Author: Stephaniebuscemi

Elephant Zentangle Gifs and Animations

I explored creating a lot of gifs with my elephant zentangle.  I started by creating a graphic asset of my elephant zentangle in Adobe Photoshop which I was then able to incorporate with color backgrounds. other images.

Then, I started experimenting with different background images and putting my elephant zentangle head on an actual elephant. I played around with Color Balance and Hue and Saturation in Photoshop.

After exploring in Photoshop. I searched for images of elephants. Being a huge Disney fan, I came across this Dumbo gif, and decided to create my own animation with it. I created this gif in Adobe Premiere. I fit my elephant zentangle over dumbo’s face and animated it moving with the motion of dumbo’s face. After rendering the animation in Premiere, I then uploaded it to to create a continuous loop of it.


I created my animation in Adobe After Effects.  The radial design was created with different shapes and rotating them in a circular motion.  I then put the elephant zentangle on top of the radial design and experimented rotating it around to complete my animation.  Lastly, I added sound and rendered the composition.  The animation was published through Vimeo and posted to NewHive.

Elephant Radial Design from Stephanie Buscemi on Vimeo.

After creating gifs and animations of my image, I wanted to take the doodle one step further.  In Photoshop, I used the puppet warp tool to make the trunk of the elephant move.  I then created gifs of the trunk moving.

Lastly, I searched for images of baby elephants. I then put the images of the moving trunk head on top of the baby elephant image to create the feel that the elephant was alive and moving. I experimented with the backgrounds in Photoshop as well.

3D Zentangle Boxes

3D Zentangle Boxes


  • Printouts of zentangle animal (zoomed in)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Small boxes (jewelry boxes work well)
  • Small cut out of zentangle animal


  • First, printout zoomed in image of zentangles previously created on white paper.  Make sure to capture all different parts of the zentangle.
  • Begin wrapping box with zentangle paper, similarly to how you would wrap a present with wrapping paper.  Depending on the type and size of box, make cuts in the paper to properly accommodate the edges and curves of the box you are wrapping.  In the classroom, provide students with necessary boxes or have them bring them from home.  As as added step, students can color in their custom wrapping paper with markers or crayons.

  • You have successfully created your own zentangle skin/wrapping paper!
    • My thoughts behind this were to explore the carefully created zentangles of the 2D project.  The 2D project looked unified as a whole elephant, but there is so much detail in the actual doodles that were used to create the elephant.  I wanted to zoom those in and focus on those images for the 3D aspect of this project.


  • You can further enhance your 3D project by adding another element of your zentangle inside the box.  Cut out a tiny image of your zentangle to put inside one of your already wrapped boxes.  Use tape and paper to create a stand to allow the small image to stand up on its own.

  • For my own project, I cut out 2 more small images of my original zentangle to put on the outside of my box.  When the box is closed it looks like a complete elephant face.  When the box is opened, the face separates and you begin to see the elephant image on the inside.



  • Overall, I am happy with my final project.  I think the final step in putting the elephant in the inside of the box and on the outside of the box completed the project and took it that extra step.  I rarely work with 3D materials and so this project was a great way for me to explore creating in different mediums.

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



  • 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.