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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Artists for Respect
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How to draw TUFTON

Zentangle pattern: Tufton. 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.Tufton is a fun and easy grid-based tangle from California CZT Jodi Christiansen and it’s her first on the site.

Jodi writes,

I was playing with tangles one day and decided to draw “Boze” in my tangle sketchbook. When I was done, I was intrigued by the diamond grid and created some tangles using that same principle. What ultimately happened was this pattern that I call “Tufton”. It reminded me of the button tufting on the seat backs of booths in old Italian restaurants.

I learned about Zentangle in 2006 – I think. My calligraphy teacher, Marian Gault, had attended the IAMPETH (International Association of Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting) annual meeting where Rick and Maria first presented the Zentangle Method™. Marian asked Maria if she could share Zentangle® with her students and was given permission. I still remember the utter quiet and focus in the room as Marian lead us through our very first tile. It was so fascinating, soothing, and fun – I was hooked! This summer, I attended CZT Training #25 in Providence and started teaching classes here in the Santa Cruz, CA area.

Zentangle pattern: Tufton. 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.Tufton certainly has a few siblings on the site — maybe it’s the rice-shapes that remind me. But Tufton is distinctly its own and I particularly like it when viewed on an angle. No right side up in Zentangle!

In the process of creating my examples, I discovered it was easier for me to start with Jodi’s Step 1, then skip to Steps 3 and 4, making columns then rows of linked rice shapes (actually I turn the tile so both are done in the same orientation) using the dot grid as the base. Then doing the strokes within each “square” created by the rice shapes. In the example on the right I added my now-familiar tiny “stoppers” on the strokes in Step 5, might be hard to see them. Like I said, tiny.

Jodi illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Tufton below and features it within some ribbony-waves of Hollibaugh. I love how that touch of shading adds almost an embossed-look to Tufton. Jodi’s “cross hatched” background has also been published as Cheesecloth by CZT Suzanne McNeill in her Zen Mandalas booklet.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Please feel free to refer to the steps images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs, or to link back to this page. However the artist and reserve all rights to these images and they must not be publicly pinned, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. For more information, click on the image for a discussion entitled “Artists for Respect” by several prominent artists.

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 jodic for more of Jodi’s tangles on


Free Download: How to draw four basic grids (reticula) for your Zentangles

Like some help drawing grids? (In the Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1, Zentangle HQ is now referring to grids as reticula and give 30 examples.)

Here is a free TanglePatterns PDF download showing how to ink a basic Freehand Squared Grid, Freehand Diamond-Shaped Grid with a Triangle variation, and a Freehand Ogee-Shaped Grid.

You can always locate this tutorial again by visiting the TUTORIALS tab on the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar.



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4 comments to How to draw TUFTON

  • Suzanne

    This type of tangle is my absolute favourite. They make up quickly and I find them so soothing to tangle. So many different ones too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bunny Wright

    At first I couldn’t understand why step one showed four dots in line while in step two there are only three dots in between. I found this very confusing. Should there only be three dots in the top row? Then I realized the dots are at the sides of the ‘rice’ shape not at the top, so perhaps the top row of (three) dots should not, in fact be there. I find this pattern much easier to do if a grid is drawn with the dots added afterwards. Is anyone else confused?

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Bunny, that may be why I used the dot grid to create the rice shapes in both directions first as I described above. As usual, there’s more than one way to get to the same end result! At any rate it gave our brains a little exercise 😉

  • Nice, I found doing all the rice shapes first easier too.

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