Zentangle Lexis: zentangle suns

zentangle, doodle, zentangle patterns, doodle art

Drawing zentangle Lexis

I drew this zentangle that I named “Lexis” during a family vacation in Mexico. “Lexis” is very special to me for several reasons. On the one hand, it was one of the drawings where I decided to try and create something completely unplanned. But most importantly, I drew it for my oldest niece, Lexis, who was 11 at the time. She not only inspired me to try something that, up until then, was somewhat unnerving (I am a planner, I rarely ever improvise). She also helped me realize that I don’t necessarily have to make something “perfect” every time. There is beauty in everything if you know how to look for it.


Several things inspired me to draw “Lexis.”  First, my niece, obviously. I think it was her thoughtfulness and maturity, in spite of her young age, as well as her understanding of the world that influenced me to draw what looks like the universe, or, at the very least, outer space. She is a very special child, definitely wise beyond her age.

One of the other things that definitely inspired my zentangle was the beach. The beautiful Mexican beach that I got to enjoy for a full week. I’d like to think that the circle in the middle is a representation of the beach. There are some motiffs that look like palm trees to me, with the sun in the center of the circle and the sand and the ocean nearby.

Zentangle suns

If I had to choose an overall theme for “Lexis”, it would be the different suns that seem to appear in my drawing. Not only do they represent our time at the beach, taking long strolls and swimming after. All of the different suns in the drawing are the perfect embodiment of my niece’s spirit and disposition. Like a golden child, she radiates light and optimism in spite of the hardships that she had to endure at such young age. But it is ultimately her radiant personality and brightness that I were captured in my drawing.



Zentangle patterns: GirlStar

doodle, doodling, zentangle patterns on hair

Hair zentangle patterns

“GirlStar” incorporates different zentangle patterns to add dimension and interest. This drawing is definitely is one of my favorites so far, and I really want to make a t-shirt with it, or a bag, or both!

I drew “GirlStar” with a black ink pen (I really like Pigma Micron by Sakura of America), my lovely gel pens, and a metallic sharpie. I decided to use one of the old book pages because I wanted to convey a combination of a couple of artistic styles.

Pop art and doodles

When I designed “GirlStar” I wanted to achieve a Jordi Labanda type of aesthetics, with clean, defined lines. I was very interested in incorporating a graphic quality to my drawing. In addition, I was trying to pay homage to one of my favorite art movements from the 20th Century: the Pop Art Movement. I know it’s just a very subtle nod, but it’s there. Finally, I wanted to use different zentangle patterns because I really like some of the contrast that you can introduce in your drawings.

Zentangle hair

For example, the hair acquires a new dimension thanks to the combination of different zentangle patterns. These patterns create a contrast with the simple lines used to draw the girl’s face. Similarly, the stars that appear on the top right corner echo some of the patterns found in the hair, as well as her eyes. In my opinion, this brings the different components of the drawing together and creates and nice balance of light and dark, clean, simple lines, and busy zentangle patterns that repeat incessantly.


Zentangle art: Zip

zentangle art, doodle art

One of my favorite hobbies, zentangle art, has become really popular lately. However, this is not all that surprising: many studies show that drawing zentangles benefits cognitive functioning.

What zentangle art does to the brain

As many studies show, zentangle art improves concentration and increases productivity. But that is not all, drawing zentangles can also foster your creativity. In addition, zentangle art helps you remember and retain information better than just listening alone. And these are just a few of the benefits.

But not all zentangles are created equal. To reap maximum cognitive benefits, your zentangle needs to have certain characteristics.

According to what I’ve read, and I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, “Zip” is a good example of zentangle art for a couple of reasons.

Unlike drawing and doodling, zentangles are usually improvised designs that show a repetition of patterns, like lines, dots, shells, etc. Drawing, on the other hand, usually involves a lot of planning, sketching, and preliminary steps. And then there is doodling. Doodling is similar to zentangle art because it is unplanned. But there can be an important difference between the two: doodles do not necessarily show the same pattern repetition that we can see in zentangles.

“Zip”, then, is a completely improvised zentangle that I drew on a page from an old book. I used a black ink pen and my new color gel pens that I wanted to use. I know, I posted “Candy Flower” before “Zip”, but I actually drew “Zip” before “Candy Flower”. Up until that point I had only used black ink for my doodles, and I really wanted to start incorporating some color into my designs.

The inspiration

Even though “Zip” is an improvised zentangle, I still wanted to capture the mundane, the daily routines and activities that surrounded me during my vacation in Spain. For example, I remember going to the beach with my family and picking seashells, which you can see in the drawing. I can also recognize glimpses of my grandma’s garden here and there.

Zip it

I chose “Zip” because my dad said that the middle part of the zentangle kind of looks like a busted zipper. I really like that metaphor because that is exactly how I feel every time I visit. My heart is always so full of joy and happiness that it almost wants to burst out my chest.



Zentangle Heart

zentangle heart, zentangle art, doodle art, doodle, zentangle heart drawing

Drawing a zentangle heart

I made this zentangle heart with a gel pen and a metallic sharpie. I used white acid-free paper this time because I needed a break from the old book pages that I had been using.


This zentangle heart is very special to me because I made it for my girlfriend. I wanted to illustrate what our love means to me and how much I appreciate the warmth and light that she brings into our lives. And so the three pieces of inspiration that I wanted to include in my design were our love, her warmth, and the light we bring to each other’s lives. I decided to represent our love with a zentangle heart, so I used it as the focal point of the drawing. But the heart, like our love, wouldn’t exist without what brings us together: a sense of peace, harmony, and unity. Just like the light and the warmth of the sun rays, our love wouldn’t be the same without those qualities. And neither would the heart, vibrant full of life and potential.


The main message that I wanted to convey with this zentangle heart is the sense of unity, peace, and harmony that our relationship brings to each others’ lives. Hopefully this will continue to be the characteristics that define our relationship in the future 🙂

Unlike some of my other doodles, which tend to be more improvisational and free, this zentangle drawing was planned and executed deliberately. I didn’t sketch a lot either, but I definitely had a plan.

“Heart” is one of my favorite drawings so far, and not only because it is very meaningful to me. I am very happy with how it turned out and it serves as inspiration when some of my projects fail.


Zentangle drawings: Leafeye

zentangle drawings, doodle art, zentangle patterns

Improvised zentangle drawings

Sometimes I like to create completely improvised zentangle drawings. “Leafeye” is a good example of this. Even though I was terrified at first (I am such a planner!), I let my black pen fill that piece of paper without planning or thinking much.

Why improvised zentangles

I drew this zentangle because I needed inspiration. Sadly, I was stuck in a different series of zentangle drawings that I was working on. Also, I had the horrible feeling that I would never have a good idea for a doodle again. But I had recently read about how doodling boosts your creativity, so I decided to give it a try.

And just like that, one day I started drawing things that looked appealing to me. Without a plan or sketches, just hand on paper and more or less thoughtless drawing. Slowly, “Leafeye” came into existence.

Even though I was just playing with the design, I found myself adding different patterns and motifs here and there. And soon I had a fairly harmonious and well-balanced zentangle. Sometimes it’s good to let your imagination flow and your hand fly freely.

The name

Like a game of finding shapes in the clouds, I named this drawing after the first two motifs that caught my attention. The first one was the round shape near the top left corner, it looks like an eye to me. And the second one are the leaves right below the eye-looking shape. Well I never claimed to be creative naming things…

If you stick around, you’ll see that my zentangle drawings are much more interesting than the titles. But lame title or not, I’m pretty happy with my drawing. It was one of my first ones, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten better 🙂