Umble – Square One Focus

Umble – Square One Focus

This year I’ve decided to do a post each week on the tiles I do for the Square One: Purely Zentangle FaceBook page. If you are not familiar with the Square One page, each week they post a focus tangle which you are then supposed to use some way in a tile. The tiles must be 3.5″ x 3.5″ white tiles and you can only use black pen and graphite for shading.

Some weeks the focus tangle is one I know really well and sometimes it is one I have never used before. In any case I always start out by exploring the tangle in my sketch book so I get to know it a little better and/or feel more comfortable drawing it.

The focus tangle for this week is Umble, here is what I drew in my sketch book.


There were a couple of effects I liked and wanted to incorporate into a tile. Following are Work In Progress photos and some explanation of my thought process along the way.


I started with looping bands around a circular shape.


The bands seemed plain so I added what I call Ant Trax down the middle. This adds a little interest and I think it helps emphasizes the over/under layering.


I felt it needed some contrast so I started filling in the spaces between the loops with black. I got about half way around and then thought “If I continue to fill all the way around it will be too much black and not very interesting.” so I stopped.


Then I had to balance out the light and dark so I added the black and white crescent shapes to either side. These help to define the edges of the circular shape.


I played off the light and dark separation again when adding a couple more Umble variations to the outside area of the tile.


This is the final tile with shading, which you can see does a lot to define overlaps, shapes and edges.

If you see an effect you like, please feel free to explore it in your own work.

Tangle On…Lynn

9 Responses to Umble – Square One Focus

  1. This is a great way to familiarize oneself with tangle patterns and come up with something different. Looking at how others take a pattern and give it a little twist that gives it an entirely new look is very interesting and encouraging.
    Being new to Zentangle, I sometimes feel that I have to do the tangle according to the step-outs only; that’s limiting and requires a lot of fighting with myself to go beyond the basic pattern.
    Love this idea. Thank you so much for your ideas and how your mind works. Thought processes really help a lot. (And I love what you did with it!)

    • Kathy, I’m so happy you feel you’ve learned something from my post. That’s my goal. Now if I can keep up posting once a week. : )

  2. Love this post, and will look forward to your square one posts this year! Very inspiring to see your thought process and the photos. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks Lynn,
    I am enjoying your Tangle Deck and now this lovely post – I will definitely be giving this challenge a go – having finished my last book I feel I need time to devote to ‘playing’. I love R & M’s new tangle Molygon, so I hope you will explore that one.
    Happy New Year, I look forward to meeting you again in Maine.

  4. Wow, Lynn! So great of you to share your process. Very helpful to me . Thank you so much. Love the Umble in the round

  5. Lynn …Happy New Year…Thank you for taking me through your tangler mind thought process. Look forward to your weekly posts and sharing!