Title – One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun
Author – Beckah Krahula
Publisher – Quarry Books
ISBN – 978-1-59253-811-9

Zentangle® has become something of a craze lately.  Although many of us have been doodling like this for years, suddenly it has a (trademarked) name and there are books of “official” patterns to use (the patterns are called tangles).

I wanted a book as a reference for some of the beautiful tangles, and this one had many good reviews on Amazon, so I took the plunge.

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A course or a book

“One Zentangle a Day” is written as a 6 week course.  Each 2 page spread is one day and shows 2 or 3 new tangles (usually 3).  You are also introduced to various techniques such as including colour, tangle variations, presentation of your art and so on.

I personally am too impatient to take 42 days to work through the book, and ended up reading it cover to cover and then dipping in and out, happily trying the various tangles out.  If you are not used to doodling then using the book in the intended course format would be excellent for building up artistic confidence.

Lots of tangles

The book covers a great range of tangles, with numerous variations and techniques to adapt and customize them.  They range from very simple ones like Knightsbridge (basically just a checkerboard) through to some very complex organic looking tangles.  Lots of inspiration for Zentangle inspired art projects big and small.

The various stages of constructing each tangle are clearly shown.  For some of the more complex tangles this is a real boon as knowing the ideal sequence of assembly will make it must easier to get a really impressive result.

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Using the tangles

The books begins with an overview of the tools needed to create Zentangle inspired art.  Like most Zentangle books it is very insistent that you can only do it on special, official pieces of card, and need Sakura Sigma Micron pens etc.  In practice people are happily doodling on whatever paper or card they want (ideally whatever goes best with your choice of pen, of course) and any pen, pencil or whatever that they have.  Obviously you need a fine tipped pen to do very fine tangles.  I do use a Sakura pen sometimes, but my favourite tangling pen is a Zig Millennium 005, which is half the price of the Sakura and seems to last longer.

There is also a discussion on the “zen” aspect of this form of doodling, which involves breathing exercises and a formal approach to drawing the designs.  Whilst I know many people do enjoy this aspect to the artform, and have found many benefits from it, it is of course not compulsory.  I just like doodling.

The books also contains lots of ideas of ways to use your Zentangle inspired art.  There is information on using it in mandalas (“zendalas”), illuminated lettering and combining it with folk art techniques.  You will learn how to add pencil shading to your tangles, which can give very impressive 3d effects easily, and how to include colour in your designs.

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 Summary

I am very pleased with this book.  I got a very good range of inspiring tangles, with some really useful advice on creating variations.

I own a couple of other books on Zentangle, and have read a few more, and this one seems to offer the best value of money in my opinion.  There are a LOT of tangles in this book, plus some really useful techniques to encourage the reader to create their own unique patterns.

If you are new to this form of doodling then this book will soon have you creating beautiful designs that will surprise you.  And for the more experienced artist, here is a useful reservoir of tangle patterns to draw on.

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This link – One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun leads to the item on Amazon.co.uk. If you purchase it from this link then I would get a small commission from Amazon for sending custom their way.

 

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