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.


Zentangle hair

zentangle hair, zentangle art, drawing zentangles

I’ve been finding lately that zentangle hair is easy to draw and adds a nice effect to my doodles and drawings.

Doodling and drawing used to be my favorite pastime when I was a child. I remember that I even took drawing and painting lessons. However, for some reason or other, I stopped making art as I was growing up.

Luckily, I rediscovered my passion for drawing a few years ago. Since then, drawing and doodling have become more than a pastime.

A new challenge

When I designed “Naked Mane”, which is the name that I chose for this drawing, I was feeling very ambitious. But most of all, I was feeling quite nostalgic. I used to be quite good at drawing realistic pictures and I wanted to prove myself that I still could. There was a time when I was almost obsessed with realistic drawing. So much that I would beg my friends to pose for me (sometimes for hours!) so I could practice.

Zentangle hair inspiration

What inspired me to draw “Naked Mane” was my fascination with femininity and all things female. The female body is full of harmony, in my opinion, and it radiates beauty. So I challenged myself to draw a realistic female figure. At the same time, I wanted to incorporate some zentangle patterns. Like in “GirlStar”, I thought that using zentangles to draw the hair would provide an interesting effect. In fact, I am quite pleased with the contrast. In my opinion, I achieved a nice balance between the realism found in the body and the doodle nature of the hair and the face. And that would be my next challenge: re-learning to draw realistic facial features.

Drawing supplies

I created “Naked Mane” using my beloved Pigma pens, which turn out to be fantastic for drawing zentangle hair. I also used a soft pencil for shading, and a medium pencil to emphasize some lines. Instead of using regular sketching or drawing paper, I opted for pink construction paper.

As you know by now if you’ve been following my posts, I LOVE recycling. One of my personal challenges is to reduce my carbon footprint, so I try to recycle, upcycle, and repurpose as much as I can. And since I had this piece of construction paper left from some other project, I thought it would be a good idea to reuse it for my little zentangle hair experiment.



Doodle art ideas: negative space

doodle art ideas, doodles

I like searching for new doodle art ideas sometimes. I had recently seen a drawing that used negative space to create the image. And so I tried the technique in a small section of Dunes. Since I loved the end result, I decided to create a whole drawing using negative space.

Trying out some new doodle art ideas

When I designed this drawing, I was working on a couple of other projects. But I had some free time, and my hands were itching to embark on a new design, especially after having seen some doodles using negative space. I also wanted to do a black and white drawing, so I used a black pen. Also, I decided to use one of the old book pages because I thought it would add some interest to the design.


What inspired me the most for this drawing was water. I soon realized that this technique would be perfect to represent how water ripples and moves. This helps create some dynamism in my drawing, while adding dimension and interest.

And then there is the lady. I have always been fascinating by mythological stories that talk about water nymphs and fairies. In fact, one of the most popular mythological beings from my native culture is a water nymph.

Water nymphs

I am from northern Spain, where we defy every single stereotype that you may have about the country. For example, we have regional traditions and legends that are different from others found in Spain. Our traditional musical instrument is the bagpipe. And that is why our traditional music sounds “Irish”, even though there are differences. Also, it rains a lot, a whole lot (imagine Portland or Seattle), and it’s very green and luscious.

In any case, these water nymphs are called “Xanes” (also “Xanas”), and they are beautiful water beings that guard enchanted treasures. Since I wanted to pay homage to my Asturian roots, which is why I chose to draw a female figure emerging from the waters.

Leave a comment and let me know where you get your doodle art ideas from 😀



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 flowers in red

zentangle flowers, color zentangle, zentangle art

I love drawing zentangle flowers because they are easy, and you can create really intricate patterns with a very basic flower outline.

“Zentangle flowers in red” is a drawing that incorporates different zentangle patterns. This is one of my most ambitious zentangles and my mom’s favorite.

I designed “Zentangle flowers in red” because I wanted to start incorporating color into my doodles. For these zentangle flowers I used a red sharpie and a black ink pen on acid free, heavy weight, vellum paper (Strathmore Bristol vellum, to be precise).

Drawing “Zentangle flowers in red

I say that “Zentangle flowers in red” was one of my most ambitious drawings for several reasons. As I said, I wanted to start incorporating some color into my doodles. I really like black and white designs, but I had started seeing doodles that used color to achieve different effects. For example, I saw designs that used color to emphasize specific motifs in a design. On the other hand, I saw drawings that did the opposite: the artists used color throughout the composition with the exception of those patterns that constituted the focal point of the design.

I used color in my drawing to bring attention to the main figures in my doodle. And I used zentangle patterns to create dimension and for shading.


When I was thinking about drawing something like “Red Flowers”, I searched for inspiration in one of my favorite artists: Georgia O’Keefe, and one of my favorite print designers: Liberty of London’s.

I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe and I find her art to be very delicate and feminine, but also very powerful. And these are some of the qualities that I wanted my drawing to convey.

And then there are the lovely prints of Liberty of London’s, which, in my opinion, are very zentangle-like. Somehow, Liberty prints manage to combine different patterns, shapes, and colors, that one would consider “busy”. However, their print pairings and combinations are always very harmonious and complimentary.

I wanted my drawing to reflect some of these qualities as well, which is why I chose to draw flowers. Flowers are delicate, yet resilient, which is a sign of strength and power. This idea of strength is reinforced by the choice of color: red. Finally, I used different zentangle patterns and a combination of strong, thick, powerful lines and soft, delicate motifs and patterns. This brings dimension to the drawing and allows me to express some of the qualities that I mentioned above.


Zentangle pattern: Emily

zentangle pattern, doodle, drawing

“Emily” is a semi-planned zentangle pattern that I drew using a black pen on white acid-free paper.

“Space shells” zentangle pattern

I was working on “Lexis” when I came across a zentangle pattern that I really liked on Pinterest. I don’t remember if the design had a name, but I call it “space shells”. In my opinion, the little design looks like a shell with a little window into outer space. I am referring to the rectangles with the circles inside. For some reason, the design speaks to me, and I really wanted to incorporate it into one of my zentangles.

For this reason, I say that “Emily” is a semi-improvised zentangle. Since I was planning on using the space shells, I can’t claim that I had no idea what I was going to draw. The rest of the doodle, however, is completely improvised.

Why “Emily”

I chose “Emily” for my zentangle pattern because I made it for a girl whose name is Emily (yeah, I know, super creative, lol). Emily is one of my niece’s friends and she was on vacation in Mexico with us. Like my niece, she is a very special person whose spirit I wanted to capture in my drawing.


Several things served as inspiration for “Emily”. First, there is the zentangle pattern that I saw on Pinterest. Like I said, the design makes me think of shells with windows into outer space, which is one of the overarching themes that you can find in my drawings. I like to create what I call “mini universes” in my drawings, so stars, planets, and an overlapping of different worlds are some of the most prevalent images in my art.

Then there is my beloved beach, which inspired the bottom half of the drawing together with the space shells. And, finally, the ocean inspired the top half of the drawing. I can almost see a tidal wave curling over the shells while leaving behind all kinds of sea life on the shore.


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.