Tag Archives: Shading

Shading in Zentangle

Dear Tanglers,

maybe you’ve heard about the fact that in Zentangle, the direction of lighting doesn’t matter. This makes shading just so much easier!
But is this right? And why, you may ask yourself, is it suddenly not important any more? Aren’t the pictures “wrong” then?

Yeah. Maybe they are. Or rather: they’re impossible. But then again, when we do Zentangle, are we trying to create photorealistic images?
No, we aren’t. Zentangle is Zentangle, not realistic art. The process is more important than the outcome. It’s supposed to be meditative and relaxing. But can it be that when I’m constantly thinking about the direction of the light source?

The answer is, of course, that it can’t. And that is why in Zentangle we just shade – without thinking about right or wrong. And that means shading can be different in each pattern. Even if you do use a specific light source, it can be different for each tangle in your tile. Like in this example, one of my first ever Zentangle tiles:

Zentangle Kachel von Anya Lothrop, CZT

In the pattern running through the center (Trimonds), the light is coming from the top right. Hurry’s lightsource (bottom left) is sort of leftish toppish. And for Tipple (bottom right), the light comes straight from above the tile.
You don’t notice any of this at first – and even after you do, it doesn’t matter. Because each pattern stands for itself.

So how about if the direction of light were to change within one pattern?
I’ll be answering that question next weekend. So stay tuned! 😉

See you then!