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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw IN FLIGHT

Zentangle pattern: In Flight. 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.Welcome to another week of fresh new tangle inspiration.

Hope you’re all hanging in there and keeping safe.

Robert and I are both well, thank goodness. As you might recall I sewed two types of masks for us two weeks ago today — and we haven’t been out to use them yet. Still, they are at the ready. In the meantime we are thoroughly enjoying peace and tranquility, giving thanks every day for our blessings and praying for all those heroes and angels who are risking their own lives to save ours.

Today’s cool In Flight tangle come to us from California tangler Karen Buse and it’s her first on the site.

Karen writes,

I happened upon examples of Zentangle® on Flickr in 2014. I practiced architect for twenty years so pattern drawing comes naturally for me. I tangled a few tiles after my initial discovery but put it down for a few years. I picked it up again in 2016, as something to keep me busy during my mom’s hip replacement surgery and while being her care giver as she recovered. I’ve been tangling fairly regularly ever since.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where seagulls are a regular sight. The pattern In Flight was inspired by the iconic, curved “V” shape they make when flying; a shape we all instantly recognize and have been drawing since we were kids.

The pattern fragment is two opposing, overlapping, birds drawn diagonally in a square.

I’ve shown how to draw four fragments such that a meta-pattern emerges. The meta-pattern has lots of open space for you to embellish to your heart’s content.

Helpful hints:

If I turn my tile so that the grid is oriented as diamonds rather than squares it’s easier for me to draw the bird shape with even wings.

I’ve shown one possible sequence for drawing the birds but it doesn’t matter what the sequence is. Find the sequence that is most comfortable/enjoyable for you.

What’s not to love about a grid tangle. As she notes, Karen has provided the basic form of In Flight and in her tile she shows just a few of the many ways it can be embellished, or not if that is your intuition. For my example I used some suggestions from Karen’s tile and added a little “thing” or two of my own.

Karen illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing In Flight below together with her lovely Zentangle featuring some great shading and some pretty ways to embellish her tangle.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern In Flight, tangle and deconstruction by Karen Buse. 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. 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 thanks helps motivate them to continue to share! And please share a link to your favorite tangles on social media. Thanks!

Check out the tag karenb for more of Karen’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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6 comments to How to draw IN FLIGHT

  • Barbara Saunders

    Great tangle. Thank you!

  • Beautiful tangle and beautiful tile, thanks for sharing!

  • Jody Genovese

    Love this Karen. Adding to my growing list of things to play with. It’s beautiful.

  • HeidiSue

    Loving the meta patterns all through this! Lots to play with!

  • Susan Achter

    I love this graceful tangle. Love that it came from observing seagulls as in Duluth, MN we have many and that is a special connection. Great job on this!

  • Liza

    I found your site a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for sharing this example. To me, the INFLIGHT pattern hits home. I live in the North of Norway, and the return of the seagulls is the best sign of spring. Also, flight in Northern Norway is vital due to the long distances we have to travel here. We even have Norway’s national aviation museum close by. As a teacher of our senior students, I find the symbolic meaning of inflight to be perfect. Imagine using it at the graduation ceremony. So, thank you again for sharing and being inspiring.

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