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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Zen Mandalas

Zen Mandalas Zen Mandalas – Sacred Circles Inspired by Zentangle “explores the ancient teachings of the mandala through the process of Zentangle”.

Of the 4 new Design Originals books that just hit the bookshelves Zen Mandalas is far and away my personal favorite.

Suzanne McNeill did a superb job of creating a mini-course in all you could want to know about mandalas. Her illustrations along with those of CZTs Margaret Bremner and Carole Ohl are  beautiful and inspiring. I learned so much about mandalas and their symbolism and meanings from this book and I’m totally inspired to create some of my own.

Zen Mandalas is an 8 x 8-inch, 52-page (including covers) softcover book that includes 60 tangles with step-by-step illustrations, “and everything a beginner needs to start making beautiful mandalas.”

The “Zen in Mandalas” section sets up the content that follows by summarizing and explaining the qualities mandalas represent – sacred circles, center of life, expanding life, symmetry, balance, relaxation, meditative, focus.

From there, the book proceeds into the following sections:

  • Getting Started – the Zentangle basics of supplies, border, string and tangles, and shading to add dimension
  • Snowflake Mandalas – how to cut snowflake mandalas, by CZT Carole Ohl, with Carole’s inspiring black and white mandalas
  • Color Mandalas – by CZT Margaret Bremner, with Margaret’s beautiful colorful mandalas
  • Templates and Geometric Mandalas – how to create mandalas with stencils, or a compass
  • Symbolism and the Color Wheel – the meaning of common mandala symbols, and the meaning of color and combinations
  • Adding Colors – a “collection of generally accepted meanings of color”, with a variety of colorful mandalas by Suzanne McNeill using various media – watercolors, colored pencils, chalk, colored pens, etc. – and tips for each
  • Tangle Patterns – arranged in groups by variations of circles, grids, wavy lines, parallel lines, leaves and shapes

These next chapters contain examples of each theme with explanations of related colors and numeric symbolism:

  • Yin-Yang – how to make a 2-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 2
  • Planet Earth – how to make a 3-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 3
  • Sun and Compass – how to make a 4-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 4
  • Heavenly Bodies –  how to make a 5-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 5
  • Love & the Heart – how to make a 6-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 6
  • Water & Earth – how to make a 7-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 7
  • Hands All Around – how to make an 8-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 8
  • Spiral – how to make a 9-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 9
  • Lotus and Symmetry – how to make a 10-section or 12-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of these numbers
  • Dream Catchers – how to make an 11-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 11
  • Borders & Hex Symbols – borders and boundaries for your mandalas and 8 Pennsylvania-Dutch good luck symbols
  • Index of Tangles – a pictorial index of the 60 tangles. (Errata: in Line 3, the 4th tangle labeled Braid should be Cells, and the 5th labeled Cells, should be Chinese Lanterns)

Zen Mandalas is simply packed with inspirational examples and practical information for expanding your Zentangle® creativity with mandalas. You will not be disappointed with this book, it is well worth having in your library.

For Your Zentangle® Library

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