Zentangle Doodle: What Are Zen Doodle Patterns?

According to a research article by Heather. L.S. and others published in the National Library of Medicine, creative and expressive arts can aid individuals’ healing process. Art therapy is a treatment approach that consists of therapeutic principles coupled with creative experience for enhancing mental health. The zentangle doodle has come to light as a vital option for practicing art therapy. Let’s look deeper into these doodles and their connection to mental health.

What Is A Zentangle Doodle?

These doodles involve abstract art that uses repetitive, structured patterns. Rather than mindlessly drawing or going with the flow, these doodles involve concentration and intention to produce the drawing. You don’t need to be an excellent artist to construct a nice zentangle. Hence, anyone can practice, enjoy, or try to be creative with a zentangle. The drawing is done on 3.5” X 3.5” square paper called “tiles” with a black pen and a pencil.

How To Create Your Own Zentangle Doodle?

There is a fixed process for creating zentangle doodles. Each movement, stroke, or part of the drawing is intentional. There are no mistakes since the artist is not trying to make anything in particular. Every shape, whether deliberate or accidental, is incorporated into the design. The process of making the tangles is like a ceremony or a ritual.

You can start by drawing four dots around the corner of the paper with the pencil. Then connect the dots with a line(curved or straight). Make some lines and shapes randomly until you see figures emerging within the frame. Further, create a different pattern in each space using the black pen.

Many zentanglers put a signature on their works, usually through initials or simple signs. You can store these artworks, hang them somewhere in your house, or show off your creativity through your works.

Read more: Top art therapy activities for stress management

Should You Practice Making Zentangle Doodle Patterns?

As mentioned above, making these doodles requires minimal artistic talent or time investment. Compared to the effort, there are many benefits of making such doodles. Firstly, they are a way to express your creativity. Making doodles can also become a group activity or a calming go-to habit for distraction from stress. Like other creative actions, doodles can also increase positive emotions and reduce anxiety to a certain extent.

According to a thesis by D.A.Kopeschny, Zentangles are a means for mindful meditation and creative self-expression. The description of this practice was significantly associated with its centering or grounding effect. With the numerous associated benefits, such doodles might be adopted as a tool within art therapy.

Read more: Therapeutic art activities to help you relax


Zentangle doodles are an abstract art form that involves repeating simple and structured patterns. This practice is like a ceremony involving specific rules and customs. Typically, the doodle is made on 3.5” X 3.5” paper with the help of a pencil and a black pen. The basic idea is to create something with intent without focusing on the result or the design made. You can use this practice to relieve stress, express yourself creatively, or have a mindful moment. Due to various benefits, these doodle patterns might find their place as an integral part of art therapy. On that note, here is a blog explaining how to use an art journal to improve your treatment.

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