First, A Note About Printing From This Blog
Be sure to check your printer settings before printing my templates and colouring pages. Print in black & white on letter size paper, and select "fit to page".
I also noticed that laser printers print much cleaner and crisper pages than inkjet printers. You can still colour the pages, but you may notice a bit of greyness on the page from the inkjet printers.
My Favourite Pens
When I doodle and draw, I use a variety of sizes of black Pigma Micron pens. They are pretty awesome! The cheap pens (from the dollar store) smudge and bleed, especially if you try to add colour later. But if you can't afford to buy the whole pack of Micron, then I recommend you purchase at least a 005 and a 03. You can purchase these pens on Amazon or at Michaels. There are other good quality pens out there, but I have not tried them all, so I can't really give you my opinion on those. I also use the Pigma Micron pens for drawing faces on cloth dolls. They work really well on many fabrics.
Here are links to some great posts written on the topic.
>> Favorite Pens For Writing, Sketching, Doodling & Drawing
My Favourite Colouring Tools
Pigma Microns. I have all the sizes in black from 005 to 08.
They also come in different colours.
You can use them for filling in smaller designs as well.
All Microns. Different sizes.
For colouring, I like to use good quality gel pens. I like Gelly Roll because they go on smooth, and dry nicely. They're almost like paint. Just be sure not to smudge them while they're still wet. The cheap gel pens leave scratches on your work, the tips are weird and scratchy in my experience. I bought some for the variety of colours and they were terrible. I'm sure it's possible that not all cheaper brands are like that, but by the time you find a brand that works well, you may as well have just spent that money on the good quality ones to begin with. And no, I don't work for Sakura, I just love their products! =)
Gelly Roll has some pens that work on black paper. These are nice, except that if you colour over the black lines of your design, it will look a bit cloudy. They were meant to show up on black after all. The regular ones are not like that at all. I like the Gelly Roll Classic colour pack. I also have the Souffle, which will leave that film on your black lines. The colours are nice though, you just have to be careful not to go over the lines.
Here's a little post on Gel Pens. Joyce agrees that Gelly Roll pens are awesome.
You can blend the Gelly Rolls while they're still wet. I used a small paint brush. I also wanted to show you what happens when you use those Souffle colours. See how the darker pink doesn't do anything to your black line, but the light pink leaves a film of colour? The light pink is from the Souffle collection.
The green here is from the cheap gel pens.
The orange is Gelly Roll. See the difference?
You can fill in your drawings with any of these.
The sharpies are nice and vibrant, but they will go through to the other side if your paper is too thin. You especially don't want that to happen if you have a colouring book with images on both sides of the pages. See how fine that ultra fine point is?
The difference again between the Gelly Rolls and the cheaper brand I bought.
You can also colour with regular coloured pens. You will see strokes, but sometimes they actually add a nice touch to your art.
I also like coloured pencils. You get a much softer look that way. Again, the cheap ones don't go on as nicely. They're almost like those waxy crayons they give kids in restaurants. They are terrible and you have to press hard to get good coverage. You don't have to get fancy though, go to Walmart! I think Crayola has a good selection of coloured pencils there. I have some Laurentien's that I've been using since I was a teenager (that was a long time ago). Some are stubs now, but they are a pretty good brand and sell for a reasonable price. I'm not sure if this brand is only available in Canada though. You could also go with Prismacolor.
I purchased a set of Progresso Woodless Color Pencils recently. They are a bit expensive, but what I like to do is wait for Michael's to have a good coupon of 40% or 50% off. Then I go and purchase the pricier items. That's also how I purchased my gel and pigma pens. Sometimes things appear cheaper on Amazon, but then if you need to add shipping it isn't always worth it. Compare all your options before you make your purchase.
You can see how soft the coloured pencils are. It's a completely different look than using gel pens and markers.
I'm not a fan of colouring with markers because sometimes you can see the strokes on bigger patterns. They also tend to leak through to the other side of the paper. I have some wonderful Sharpie markers in fine and ultra fine tips, which I purchased specifically for drawing and colouring on items such as stones and other surfaces besides paper.
Again, the markers add some really vibrant colour. Just be sure they don't go through to the other side of the paper if you have designs on both sides.
Paper & Drawing Surfaces
I use on all kinds of paper. Anything from computer paper to sketchbooks with thicker paper in them. I like those little notepads or index cards for smaller doodles. I use a clipboard if I'm drawing on loose paper, that way you can doodle and watch TV at the same time.
You can also draw on tiles, stones, wood, glass … anything you want as long as you choose the right pens/markers for the job. You can even create Zentangle® inspired ceramics. I made a pretty awesome plate using a basecoat of green. The ceramic studio had little paint bottles with thin tips for drawing lines and dots. You could also use a thin paintbrush, but the bottles are easier. I found it a little harder to keep my hand steady doing ceramics just because you can't rest your hand on the piece to steady yourself, if the rest of the piece has wet paint on it.
My Plate. You'll save time if you plan your design in advance so you don't have to sit there deciding which pattern to add next.
This is just regular computer paper.
Please visit tanglepatterns.com. This site is AMAZING and has all the different Zentangle® patterns on it, including instructions on how to draw them. You can keep a little notebook with all the patterns in it, so that you don't have to go online every time you want to look at them. You can just carry your notbook with you wherever you go. I have a notebook on the go, and every time they add a new pattern to the site, I add it to my notebook.