Underwater: Drawings inspired by Yellena prints

drawings, zentangle inspired, flowre doodle

Some of the ideas that I get for my drawings start out as pure admiration for other artists. I am a member of the Phoenix Art Museum and I try to go regularly, both to enjoy art, and to get inspired. But I don’t seek inspiration in museums only. On the contrary, I often find myself being inspired by my surroundings and by things I come across online.

“Underwater” is one of those drawings. I had recently discovered a print artist on etsy, and I loved her aesthetics so much that I tried to recreate one of her prints.

To create this drawing I used a variety of drawing supplies: gel pens, metallic sharpies, watercolor pencils, Prismacolor pencils, and Pigma Micron pens by Sakura on sketch paper.


I found this print by Yellena on Etsy, and I fell in love with the style immediately. It reminds me of the prints made by Liberty, which I love. The shapes, the colors, the composition… I just loved everything about this print and I will be purchasing Yellena’s art in the future for sure!

Now, I have no idea how to make prints, but I can draw. At first, I wanted to just recreate the print in one of my drawings, but as I was working on it, I found myself adding my own touches here and there.

Even though the drawing is VERY similar to the print, which was my original intention, it also has a little bit of BellaV in it.

Underwater drawings

I truly admire the artist that created the original print, I find her prints very inspiring and I am glad I came across her art. The main reason why Yellena’s prints are so appealing to me is because they remind me of underwater worlds with a touch of surrealism, which is a theme that seems to surface a lot in my original drawings, like this zentangle.

Leave a comment, and share your art too!


Sunsets: a color zentangle

color zentangle, doodle art

Even though I really like black and white doodles and zentangles, I like drawing color zentangles and doodles a lot too! Adding color to your doodle and zentangle art is fun and easy.

Doodling, coloring, and drawing are some of my favorites pastimes. So whenever I have some free time, I doodle something somewhere, even if it’s on a tiny dictionary page.

Motif-ation: a color zentangle with a purpose

My doodles and drawings are a mixture of improvised zentangles and carefully sketched and planned drawings. Some are a combination of both using different techniques and zentangle patterns. And, sometimes, I simply draw to practice a new technique, design, or motif.

These practice drawings, in general, are not really worth posting. Most of them are messy and I usually draw them in tiny pieces of paper that I want to recycle later on. Sometimes I just don’t like how they turn out. Of all my pastimes, drawing is the one that brings me the most satisfactions, but also the most headaches. I guess that’s what happens when you are a perfectionist.

Sunsets”, however, is different. It started as a practice drawing because I wanted to experiment blending colors and creating depth. But when I was done with it, I was quite pleased. It’s by no means one of my best, but it is one of my best practice drawings and my first color zentangle where I try blending colors.

Drawing supplies

As it is usually the case when I practice some new technique or design, I go crazy with the amount of supplies that I use.
For example, I used a fine point sharpie to draw lines and contours. And for coloring, I tried a mix of gel pens and metallic sharpies. But the most exciting part for me was the color blending part. I used watercolor pencils that I already had, and my new soft color pencils for shading and blending.

The old pocket dictionary page was the perfect choice for me to practice. On the one hand, I got the repurpose some paper. Most importantly, due to the small dimensions of the paper, I had to really focus on what I wanted to practice the most.


Doodle art: Dunes

doodle art, zentangle patterns, zentangle art, drawing

Drawing zentangles and doodle art are one of my favorite hobbies, so whenever I have some free time, I create some doodle art. Even if it’s just something small on a napkin while I wait for some friends at a bar or a restaurant. For example, Sunsets was one of those “I have some time now, let’s draw something” doodle art projects. Sadly, I don’t always have a lot of spare time to draw. That’s probably one of the reasons one, of all my hobbies, I cherish drawing so much.  But that also means that my drawings often come in batches. For example, if I’m on vacation, I tend to draw a lot. However, as soon as I get back to my daily routine, life takes over and drawing slows down.

My doodle art and my zentangles are both improvised and planned (sometimes very deliberately). Sometimes, I even do both: I choose a motif or a pattern that I want to use, and the rest is pure improvisation. “Dunes” is one of those part-planned, part-improvised drawing.

The materials that I used to create “Dunes” include an old book page (surprise!), a black ink pen (Pigma Micron by Sakura of America), gel pens and a metallic gold sharpie.

Drawing “Dunes”

“Dunes” was mostly an excuse to experiment with some perspective. I wanted to create a doodle that allowed me to play with different levels of overlapping figures. In addition, I wanted to do something ambiguous that could be interpreted as either an underwater scene, or outer space.

Choosing titles for my doodle art

Choosing titles for my doodle art can be quite challenging sometimes. “Dunes” was not the case because it was the only part of the doodle that was planned. I had seen some doodle art that used negative space to create the image, and I was intrigued by it. So that’s what I did when I drew the dunes. Instead of drawing lines to represent the dunes, I decided to leave some space. I liked the result so much, that I decided to try it again in a different 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 flower: Candy flower

zentangle flower, doodle art

Draw a zentangle flower

I’ve been in love with doodle art, tangles, and zentangles since I re-discovered them. If I had to choose some favorites from my drawings, “Candy Flower”, together with “GirlStar”, would be among them.


I drew this zentangle flower because I was dying to play with my new gel pens. Besides gel pens, I used ink pens and a metallic sharpie on an old book page from a damaged book that I found once.


I designed “Candy Flower” when I was visiting my family in Spain last summer. My niece and nephew were spending time with me and parents, and there was candy pretty much all over the house. So candy was part of the inspiration for “Candy Flower”. Actually, it was the happy times spent with my niece and nephew, eating candy and drawing all together that inspired me. I wanted to capture the joy and the playfulness of those moments,

The other thing that inspired me was my grandma and her love of gardening. My grandma was my main caretaker when my parents were at work. I remember that her house was always full of flowers and plants. She used to live in a tiny apartment in the city where I grew up, so all of her plants were confined to flower pots. But the size of that tiny apartment never stopped her from finding a new spot for her newest acquisition.

Now she’s too old to live by herself, so she moved in with my parents. She is the happiest girl in the world because my parents live in a house with a nice garden. She has so much space to grow plants that she knows what to do with! Since then, my parent’s house is always full of beautiful flowers from their garden, filling the summer nights with their fragrance.

And that’s how “Candy Flower” was born: the result of summer days filled with candy, and nights scented by my grandma’s flowers.

Creating doodle art is already relaxing, but when there is candy and flowers, it’s even better!