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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw SAND SWIRL

Zentangle pattern : Sand Swirl. 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.Here’s another tangle pattern I just love and I think you will too.

Sand Swirl is simple, it’s flexible, and it’s mesmerizing to draw. It’s great fun to shade too.

Sand Swirl is from Karry Heun who shared her Summer Sitter tangle with us earlier this year.

This tangle is so much fun to draw and in true Zentangle® style, there’s no thinking or planning involved. There’s one “stem” stroke, as Karry calls it, and then as many auras as you feel like. The easiest way to grow Sand Swirl is to keep turning your Zentangle tile as you add more stems and auras.

Here is Karry’s step-by-step illustration for drawing Sand Swirl. Thanks for a great tangle, Karry!

Steps for drawing Karry Huen's Sand Swirl tangle pattern

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Please feel free to refer to the step outs to recreate this tangle in your Zentangles and ZIAs, or link back to this page. However the artist and reserve all rights to these images and they should not be pinned, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights.


UPDATE December 14, 2020 – Project Pack #12. As part of the 12 Days of Zentangle, 2020 Zentangle Renaissance project pack, Julie Willand tangles Sand Swirl on a 3Z Renaissance tan tile.


UPDATE 08/18/2022 – Project Pack #18. As part of the Introducing Zentangle’s new Translucen-Z Tiles project pack, Julie Willand tangles Sand Swirl in this video:


UPDATE December 6, 2023 – Project Pack #22. As part of the Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2023 Edition project pack, Julie Willand tangles Karry Heun’s Sand Swirl together with Pokeroot, Printemps and fragment T5 (page 115, Zentangle Primer Vol. 1) on a prestrung 5byPhive tile in this video:


Check out the tag karryh for more of Karry’s patterns on

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

Related Links

If you’ve just joined us recently and would like some help with shading your Zentangles or Zentangle-inspired art (ZIA), check out the TanglePatterns Shading Mini-Clinic:

  1. TanglePatterns Shading Mini-Clinic, Part 1 – by CZT® Marizaan van Beek
  2. TanglePatterns Shading Mini-Clinic, Part 2 – by CZT® Sandy Steen Bartholomew


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 9, 2024: Honoring One of Zentangle's Most Famous Tangles
  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.


Enhance your Zentangle experience while supporting TanglePatterns:

CURRENT EDITION! TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition The 13th Edition of the TANGLE GUIDE is an instant-download 109-page interactive digital eBook/PDF containing approximately 2,000 tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2023. It's a great resource and a must-have digital tool for using the site. Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page and help keep going by getting your copy now!

"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.

See the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page. Note: this is a digital product you download immediately when you place your order, nothing will be physically mailed to you.
GIFT ORDERS FOR ANOTHER PERSON: 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 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.
NEW! Now available in KINDLE format for $9.99. Spanish Edition here. Japanese Edition here.
"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


9 comments to How to draw SAND SWIRL

  • Oooh – definitely a new favorite! LOVE this one! 🙂

  • Traci Regner

    Oh I just LOVE this! Thank you Karry and Linda! I will be using this one a lot!

  • So-o-o similar to Dansk, and yet different! There’s a circle instead of a droplet shape, and the Auras run into the stem. Will try this soon.

  • Peggie Schurch

    Just what I have needed for a large filler space that is different, will be using that many times, so many thanks for sharing and look forward to your next tangle. Peggie Australia

  • A new favorite! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Sue Zanker

    I am presently in another State thousands of miles away from home and husband, helping our son and family while our beloved daughter in law undergoes radiotherapy for a rare form of cancer originating in her salivary gland. There are 3 boys 13, 11 and a bub of 1 year old, all wonderfful but sometimes it’s bedlam! Yes OF COURSE I brought my tangling ‘stuff’ with me and that’ s what keeps me on an even keel at the moment and I am able to do it most afternoons while the baby has his afternoon nap. Without tangling, I would find it very hard, with the sadness we all feel, the hectic life that still has to happen in between her appointments to be ‘zapped’ (as we call it). I am hoping I can (gently) over the weeks I am here with them, introduce her to tangling as I know it would help her too, but so far she has just been watching me (in spite of me offering a tile and pen) do it occasionally, but that’s a start maybe……Thanks be to Rick and Maria and your generously sharing site Linda, that so far, I am staying sane!

  • marla reed

    Hello Sue,

    I just wanted you to know I will be praying for your dear daughter-in-law to be helped by the treatments she’s going through. Also of course for you and all of your grand babies!

  • Wow, what a great relaxing tangle. Thank you for sharing.

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