Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My First Zendala

Well it was bound to happen. Dave is now into Zendalas. I have admired the wonderful Zendalas being created by so many of my Zentangle Communitee friends, that I knew it was inevitable that I, too, would eventually over came my fears concerning these awesome creations.

I am amazed at the number of folks who have also started Creating Zendalas at the same time. HeidiSue and Annette Carlo are a couple that come to mind. If you are also starting to explore these round wonders, please leave a comment about your experiences.

I have always been amazed at how these designs were constructed and kept so angularly correct. I've seen videos of folks folding paper to create a circular fan arrangement, then using the creases to project onto a tile. I got into one of my favorite graphic packages, Rhino, and created a Polar grid of radiating lines of various colors. Placing a tile in the middle of this pattern, it was a simple matter to project the lines across the tile. It worked like a charm. My biggest hurdle was overcome.

The four small squares near the center of the radiating lines, are cut out. A removable sticky tape is then placed on the back of the sheet, looking through the square holes. Turning the sheet back over to the front, the sticky side of the tape is facing out. These sticky patches will hold your tile while you lightly scribe the radiating lines with a ruler and pencil. I use the term lightly to mean, very very lightly and with a sharpened (or not) 2B pencil. Do not dent you tile, as a sharp 2B can get right in there, and create deep groves in you tile. (Especially if you are using the Official Fabriano Tiepolo stock as these tiles are very soft.) The beauty of this layout is that centering your tile is arbitary, and off center designs can easily be created. I used a regular 3.5 x 3.5 Tile as I didn't have any Circular Tiles. The circle you see on the pattern is 4 5/8ths inches in diameter so regular Circular Tiles can be centered exactly. The whole Polar Grid is roughly 7 1/2 inches on a side so it fits on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. (My first attempt at using this tool it was printed out on regular copy paper and it worked great. It will be redone on some index or card stock for a more durable tool.) 

It is hard to see, but there are three colors used to create the lines in the Polar Grid. Red, Blue, and Green. Using only the Red Lines you create 8 grid sections. Using the Red and Blue Lines you create 16 sections. Using the Red, Blue, and Green lines yields 32 sections for the truly gifted and highly detail minded advanced, post-graduate Tanglers. 

Once your Tile has undergone the Polor Grid treatment, use any method, of your choosing, to create circles to create areas in which to tangle your design.

Now for the rather dubious and unremarkable first Zendala attempt is my moderately oriented Valentine's Day effort.

I'm looking forward to working with this Polar Grid Tool to make many more Zendalas. Isn't this artform the greatest endeavor since learning to ride your first bicycle?

Being a first edition of the Polar Grid Tool, there are refinements that I can already foresee as being helpful in making this tool more effective and easier to use. (It's pretty easy right now.)

Have fun my friends, and thanks to Rick and Maria for this wonderful Zentangle® experience.


  1. Das Zendala ist großartig, es gefällt mir richtig gut.

    Es ist ein schöner Gruß für Valentinstag.


  2. A very beautiful. Lovely coloured Valentine zendala. Zendala's are my favorite. I made them often and Erin Koetze from The Bright Owl Make also challenges. Before i discovered zentangle i draw 13 years mandala's.

  3. Your eye is terrific. Very nice composition!