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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.



How to draw EMINGLE and AMBLER

Zentangle pattern: Emingle. 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.Emingle is composed of a repetition of one of the oldest classic design forms known as a fret. This pattern is one of the Zentangle®-original patterns introduced by creators Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

I found Emingle in Sandy Bartholomew’s book, AlphaTangle. Currently there are no online instructions for drawing Emingle, but it is a simple pattern to decipher.

First I drew the basic grid, then I filled the resulting squares with the fret form – each one using the same starting point in the upper left. You can vary this by making your grid curved and/or irregular, and you’ll end up with a variety of sizes and shapes of the frets. It’s really a fun filler to draw. You could shade the centers to make it more 3D too.

Zentangle pattern: Ambler. 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.An original Zentangle® variant of Emingle,named Ambler is an “out of the grid” version using the fret shape in overlapping ribbons drawn using the Hollibaugh technique of drawing behind.

According to Clarence P. Hornung in his Handbook of Designs and Devices,

The fret, or meander, is a plane, rectangular motif taken from early Greek ornament. It is also, in some instances, known as the key pattern … fret patterns are the angular or rectangular counterparts of the spiral.


UPDATE December 14, 2021 – Project Pack #16. As part of the 12 Days of Zentangle – Keeping Score project pack, Martha tangles Ambler/Emingle at 17:04 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

Related Links

  1. Looking for tangles by Artist or Type? For details visit the ABOUT > HOW TO FIND TANGLES BY ARTIST OR TYPE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site.
  2. What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals.
  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. How to use the site — an excellent free video tutorial showing how to use the site as well as pointing out lots of useful features you might have missed.
  5. Linda's List of Zentangle-Original Patterns — here is the complete list of original tangles (aka "official tangles") created and introduced by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, including those not published online. If you are new to the Zentangle Method I highly recommend learning a few of the published Zentangle classics first.
  6. "A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck. You always succeed in creating a Zentangle." Thus patterns that are drawings of a recognizable naturalistic or actual object, figure, or scene, are not tangles. A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: tangles never start with pencil planning.
  7. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  8. For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page.
  9. Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
  10. Never miss a tangle! FREE eMAIL NEWSLETTER - visit the SUBSCRIBE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site and sign up to get notices delivered free to your inbox.


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13 comments to How to draw EMINGLE and AMBLER

  • Krystal

    Love them, need to add them to my collection!

  • Trish W.

    Thanks for posting this — I know there are 100+ “official” tangles, but haven’t found them named as such online (let alone all the instructions!). Will definitely add this to my collection!

    *Really* appreciate all your work building this site. It’s an awesome resource & the only one of its kind online that I know of. I’ve referred several beginning tanglers here 🙂

  • Linda Farmer

    Thanks Trish, it’s a ton of work but worth the effort when lovely people like you take the time to let me know. I do hope it will be a great resource for years to come. Thanks for the referrals!

    PS – Love your beautiful rose gravatar. If anyone else would like to know how to get their own personal FREE gravatar – and it’s as easy as can be – check out this post I wrote some time ago.

  • Cat

    I would tag this greek key

  • What I understand from the pages of tangle patterns distributed at the CZT training in May 2010 is that Emingle is the square spirals done to fill a field. Ambler is the same square spirals done in a row to create a line or border.

    Margaret Bremner
    CZT, Saskatoon SK

    PS – Greek Key is a lovely pattern where the square spirals all go in and then come out and connect with the next one. It’s fun, but much more tricky (and not an official ZT pattern).

  • Shari Peters

    I am new to zentangles and am so happy to have found this site. There are so many patterns I am in a state of happy overwhelm. Thank you for putting this on the web. I know it is a lot of work but we are truly appreciative of your time and effort. Thank you again.

  • Sue Zanker

    These are great little patterns ! I’ve used both in ‘grid’ form, but the other day, I had a smallish vacant spot on my tile so I filled it with ‘random’ “emingles” and “ramblers”, small and larger, straight, upside down, and crooked etc, it it worked really well !

  • Linda Hunt

    Tangle drawing has changed my art life. I’ve always loved to doodle. I live in Argentina and most people here are pretty conservitive.They asked me if I was a hippie when I was younger. I make crazy looking animals out of paper mache and ztangle on them. I must admit they are great.Thank for your sharing and artistic ability and your willingness to share.

  • Jennifer sparrow

    Your index and instructions are amazing. I am new to all this. I feel like a kid in a candy shop! Thank you for this wonderful treat!

  • learnfromdance

    hi im using this with string 250 its really working thanks!!!

  • Sandra Riggins

    I like it very much.

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