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How to draw SWITCHING

Zentangle pattern: Switching. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. 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.Whew, thank goodness we made it to Monday unscathed! Welcome back my friends, lovely to see you …

After a stressful weekend while we monitored what fortunately turned out to be only a Tropical Storm, I needed a really, really SIMPLE tangle.

And Belgian tangler Tina Raymaekers came to my rescue with her Switching tangle. Easy, easy, easy. And so surprisingly versatile. (And somewhat symbolic of the weekend!)

Previously Tina shared her Diam’n Feel with us.

Now I know you’ll say there are similar spiral tangles on the site, and I would not disagree with you. But with the exception of the Zentangle®-original Snail that doesn’t “switch” and the grid-based Tortuca, other similar tangles are more embellished designs. CZT Suzanne McNeill’s Eddy is possibly closest in similarity although her approach to construction is completely different.

The straightforward Switching deserves some exploration.

Tina writes,

I’ve been doubting to use this one, ’cause I’ve been drawing this since my secondary school years … every binder has it mentioned somewhere.

It’s a quite easy one, the only tricky part is that the drawing switches from where you start drawing it: on, under, on, under, … That’s where the name comes from.

It can be a border, but due to the curves you can use it as a string as well, or make a figure out of it. It can even be used as a grid.

In addition to Tina’s suggestions for Switching, you can explore variations a bunch of ways. They can be tangled in parallel lines, in condensed or open rhythmic arrangements, and with a change in scale/proportion, which I played with a bit in my humble example.

But wait! There’s more! To add more fun to the Switching mix, experiment further with square/fret versions (à la Emingle or Box Spirals), or triangle versions like Triral, or tear-drop shaped like Ansu, or even wonky ones like Elirob. It has more fun and complex possibilities than its simple form initially conveys.

Spirals have been around for millennia. They appear in art and architecture and of course in nature, on every continent in the world as detailed under the “As a symbol” heading on the Wikipedia entry:

A spiral like form has been found in Mezine, Ukraine, as part of a decorative object dated to 10,000 BC.

The spiral and triple spiral motif is a Neolithic symbol in Europe (Megalithic Temples of Malta).

The Celtic symbol the triple spiral is in fact a pre-Celtic symbol. It is carved into the rock of a stone lozenge near the main entrance of the prehistoric Newgrange monument in County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange was built around 3200 BCE predating the Celts and the triple spirals were carved at least 2,500 years before the Celts reached Ireland but has long since been incorporated into Celtic culture.

The triskelion symbol, consisting of three interlocked spirals or three bent human legs, appears in many early cultures, including Mycenaean vessels, on coinage in Lycia, on staters of Pamphylia (at Aspendos, 370–333 BC) and Pisidia, as well as on the heraldic emblem on warriors’ shields depicted on Greek pottery.

Spirals can be found throughout pre-Columbian art in Latin and Central America. …

Spiral shapes, including the swastika, triskele, etc., have often been interpreted as solar symbols. Roof tiles dating back to the Tang Dynasty with this symbol have been found west of the ancient city of Chang’an (modern-day Xi’an).

… The spiral is also found in structures as small as the double helix of DNA and as large as a galaxy.

There’s a variety of basic spiral types, I’ve included a sampling below. Learning more about spirals is truly fascinating, so be sure to begin with a read on Wikipedia.

Tina illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Switching below, “In my drawing I just kept it as a straight string and added some shade in the middle of the curl.” Enjoy exploring the simplicity — and potential complexity — of this fun symbolic shape!

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Switching, tangle and deconstruction by Tina Raymaekers. 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 TanglePatterns.com reserve all rights to the images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” ~ Albus Dumbledore

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Check out the tag tinar for more of Tina’s tangles on TanglePatterns.com.

Related Links

  • 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.
  • What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals
  • Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form
  • 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.
  • A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: a tangle NEVER starts with pencil planning.
  • How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  • 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
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