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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Zentangle pattern: Vikings. 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.Today’s Vikings tangle is from Australian tangler Lila Popcheff whose most recent tangle on the site was Chechain.

December 21st is the official first day of Winter in our Northern Hemisphere and for whatever reason it made me think of Vikings. All that fur to keep warm, I guess.

The next mental Vikings association was the “horns” which reminded me of  Hagar the Horrible — and this tangle. As Lila writes, “Vikings remind me of the head gear the Norse men wore, hence the name.”

When I visit Wikipedia to check out Vikings, I learn that both Lila and I (and Hagar) are laboring under a “common misconception”:

“Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets—with protrusions that may be either stylised ravens, snakes, or horns—no depiction of the helmets of Viking warriors, and no preserved helmet, has horns. The formal, close-quarters style of Viking combat (either in shield walls or aboard “ship islands”) would have made horned helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior’s own side.

Historians therefore believe that Viking warriors did not wear horned helmets; whether such helmets were used in Scandinavian culture for other, ritual purposes, remains unproven. The general misconception that Viking warriors wore horned helmets was partly promulgated by the 19th-century enthusiasts of Götiska Förbundet, founded in 1811 in Stockholm. They promoted the use of Norse mythology as the subject of high art and other ethnological and moral aims.

The Vikings were often depicted with winged helmets and in other clothing taken from Classical antiquity, especially in depictions of Norse gods. This was done to legitimize the Vikings and their mythology by associating it with the Classical world, which had long been idealized in European culture.”

Ah well. Another myth dashed. 😉 But still a good tangle!

Like many other tangles “out there” this too shares DNA with the Zentangle®-originals Cadent and Huggins. Such a basic, simple concept of orbs with curves that “take off and land” and produces so many possibilities!

Lila developed three different versions of Vikings, all of which produce a lovely weave pattern (“over-unders”, as my Mom calls them). All start with a dot grid and make effective use of the Zentangle enhancer called aura. The variations involve alternating the direction of the “horns”.

She illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Vikings versions 1, 2 and 3 and variations she’s named Bugzy, Butter Beanies and Cruffelini (based on CZT Sandy Hunter’s Cruffle), here on her blog. Lots of variations there to keep you busy having tangle fun for a while!

Vikings variations

Vikings variations

Happy Winter Solstice to all in the Northern Hemisphere, and happy warm Summer Solstice to all our tangling friends in the Southern Hemisphere!

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 lilap for more of Lila’s tangles on


"... And then some"

Canadian CZT Margaret Bremner has a wonderful series of tutorials she calls "... and then some" where she takes several Zentangle®-original tangles "on a wild ride of variations". Truly, you do not want to miss these creative and inspirational tutorials. Look for the links to Margaret's tutorials on these pages:  

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.
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8 comments to How to draw VIKINGS (and BUTTER BEANIES)

  • Joyce Blodgett

    I’d read that about the supposed Viking helmets; also, according to, such striking helmets were most likely designed as an opera costume head piece, just for the effect of it, back in the 1870’s. Since “Hagar the Horrible” is one of my favorite cartoons, though (even at my age of almost 64!), the horns, or lack of, isn’t of consequence for enjoying that bit of humor.

    Those same horns do contribute wonderfully to Lila’s design, as well, so cheers to her for coming up with a playful, joyous pattern for all of us ‘tanglers to have fun with 🙂

  • Valerie

    Love all three versions, looking forward to working with these. Thanks!

  • Carol Cripps

    The horned Viking helmet always makes me think of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and makes me grin. It’s a lovely tangle, though. I’d also like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and wishes for a wonderful 2017.

  • Nancy Pearson

    I have always loved Cadent. It is one of my favorites. VIKINGS versions 1 and 2 are really cool. Thank you for sharing with us and as always thank you Linda for being an avenue for all of us to learn and enjoy! Merry Christmas to all. Nancy

  • Anna Cheer

    Beautiful, Lila, I can see myself using these a lot. My first couple of goes at Vikings 2 made my head hurt and then, suddenly, I got it. Vikings 3, here I come!

  • Kristi Hubbard

    When I first saw this pattern, I didn’t even notice the horns. What I thought it was named after was the Thor’s Hammer design on the inside!

  • Thanks Linda, I have only just seen this addition. I look forward to seeing what others do with it. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. Happy New Year! xx

  • Pia

    Wow exactly the new challenge I was looking for without knowing it’s what I was looking for….. Does that even make sence? Anyways. Thanks a million

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