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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw SHEARTS

Zentangle pattern: Shearts. 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.A very happy Monday to you, I’m delighted you’re spending a little time with me again today.

We have another easy heart-based tangle for you to enjoy exploring.

Shearts is from Arizona tangler Mary Van Deman and I’ve been saving her swirly heart tangle for the Valentine’s “season”.

Shearts is Mary’s first tangle on the site and as she sent a very detailed introduction, I’ll turn the microphone right over to her:

I am new to tangling and this is my first submission to It came to me as I was looking for a way to make a stylized iris for another project. The center petals of the iris seem to me to resemble a heart, so the heart shape is the basic element of this design. I like it because it is really simple to draw, but can be expanded into a more complex pattern by lining or stacking the shapes.

I have lived in the Phoenix, AZ area for many years and began painting in watercolor in 1989, later switching to oil. One day last spring while on a home tour with my friend, Katie, we came across a home decorated with tangles. Neither of us had seen anything like it before and we both loved the art. Katie wanted to jump right in to learn how to do it and wanted me to join her. “No,” I said, “I’m too busy with oil painting and don’t want to be distracted.” But I volunteered to search Amazon for a book for her and came across “Zentangle Art Therapy – Meditative drawing to reduce stress, increase wellbeing and enhance relaxation” by CZT Anya Lothrop. I was intrigued. I clicked the “Buy it now” button and I’ve been a bit distracted ever since.

I soon found your website and I purchased Zentangle Primer, Vol. 1 by Rick Roberts & Maria Thomas, learning so much from their wonderful book that I now alternate between tangling and oil painting. I do tangle in black and white, but because I can’t leave color alone I’ve also developed a method of combining alcohol ink pours with tangles for ZIA’s. You will find them on my website at under Works>Abstract. Tangling relaxes me and feeds my creativity and I love it!

I am now beginning to see patterns everywhere I look and am starting to design them when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I have named my new tangle pattern Shearts.

In the first tile that I included to illustrate Shearts I have placed the Shearts in a line across the tile upside down and right side up. I added the tangles Hollibaugh, Vega, and ‘Nzeppel to completed the design.

In my second tile I have stacked the Shearts, combined them with Fife and Crescent Moon, and added some lines and perfs in the upper left section to send the eye back toward the stack of Shearts.

After completing the first two samples I used my Shearts pattern on an alcohol ink pour. The pour serves as a string to guide my tangle design, but I added no additional tangles to this ZIA. I used a brown Sakura pen on this one because there was so much brown in the pour.

Shearts is a simple motif comprised of curves, inner and outer auras and a couple of Fescu-tendrils. And as Mary points out, you can combine them in a variety of ways to fill a section of your Zentangle tile. I used a “vining” look for my example, similar to two of Mary’s tiles below.

Mary illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Shearts below along with her sample tiles.

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, altered, reproduced or republished. They are for your personal offline reference only. Thank you for respecting these rights. Click the image for an article explaining what copyright means in plain English. “Always let your conscience be your guide.” ~ Jiminy Cricket

As you enjoy any of the tangles on the site, please leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. Your comment helps motivate them to continue to share!

Check out the tag maryvd for more of Mary’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!
  10. Never miss a tangle! FREE eMAIL NEWSLETTER - visit the SUBSCRIBE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site and sign up to get notices delivered free to your inbox.


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