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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw PLAY-IT

Zentangle pattern: Play-it. 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 y’all!

It’s officially the first day of Summer in the northern hemisphere, Winter in the southern hemisphere. Amazing we’re almost half way through 2023, and although time is streaking by we take comfort in always having new tangles to play with …

Today we have a cool one from Tennessee tangler Kate Lee O’Connor and Play-it is her first on the site.

When Kate submitted her tangle she suggested it was similar to the Zentangle®-original Chainging and to my mind it also shares DNA in method with Sayantika Ray’s Organic.

Kate introduces herself and her tangle:

I’ve been singing and playing violin most of my life, and I currently live in Nashville, TN.

After a recent challenge with my mental and physical health, I had several people mention Zentangle to me, but it was not properly described to me before my dear friend, Nancy Needler, from Rochester, NY invited me to attend a Zentangle 101 course by CZT Mary Rose Feldman.

Since then, I have been enjoying the relaxation, creativity, playtime, positivity, gratitude, joy and more that the method offers. I’m very thankful for this beautiful community that exists, practicing mindfulness through simple pen strokes.

About this tangle:

I was inspired to play with “woven-like” patterns like Mak-rah-mee by CZT Michele Beauchamp and deconstructed this pattern.

It reminds me of a plait or braid but it does not represent one, of course, so I named it Play-it. I hope this brings others some fun, guided playtime like so many tangles have for me!

I recommend adding small c-curve rounding to the ends of the curves and I like to do this on “both sides” of the curves so I flip my tile to get the same motion going. I like to shade the areas that look like they are going “under” one another as well as the outer edges. I like to add line weight to the first c-curves I make to differentiate them from the inner c-curves and add contrast. I don’t worry too much about there being uniformity of the inner auras. They could start close together and flare out or remain more equidistant from one another, and I don’t count the number of auras in between the main c-curves. I like to fill the interstices with auras or with orbs with their interstices filled in with black. I think this would make a nice border on a variety of tile shapes or as the larger tangle on a diagonal of a tile.

Kate illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Play-it below and she demonstrates it in a tile with the Zentangle-original Flux with some Fescu fronds.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Play-It, tangle and deconstruction by Kate Lee O'Connor. 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

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 katelo for more of Kate’s tangles on

How to get the best from your experience

Almost exactly one year ago today Texas CZT Barbara Langston created this excellent video tutorial on how to get the best from all of the useful features on the site. Judging from the appreciative comments on her YouTube channel, it’s well worth revisiting this tutorial today. I’m willing to bet there’s a few site surprises in the tutorial for you to discover and I’d love it if, in the comments below, you’d let us both know if you learned any new “tricks”. So with much gratitude to Barbara …

BTW, if you need to easily find this video tutorial again it’s also permanently posted on the ABOUT > HOW TO USE THIS SITE page on the top menu bar. Makes sense, right? 😉


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!
  10. 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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7 comments to How to draw PLAY-IT

  • Nancy Needler

    Kate – super smiles here for you and your tangle, Play-it. Congratulations again. Let’ tangle together again soon.

  • Jenn Brayton CZT36

    I’m enjoying Play-it growing across my tiles! It’s certainly versatile and I like seeing how much space I can create and fill! Line weight and rounding and other enhancements give lots more to explore with this sweet tangle <3 Thank you!

    • Kate Lee O'Connor

      Nice to “meet” you online, Jenn! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you got to try it and have been enjoying it! <3

  • Deborah J Davis

    I know I can do this one. What fun. Thank you

  • Jessica L Dykes

    I love the “play on words” title! I’m also a basket weaver, and #Play-it reminds me of a very difficult basket rim pattern, consisting of multiple strands of twine, intertwined to form a thick braided rim. This pattern looks just like the finished basket rim, but a lot easier to master!Looking forward to tangling it!

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