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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Tangler Dawn Conner shares her Zentangle-inspired “Hidden Heart” in a step-by-step tutorial

My Hidden Heart by Dawn ConnerHere’s a lovely Saturday surprise for you!

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had an extra tutorial on the site so I’m delighted to share this one with you.

California tangler Dawn Conner shares how to tangle her Zentangle®-inspired “Hidden Heart” in a few easy steps. I think this will spark some fun creative ideas!

Dawn writes,

I’m 43 yrs old, a single mom, living near Sacramento, California (but originally from the SF bay area).

I just watched a video on your site about Embedded Letters, which led me to think of my hidden heart drawing, and I thought you might appreciate it. 🙂

I just thought I would share this Zentangle-inspired idea I came up with a few years ago.

Dawn Conner’s “My Hidden Heart” ZIA.

Originally, I had no intention of “hiding” anything in the drawing. I did not even realize that was the result until I showed it to some friends, and they asked, “What heart?”. LOL

Here is a simple step-by-step on how I draw my ‘hidden” heart ZIA:

1. With a pencil, lightly draw out a square grid over the entire area tile or sheet of paper.

2. Again with pencil, very lightly draw a single large heart shape over the grid. (These pencil marks function much like a string does on a regular zentangle.)

3. With your Micron 01, inside of the heart use one tangle pattern that is based on a square grid. Here I used CZT Pegi Schargel’s B’Twined.

4. On the outside of the heart, use a totally different square grid-based tangle pattern. I like using CZT Damy Teng’s 3D-Room.

5. Have fun asking people what they see… some people don’t see the heart at all until asked!!!


Many thanks to Dawn for sharing her tutorial with us all.

Have fun giving Dawn’s “Hidden Heart” a whirl. If you feel like sharing your Hidden Heart ZIAs, email me a scan and I’ll add them to this page.

And of course there’s always an open invitation to everyone to submit your Zentangle-inspired tutorial for consideration, just send me an email.

Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out the TUTORIALS tab on the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar to find lots of great FREE tutorials on the site.



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11 comments to Tangler Dawn Conner shares her Zentangle-inspired “Hidden Heart” in a step-by-step tutorial

  • Joyce Blodgett

    I spotted the heart shape immediately, but won’t ruin the fun by saying where or how :-).

    I may give this one a try after sunset, after the Sabbath.

  • Mar

    Dawn, this a very clever idea with endless, gorgeous and interesting possibilities. I have always enjoyed “search” type drawings. This will be fun! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kimberly

    Oh, that’s clever! It took me a bit to find it. In fact, I had to read the instructions. Hee heee! Well done, my dear!

  • Jane

    This is so cool. I had to squint my eyes to see the heart- almost like a hologram.A beauty!

  • Love the concept! I did not see the heart at first & it was really cool to look again after I read the tutorial & there it was…’hidden in plain site’!

  • Dessie Arnold

    One of my favorite parts of this piece of art is the colorful floral tangle on each intersection of B’Twined. Is it a named tangle or just something Dawn drew? It looks familiar, but it’s not coming to me.
    Thank you so much for sharing Hidden Heart, Dawn and for posting it, Linda!

  • Jenn Brayton

    This is a real treat to play with and I love the hidden heart! Fantastic way to play with grids and tease the eyes and brain 🙂

  • Dawn Conner

    I am happy to read all of your positive feedback! This has been one of my favorites since I first came up with it.

  • Linda Dochter, CZT

    Hmmm. In my mind’s eye, I’m seeing shamrocks and stars and Christmas trees and monograms and . . .

    Great technique, Dawn. Thank you.

  • Sonja Van Laar

    I think one of the reasons this heart seems so hidden is because it is not a perfectly symmetrical heart. We tend to look for the bottom point of a heart directly below the top indention. In this heart the bottom point is rather to the left of the top indent. Of course, that is part of the charm of this technique and Zentangle in general: it’s not supposed to be symmetrical! Thanks for sharing a technique that can be quite versatile.

  • Sharon Wrench

    This is gorgeous! I did not see the hidden heart either (until I focused in on it). Thank you so much for sharing.

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