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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw 3-LOOPS-6

Image © Linda Farmer and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution (including pinning) of this copyrighted work is illegal.Today’s delicate ribbon or border tangle, 3-loops-6 is another one from CZT Mina Hsiao, and it’s also a very simple continuous line tangle.

Mina says 3-loops-6 developed when she was drawing the Zentangle®-original Eke tangle.

This tangle’s name conveniently tells you how to draw it!

3-loops-6 starts with three graduated loops ending at the same point, then the number 6 originates from that point. It’s easy as pie to draw and Mina shows several ways to embellish it with auras and tear-drop shapes for a very pretty lacy effect. I added just a touch of graphite shading to my example, and my 6’s are a little on the curly side just for fun.

A note on shading. Sometimes when I’m using my tortillion, the graphite-loaded tip blends graphite into a white area where I did not plan for it to go. I’ve fallen in love with this great little tool from Tombow. It’s called a Tombow Mono Eraser, and it’s built like a mechanical pencil so you can retract or extend the tiny eraser at the tip. The eraser gets into the smallest of spaces, which is usually what we’re dealing with in Zentangle®.

In all other cases there’s no eraser in Zentangle, but to tidy up a little shading “overflow” in tight spaces the Mono Eraser is just the ticket for me.

Here’s a closeup.

And here it is with the rest of my Zentangle tools. BTW, I do have a much smaller tortillion that I use too but I prefer the comfortable size and the blunt tip of the large one, so that’s why the Mono Eraser comes in so handy.

Tools of the Zentangle Trade

Tools of the Zentangle Trade – the Tombow Mono Eraser is shown here at the top. Note the masking tape on the end of my Micron. I mark the tape with the date I begin using each one so I can easily locate my “freshest” 01. Another tip (originally from CZT Suzanne McNeill, if memory serves me correctly) is to use colored tape to distinguish between different sizes of pens.

Mina illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing 3-loops-6 below.

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 including pinning is illegal. Click the image for an article explaining copyright in plain English.

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 including pinning is illegal. Click the image for an article explaining copyright in plain English.

Here Mina’s Zentangle tile features 3-loops-6 used as a border or frame around the Zentangle-original tangle ‘Nzeppel.

Mina's Zentangle tile featuring 3-loops-6

Mina says, “I like continuous-line tangles because when I’m drawing I always feel happy.”

As you enjoy any of the tangles on the site, please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity for you to enjoy.

Check out the tag minah for more of Mina’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
  8. For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page.
  9. Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
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13 comments to How to draw 3-LOOPS-6

  • Wendy

    I love this new chain…thank you very much!

  • Some great tips on this post, Linda, and a very pretty tangle. I’ve never thought of using a small eraser for tidyng up shading. I’ve got an electric one (battery driven) and a sharpen-able pencil-style eraser, and my propelling pencils have small erasers on their ends, and I use these for other types of drawing. I love the look of the Mono eraser and must see if they are available here in the UK.

    I also wrap masking tape around my pens, but cut it so that the thickest pen has the full width of tape, and the finest, the narrowest strip of tape, to distinguish between them. I had not thought of writing the date on them, but that’s a very good idea! Thanks for sharing.


    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Good idea using varying sizes of masking tape to distinguish pen sizes, Shoshi. I pretty much just use the 01, so that’s not an issue for me.

      If you’re not a colored-tape person, buying a whole roll for a pen or two isn’t on, but I’m sure many scrapbookers and art journal people have a treasure trove of colored tape handy and for them, that’s another good way to go.

      • I usually just use a medium sized pen for Zentangle, too, Linda, but I use my pens for mixed media and other things too, and I have a lot of different ones in a box together. The tapes make it really easy to find the one I want. Actually it was my hubby’s idea to stick on the tapes with different widths – he’s not just a pretty face lol!


  • donna ottosen

    I am new to tangling and finding it fun, interesting and challenging. I very much appreciate your work and your helpful advice. Thank you.

  • Melena

    I really like this “ribbon”. I too like continuous line patterns. They can lead so many directions. Thanks for this beautiful tangle.

  • Nice continuing border or chain. It may become a favorite as I like the loop effect and the frill of the 6.

  • Mina, I love your new tangle! So simple, pretty, easy to draw and easy to vary. My favorite kind of tangle. And it does make a lovely border! Thank you for sharing it with us all. 🙂

  • Sandra Riggins

    Really like this one. I am a quilter and am using my Zentangle to machine quilt. This continuous flow makes this a good one to use in quilting.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Sandra, many tanglers are also quilters so you are in good company. Be sure to check out the tag “continuous line” for all the tangles on the site you might enjoy for quilting.

  • Sunnie

    I love this pattern so much! It’s gorgeous in all the variations I’ve tried so far. Thank you Mina and Linda!

  • Tricia

    Thank you for this pattern! I love loops!

  • Debi Davis

    This is a beautiful tangle. It will look very good on greeting cards I make for those special people in my life.
    Thank you

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