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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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CZT María Tovar demonstrates her inkless tangling technique in a step-by-step photo tutorial

CZT María Tovar demonstrates her "dry" tangling technique in a step-by-step photo tutorialToday I have a creative tutorial treat for you!

I’m delighted to share Spanish CZT María Tovar’s “técnica seca” dry technique for tangling which she demonstrates in a series of photos of the steps.

María also includes a gallery of gorgeous Zentangle® tiles to inspire you to explore her inkless tangling technique.

Here’s María …

Step 1. Gather your supplies

You are going to need a white Zentangle tile, a stylus (an old ballpoint pen that’s run out of ink will also work), a Zentangle graphite pencil and a tortillion. And a clean finger tip! (Linda’s note: if you try this on a black Zentangle tile, you’ll need a White Charcoal pencil.)

Step 2. Tangle with the stylus

Tangle on your tile using the stylus, or an empty ball point pen. And don’t worry at all. Remember: no mistakes.

Step 3. Make a graphite palette

On a scrap piece of paper, make a small “puddle” of graphite with your pencil.

Step 4. Use your finger

Pick up a little of the graphite puddle by rubbing gently with your clean finger tip.

Step 5. Transfer graphite to the tile

Using a light touch, gently spread the graphite onto your tile just until you can clearly see the lines you inscribed in Step 2.

Step 6. Cover the tangle(s)

Lightly cover the whole inscribed area with graphite. Don’t rub too hard because you don’t want to push the graphite into the inscribed lines.

Step 7. Blend with the tortillion

Using your tortillion, begin to blend the graphite as desired. If you want a little more graphite in any area, you can pick it up from the puddle using the tortillion.

Step 8. Add drama with your pencil

When you have finished blending, add a little more graphite directly with your pencil to create drama or contrast in some areas.

Step 9. Blend again

Blend the new graphite with the tortillion again to create nice smooth transitions between dark and light.

Step 10. Adding Sparkle

You can add the Sparkle tangle enhancer using an eraser.

The beautiful end result!

Maria’s Gallery of Tiles

Example #1:

Example #2:

Example #3:

Example #4:

Example #5:

Example #6:

Example #7:

Example #8:

Last one! Example #9:

Paired with a regular Micron, a monotangle of the Zentangle-original Sez.

* * *

Meet María Tovar, CZT

I have a Zentangle school in Madrid, El último tangle, which is the first Zentangle school in Spain.

We teach Zentangle, brush lettering, creative backgrounds for artistic works, creative watercolor, shading for Zentangle… and a lot more workshops in which people can learn creative techniques to improve their art, because as I always say “everybody has an artist inside, you only have to discover it”.

I hope you enjoy this technique!

* * *

Thanks so much, María for sharing your dry tangling technique with us, expanding our Zentangle creativity. What a great addition to our TUTORIALS resource! #inklesstangling

Check out the tag mariat for María’s tangles and her tutorial on


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