Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zentangle Inspired Art

So apparently this is a "thing." I never catch on to trends until they are almost no longer trendy. But I ran across the idea of Zentangles when I was searching for artist's trading card swaps. Zentangle is basically a glorified doodle on a 3.5 inch square of very nice paper, using very nice pens. The patterns are supposed to be slighly variant within themselves, not just perfect repetitions. If the size or media is different is is not technically a Zentangle, it's "Zentangle Inspired Art." So I guess that's what this is, since it's 2.5 x 3.5 inches. If you want to know more, this site is great. They are pretty persnickety about the "rules" of Zentangle, though. I dunno, I think the point is more to relax and draw, and let your mind focus on that instead of your day-to-day stress. Doodling is a natural habit for many people. I feel like I am tuned in more to a lecture if I am doodling while I'm listening.

Today I tried this with my 5th graders. A handful of them were finished with the current project, and while the rest of the class was finishing up, I showed them how to zentangle on an ATC. I had them use prismacolor premier fine line markers, (which my awesome principal got for us for free!) and showed them how to pencil in a border and a few strings, sectioning off their drawing for different patterns. They were so into it! As the other students finished the project, they wanted to Zentangle too. So I had the first group of students teach the newcomers. At the end of class, I told them that they had "homework": to teach another person to Zentangle. Would you believe it? The response was, "YAAAY!"

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