Saturday, November 8, 2014

Watercolor Wash Zendalas

While I was preparing for a Zendala class a couple of weeks ago, I saw a watercolor technique that caught my eye.  I was looking at the book "Zentangle 7; Inspiring Circles, Zendala's & Shapes by Suzanne McNeill, CZT. Suzanne is the author of a lot of great Zentangle books!  In the book on page 8, CZT Sue Jacobs shares a watercolor technique using water-based markers.  I have some water-based Tombow markers, so I gave it a try.  I used two of the same pre-strung Zendala tiles and added different color to each.  These tiles are wonderful when adding water since they are made of a 100% cotton printmaking paper.

In case you don't have the book, here are the steps:
1) Apply color from the water-based marker to a piece of plastic.
2) Using a brush filled with water, dampen the entire section you are working on.
3) Pick up some color from the plastic with a damp brush and apply color to one side of the section.
4) Wipe out extra color and use the brush to spread color over the section-it will lighten as you go.
5) Let dry completely.
6) Tangle
7) Add shading with color pencils if you desire.

In the book example, Sue tangles with different color Micron pens, and her results are gorgeous!  I used a regular black Micron on mine.  After I was done tangling, I went back and added shading with a Prismacolor watercolor pencil.  Something I am learning the more I play with color pencils, is that a little goes a long way.  I tend to put too much down and it gets pretty dark and vibrant.  Start lightly and build up the color if you like how it looks and want more

This technique is a lot of fun and one I will try again.  Who knows, it may turn into another Zendala class! 

Thanks to both CZT, Suzanne McNeill at and to CZT, Sue Jacobs at for sharing this technique!

Note:  I forgot to get a photo of the red/orange/yellow tile before I tangled on it. 





  1. Thanks Sue! I appreciate the shout out. I love the color choices in your zendalas!