Doodles with intent

Doodles with intent

Doodles with intent sounds like a signature line to me but that is what Zentangles are. If you have not discovered this drawing fad just google them. That said I think they are fun a stress free way to introduce drawing and it is relaxing create patterns

I found this Video which I thought readers would enjoy.

I was poking about looking at zentangles as in the 4th week of the GIMP class I wanted to find an exercise that enabled people to explore the drawing tools in GIMP. I wanted something that was stress free but enabled people to explore the different brushes etc without turning them into a nervous wreck.

So I have adapted zentangles into an exercise  (If you are not sure what I am talking about details about my GIMP for Textile Designers class is here) I have not called them Zentangles because I am not sure they are anymore as I have taken them in a different direction. More than a simple doodle, I have introduced using masks and layers alongside using the brushes in the program but hopefully I have managed to teach these tools in GIMP and keep it fun.

Anyway the exercise for the course is long since designed but I have become fascinated with these doodles with intent and the delight people obviously have in making patterns. Embroiderers only have to look at ethnic embroidery around the globe to see people of all races embrace pattern and pattern making.

Zentangle is a term coined and marketed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. As you can see the key idea behind it is doodling with the intention of building areas of pattern. If you want to read more about it you can check out their blog called Blog Zentangle

I found this resource site which covers how to create a zentangle the regular way with pen and paper. Anyway check them out if you have not done so before and try doing one they are fun!


  1. Thank you for sharing your link for the class information, I have downloaded GIMP and never used it, I can see I am missing something here.

    I love Zentangle, and before it was named that I used that same technique in my art classes in HIGH SCHOOL many many many moons ago. I hated crosshatching in my drawing classes and started filling space with "tangles" well, it was not what the instructor wanted, but I have done it for a long long time, and still do it for relaxation..

    Your blog rocks!

  2. Hi Tiva
    all my classes are 6 weeks long and delivered once a week as PDF files. So it does not matter where you live. I have a page that explains how online work the link is in the side bar but here it is again to save you looking for it

    The most important thing is to read the class description and download the program before you buy the class (the program is free) as you need to have a certain level of skill with your computer. I teach the program but not how to use your computer. There is a huge difference.

    Anyway Hope this answers your questions.

    Sharon B
  3. Oooh this sounds great fun. Not long to wait now for the class to start.

    I’m fascinated by the similarities between zentangles and blackwork patterns – it seems to be just a different medium using paper rather than fabrics. And obviously a little faster to complete … but not so easy to change if you are not happy with the way a pattern is working out. Now you have given me the perfect excuse to take time to play.

  4. Woohoo! I am so looking forward to this class!!

    The very first time I saw a Zentangle I wanted to do one. I also thought how cool it would be to do a Zentangle and then interpret it in stitching — embroidery and/or fabric piecing/appliqueing. I found three Zentangle books at joggles and some pens. I should be getting them soon.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been playing with my color pencils to explore the idea. I guess I’m going to have to wait for the class to do it with GIMP. I still haven’t figured out much with that. I did figure out how to make a stamp in it. I guess I can draw lines. I just can’t do nearly as much as I could my my old PhotoDeluxe and I miss that. I love the idea of learning the program <em>and</em> how to apply it to fabric design. :^)

  5. I have seen your class for Gimp.
    Is it a problem to be in Europe (with nearly GMT time) .
    The class begins on July 7 but how many lessons will come after (each week? each day?)

  6. I was just looking at their Zentangle blog a couple of days ago. I don’t consider myself a good freehand drawer, so they do look less intimidating. What I found interesting is that they often use a framework of dots to start their patterns. People who draw Celtic knots do the same thing, and I’ve seen on Summers of India’s blog that there is a kind of pattern in India called Rangoli that they also start with a pattern of dots. It’s good to see that there are many other people besides me in the world who appreciate a bit of graphing to get their artwork started!

    Liz Ozselcuk

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