Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY SEVEN!

Looks like it’s that time once again to draw another successful Nature Art Challenge to a close. The Zentangle method was definitely a easy and fun way to connect to the patterns and textures in the natural environment! Not only did this challenge make me take a closer look at the intricacies of nature, but it also forced me to process my observations and then make them my own (through creating simplified patterns for my Zentangles).

For today’s challenge, I added shading and color to my Zentangle. Initially, I liked the idea of creating a contrast between the colorful background and the black and white Zentangle. However, once I started adding color, I decided that I wanted the background and the Zentangle to connect. So, I decided to make colors from the background bleed into the colors in my Zentangle. The result was a colorful wonderland!

Obviously there are many different ways that this could have been completed. My husband said that he thought he preferred the black and white Zentangle, so that the patterns and details were a little more obvious. While I definitely agree with his feedback, I think I prefer the colorful results, because they make my shapes stand out a little more, and seem to help everything flow together as one composition. In the end, I suppose it’s all about personal preference :)

Which do you prefer? Or do you have another way that you think would’ve worked even better?


Well, that’s all for this month’s challenge! Thanks for joining me in my Zentangle explorations! If you have any comments or pictures to show from your own explorations, I’d love to hear from you!

‘Til later…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY SIX!

Today everything came together quite nicely, as I collected a few more patterns and revised some previously-gathered patterns–filling all of my outlines objects with Zentangle patterns! Here is my resulting explorations:

Tomorrow is the last day of this month’s challenge! I have definitely enjoyed the texture and pattern explorations through Zentangle. I hope you were able to give this a try–and if you haven’t yet, check it out! Zentangle is the perfect way to put your doodling to good use–and take a closer look at the natural environment while you’re at it!

For the last day of this month’s challenge, work on adding shading and or color to your Zentangle. Now, this part of the challenge is completely up to you and your imagination! Here are a few options:

1. Add shading to some of your objects to help them stand out a little more from the composition.

2. Add color to some of your objects to help them stand out or to create a focal point in your composition.

3. Add an interesting, colorful background to your composition to create contrast between the black and white objects and the colorful background.

4. Any combination of the above three! Have fun :)

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY FIVE!

For today’s challenge, I continued working to add my collected patterns and textures to the composition—keeping in mind the types of patterns I had collected and the space that they would best be suited to fill. Here is today’s resulting progress:

Since I have added all of my textures and patterns that I collected on Day Two, tomorrow’s task will be to gather a few more textures and patterns, simplify them, and add them to my composition. Tomorrow is Day Six (already!) of the Nature Zentangle Challenge, so the goal for tomorrow’s explorations will be to finish (or get as close as possible to finishing) adding your patterns and textures to fill the outlined shapes in your composition. 

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY FOUR!

For today’s challenge, the name of the game was adding patterns to your previously outlined objects in your composition. So, I chose several different areas that looked like they were in need of some of the textures and patterns that I had collected over the last two days. Here are my resulting explorations:

For tomorrow’s challenge, continue adding your collected patterns and textures into your composition. Focus on trying to find good fits for your patterns. For example, if you have circular, or round patterns, you might want to consider larger spaces—or try to find a shape that would provide a contrast to that pattern (such as a circular pattern in a square or rectangle).

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Challenge: DAY THREE!

Let the pattern-making begin! For today’s challenge, I worked on simplifying and rearranging the textures that I had collected the previous day into repeating patterns. I then tried adding some of my patterns into a simple shape. For my example, I used the outline of a tree trunk. Here are my resulting explorations:

I’m loving the patterns that have emerged so far! Looking forward to adding these patterns to my composition tomorrow! Speaking of which—For tomorrow’s challenge, begin adding your collected patterns and textures to your composition, Zentangle-style! During this process, feel free to repeat patterns in several different areas! Also, explore other texture combinations to create a different pattern with the same collected textures. To help with this process, here’s the little worksheet that I posted a few days ago:

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY TWO!

After completing yesterday’s challenge to create the outlines for my Zentangle composition, today I headed out my door with a paper folded into 8 sections, eyes open for textures and patterns! As I was sketching some leaf patterns, I had an unexpected visit from a small, green anole!

I must have been invading his territory, because he began climbing up and down the branches near me, puffing out his pink dewlap to try to scare me away. Rather than letting this clearly terrifying display scare me off, I decided to quickly sketch the little beast–using the white patterns on his dewlap as inspiration for my Zentangle!

Here are my pattern/texture sketches from the day:

For tomorrow’s challenge, transform your sketches into REPEATING patterns. Practice filling a simple shape with some of your patterns.


‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: DAY ONE!

Happy first day of this month’s ZENTANGLE art challenge! The goal of today’s challenge was to draw the outlines of natural objects to create the framework for your Zentangle-inspired work! 

So, this afternoon I ventured out my door with an open mind to whatever happened to catch my eye. During my wanderings, I ventured upon a lovely patch of clovers, as well as several very interesting leaves–all of which I incorporated into my composition.

While I drew the various objects that I found, I didn’t worry about the overlapping pencil lines. After I had added all of the objects into my composition, I traced over my lines using a black ink pen (try to use one with a smooth ink flow). I only traced over the lines that I decided to keep. The overlapping lines were then erased. Here is my resulting composition:

For tomorrow’s challenge, it’s time to start collecting textures! Grab a piece of paper, fold it into 8 sections, and head outside to begin searching for natural textures. When you find a texture that you like, draw it into one of your sections. If it is a complicated texture, try to simplify the texture.

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations! AND happy texture hunting!

Nature Zentangle Art Challenge: TOMORROW!

Tomorrow begins the month of May–AND another exciting Nature Art Challenge…ZENTANGLE-style! I hope some of you will consider trying this challenge with me! Zentangle is a fun, easy, and incredibly relaxing drawing technique–which will be absolutely perfect for the purposes of exploring textures in nature! If you’re new to this blog, check out yesterday’s post to read more about the technique before the challenge begins tomorrow!

As has been the case with most of the Nature Art Challenges, I will post a prompt for each day’s exploration at the end of the previous day’s post!

For tomorrow’s challenge, head outside to draw the OUTLINES of natural objects. These outlines will be simple, contour line drawings. As you’re drawing the outlines, remember the following tips:

1.Focus on the edges of your subject.

2. Avoid any and all details. (Try not to lift your pencil from the paper as you are drawing your subject)

3. Fill your paper as much as you can. (Since Zentangle patterns will take some time to complete, I recommend keeping to a smaller-sized paper. I will be using a 6″ x 8″ piece of paper.)

Have fun planning your composition–and, to mix it up, try sketching the outlines of a couple of things in one area, and then move to another area.

NOTE: If you do not consider yourself an artist, give this a shot! Try drawing some simple shapes in nature–or simplify the things that you see (such as drawing only a few large branches on a tree trunk).

Here’s an example of a contour line drawing completed by one of my students (some details and shading were added later, but you get the idea):

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!!


That is a very good question–AND it’s one that is oh-so-very relevant for the upcoming Nature Art Challenge! For the first week of May (that’s May 1-May 7), the focus of our artful explorations will center around exploring nature’s TEXTURES through the art of ZENTANGLE. Let me explain.

The Zentangle method, according to their website,  “is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being.” Sounds like the recipe for focused artful explorations in nature!

Below is an in-process Zentangle that I have been working on. As described in my worksheet that I’ve posted below, I started by drawing the outline of a tree in the school courtyard. I then began dividing the tree into different sections and adding patterns:

Here’s a worksheet that I created for my students, in case they decided to incorporate Zentangle into a mixed media landscape assignment:

This worksheet outlines the basic steps that we will follow during the Nature Zentangle Art Challenge this month. In case you’re still in need of more Zentangle-related information, here is a video demonstrating the method:

Before the challenge begins (this Tuesday), try experimenting around with the Zentangle technique! It really is a lot of fun–and incredibly relaxing!

Tomorrow I will post a little more information regarding this month’s challenge, as well as tips for DAY ONE!

‘Til tomorrow…happy explorations!