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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.


Guest Contributor: Genevieve Crabe on Stippling to Create Shading

Geneviève lives and teaches in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. She illustrates that by using the technique of stippling you can achieve shading with pen and ink as well as with a traditional pencil.

Genevieve Crabe

Geneviève Crabe – Artist, Writer, Teacher, and CZT

Stippling in Pen & Ink

Shading is an important part of Zentangle®. The purpose of shading is to give the illusion of depth and dimension.

In pen and ink art, there are a variety of methods for achieving this illusion, like parallel lines or cross-hatching. My favourite is stippling, where the shading values are achieved with small dots of ink by varying the density of the dots.

Here is an example showing how I can make a flat circle look like a round sphere:

Stippling a flat circle to make it appear to be a round sphere

Just like Zentangle® strokes, each dot must be deliberately placed so that the dots are as even as possible. The finer the pen you use, the smoother the shading will look.

You can see some examples of my pre-Zentangle pen & ink work on Flickr.

You can also use colour along with the stippling. In this example, I stippled the rose and then added a single colour using watercolour pencils:

Stippled Rose with Watercolor

Here is an example of a Zentangle® where I used stippling for shading instead of graphite:

Stippled Zentangle

If you want to learn more about stippling, check out my online class, Pen & Ink Rose.

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Current Edition! TANGLE GUIDE, 2019 Edition TANGLE GUIDE - 2019 Edition

The 8th Edition of my TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download 72-page (40 MB) interactive digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2018. Containing over 1,000 tangles, it's a must-have tool for using the site.

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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.


5 comments to Guest Contributor: Genevieve Crabe on Stippling to Create Shading

  • Rachel

    I just tried this technique for the first time last week! This was the first tangle I ever did that truly came out exactly the way I had envisioned it…the only one so far that I haven’t felt the need to tweak after I finished it.

    It’s a great technique, and I will certainly be using it again!

  • Wonderful! I love stippling, but I’m not nearly the master of it that you are!

  • I took Genevieve’s online Pen & Ink rose class and I have learned so much! Great class and stippling is really a neat art technique. I will be stippling more and can’t wait to try it with Zentangle! Thanks, Genevieve!

  • Sue Williams

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and creativity. Greetings from South Africa. Sue

  • Sharon Wrench

    I enjoyed working on my ‘first; stippling project. I found myself wanting to shade with a pencil, but decided to shade using stippling only. The results are very nice. Thank you for sharing.

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