I’ve seen a lot of discussion about color in zentangle/zendoodling and worries about it overpowering the zen or causing too much thought which might pop the person out of the ‘zen’ mode.
So-o-o I came up with a pattern designed to help you use very subtle coloring. I’m using lines, because it helps you keep the color softer, but you could use a scumbling effect (using the side of a pencil lightly). The other advantage of line is that you can easily use colored pens, versus pencils or pastels.
The idea to keep in mind is blue shadows on snow–atmostpheric, soft, beautiful. This was supposedly the inspiratation for impressionism, and this method borrows heavily from that discipline.
The first tip–how to avoid thought? That’s fairly simple. Choose your colors before you start. Alternate them, and apply more color toward the bottom of the fluffball.
The second tip–use a paper that is rough. Watercolor paper is a good choice. You’ll get a scumbling effect without even trying.
The third tip–don’t press down hard and don’t try to fill in solid color. Give your hand a rest, and let the paper do some of the work.