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How to draw YAH

Happy 4th of July to everyone who is celebrating this occasion!
(And if you aren’t, Happy Summer Weekend!)

Happy 4th of July!

Image courtesy

Zentangle pattern: YAH. Image © Linda Farmer and All rights reserved.Today we have a tangle pattern from Lowell MA CZT Emily Classon, and YAH is her first on the site. When you look at the list of certified teachers on the Zentangle site, it seems everyone in the entire state of Massachusetts is a CZT! But I digress …

Emily spotted this fabric on a chair in her doctor’s waiting room and sent along this photo example. She writes,

I rarely create patterns because I’m so inspired by the others that people develop. I don’t know if it was the pattern or the circumstance, but I just had to create this one.

Emily Classon's inspiration for YAH

I kept staring at the pattern and figured I’d try to draw it. There is a repeating pattern in the fabric eventually, but every time I tried to figure it out, I lost my place. Then I decided to just try it without worrying about the repeat. Isn’t that how we should develop our patterns anyway—without worry?

I started with randomly placed lines around my piece. Some were in twos, threes, or fours. Some were straight, and some were curved, and the length varied. Next I went in and filled in the larger gaps with additional sets of parallel lines, either straight or curved, mixing up the direction and number of lines. I tried not to worry about where the lines went and just filled them wherever the lines wanted to explore. I filled in the negative spaces with dark ink and shaded the paths where they went underneath others, Hollibaugh style.

I am calling this pattern YAH, or, You Are Here. We might not know where we are much of the time, and when we’re worried about our health or that of our loved ones, we could probably use a directory to help us a bit.

Wherever you are in life—in your dreams, laughter, or worries—you are here.

I drew this pattern several times following Emily’s steps but found the random placement of lines around the tile not to my personal satisfaction. I felt I was stopping to analyze and make decisions too much instead of just flowing. So instead, I began at one corner of the section and built up the lines from there using curved and straight lines in different combinations of strokes. A little reminiscent of CZT Carole Ohl’s Baton, you get the same result by a slightly different path. 😉

Emily illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing YAH here on her blog where you’ll also see it in a completed Zentangle. (Click on the images for larger versions.)

Check out the tag emilyc for more of Emily’s patterns on

And now I’m off to the French bakery to get our croissants for tomorrow’s start of Le Tour de France!

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7 comments to How to draw YAH

  • barbara tuley

    I have to say thank goodness for all the CZT’s in Massachusetts. I live in Missouri and at the time I found zentangle, there was only one teacher in Missouri and she was not teaching at the time. We spend a lot of our summers in Boston. I got on line, found a CZT near the town we stayed in and had a personal one on one lesson with Mary E L Shepherd–she is amazing! I am trying to save up enough money to become a CZT myself, but with an 18 year who is a bassoonist and just returned from touring Europe for 3 weeks and starts college in the fall–it may be a few more years before I get there! Linda, I can not thank you enough for this amazing website! I have learned so much from you!

  • Yippee! Thanks for including my pattern.

    One tip for making it easier to fill if you’re thinking too much–if you did straight lines, make the next have an arc. If you did three lines, make the next two or four. I find it builds together so naturally if I don’t plot out what comes next. It doesn’t matter if lines end up joining or not. They’re just running wild! Enjoy. 🙂

  • Wow. I think that is sensational! I love it, Emily!

  • Love this pattern – great filler.

  • Vicki

    I Really like this one as I tend to favor woven and curvy patterns. (I actually took a photo of some hotel carpet awhile back that looks like your photo, but never figured out a way to simplify it. I like your solution!)

  • Kathy

    Love how you have captured the energy if people’s thoughts in a tangle – thank you.

  • Great tangle, Emily! Totally absorbing. Hours pass … 🙂

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