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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your 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: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.




Zentangle pattern: Paradox. Image © Linda Farmer and 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.Paradox is a fun three dimensional tangle pattern to do and it can be a real mind bender.

The key to this tangle is the ability to remember to turn your tile! Variants include all the options of shading and solid colors as well as filling various shapes and other tangles within it.

Paradox is a Zentangle®-original tangle; Rick writes “We named this tangle ‘Paradox’ because it consists only of straight lines which create beautiful spirals.” The link to Maria’s illustrated instructions is here.

Paradox examples are shown in another issue of the Zentangle® newsletter here. Scroll down past the instructions for Opus.

And more “fun with Paradox” examples are shown in this issue.

UPDATE: August 25, 2011 – CZT Margaret Bremner posted an excellent tutorial, “Paradox and then some”, here. Be sure to check this one out!

UPDATE: August 26, 2011 – Zentangle co-founder Rick Thomas was inspired by Margaret’s post to explore a two-sided version of Paradox here on the blog.

UPDATE: June 22, 2012 – Margaret is at it again, she’s posted a variation she’s named Feathered Paradox. This technique also works using rounding in place of her triangles and I think I prefer the rounding version, it has a softer look.


UPDATE: November 11, 2017 – Project Pack #1. In this project series, in this video (12:57) Zentangle co-founder Rick Roberts demonstrates Paradox using White Sakura Gelly Roll Pens on a black 3Z Zentangle tile.


Update: December 20, 2017 – Project Pack #2. As part of the Twelve Days of Zentangle (2017 Edition), in this Day 10 video (13:49) Maria’s daughter, CZT Martha Huggins, tangles an enlarged version of Paradox and fills each triangle with Marasu-like bands using a white Gelly Roll on a black Apprentice Tile. At the end of the video Martha shows several tiles using Paradox as a framework filled with some Zentangle-original tangles (Purk, Printemps, Well).


Update: March 21, 2020 – It’s been a while since Rick and Maria posted a Kitchen Table Tangles (KTT) video but today in this one “Rick and Maria explore Tessellation possibilities with the paradox tangle on a Flower of Life string.” (19:08)


Update: April 23, 2020 – Canadian CZT Margaret Bremner adds a post called Crazy Paradox where she explores another version of Paradox and includes downloadable steps.


UPDATE July 20, 2020 – Project Pack #10. As part of The Legend of Zentangle project pack series, Rick tangles Paradox at 11:58 in this video.


UPDATE December 17, 2020 – Project Pack #12. As part of the 12 Days of Zentangle, 2020 Zentangle Renaissance project pack, Rick tangles Paradox and Flux on a Renaissance tan Phi tile.


UPDATE May 23, 2021 – Project Pack #14. As part of the Accessing the Artist Within project pack, Rick tangles Paradox, Hollis and Moon Pie on the spread with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Every artist was first an amateur”. This video is mirrored especially for left handed tanglers.


UPDATE December 12, 2021 – Project Pack #16. As part of the 12 Days of Zentangle – Keeping Score project pack, starting at 06:09 Rick tangles Paradox on two gray Zendala tiles which he makes into a pillow box ornament.


UPDATE 08/20/2022 – Project Pack #18. As part of the Introducing Zentangle’s new Translucen-Z Tiles project pack, Rick begins this tile with Tripoli and fills it in with Paradox at 09:15 in this video:


UPDATE May 28, 2023 – As part of Zentangle’s 21-day challenge honoring May’s Mental Health Awareness month, Day 18’s Bijouism is Focus and Rick tangles Paradox in this 14:34 minute limited-audio video.


UPDATE August 6, 2023 – Project Pack #21. As part of the Organic Tangles: Tangles of a Botanical Nature project pack, Rick tangles his Hanging Paradox specimen in this video:


For a complete list of Zentangle’s Project Packs click the PROJECT PACKS link in the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar.

Check out the tag zentangle for more Zentangle®-original tangles on


Zentangle Project Pack Summaries on TanglePatterns

For your convenience here are the links to all of my Zentangle Project Pack summaries:
  1. November 2017: Introducing Sakura’s White Gelly Roll Pens
  2. December 2017: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2017 Edition - A Stroll Down Memory Lane
  3. June 2018: A Zentangle Ensemble
  4. December 2018: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2018 Edition – Making a Zentangle Spinner
  5. April 2019: Zentangle Cartouches
  6. August 2019: No Mistakes
  7. December 2019: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2019 Edition – Light and Shade
  8. March 2020: Dancing in the Moonlight
  9. April 2020: Spring has Sprung
  10. July 2020: The Legend of Zentangle
  11. September 2020: Fee-PHI-Fo-Fun!
  12. December 2020: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2020 Edition - Zentangle Renaissance
  13. April 2021: Layers and Transitions
  14. May 2021: Accessing the Artist Within
  15. September 2021: Alphaborders, Letter Forms, Alphabets and the Birth of Zentangle
  16. December 2021: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2021 Edition - Keeping Score
  17. March 2022: The Kaleidoscope of Our Lives
  18. August 2022: Introducing Zentangle's new Translucen-Z Tiles
  19. December 2022: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2022 Edition - Zentomology
  20. March 17, 2023: Blossoming Tangles
  21. August 4, 2023: Organic Tangles: Tangles of a Botanical Nature
  22. December 2023: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2023 Edition - Exploring the Spiral
  23. March 15, 2024: The Birth of the Zentangle Method
  24. August 2024: TBA
  25.  December 2024: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2024 Edition


These are the links to my Zentangle Apprentice Project Pack summaries:
  1. January - February 2021: The Basics of the Zentangle Method
NOTE: You can always find the Project Pack Summaries by clicking on PROJECT PACKS on the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar. OR by looking in the left sidebar under TANGLES BY TYPE for the tag projectpack. OR on the ZENTANGLE PROJECT PACKS page on the ZENTANGLES tab on the top menu bar of any page on the site.


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If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 This is the only Zentangle book you'll ever need: 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.
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10 comments to How to draw PARADOX and CRAZY PARADOX

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