Zen Monograms

If you are new to Zentangles, as I am, I suggest you try incorporating monograms into your art. The reason I’ve enjoyed these so much is because it has given me a creative launchpad for inspiration. You know lots of people, have kids or family, I’m sure, so use one of their names to create your tangles. You won’t ever run out of new ideas this way, and it’s fun to create custom gifts, coasters or magnets…whatever you desire…with your piece.

I’ve used mine, my kids’ or my granddaughter’s name to begin. (I still have one more monogram to make for my son.) Here are steps I use to create my monogram pieces:

1. I freehand the letter to provide an outline for my tangles. (You can use an alphabet template if you don’t like your own drawing!)

2. I add the small rectangles for the names, erasing the pencil lines underneath.

3. Then I use my Micron .05 and outline in black. I draw my “strings” on the inside of the letter to fill in my tangle art. (In Zentangles, “Strings” are simply random lines that you create that give you a border or a stopping/starting place…I’ll try to demonstrate this more in my next post.)

4. With a pencil, I draw more “strings” or a pattern to fill in the background. If you’d like, you can choose to stop at the monogram alone, because it is perfect that way too!

5. Using my pencil & a tortillion (a drawing tool that’s perfect for smudging graphite), I add my shading. Shading can be tricky & never photographs well!! I plan to discuss tips I’ve learned on shading more in a future post. In my opinion, a Zentangle is not complete without shading. Shading gives you the illusion of depth, which I think is what completes the piece.


On Ashlyn’s piece, I wanted to try something new, so I used the Wink of Stella black pen to add a creative touch, giving the “A” a bit of shimmer.





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