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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw OMEN

Zentangle pattern: OmenAs always, we start the week with a nice easy tangle pattern for this beautiful Spring Monday.

Omen is from Sacramento tangler Gael Shepherd and it’s her first on the site.

Omen is very simple and almost always, simplest is best. Indeed, “elegant simplicity” is one of the founding Zentangle® principles.

Gael has a pretty unusual forum for sharing this wonderful art form, as she explains,

I’ve been tangling for about 2 years but I’m a long time doodler. I’ve been a Psychiatric Technician for 30 years and for the past 15 years I’ve worked at CSP-SAC [California State Prison-Sacramento], a maximum security men’s prison. I am a group facilitator in the SHU [Security Housing Unit], where the most violent inmates in the state are housed.

The last 45 minutes of each of my groups is dedicated to tangling. Many of the inmates are really getting the tangle bug. We draw, listen to mellow world music, usually from India, and practice social skills.

If I was allowed to take a camera in, I’d get pictures of the group room walls. They’re plastered with tangles.

You just never know who Zentangle will benefit next.

Gael illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Omen below. In my example above I added a touch of shading around the edges to lift the image off the page a bit.

The simplicity of Omen reminds me of this advice from Zentangle founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, “Draw your tangles more deliberately. Zentangle is not like any other art form. You want to draw every LINE deliberately, enjoying watching your pen create each line.

Zentangle pattern: Omen

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 “Pinterest – How could something so right be so wrong?”.

Here Gael shares a couple of easy variations of Omen.

Zentangle pattern: Omen

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.

Check out the tag gaels for more of Gael’s tangles on

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4 comments to How to draw OMEN

  • Tracy McDonald

    Gael, Nice! I’m especially drawn to the circle version. And what a job you have. My prayers that God continue to bless you.

  • Becky Sparks

    I have only been tangling for about six months. I am totally hooked. I thought your tangle was going to be very hard when I looked at it. Following your directions I did it and I have to say this is my favorite tangle at this point. Thank you for sharing.

  • Joan Fuller

    I just feel compelled to respond for once, to Gael. Taking this into the prison(s) is something I’ve wanted to see happen. I’m so delighted to hear that it has been done, at least a great beginning. So, thank you Gael, for doing so. My hunch is this is among the best medicine of any form that these folks could have access to.

  • gael shepherd

    hi you guys, thanks for the nice things you’ve said about omen, and about doing tangles with inmates. i am always amazed at their drawing skills. we practice one together on a big white board and then they’re on their own.

    when i found tangling, and discovered how it helped my own mental health, i did think that i could do this in group, to help the inmates. but honestly, i think i do it for myself more than anything. my job is extremely difficult and i’m no spring chicken. having to be at high levels of alertness all day takes its toll, let alone the vast sea of negativity that is CSP_SAC. these guys are in phone-booth-sized cages lined against the walls of the room, and i’m in the center, in an office chair trying to help. it’s insanity. it’s loud. i want to retire. so tangling, and the music i play as we do it, the way the room usually quiets down….it’s the only peace i can find.

    thank you for putting my tangle up. i stumbled on it today. makes me smile 🙂


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