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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Artists for Respect
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How to draw OCTOS

Zentangle pattern: Octos. 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.Hi there!

It’s June, and that means the beginning of the hurricane season in this part of the world. Watchful eyes and ears for the next six months and fingers crossed it will be a quiet 2023 storm season.

As we speak, the second tropical depression of the year is in the Gulf of Mexico – and oddly, it appears to be heading south, towards Cuba. Although it’s not expected to develop into anything more than a Tropical Storm, it does mean a pretty wet weekend for us here in South Florida but after our unusually dry winter, it’s very welcome precipitation.

Our Friday tangle, Octos, is another cool deconstruction from Belgian CZT Ria Matheussen.

If I’m not mistaken, Octos is her 36th (three dozenth?) tangle on the site!

Ria tells us about her latest and shares some tips for tangling it:

To be honest, I prefer mostly the organic tangles but this time I have deconstructed one, based on a mirror formed by an octagon. We have already triangles, squares, circles, hexagons… but I haven’t found an octagon yet.

It seems difficult at first sight but the only thing you need to know is how to draw a nice octagon with equal sizes, the next steps are very simple.

I exercised a bit and found out that the easiest way is to start is: drawing just three equal lines. you can see then very good where the other lines have to come (step 1 and 2). In step 3 and 4 you have to decide how thick the “surroundings” are gonna be. I draw the lines in step 4 just a tiny bit longer than the ones in step 3. In step 5, you can already see how the tangle is going to look (I made this step special to make it easier to become a nice final result in step 6).

It is a “big” tangle like for example Dreamcatcher, Ico, Rumpus, Waybop, Auraknot … and has many options to use.

On my Zendala I have used the second and the fourth variation (shown below) with tangling inside and outside Octos.

Octos does require focus but as Ria says, it is not as difficult as it appears at first glance.

Ria illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Octos below where she also demonstrates some ways to explore and embellish it: “In the variations you can achieve a different result by adding a few strokes and make the octagon a bit rounder. In the second example you can see that you can fill it with other tangles. In the third variation you see that you can draw inside the borders with several different tangles. In the fourth variation I have drawn nothing inside but outside to show you can make a composition with other tangles and variation 5 shows a third row surrounding the octagon.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Octos, 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. (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. 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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13 comments to How to draw OCTOS

  • Jody Genovese

    Ria another beauty! I love it. It looks so complicated, but your step out reveals the simplicity behind this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you very much Jody for your kind comment. I’m glad you write that it looks complicated at first sight. I just thought the same but when you take your time, step by step, it is really an easy one. Kind regards from Belgium and have a nice summer!

  • Deborah

    It’s beautiful. Thank you. I’m sure this is one I will use.

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you so much Deborah for writing this kind comment. I admit that deconstructing/finding new tangles is not always easy and becoming positive comments always make me glad. So again many thanks and hope you will enjoy this one while exploring. Kind regards from Belgium.

  • Jenn Brayton CZT36

    WOW love how complex this looks, but it’s very straightforward to put together on a tile and the result is stunning! I am enjoying seeing how it unfolds on my tiles <3

    • Ria Matheussen

      What a nice surprise that you like Octos, yeah, it looks complex at first sight but you will find out that it isn’t when you are drawing, focused, step by step. Wish you succes and thank you very much for writing this kind feedback. Kind regards from Belgium.

  • Debbie Harback

    I really like this tangle. It is challenging for me. But very cute.

    • Ria Matheussen

      Thank you Debbie for this kind comment. I agree, it is a bit a challenge but when you follow the steps, you will discover that it is not so difficult as it looks.
      Wish you luck and fun while drawing. Kind regards from Belgium.

  • Ria Matheussen

    Thank you very much Linda, for adding Octos to I wish everyone who wants to use this new tangle a pleasant time while exploring!

  • Beatrice Aronas

    This tangle is very beautiful!

    • Ria Matheussen

      Oh,thank you very much for this nice compliment. Octos can be used in several ways and I hope you ‘ll find a favorite way. Wish you a wonderful summer and send you kind regards from Belgium!!!

  • Person in AZ

    This is very nice and intricate but when following your (AMAZINGLY DETAILED) instructions it can turn into a one of a kind beauty

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