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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw ZAILZ

Zentangle pattern: Zailz. Image © Linda Farmer and All rights reserved.Looks like it could be a little complicated, right?

Nope, easy-peasy and fun too! Zailz by Spokane WA, CZT Loretta West is simple to draw “one stroke at a time™”. I like this tangle a lot.

Similar in concept to CZT Sue Clark’s Tri-Po which has been around for quite a while, but a little different in execution, Zailz is Loretta’s first tangle pattern on the site.

This tangle was developed from two converging inspirations. In addition to being an Art Instructor and a CZT, I am also a sailor and am now working towards becoming a Skipper, so the shape of the tangle is derived from looking at sail shapes…. a lot.

Secondly, I love to look at Japanese Woodblock Prints for inspiration, the way they are organized and designed is amazing to me. The Great Wave by Hokusai is one of my favorites and I thought of it frequently when working out this tangle which pretty much drew itself.

I live in the Inland Empire of Eastern Washington State, not far from the Idaho border and only a couple of hours from Canada, where I was born and raised. Even though we live in a desert highland, there are numerous lakes for water sports close to Spokane where my home and studio is located and where I live as my Mom says ‘the life of Riley’, with my patient husband and Labrador.

I have been a professional artist for over a decade and have taught various mediums for nearly as long. Three years ago I started to tangle to cope with grief which had sucked up my creative juices. Through time and Zentangle, I got it all back and then some! Eventually, I obeyed that little voice and became a CZT two years ago so that I could share this wonderful art form and practice with others.

As far as tips for drawing Zailz, Loretta suggests we think of the cursive lower case letter ‘s’ in Step 1. “This will give you a nice curve and space for the inner lines. Be sure to turn the paper or tile in different directions so that you get the convergent shapes as opposed to them all going in the same direction, but if you like that, do that instead.

Turning your tile is definitely the secret to an interesting result with Zailz.

Loretta illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Zailz below and shows it in a cool Zentangle where she uses orbs and the Zentangle-original tangles Knightsbridge and Amaze/Stiritup as “fillers”.

How to draw Zailz by CZT Loretta West

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. Republishing or redistributing pattern deconstructions in any form is prohibited under law without express permission of the copyright owner. For more information, click on the image for the article “Copyrights and your blog.”

Check out the tag lorettaw for more of Loretta’s 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!
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