How to sign up for a free subscription - never miss a tangle!
What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher
Artists for Respect
Your support helps keep TanglePatterns available!
TanglePatterns QR Code


Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.



How to draw SHIRL

Zentangle pattern: Shirl. 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.Ohio tangler Joan Stark is on a roll creating new tangles.

Just a few weeks ago {although it feels like an age now, right? – a lot has happened!} we explored Joan’s 2 Diamonds + a Rice.

Her latest, Shirl, is so-named “after Shirley Temple and my mother,” Joan writes.

As an aside, Shirl is also a masculine name — my sweetie Robert’s late and much-loved uncle was named Shirl. As yesterday was Robert’s birthday, I shall think of this tangle as a tribute to this sweet and very funny gentleman Shirl Farmer of the village of Barwell in Leicestershire, UK. Here’s to all the Shirl’s and Shirley’s everywhere!

Joan continues,

Shirl is similar to Coil and Shirley but very different.

I think you’ll find it easy when you realize it’s only 3 shapes (S’s, insides, and hatching).

The shapes are attached to each other at their points to adjoining mid-sections. This part is important so you can get the insides to look right.

I find creating them in one continuous movement to be very zen. However if people are still working on trying to draw the shape, it can accomplished with 2 flat reverse “S”s touching at each end.

It can be a border, a ribbon, or just Hollibaugh a handful of them (like on my step-out).

I’ve also been told that it looks like there are pearls between the shapes — that can be. I didn’t intend for it. LOL

As Joan demonstrates, Shirl can either be constructed with a continuous stroke or by creating back-to-back S shapes, or reverse S shapes depending on which way you want them to face. I used shading in place of Step 5’s hatching, just a personal preference but anything goes! 🙂 There are many ways you can embellish or decorate the insides too but the basic Shirl looks very cool as is.

Joan illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Shirl-the-tangle below including her “Hollibaugh-ed” example that “kinda looks like a telephone cord — I’m showing my age here!“:

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Shirl, tangle and deconstruction by Joan Stark. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These images are for your personal offline reference only. Please feel free to refer to the images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs. However the artist and reserve all rights to the images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. For more information, click on the image for the article “Copyrights and your blog.” “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” ~ Albus Dumbledore

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 joans for more of Joan’s tangles on


Laughter is the Best Medicine

Courtesy of my UK brother-in-law …

SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! for all of us in the community who don’t do social media (there are many, including me) if you’ve seen something funny that “takes the mickey” out of our current sticky situation and you’d like to give a smile to your Zentangle friends, email the image (with credits if at all possible) to me ( using the subject line “Laughter is the best medicine” and I’ll select the best ones to add to the upcoming posts for a while. Let’s see what you’ve got!


Related Links


How to submit your pattern to TanglePatterns

Everyone is invited to submit patterns, you do not need to be a CZT. However, in order for patterns to be considered for you must submit them to me by email. Here's how:

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 file. It also includes a link to this PDF submission form - NOTE: be sure to right click the link to download the file. I've recently updated the form with more information so if you have an old copy, you might like to download the current edition.

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

If your pattern is posted on your blog, be sure your email submission 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."



Enhance your Zentangle experience while supporting TanglePatterns: TANGLE GUIDE, 2020 Edition TANGLE GUIDE, 2020 Edition

The 9th Edition of my TANGLE GUIDE. This instant-download 79-page (54 MB) interactive digital eBook contains all the tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2019. Containing almost 1,400 tangles, it's a must-have tool for using the site. Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page and support by getting your copy now!

"Linda, Thank you! I was relying on too few and getting stuck after 3 years of daily working with Zentangle. This has inspired me to ‘begin again’ with renewed excitement." ~ Barbara R.

See the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page. Note: this is a digital product you download when you place your order, nothing will be physically mailed to you.
GIFT ORDERS FOR ANOTHER PERSON: To give the TANGLE GUIDE as a gift, visit this page to place your gift order.
If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1This is the only Zentangle book you'll ever need: the fabulous Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®. Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
NEW! Now available in KINDLE format for $9.99.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H

The Official Zentangle KitAnother great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.


3 comments to How to draw SHIRL


    Thanks for another cool tangle, and a hilarious photo! I immediately saw the telephone cord! Both took “the mickey” out of my lonely evening. (Hubby, a medical courier, is hard at work on the front lines.) Peace, health and humor to you!

  • Looks like a play for this afternoon. And thanks to Jennifer’s hubby for being on the front lines along with so many others. Hoping all our heros out there stay safe.

  • Pam

    I picked this up about 5 years ago during a very stressful time. It was like finding a gentle stream I could return to over and over. Thank you

    Well that time and situation passed and I slowly stopped visiting that stream. During this isolated time I have rediscovered this oasis and I am enjoying your talents and sharing once more

    Thank you for making this so available and easy to step into I’m enjoying the stream

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.