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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw ARO

Zentangle pattern: Aro. 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.Greetings y’all! It’s Friday and the last weekend of August. Wow.

The Premier League has begun its new season, soon College Football (the North American kind of football) will be back in full swing, and after a bit of a break the F1 season has resumed and practice rounds begin today for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. [That’s your sports news, no Florida weather updates today 😉 ] Speaking of Belgium …

Belgian CZT Ria Matheussen is back today with her Aro tangle. Friday’s tangle is usually a little more challenging than those from earlier in the week, for me Aro certainly falls into that category. But Ria says, once you get the hang of it, you’re good. Just do not miss her key tip about the spacing of the Tipple orbs!

Ria explains her inspiration for Aro and gives detailed helpful tips on how to tangle it:

Inspired by the old Roman Art (Art Romaine) of the 4th century I deconstructed a new tangle. When I saw a picture of this wonderful mosaic I thought immediately of a new pattern and searched everywhere to found out if it already exists but as far as I know, I don’t think so. The name was easy to choose: Aro (Art Romaine) .

I tried to form Aro in 6 steps and it is not so difficult as it looks at first sight but I have to admit you have to focus well.

That means: when you start to draw, the distance between the Tipple above and the Tipple beneath is also the same measure as the Tipple itself.

In step 2, I start with the curly line on the right. Then I turn my page and draw the curly line on the left.

In step 3, I form the line on the right at height of the Tipple beneath and the line on the left starts at the height of the Tipple above.

In step 4 I simply continue the lines and in step 5 add the inner lines.

Shadowing is very important and makes the tangle pretty (also little “corrections” are possible with some graphite).

As you can see, have made a frame of Aro on a tan colored tile and filled the tangle with Doodah, followed by Verve and Ginili. Many options are possible.

You can just use black/white or color but you can also fill the tangle with other ones.

I have included my own Roman mosaic in a modern version and used besides Aro also the flower of Henna Drum, CO2, Florz and Clob inside Aro.

This Zendala mosaic was easy to make thanks to the wonderful tool of Zentangle® that helps you to divide your tile in different sections. I have chosen for 12. Many variations are possible…

The Zentangle tool Ria refers to is the the Markus Operandus from Project Pack 9, it’s a free download on that page. (A second tool, the Markus Operandus II download is available on the Project Pack 11 page.)

For my example I wanted to replicate the frame from Ria’s Renaissance Tan tile example but my thumbnail size examples are way too small to accomplish that. So I went with a very simple portion of a ribbon.

Ria illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Aro below where she includes a Zendala and a Zentangle ZIA tile demonstrating its effectiveness as a frame, ribbon-style.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Aro, tangle and deconstruction by Ria Matheussen. 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 a discussion entitled “Artists for Respect” by several prominent artists. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis

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 riam for more of Ria’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!
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16 comments to How to draw ARO

  • Susan Kelley Pundt

    This is great, Ria. Your tips make it work well!

    • Ria Matheussen

      It looks a difficult one at first sight but it isn’t. I thought a long time how to make it easier and I’m glad you appreciate that. Thank you very much!

  • Lianne

    I have looked at this pattern hundreds of times and could never work out how to make it a tangle. Thank you for this new tangle. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Ria Matheussen

      There are still many beautiful Roman mosaïcs to discover with new patterns… I like this one very much but, as Linda wrote, it looked a challenging one. I tried to make it easier and I’m very glad you like it. Wish you succes while drawing and thank you very much for your gentle comment.

  • Lucy Farran

    Thank-you for another lovely tangle Ria!

  • veronica vazquez

    So nice and simple, love the examples

    • Ria Matheussen

      I agree with you, when you follow the steps it is not so difficult as it looks and there are many possibilities to make your own Roman mosaïc or use it as another border. I wish you succes and thank you very much for your kind words!

  • Knotty tangles are fun and challenging too. Love playing with them so thanks for another one.

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you very much for your kind feedback Sue Leslie. After a little bit of exercising, this one will give you many options to make nice borders. I’m glad you like it and wish you fun while playing with Aro!

  • Jan Brandt, CZT 12

    Ria, Aro is a wonderful tangle!! You’ve certainly simplified what looks like a complex pattern! I love your examples, especially the Zendala. I’m looking forward to experimenting with this one. ?

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you very much Jan for your kind feedback. I liked this pattern at first sight but thought it was to difficult to draw in a nice way, but as you wrote it is more simply than it looks. I’m glad you like it and hope you are safe because I saw on television also the neighborhood of Lake Tahoe has to deal with terrible fires?

  • Claudia Caro

    I learnt this one today so versatile. I will use it a lot, my kind of tangle. It is going to be fun.

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you very much for this nice comment. It is a high focus tangle but once you get it, it will give you pleasure, I’m sure, wish you all the best!

  • CarolynS

    Your tiles are lovely!

    It’s always such a treat to discover another one of your tangles.

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