2D Animal Zentangle Project

Elephant Zentangle Illustration – 2D Project


  • White Paper
  • Black Ballpoint Pen
  • Pencil and eraser (for animal outline)
  • Image for reference

Resources: Used for references and brainstorming

  • https://www.zentangle.com/
  • http://tanglepatterns.com/zentangles/
  • https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=zentangle%20animals&rs=typed&term_meta[]=zentangle%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=animals%7Ctyped


  • First, pick an animal you would like to create a zentangle out of.
    • Look up reference images of different animals and see how you could incorporate different lines and shapes to create the animal and show depth.
    • Do you want to do the entire animal’s body? Just the face?
    • My reference image:

  • Once you have decided on your animal, think about composition and how you would like incorporate the animal on the picture plane to utilize the space.  Make thumbnails if necessary.
  • Begin sketching outline of animal on paper using pencil.  Draw very lightly as this outline should not be seen in the final outcome.  The outline is just used to map out the composition as a guideline.

  • Start creating different patterns and shapes inside the animal outline to create a sense of space and depth.

  • Be creative and have fun with it!

  • When creating your zentangle, use different lines and shapes. Your project can be as symmetrical or asymmetrical as you would like.  Use shapes and lines to create the form of the animal to show depth and different curves and angles.  For example, when designing my elephant’s trunk, I used rounded lines to show the shape of the trunk and the dimensionality.  In the bottom parts of the ear, I used small thin lines to show the wrinkles of the skin, similar to my reference photo.
    •  When I first began creating my elephant zentangle, I didn’t have an exact end goal in mind in terms of the lines and shapes I was creating.  I just knew i wanted to show the depth of the elephant.  I was letting my hand and mind wonder and create whatever came in to my mind next.  I referenced different zentangle websites and images (listed above) for inspiration.  I knew I did not want my elephant to be symmetrical as I wanted the viewer’s eye to move throughout the page.  The only thing I wanted slightly symmetrical was the inner part of the ear.  I felt that it gave a sense of unification and completion to the piece.


  • Overall I am happy with my outcome and really enjoyed creating the project.  Usually, I create similar doodles on notes, random papers and in notebooks with no end goal or thought process.  I just create them wherever they can fit on the page.  Incorporating these doodles with the end goal of an elephant in mind really allowed for me to challenge myself and create something I would not normally create.  I would like to create more zentangles of different animals and/or objects in the future.


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