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 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 🙂




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!