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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw ALFOMILA

Zentanlge pattern: Afomila. 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.Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day greetings to you!

I’m sure you noticed right away that today’s Alfomila tangle has pretty much nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day – completely devoid of pretty three-petal shamrocks – but it’s a goodie nonetheless. Possibly a little bit challenging with a cool result.

Alfomila is from Spanish CZT Carmen Menchón and it’s her sixth tangle on the site. Most recently we explored her Veranistido and its curvy companion Catenarii.

Carmen writes,

Some time ago, at my mother-in-law’s house, I discovered a rug that I hadn’t noticed before… I quickly took out a pencil and paper and voila!: “Alfomila” was created!

The name comes from Alfombra (= rug) + Mila (= my mother-in-law nickname) and has an Arabic essence that suits it very well, in Spanish most of the words that begin with “al” derive from Arabic (ex: Alhambra).

So lets start drawing:

1. Start with a rectangular band or grid

2. Draw the diagonal that crosses 3 rectangles from the upper left corner (0) of the first to the lower right corner of the third (3) (I’ve put those numbers in pencil just to explain it)

3. Make diagonals parallel to this first line in alternate rectangles always from left to right

4. Rotate the tile 180° and repeat steps 3 and 4.

While working on my Alfomila example I noticed another way to tangle it (isn’t there almost always more than one). When I studied the fourth row in Carmen’s Steps below I saw that it’s basically alternating rows of X’s within the channels. This made a bit of a short-cut but I think it still does justice to Carmen’s intent. (I’m off to test some wonky grids and X’s to see what I get.)

Carmen illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Alfomila below and she shows us several ways to “Decorate with shadows, auras, lines, color, other tangles… It can be border tangle if you draw a single row of rectangles (in this case I recommend drawing double outer line). Or filler if it is done on a rectangular grid. In this case you can get the ‘stars’ to be aligned in columns or alternate, I invite you to experiment!

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Alfomila, tangle and deconstruction by Carmen Menchón. 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. (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. “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” ~ Albus Dumbledore

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Check out the tag carmenm for more of Carmen’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.
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8 comments to How to draw ALFOMILA

  • Maxine Erickson

    Thank you for showing us the patterns on the rug, they are all so lovely together. Just want to let you know drawing 3 hexagons points touching top and bottom and two on each side creates the same pattern of the star. I believe that is how the pattern came into being in quilting. Stadtler makes a template of circles, squares triangles and hexigons professional master sketch template #977/135 They are also fun to work with in making patterns and they help with learning spacing and muscle memory. I like using them as a string. they call the pattern Hexagons revealing the star in quilting.

    • Carmen Menchón

      Dear Maxine, thank you for your comment and the Stadler template advise. It is true that these stars are formed by drawing hexagons as you describes, I don’t know much about that but the so-called “sacred geometry” is full of these shapes.
      But precisely the challenge for me is to make them appear without the need for rules or templates. I hope you can have fun this way too

      • Linda Farmer, CZT

        I totally agree with you Carmen. This is exactly what Zentangle is all about – no mechanical aids. Just enjoying the process with our pens and paper and appreciating what “appears without the need for rules or templates”.

  • Jenn Brayton CZT36

    I’m really enjoying how much complexity can be built using such a seemingly simple tangle <3 Straight lines, wonky lines, adding in fill and fragments – it’s endless the possibilities! Thank you!!

  • Sharon Wrench

    Beautiful pattern with a lot of possibilities! Thank you for sharing

  • Tomas Padros Cruz

    An intelligent and original deconstruction for a classic pattern. Great job

  • Deborah

    Once again, one with so many possibilities. Thank you for sharing it. I’m sure I will be using it.

  • Katie Crommett

    Beautiful! This and Daviso share similar strokes!

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