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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Tangle Refresher 101 – Featuring the value of contrast in your Zentangle art

Tangle Refresher!Although Zentangle® art is not subject to formalized “art rules” for things like shading and perspective and so on, there are some principles that simply make for more elegant results.

Contrast is one of those principles. There are many ways to create contrast in your Zentangle art, these are a few that pop to mind:

  • dark – light
  • large – small
  • straight – curved
  • thick – thin
  • simple – complex

Here’s your Zentangle thought for today: “Keep in mind that contrasting tangles can have a dramatic effect.” See Maria’s beautiful example here.

In my view, the most elegant Zentangle art is the simplest.

Have a beautiful weekend!

 * * *

The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, spotlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of tangles you might not have used for a while or introduce you to some you haven’t come across yet.

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from a year (or two) ago for your tangling pleasure. Remember to check out the “More Good Stuff” links below too. Zenful tangling!

BTW as you visit these tangles it would be great if you’d take a moment to leave a comment of thanks and encouragement for the tangler who’s shared with us, and Tweet or “like” the page on Facebook to share the tangles with your followers. Sharing links are on the left side of each tangle’s page. Thanks!

Buried Treasure from a year ago
Zentangle pattern: EYE-WA . Image © Linda Farmer and Eye-Wa
Zentangle pattern: Tootle - Image © Linda Farmer and Tootle
 Zentangle pattern: Lazy Eights. Image © Linda Farmer and Lazy Eights
Zentangle pattern: Snag. Image © Linda Farmer and Snag
Zentangle pattern: JAWZ. Image © Linda Farmer and Jawz
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 73

More good stuff …


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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.

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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


3 comments to Tangle Refresher 101 – Featuring the value of contrast in your Zentangle art

  • Carolyn

    Could you give us a list of tangles in order of difficulty…or in order that you would teach in your class for people new to Zentangle. I like you list that is in alphabetical order, but it is a little overwhelming. Maybe it is like teaching reading comprehension skills to first graders…there is no order that is necessary. ??? I really enjoy and appreciate your website.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Carolyn, as you say there is no order that is necessary. What is necessary is to take it slowly, one deliberate stroke at a time, and focus completely. Tangles should all be easy when you use this one-stroke-at-a-time approach, even if you feel like you want to practice a bit first to gain confidence in your strokes. There are tangles to learn first to learn the various techniques (see the ZENTANGLES > ZENTANGLE TERMINOLOGY page) we use in Zentangle such as auras and drawing behind. In my BEGINNER’S GUIDE to Zentangle®, I include a list of 16 “starter tangles” that are good to begin with. You can find the guide on the STORE > E-BOOKS page at

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