Art- Zentangle Inspired Animals


Zentangle art is quite popular at the moment, so I wanted to try my own variation of it with my students. I am a chronic doodler, so this style really appeals to me, and I thought it might work well with my students. This project is time consuming, but the final results are proving to be worth the effort.

You will need:
White A4 paper
Coloured card
Black pens ( I used an Artline-style pen for mine, but the kids are using ballpoints and they still look great)

Before we began creating our Animal Zentangles, the students and I viewed some different examples of zentangles, and had a go at replicating some of the patterns used. I did a quick Google search for zentangle designs, and found lots of pattern samples which I made copies of for students to share at their desk groups.

Begin by creating the outline of your animal. We did this stage in pencil, to make sure that our outlines were exactly what we wanted. When your outline is perfect, go over it with black pen.

Next you need to add your ‘tangles’. You can do this by creating overlapping squiggly lines within your outline, or try to follow a more strict pattern- the kids were probably a lot better at this than I was! When you are happy with your tangles, go over them with black pen.


From here on in, all designs are done in pen straight off the bat- no pencilling required. If you “stuff up” a pattern, just modify it to make something new! There are no mistakes.

Fill in one section of your tangle at a time. I challenged my students (and myself!) to never use the same pattern twice. You can invent your own patterns, use printouts as a guide, or a combination of the two- whatever works. Continue working your way through until each section has been filled.


When your animal outline has been completely filled, you have 2 options:
a) cut out the zentangle, glue it onto coloured card and admire your handiwork; or
b) photocopy the zentangle, then cut out the photocopy, glue it onto coloured card and admire your handiwork.


There are two reasons you might choose to photocopy your zentangle. The first is to avoid a great deal of hardwork being ruined by little hands that aren’t too careful with scissors. The second is that by making a photocopy (in black and white), the black will appear darker and stand out more, making the design more effective.


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