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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.



Water-Based Ink Pens

And Pencils! When you want to add color to your Zentangle-inspired art, water-based ink is a great way to go. And SO much fun!

Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Ink PencilsDerwent Inktense Watersoluble Ink Pencils

Sandy Bartholomew gives these Derwent Ink Pencils a high recommendation. Amazon artist reviewers are unanimous in giving them 5-stars.

From a review: “Derwent Inktense combines the brilliant intensity of pen and ink with the versatility of line and wash.

Apply pure vibrant dry color and then wash out with water to leave a translucent ink-like effect.

Once dry the color is permanent and can be worked over with other media – wet or dry. The possibilities are endless; the results stunning!

You will be amazed by the depth of color and the immediate ease of which these pencils mix with water. The colors can be intermixed right on the paper and layered to produce a myriad of effects.”

And if that isn’t enough temptation …

Tombow Dual Brush PensTombow Dual Brush Pen Sets

These ever-popular double-headed, flexible nylon fiber brush pens have a single ink reservoir and two tips: one brush tip and one fine tip.

The water-based ink is acid-free, non-toxic and blendable, allowing an endless palette of colors.

It has the convenience of a flexible brush and a fine tip in one pen. High-quality, resilient brush retains its point stroke after stroke.

Non-toxic, acid-free, odor-less and nonbleed water-based ink blends easily. Create subtle color washes by dipping brush tip in water.

  • 6-Piece Set – PRIMARY Colors: Crimson, imperial purple, process blue, process yellow, rhodamine red and sea green >
  • 6-Piece Set – EARTH Colors: Chinese red, chrome orange, dark olive, dark plum, orange and saddle brown > Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Earth
  • 6-Piece Set – PASTEL Colors: Carnation, coral, glacier blue, mist purple, pale yellow and purple sage > Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Pastel
  • 10-Piece Set – 9 PRIMARY Colors plus blender pen: Black, chrome orange, crimson, green, imperial purple, process blue, process yellow, rhodamine red and ultramarine > Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Primary
  • 10-Piece Set – 9 EARTH Colors plus blender pen: Chinese red, chrome orange, dark olive, dark jade, dark plum, orange, saddle brown, sand and true blue > Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Earth
  • 10-Piece Set – 9 PASTEL Colors plus blender pen: asparagus, carnation, coral, glacier blue, mist purple, pale yellow, mint, purple sage and orchid > Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Pastel

Visit more TIPS & TOOLS pages

Check out the other pages under TIPS & TOOLS at the top of the page. There’s lots more to see, and it will be updated frequently with your tips and suggestions.

There are recommendations if you want to tangle on fabric, or add watercolor to your Zentangle-inspired art, as well as ideas for strings, and much more to come.

And if you have information to share on tools you enjoy using with your Zentangles, or more tips on their use, please leave a comment or email me (linda AT tanglepatterns DOT com] and let me know so I can add them to this resource for everyone’s enjoyment. Thanks!

3 comments to Water-Based Ink Pens

  • Marguerite Meara

    I have the Derwent Art-Tense Ink Pencils. I do a lot of watercolor painting and these bring out a vibrancy, enabling your artwork to jump off of the paper. Since starting with Zentangling, working with white & black, coupled with shading, the magnitude of results, are without a doubt..’AMAZING’. Treat yourself, they are a little pricey, however the quality of results are well worth it.

  • Linda Baron

    I’m a newbie – appreciate these pages and all the other great info online. My question: What do people use to for “filling in” sections of their zentangles. Does anyone use Micron brush pens? Other suggestions?

    • Linda Farmer

      Hi Linda, and welcome! I’m assuming that by “filling in” you’re referring to any solid areas? If that’s the case, I often use the larger nib Sakura Microns (02, 03, 05, 08) depending on how big the area is that I want colored in. Occasionally I use the Micron Graphic 1 that comes in the multi-pack set. I haven’t purchased any Brush pens because the ones I have seem to do the trick for me.

      I imagine if you’re working in a format larger than the 3 1/2″ square tile the Brush pens could come in handy. Maybe another of our Gentle Readers can help out here?

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