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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw MEI

Zentangle pattern: Mei. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatternsMei is a lovely grid-based tangle from Taiwan CZT Hsin-Ya Hsu and she writes, “I dedicate this pattern to my mother Damy Teng (Damy) on the eve of my birthday (07/18).” Happy Birthday, Hsin-Ya!

This is a very easy tangle pattern to draw and the swirly ones are so much fun. Mei reminds me of Rosé and others which are also formed with swirls, including the Zentangle®-originals Printemps, Snail and Tortuca.

Hsin-Ya’s inspiration for her tangle was this Tiffany bracelet:

Inspiration for her MEI tangle


Hsin-Ya says that the bracelet pattern reminded her of Ram’s horns and she adapted the bracelet’s pattern into the following steps for her Mei tangle. She also notes Mei can be draw as either a grid or ribbon-type strip.

Hsin-Ya illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Mei below and shows several ways to vary her tangle in a monotangle. For my example I used another simple variation. While it’s very easy to draw, you do have to be mindful of the direction of the swirls, so following Steps 2 and 3 closely and don’t try to do them at the same time.

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. Click the image for an article explaining copyright in plain English.

Check out the tag hsinyah for more of Hsin-Ya’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
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4 comments to How to draw MEI

  • Jan Brandt, CZT XII, Reno, NV, USA

    A simple, graceful, beautiful tangle, Hsin-Ya! I love the possibilities for variations as well as the flower-like circle created with a 4-square grid, as your final step shows. I can already see it in a tile I’m working on. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern!

  • Laurel

    Visually interesting, lovely! Thanks Hsin-Ya. And thanks Linda for the links to other tangles with a swirl form. I missed several the first time around. My journal is very swirly this morning. Great way to start the day!

  • Hsin-Ya, you always have such amazing new tangles to share with us!! I’m excited to try this one! I love fiigree patterns!!Thank you for sharing!! ;0) Annette

  • Noelene

    Thanks Hsin-Ya for your lovely pattern, which I could see so many variations. I enjoyed working on your design to get the hang of it. Thanks for sharing it.

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