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 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 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 🙂