Zentangle Materials

Hello everyone!  I was going to do a video of another Zentangle, but I thought it would be a better idea to go through a list of materials I use personally.  Sometimes when we begin doing something in the “art” world, we don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on the best of the best of materials.  I like to wait for good deals via emailed coupons, store app coupons or even snail mail, so I can try to spend more wisely.  Then again, a good splurge is in order when you are being good and avoiding the craft stores for a few weeks or more.

Pinterest is my love and nemesis at the same time.  I can pin all kinds of patterns and inspirations, yet it can be overwhelming if you are a beginner and don’t have an idea of where to begin.  As a member of Amazon Prime,  I can download free books, though only one at a time on my Kindle.  Honestly, once you have a handle on some of the patterns you really don’t need to keep the books.

I started out using Strathmore but after some time I switched to Canson.  It was cheaper, had more pages and worked well for what I was doing, which was a lot of practicing!  I also like the thickness of the Canson pages.  If I planned on doing a piece for a friend or fundraiser, I would switch to a smoother paper like the Strathmore bristol.  I recently found these Strathmore Artist Tiles, which are nice and cheaper than the actual Zentangle tiles.  You could always cut your own paper sizes and shapes, there is nothing wrong with that.  Be sure to try to work with what’s in your budget.   With Michaels, I keep an eye out for the buy 3 for the price of 1 or buy one get one free deals and stock up!  Even if you don’t Zentangle, the Cansons are perfect for art journaling which is what I started with.  If you can find them cheaper on another site or store by all means get them there.

I bought a set of Micron pens with a coupon and a set of colored ones.  I like the different sizes the black ones come in, though the colored ones are only one size.  I will be honest, I have yet to actually do a Zentangle or doodle with the colored ones.  That could have been money I would’ve saved for something else.  Pfft lesson learned :/  My bestie started off with the Sharpie pens in different colors and didn’t have any problems with them.


I, also, use a compass and pencils by Artist Loft to include a random mechanical pencil.  I like to draw circles and half circles with the compass mostly because circles free-handed by me looks like a lopsided water balloon being tossed in the air and well quite frankly just looks awful!  Along with this, I like to use the kneadable rubber erasers, which works great for fine tuning any shading because you can shape it however you want.  Tim Holtz’s ruler is nice to do a frame and making sure it’s relatively straight because you can see through it and line it up nicely.  You could most definitely use any clear grid ruler.


 Here are some samples:

Tracing paper is always fun especially if there is a certain pattern you love but can’t quite free hand.  I used it recently to help replicate a flower shape I loved, but for whatever reason my hands wouldn’t cooperate and draw it.  It, also, comes in handy when you are making homemade stamps.20160427_235338-1.jpg

I use a portfolio varying in sizes for my finished work.


I had a binder full of tangle patterns, some sized down and printed off, some I drew from my books.  Holly and I would print pages from each others books and I would have those in there as well.  It was a nice reference of all the different patterns stored in one place so I didn’t have to go searching the internet, Pinterest, or my books.  Unfortunately we had a leak in our basement after we first moved in and the box that had a lot of my work and books were ruined.  I was able to save a few of the pages and I am slowly rebuilding my binder.   They are in these collectable sleeve pages, not sure of the technical name.


Another thing I like to do is take a page, ink spray it, make sure it’s completely dry and draw out a rough idea lightly with a pencil.  I love how my work looks with the different color variances.  I have done this with homemade ink sprays, watercolor paint, and watered down acrylics.


This site I started using in the beginning, especially when I didn’t have any books on it.  I still use it today, it’s full of patterns to learn and with other helpful information if you are just starting out. http://tanglepatterns.com/tag/zentangle


I hope you gained some insight on the materials I used in my videos.  These work best for me but may not for some.  Have a great day!







2 Comments Add yours

  1. Heidi Lilley says:

    I desperately want to learn this technique, or actually any kind of doodle, I have started art journal, and love that everyone does doodle in their journal but I do not know how to doodle, so will look at the pages you offered, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Heidi! I started Zentangles/doodles long before doing art journal pages. Hopefully my videos/posts will help you in some way. Please feel free to share your work on our Facebook page, I would love to see what you have come up with along your journey.


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