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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw SEARCHIN

Zentangle pattern: Searchin. 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.Hello my tangling friends!

As always, thanks so much for keeping me company for another week of fun tangles to explore 🙂

We begin with another cool tangle from NY CZT Jody Genovese, if my tally is correct Searchin is Jody’s 29th on the site. Be sure to check out the rest too!

Jody’s whimsical Searchin tangle is easy to tangle while at the same time requiring your focus and patience while turning your tile to add all those spines! 🙂

Jody writes,

I was looking for something in one of my older journals and stumbled across something I had been playing with when we were working on reinterpreting the art of famous artists at zenAgain I believe in 2018. I really enjoyed the style of Ernst Haeckel, though he made me really appreciate staying on dry land. Lots of creepy things in deep waters.

I had been playing with this little creature and I am naming it Searchin as a play on a Sea Urchin though it has absolutely nothing to do with them. It is in fact a little piece of something called a…wait for it…

Hexastylus dictyotus and a member of the Cubosphaerida family.

The little piece I drew is my interpretation of the thingy on the right in the image above, which is a small part of the bigger thingy on the left. I’m not good at scientific terms as you may have gathered.

At any rate, I did some further research using AI. I was as most people probably are in its infancy a little afraid of it, but my cousin is a software engineer and was just visiting us as he had a meeting with IBM about this. He was teaching us about it and showing us the things it can do when used for good and not evil.

I think most folks are familiar with ChatGPT, but Google has a version called Bard [now called Gemini] and I asked Bard to tell me what it knew about the Hexastylus dictyotus. Here is what I found out: (This is copied from Bard’s reply)

Hexastylus dictyotus is a species of radiolarian within the Cubosphaerida group. Here’s what I can tell you about it:
General characteristics: It has a spherical or subspherical shell with a smooth surface and six heavy, three-bladed spines that are nearly equal in size and arranged perpendicular to each other. These spines can range in length from less than half to almost the same diameter as the shell itself. In some specimens, the radial spines extend inwards as shorter, thinner spines called centripetal spines.

Hexastylus dictyotus radiolaria
Shell and pores: The shell wall of Hexastylus dictyotus is thin and has subcircular to subelliptical pores that are arranged somewhat regularly around the circumference. The number of pores can vary from 7 to 9 on half the circumference.
Variations: Interestingly, some specimens exhibit variations from the typical form. For example, some may have five, seven, or even eight spines, while others might have spines that are not perfectly perpendicular. Additionally, the surface of the shell can be completely smooth or adorned with short, thin spines arising from the bars and their nodes.
Habitat and distribution: Hexastylus dictyotus is a marine species found in deep ocean environments. Fossil records suggest its presence in the past, but its exact distribution and abundance in modern oceans are not fully understood.
Ecological role: Like other Cubosphaerida, Hexastylus dictyotus plays a part in the marine food web as prey for larger organisms. Its silica skeleton also contributes to the sedimentation of ocean floors, influencing the geological record.

Whatever it is, it is fun to draw.

I have to say Jody’s turn with Bard found a lot more information than I was able to find with “old fashioned” internet searching. I remain one of those who has yet taken time out to explore anything AI.

Searchin (not to be confused with Loretta Botticini’s Sea Urchin) is Jody’s second tangle on the site inspired by Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms from the Abyss, the first was her Anthem tangle.

Jody illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Searchin below with her two lovely tiles, the second includes a masterful rendering of Shoshi’s classic Y-ful Power.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Searchin, tangle by and deconstruction by Jody Genovese. 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. Click the image for an article explaining what copyright means in plain English. “Always let your conscience be your guide.” ~ Jiminy Cricket

In order to better see the detail in Jody’s steps, here is an enlarged image of Step 4 showing the stippling that gives Searchin both texture and dimension:

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 jodyg for more of Jody’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!
  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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