Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Zendoodle has become my latest pen and ink obsession.  I discovered Zendoodles online during one of those mindless surfing expeditions.  ZendoodleZentangle and other terms are used interchangeably but apply to the same concept.  Google either term and you'll find plenty of sites to check out.  How fun to see there's a name for what I've been doing all my life!

Free form art like this is so relaxing.  I''m no psychologist, but my guess is that the 'Zen' refers to the  meditative state one settles into due to the mindless nature of doodling.  It must somehow allow your brain to disengage logically in order to create visually.  What happens analytically doesn't really matter to me.  My primary purpose in pursuing this activity is from an artistic perspective and if I achieve health benefits along the way ~ hot diggity!
Circles and curves are by far my favorite shapes.  I'd guess there's some scientific reason for that too but... I'd rather not sweat the small stuff.  The bottom left doodle is going to become an art quilt.  My thought is that machine quilters 'doodle with thread' every time they do free motion fill in stitching.  Most of the Zendoodles are in black and white for some reason.  Maybe it's a yin and yang thing?  My intention is to practice in black/white contrast until I become adept with thread on fabric, then I'll experiment with color.
  One of my examples is two toned because my black ink ran out and the blue pen was handy, but I like the interplay of color.  I found color use became one more element to remove me from the simplicity of Zendoodle so I may stick with black/white compositions until I need a change.  
Organic and animal shapes intrigue me with Zentangle possibilities and I even tried letters and a word for the experience.
The basic instruction for those ready to jump into the Zendoodle movement:
1. Draw a basic shape.  Square is easiest to begin with.
2. Divide the shape into subsections large enough to doodle within.
3. Fill in one section at a time with these objectives in mind.
    * balance light, medium and dark contrast throughout the entire design. (white, black, grays)
    * fill in with a variety of patterns, using lines, circles, and solids to create textures.
    * keep your sections well defined so your eye has a place to rest.
4. Relax and enjoy the process ~ there is no right or wrong to your doodle.


  1. They are beautiful Judy. They make me think of th posters you used to be able to buy, that came with making pens to color on them. Coloring for big kids. Very cool.

  2. Hi Deb! I think of you as a Zendoodler on your longarm. :) Hadn't thought about the posters you made reference to but now that you mentioned it - very similar. I guess there is really "nothing new under the sun", it all comes back around eventually. Thanks for your comment.