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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher
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How to draw XIRCUS

Zentangle pattern: Xircus. 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.Xircus is a Zentangle®-original tangle dating back to the origins of this marvelous art form, one of the 102 original tangles.

Xircus has only previously appeared “publicly” as tangle example #3 on the Legend (L5) included in the Official Zentangle Kit.

But this summer as part of Project Pack #10 on Day 1 where Maria reproduces the tangles included on that Legend, she demonstrates Xircus.

Maria illustrates how to tangle Xircus starting at 5:29 into the video. I’ve set the video to begin at that time point but if you want to see the entire video from the beginning, simply use the controls to slide the timer back to the beginning. A link to my complete summary of Project Pack #10 (that includes a list of timestamps for each tangle) is given below.

Xircus is another super simple tangle and and though many of us — including me — prefer to have the printable step-by-step instructions, they really aren’t needed here, IMHO. However, if you’d like to have a printed version for your records, download a free template from the DOWNLOADS page and make your own version. Remember that if needed you can stop and start the video to help in creating your own printed steps for your records. (You can also slow down the playing speed using the settings/gear icon but be prepared for some wild sounding distorted voice-overs – enough to give you the giggles.)


UPDATE July 18, 2020 – Project Pack #10. As part of The Legend of Zentangle project pack series, in this video starting at 04:09, Maria demonstrates a cool tangleation of Xircus.


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 zentangle for more Zentangle®-original tangles on


Zentangle Project Pack Summaries on TanglePatterns

For your convenience here are the links to all of my Zentangle Project Pack summaries to date:

  1. November 2017: Introducing Sakura’s White Gelly Roll Pens
  2. December 2017: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2017 Edition - A Stroll Down Memory Lane
  3. June 2018: A Zentangle Ensemble
  4. December 2018: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2018 Edition – Making a Zentangle Spinner
  5. April 2019: Zentangle Cartouches
  6. August 2019: No Mistakes
  7. December 2019: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2019 Edition – Light and Shade
  8. March 2020: Dancing in the Moonlight
  9. April 2020: Spring has Sprung
  10. July 2020: The Legend of Zentangle
  11. September 2020: Fee-PHI-Fo-Fun!
  12. December 2020: The Twelve Days of Zentangle, 2020 Edition - Zentangle Renaissance

NOTE: You can always find the Project Pack Summaries by looking under ZENTANGLES on the top menu bar for the Zentangle Project Packs page. OR by looking in the left sidebar under TANGLES BY TYPE for the tag projectpack.

Related Links


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.


2 comments to How to draw XIRCUS

  • Joyce Blodgett

    Oh, my stars, Linda, what a priceless posting this is!!! Not only did I learn the “Xircus” tangle (neat pattern!), but I also FINALLY learned how to draw “Shattuck” the right way so that it actually IS the right pattern! I’ve struggled with that one for years, never being able to figure out how to align the curves, but Maria’s method in the video is so simple, I’m dumbfounded that I didn’t just figure it out myself.

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this excellent posting! I’m now going to get a cup of tea, and then enjoy the next hour with Rick and Maria, my pens and “practice papers” at the ready (I’m retired, and living on a tight budget, so use other things to practice on before drawing on Zentangle tiles) 😀

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