useful! “The Sakura Pigma Micron is one of the most widely used technical drawing pens. These inexpensive pens boast archival-quality ink in seven different tip sizes and fifteen colors. They are maintenance-free, portable, and reliable – perfect for all varieties of creative people.”
  3. How to use Manga Pen Nibs. “Sharp yet flexible, the humble manga nib is well loved by artists for its versatility and expressiveness. Are you interested in drawing with nibs but aren’t sure where to start? To take you from nib newbie to manga master, we’ll go through some basic techniques and useful practice drills that will get you up to speed in no time.”
  4. Guide to Drawing Inks

BRUSH PENS

brush-pens-guides

JetPens has 18 guides together under the heading of Brush Pens. These are direct links to the most Zentangle-relevant ones and if you click the image above you can see all 18 guides:

  1. Guide to Watercolor Supplies
  2. Guide to Choosing a Brush Pen for Art
  3. Guide to Water Brushes
  4. Guide to Choosing a Brush Pen for Calligraphy
  5. The Best Brush Pens for Lettering and Calligraphy

CALLIGRAPHY PENS

calligraphy-pens-guides

JetPens has 7 guides together under the heading of Calligraphy Pens. These are direct links to several and if you click the image above you’ll also see all 7 guides there:

  1. Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders
  2. Calligraphy Pen Basics
  3. The Best Brush Pens for Lettering and Calligraphy
  4. Pens & Writing Supplies for the Left-Handed

INKS

inks-guides

JetPens has 31 guides together under the heading of Inks. There are 5 “Drawing Inks” guides, and 19 “Fountain Pen Inks” guides. These are direct links to the most Zentangle-relevant ones and if you click the image above you’ll see all 31 guides:

  1. White Inks Guide
  2. Guide to Drawing Inks – “Choosing an ink that works well for your needs is critical. Knowing ahead of time if your ink is waterproof or marker-proof, will fade with erasing or sunlight, or has any other issues can save a great deal of headaches for artists later on.

There, that should keep you busy for a while. Hope you found this useful, please let me know in the comments!

Enjoy a beautiful weekend …

* * *

Many tanglers like to use these biweekly Tangle Refreshers as their Zentangle® challenge-of-the-day.

Using the RANDOM TANGLE SELECTOR in the left sidebar this TanglePatterns String was selected for today – either to go with today’s Buried Treasure or just to use as a starting point for your day’s tangling.

Think of this as your tangle Challenge, if you’re so inclined. TanglePatterns String 045 is from tangler Jadie Wright and was originally posted here.

TanglePatterns String 045

Right click and SAVE to your computer; then print. Pinning content from this site is not permitted. Copyright notice is posted on the bottom of every page. Thank you for respecting these rights.

Remember that Zentangle strings are always drawn freehand in pencil so that they magically disappear when you’ve finished tangling the tile.

A string is a simple device to “divide your drawing surface into sections to be filled with tangles“.

In the Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1 there is an entire section devoted to Strings which in part explains:

As you tangle, your strings disappear as if by magic. This adds to the charm and unified appearance of your completed art. If you had used a pen to draw your string, you would still see the initial sectioning in your completed creation.

Strings are not intended to be the focal point of your tile.

More String advice from The Book of Zentangle (now available in paperback for $19.95):

A string is a useful reference, but it is not an impenetrable barrier. Practice going outside your string. It will help increase your ability to think outside the box.

To download eBooks containing all 250 TanglePatterns Strings, visit the STORE > EBOOKS page.

* * *

The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, spotlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of tangles you might not have used for a while or introduce you to some you haven’t come across yet.

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: Pepper. 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. Pepper
 Zentangle pattern: 1/2 Orbs. 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. 1/2 Orbs
 Zentangle pattern: Mariposa. 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. Mariposa
 Zentangle pattern: Kirkland. 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. Kirkland
 Zentangle pattern: Arches. 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. Arches
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 148

More good stuff …

Enhance your Zentangle experience ...

CURRENT EDITION! TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE, 2018 Edition

TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE - 2018 Edition

The newest Edition of my TanglePatterns.com TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download 60-page digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2017. Containing over 1,000 tangles, it's a must-have tool for using the site.

"Linda, Thank you! I was relying on too few and getting stuck after 3 years of daily working with Zentangle. This has inspired me to ‘begin again’ with renewed excitement." ~ Barbara R.

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 NOW AVAILABLE IN SOFTCOVER!! Don't miss the fabulous 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.

3 comments to Tangle Refresher 176 – Featuring a roundup of some excellent online guides to pens, a random string, plus how to draw Pepper, 1/2 Orbs, Mariposa, Kirkland, Arches

  • JENNIFER SPARROW

    Was not familiar with jetpens.com–looks dangerous 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  • Sue Zanker

    Exellent article Linda, had not seen it previously, definitely worth keeping or having access to it. Sometimes I read articles like this and at the time I don’t need anything, and then when I do, can’t find the article !
    Some interesting forgotten patterns here too, must try them again…..thanks heaps, I love the Refresher!

  • Claire

    Great issue Linda. You must have read my mind…or my search history! I just could have waited a day or two and voila, you show up. Thank you. And youareright. Can’t have too many pens!

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