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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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How to draw STEPS

Zentangle pattern: StepsSteps from Aussie artist Helen Williams is really more of a technique than a tangle pattern, and it’s a fun one to play with.

Helen has several very popular tangles on the site including my favorite Brax, no wait a minute. Leaflet. No wait, ah, Scrolled Feather. Oh heck, I like them all.

As I’ve written before Helen doesn’t “do” Zentangle per se, her art is usually on a much bigger scale and she uses different tools too, for example her shading is usually done with markers. “I use Letraset Tria markers and Pro Markers for colouring.” Thus Zentangle-inspired. And always lovely and totally creative nonetheless.

Steps is so named because it reminded Helen of a spiral staircase. It seems ING-inspired to me and much like Vicki Bassett’s Biscus and Showgirl, Steps has different results depending on whether you use straight lines or curved ones.

The straight line version is similar in technique to Betsy Wilson’s Maryhill with its 7-shaped strokes all meeting at the same point. The curved variation reminds me of Simone Bischoff’s “snail” line lesson (see Lesson 4). There, my brain has been purged of Steps‘ relationships. (Whew, that’s a relief.)

Helen’s step-by-step instructions for drawing Steps are here on her blog. She follows up with several tips and a few ideas for more ways to use her tangle here.

Update 09/04/2015: Helen has added a video, you can also find it here on her blog.

Check out the tag helenw for more of Helen’s tangles on TanglePatterns.com.

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Tangle or Zentangle?

Often Zentangle newbies describe their drawings containing several patterns as "a tangle". Or conversely, refer to a tangle as "a Zentangle". Not so.

A tangle is one (1) single pattern.

As described on zentangle.com, "In its verb form 'tangle' means to draw a tangle. You tangle a tangle, and in that process create Zentangle art."

A Zentangle is the finished art on a tile containing one or more tangles. A Zentangle containing just one tangle is called a monotangle.

And while we're on the subject of using this wonderful art form's terminology correctly, as for "Zentangling" or "Zentangled" the terms to use are tangling or tangled. 🙂

Learn more by visiting the ZENTANGLES > ZENTANGLE TERMINOLOGY page on the top menu bar of any page.

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6 comments to How to draw STEPS

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