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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher

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How to draw QURTUBA

Zentangle pattern: Qurtuba. 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.Greetings friends!

We launch our new year of tangles with Qurtuba, a lovely and easy Monday tangle from Spanish CZT Aida Rico. It’s her fifth tangle on the site.

Aida explains her inspiration for Qurtuba,

Qurtuba came to me during a visit to the Córdoba Mosque last October.

When I saw one of their ornamented doors, I told to myself that at least a tangle must be hidden in it.

In this close up from part of the above image, you can see the vine-like Qurtuba inspiration framing the section.

Interested to learn a little about this intriguing edifice in Córdoba, Spain, we turned to a lengthy and detailed article on Wikipedia about its history and amazing architecture. Here’s a little taste of its origins in the 700s up to its current use as a Cathedral today:

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba (Spanish: Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba), officially known by its ecclesiastical name, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (Spanish: Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Córdoba dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and located in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Due to its status as a former Islamic mosque, it is also known as the Mezquita (‘mosque’ in Spanish) and as the Great Mosque of Córdoba.

According to traditional accounts, a Visigothic church, the Catholic Christian Basilica of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, originally stood on the site of the current Mosque-Cathedral … The Great Mosque was constructed on the orders of Abd ar-Rahman I in 785, when Córdoba was the capital of the Muslim-controlled region of Al-Andalus. It was expanded multiple times afterwards …

The mosque was converted to a cathedral in 1236 when Córdoba was captured by the Christian forces of Castile during the Reconquista. … Today, the building continues to serve as the city’s cathedral and Mass is celebrated therein daily.

By Toni Castillo Quero – Flickr: [1], CC BY-SA 2.0,

The mosque structure is an important monument in the history of Islamic architecture and was highly influential on the subsequent “Moorish” architecture of the western Mediterranean regions of the Muslim world.

It is also one of Spain’s major historic monuments and tourist attractions, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

Aida illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Qurtuba below and in several lovely tiles she demonstrates some ways to explore it including “in the round” and in a grid.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Qurtuba, tangle and deconstruction by Aida Rico. 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. (Small side note: if you look at the legalese in Pinterest, you are legally responsible for obtaining permission to post every photo that gets ‘Pinned’. Giving credit or sharing the source link doesn’t count.) 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 aidar for more of Aida’s tangles on TanglePatterns.com.

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How to submit your pattern to TanglePatterns

From The Book of Zentangle:

Keep it Non-representational. Zentangle artwork is intended to be non-representational. Zentangle’s elemental strokes are also non-representational.

We don’t teach complex elements such as hearts, stars or flowers. Tangles are also non-representational.

Remember that tangles never start with pencil planning!

"A tangle has no pre-planning with pencil guidelines, grids or dots, no erased lines."

If you need a refresher on what makes a tangle, read the A PATTERN IS NOT ALWAYS A TANGLE page on the ZENTANGLES menu bar at the top of any page.

Everyone is invited to submit patterns, you do NOT need to be a CZT.

In order for patterns to be considered for TanglePatterns.com they must be submitted to me by email. In other words you have to let me know about them. Here's how:

For details on how to submit your pattern for consideration visit the SUBMIT YOUR PATTERN page on the top menu bar of any page on the site. On that menu you will find these two pages:

    1. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns, and
    2. Why hasn't my pattern been published?

The first page includes instructions on how to prepare and send your file. It also includes a link to this PDF submission form - NOTE: be sure to right click the link to download the file. I've recently updated the form with more information so if you have an old copy, you might like to download the current edition.

When your examples include additional tangles from the site, please list them in your email. (This saves me time and my memory some wear and tear.)

If your pattern is posted on your blog, attach your steps and tile images to your email and be sure your email includes the direct URL so I can link to it.

And remember, to quote Zentangle's co-founders Rick and Maria: tangles should be "magical, simple and easy to create", non-objective patterns of repetitive strokes that are easy to teach and offer a high degree of success to tanglers of all ages.

"Keep the tangles as little like 'drawing something' as possible."

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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. 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.
  5. "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.
  6. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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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