Library Blog

Zentangle Art Therapy

Create your way to relaxation and contentment!

Looking for an easy, low-cost activity to help relax and feel creative?  Explore the world of Zentangle and art therapy virtually through the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Create beautiful works of art (like the images below) instantly, without having to possess transcendent artistic talent.  Zentangle classes will be offered once again as library programs in the future, so we look forward to teaching you about this wonderful creative outlet!  For those of you who don’t want to wait, here are some steps to get started right away.

Supplies Needed:

Pen or pencil, paper, ruler

About Zentangle:

Traditional Zentangle kits you can purchase have no erasers.

The idea is to incorporate “mistakes” into your design, so there are no mistakes in Zentangle.

Use dots, lines, curves, and any other shape (called elemental strokes) to create “tangles.”

Zentangle is an oft utilized method to reduce stress, anxiety, and nervousness in psychotherapy patients.

Zentangle is a professionally recognized method of art therapy, which is an expressive therapy that uses the process of creating art to improve one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Getting started:

  1. Place 4 dots in the corners of your paper, about a pen’s length apart if you are using a traditional tile sized paper. It doesn’t have to be precise; this is about free-flowing relaxing creativity.
  2. Connect your dots using a straight line, curved line, or free form drawn line to create your border.
  3. String: Inside the border, draw as many lines as you like with a pencil, called strings that separate your tile into sections.
    • These strings can be straight or curved or any shape you like.
    • The sections created are where you will draw your tangles.
  1. Tangle: A pre-defined series of simple strokes that make up a pattern.
    • Some examples of common tangles:

5. Add shades of grey if you are working with a pencil to add 3-dimensional contrast.

Additional Resources:

Click on this link to visit our Overdrive ebook collection and gain instant access to ebook titles that will introduce you to and immerse you in the relaxing and creatively satisfying world of Zentangle.

Check out these websites for inspiration and informative content on Zentangle and the Zentangle method:

Show us your zen spirit animal!  Download a free blank animal coloring outline and show off your creativity!