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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw CURLY•Q

Zentangle pattern: Curly•Q. Image © Linda Farmer and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.Happy Monday! I trust you enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend with all the pampering it brings and are energized for a brand new week.

Today’s ultra easy and delicate tangle, Curly•Q, not to be confused with KRLI-Q, is from New Hampshire CZT Diane Lachance whose Sh’Rock tangle is a favorite around St. Patrick’s Day.

Curly•Q is related to several other tangles on the site that make use of a base line with an undulating line woven over and back – Gra-vee, Organza, and Reflections come to mind. With just slight variations, each tangle has a different result.

This same “over and back” technique is also used to create CZT Billie Lauder’s sweet Tangle Folk.

As I noted above Curly•Q is so easy to draw and though you might think it looks pretty blah when you’ve drawn it, the slightest touch of some very simple shading completely transforms Curly•Q to a lovely tangle. Curly•Q is an easy way to add movement and life to a section of your Zentangle® tile.

On the subject of shading, contrary to what you might be led to believe from the internet, Zentangle shading is also simple and we do not observe “art rules” for shading such as light source, perspective and so on. All you need is a soft HB pencil and something to blend the graphite, like a tortillion or even a cotton swab. A tortillion like the one below is best because the tip is pointed to get into tight spaces such as those in Curly•Q.

Tortillion, or paper blenderIf you haven’t found them yet, the best shading tutorials for Zentangle are right here on the site:

All three of the above tutorials can always be found together with all of the other great free tutorials on the site by clicking on the TUTORIALS tab on the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar.

Diane illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Curly•Q here on her blog and she features it in a simple, colorful monotangle Zendala.

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 to inspire yours.

Check out the tag dianel for more of Diane’s tangles on


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13 comments to How to draw CURLY•Q

  • Chrissie

    Congratulations Diane on your lovely pattern being included in Tangle Patterns. It’s a lovely tangle and I look forward to using it.

  • Patricia Cosiano

    Oh! I love this tangle! Can’t wait to get things done here at home so I can try it–just beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Really lovely pattern! Will use it in my artwork. Nancy CZT18

  • I love that there are tangles for all uses and all people. 🙂 This one, Diane, will be just lovely when I’m looking for some airiness in my composition. And I just got a vision of drawing it Scoodle-like too! 😀

  • joyce

    I was part of the one group that focuses so highly on “proper” shading–for about two months. I got SO tired of seeing perfectly gorgeous tangle designs, or ZIA, being critiqued that it needed to be “darker here,” or “lighten it up a bit there;” I finally thought, “You know, this isn’t what Rick and Maria teach, and I very much enjoy drawing tangles. It’s time to get out of this group, because I’m not trying to be perfect, I’m doing this for my ENJOYMENT!”

    “Curly-Q” is my kind of pattern; swirly, curly, and able to go all over the place, surrounding other tangles 🙂

    • Margaret

      I had the exact same experience Joyce! The focus was good for a little while, but oh I so missed the zen that was pushed to the background with all that thinking and trying and aiming for amazing. So I too have tried to go back to ‘my’ roots of just tangling for JOY!

      And I LOVE Curly-Q!!!! 🙂

  • Sayantika

    This is such a lovely tangle Diane! And as much as its beautiful by itself, it has such wonderful possibilities of further embellishments too! Love it and am gonna use it.. Thank you Diane for sharing this tangle with us. 🙂

  • Melena

    This is a very simple but beautiful tangle. I love it!! I really like the color you put in your monotangle. I am seeing lots of possibilities here. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Cheryl Lees-Haley

    Thank you Diane for a lovely “go anywhere” pattern.

    Also, adding to the shading discussion–I think it’s wonderful that people can take this art form to greater refinement if they want to. For myself, I prefer a looser approach to shading. I can and have drawn “seriously” in the photo-realistic style. Zentangle is my escape from all that tightness! When I shade my tiles I am more focused on making pleasing contrasts or adding a little depth or movement to a design. It makes me a little crazy to try to figure out light source and crazy in all forms is what I’m getting away from when I tangle. That said, I love the look of tiles that someone else has shaded to the nth degree, so I hope everyone who loves the challenge of extreme shading will keep right on doing it and showing their work!

  • Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments and affirmation. I didn’t even realize there was aa comment section – lol! I just stumbled into “recent comments” on the left side bar as I was in search of the tool for finding patterns by style. I cannot wait to see what tanglers do with Curly•Q!

  • Rosemary Turpin

    Another thing I have realized lately about Zentangle is that we DON`T have to adhere to any rules about light sources etc. Some forms of shading are suggested which can make a pattern “pop” but we are totally free to put it wherever and however we want it.

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