Kids Zentangle Artwork in Four Easy Steps
Kids zentangle artwork is a great way to teach young artists how to use creative lines in their drawings. This is a technique that will help them get creative in their future artworks as well. In this post, you will find a simple tutorial for a letter design that can be used to decorate a sketchbook. In four easy steps, kids will learn how to design their letter in new and interesting ways using creative lines. Then we will wrap it up by learning how to use warm and cool colors in the design.
Getting Started with Kids Zentangle Artwork
Ages for kids zentangle artwork: I use this activity with kids as young as second grade, but it is good for older kids as well. In fact, many adults enjoy the calm, meditative state that drawing zentangles can bring!
Art supplies for kids zentangle artwork : You will need paper, pencil, black markers, and black pens. If you want to add color, you will need crayons. Zentangle idea sheets are not necessary, but I find it helpful to have them available. You can find one here.
If you are interested in making a sketchbook with this design, simply fold a small stack of paper in half, staple, and make the design on the cover.
Step One: Drawing the Letter Shape
First, show the kids how to draw their letter to fill the page. Then, show them how to double it to create a “bubble letter”. Emphasize that making the letter a little fat or wide will give more room for designs. If it’s to skinny or narrow, there won’t be enough room for designs. See the illustration below.
Step Two: Make sections in the Letter and the background
Next, show how to draw lines inside the letter to make sections as seen below. I call these puzzle pieces. You are going to fill the whole letter with puzzle pieces. Then, fill the rest of the page with sections too. I show how to draw a line from the letter to the edge of the page. Once the letter is drawn and your page is filled with puzzle pieces, outline everything with a black marker.
Step 3: Add the zentangles
In this step we will fill each section with a repeating line, shape, or object. Start with a line. It could be a wiggly line, a jagged line, or a loopy line. Now choose either a thick marker or a thin pen and draw the line over and over until the section is full. Each section gets its own repeating design. Simple lines and shapes will work nicely but a repeating object can add fun and interest to the design! If you would like to view a video of this process you can watch it here.
Step 4: Use warm and cool colors to make the Letter stand out
In this step I teach the kids how using opposite color families can make their letter stand out. They are asked to choose either a warm or cool color family for their letter and use the opposite color family for the background, We start off with a color sort at their table. Warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows go on one side and cool colors like blues, purples, and greens are sorted to the other side.
Start with coloring the letter one color family. I chose warm for this letter.
Finally, use the opposite color family for the background. Sometimes kids will ask what would happen if I use both cool and warm for the letter. I tell them that they would get more of a camouflage effect. The letter would blend in more with the background, and would not stand out as much.
Kids Zentangle Art Resources
Once the sketchbook cover is finished, your young artist can experiment with zentangling other things besides letters. Because you can zentangle most anything!
If you are ready to do more with zentangling, Craft Whack has a good resource post called How to Zentangle.
If you need some printable practice sheets, Art for kids and Robots also has some free ones you can find here. They make great sub plans or a fun activity for anyone who loves to doodle.
If you want more activities on getting creative with drawing you may enjoy Creativity Exercises to get Kids Started Drawing.
To learn more about art journals you may like Art Journal Starter Kit: Inspiring Kids To Draw
Want to take your creative lines to the next level with a mixed media work of art? You may want to try Multi Media Crayon Resist Painting.