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How to draw NARWAL

Zentangle pattern: Narwal. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.comAlthough I don’t remember meeting in Providence, Samantha (“Sam”) Taylor of Beaufort NC is a classmate from CZT #7 and Narwal is her first tangle on the site.

Sam purposely spelled her tangle differently to distinguish from actual Narwhals (whales dubbed “the unicorn of the sea”), or the trademarked animated characters created by Jonti Picking and (apparently) popularized by a TV commercial for the Sprint wireless network. Any resemblance of the tangle pattern to the animated characters’ tusk is probably deliberate.

As Sam points out, Narwal can fit in any shape section of your Zentangle® but for her demonstration and video purposes she uses “a very simple, curvy tentacle-shape string“. Narwal-like.

I was reminded of this tangle earlier this week when Aussie Helen Williams posted her version of Narwal where she dispenses with the string and draws it differently too, we’ll get to her video in a moment.

And then a day or two later Dutch tangler Mariët Lustenhouwer shared a beautiful, colorful Zentangle-inspired card she created for a friend featuring Narwal. You might say the Narwals aligned!

Narwal begins the same way the Zentangle-original Purk does, with sets of “lazy” S-shaped curves wrapped around a section of a string. From there it proceeds in another direction.

Here are Sam’s step-by-step instructions on how to create Narwal together with a sweet/scary ZIA-on-a-tile. Below her steps you’ll find the video instructions for drawing and shading Narwal that she created for Sakura Color Products.

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.

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.

I wanted to point out two things about these videos. First, notice how Sam turns her tile for comfort as she’s drawing instead of turning her hand into an awkward position. (Their convenient size is just one of the things that make the Zentangle tiles so great.) And in both videos, observe the way Samantha and Helen make their strokes slowly and deliberately. Fine examples. It can be helpful to see this in action as a reminder.

Next is Helen Williams’s video version of drawing Sam’s Narwal, where as I mentioned she dispenses with the string. Helen’s version is also considerably larger in scale than Samantha’s Zentangle. Here is the link to Helen’s original post.

Check out the tag samanthat for more of Sam’s tangles on

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The Official Zentangle KitAnother great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.



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