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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw TRINITY

Zentangle pattern: Trinity. 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.Remembering 9/11/2001

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

— Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

* * *

German CZT Stephanie Kiefhaber shares her deconstruction of Trinity with us today, and it’s her first on the site.

Generally speaking Celtic knots are not “deconstructable” so they can be drawn as a tangle for Zentangle®, the complex structures usually require planning and often pencil guidelines. This means the pattern is not a tangle.

But Trinity requires no pencil guidelines and Stephanie has come up with a cleverly simple deconstruction for us to enjoy exploring as a grid-based tangle, a ribbon-style tangle or as a stand-alone free-form tangle.

This form is known by several names including triquetra, trefoil and Trinity Knot, has been used by many different cultures through the ages, and also has several variations in shapes. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more on the subject.

Stephanie writes,

“I was always fascinated by Celtic designs and the triquetra is surely known to most people, being an ancient symbol of Celtic origin with many connotations.

But as a tangle pattern it would have to be easy to draw without ruler, compass and other equipment. So I deconstructed it to make it easier to draw freehand.

Although it can be placed randomly (just imagine the triangular shape you want to achieve and lead your lines into the Corners of this triangle), it is of course a wonderful border tangle, too.

All you need is a triangle or better a bunch of triangles arranged in any way that pleases you.

Three things to keep in mind:

      1. Give your starting triangle outward curved sides in Step 1.
      2. Follow those curves until you reach the (imagined) bisector of the corresponding angle (don’t bother, you will soon get a feel for this)
      3. If you work within a triangular grid , place the curved triangle with corners pointing to the middle of the sides of the grid triangle.

This all sounds difficult, but it isn’t, trust me. Just have a go and enjoy.”

I found Trinity surprisingly not hard to do! 🙂

For Stephanie’s second tip above, it might be simpler to think of following the curve of the triangles you created (in Step 1) while aiming in the general direction of the corner of the triangle grid but not going as far as. (Bisectors and angles might make your head hurt.)

After you’ve finished Step 5, it’s easy to use your pen to “sculpt” the triangles into better alignment with the curves if you prefer. Shading the “over-unders” (thanks Mom!) definitely adds the finesse to Trinity. Inner auras would make a pretty enhancement when you have sufficient space.

Stephanie illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Trinity below where she features it in a lovely monotangle Zentangle.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Trinity, tangle and deconstruction by Stephanie Kiefhaber. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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. For more information, click on the image for the article “Copyrights and your blog.”

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 stephaniek2 for more of Stephanie’s tangles on


How to submit your pattern to TanglePatterns

Everyone is invited to submit patterns, you do NOT need to be a CZT. In order for patterns to be considered for they must be submitted to me by email. In other words you have to let me know about them.

For a submission to qualify as a tangle it must be a genuine pattern (“a repeated decorative design”) and not “a thing to draw”.

From The Book of Zentangle:

Keep it Non-representational. Zentangle artwork is intended to be non-representational. Zentangle’s elemental strokes are also non-representational.

We don’t teach complex elements such as hearts, stars or flowers. Tangles are also non-representational.

Remember that tangles never start with pencil planning.

"A tangle has no pre-planning with pencil guidelines, grids or dots, no erased lines."

If you need a refresher on what makes a tangle, read the A PATTERN IS NOT ALWAYS A TANGLE page on the ZENTANGLES menu bar at the top of any page.

For details on how to submit your pattern for consideration visit the SUBMIT YOUR PATTERN page on the top menu bar of any page on the site. On that menu you will find these two pages:

    1. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns, and
    2. Why hasn't my pattern been published?

The first page includes instructions on how to prepare and send your JPGs. (Please save me time and do not send PDFs). It also includes a link to this PDF submission form.

When your examples include additional tangles from the site, please list them in your email. (This saves me time and my memory some wear and tear.)

If your pattern is posted on your blog, attach your steps and tile JPGs to your email and be sure your email includes the direct URL so I can link to it.

And remember, to quote Zentangle's co-founders Rick and Maria: tangles should be "magical, simple and easy to create", non-objective patterns of repetitive strokes that are easy to teach and offer a high degree of success to tanglers of all ages.

"Keep the tangles as little like 'drawing something' as possible."



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13 comments to How to draw TRINITY

  • Linda Dochter

    I, too, am fond of Celtic knots. Thanks for this super step-out. Love the tile with a set of four. It is so beautiful yet simple to tangle.

  • Aishwarya

    Lovely stephanie!

  • Melena

    This is wonderful Stephanie! I’ve looked at Celtic knots and could not even imagine trying to do step outs for one of them. But you have done it! I love it. Thank you!

  • Joyce Bruns

    I love this, and I can almost draw it! A few more practice sessions, I think I’ll be able to do it reasonably well. Thank you, Stephanie.

    Thanks for posting this, Linda.

  • Lovely! Two triquetras in a square. I’ll try this one soon.

  • Nancy pearson

    Stephanie this is beautiful! Intimidating for me at first but I just had to study it for a few minutes and I got it. I will need to practice before I actually put pen to paper but I am excited to be able to draw this. Celtic knots are so cool to me. Thanks again and thank you Linda for giving us so many avenues to discover.

  • Beautifully done! I’ve recently become very fond of drawing Celtic Knots because of this year’s Tangle Island weekend on Vancouver Island this past June. Nancy Dawes, CZT, taught her method of drawing them and I feel an addiction coming on. 🙂 Looking forward to trying this one!

  • Joan

    Tricky but fun. I’m sure it will get easier as I do it more. Thank you for sharing!

  • Thanks for this share. Celtic Knots have always intrigued me and this will be a fun play.

  • I have drawn Trinity this weekend, it is easy, pleasant and very nice, thank you for sharing!

  • Jill Barber

    Thank you for this tangle. It really slowed my mind down. I started it at home. I arrived at the cottage late yesterday, then the power went out. I couldn’t settle and starting my new book by flashlight didn’t appeal. So …I got out my sketchbook, finished this delightful tangle and calmed my mind in order to go to sleep. The true gift of Zentangle!!

  • Nicki


    I really enjoyed playing with Trinity. Thank you very much for the deconstruction.

    All the best

  • Duane Anderson

    This is really a very nice tangle to conquer. It only took 4 full pages to finally get to where I could start drawing them so they were somewhat resembling your drawing. I did love the challenge though because I do enjoy Celtic drawings. Now. I want to find some others to work out. Thanks for your great work.

    Duane Anderson
    CZT 28

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