Tips & Tricks

Grid based tangles – ways to play

Dragonfly wing – what a beautiful piece of inspiration for a ‘grid’

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir

One of nature’s grid which influenced a thought or two about grid based tangles. You can have a grid which looks like it’s straight out of a maths exercise book (and has been drawn exact, parallel and even) or alternatively you go a little ‘crazy’ with curved and loopy lines all over the place to mix up your matrix.

With Zentangle it doesn’t matter which you do – there are no mistakes, just whatever works for you to gain pen flow. These beautiful dragonfly wings, clearly weren’t using a ruler or any type of maths, but they enable the insect to fly, If for only for a rather unfair short lifecycle.
When starting a tile using a grid based tangle is a nice warm up, where using a grid is a simple tool, (a extra simple string if you like), to ease into a tile. So next time you want a little grid play if you are feeling organised, then do a regular even grid. Or once you’ve warmed up, perhaps try just something a little different with the grid lines. Maybe they are organic – with irregular shapes and directions, curves and sways of the line. Or use perspective – with the lines growing outwards from narrow to wide or in concentric circles. Perhaps they are cracked – have some irregular straight lines in a multitude of directions. Or optical – using a circular 3-D shape to wrap the grid lines through the space so they give the illusion of a 3-D object on the paper.

When you apply the philosophy of no mistakes with Zentangle, you can make your own ‘grid’ to tangle. Here’s a play with Florz and some wayward “grid” lines, inspired by the dragonfly, gone from living nature but still attached.