Review: The Joy of Zentangle

Fox Chapel has published a compilation book, ‘Joy of Zentangle’, which incorporates portions of previous Zentangle books that were written by Suzanne McNeill, CZT®, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, CZT, and Marie Browning, CZT.

Compilation book–what does that mean?

Well, it means that if you already own Zentangle books written by the above authors, you may have some of the articles and tangles that are published in this book. The content of this book was taken from: Zentangle Basics, Zentangle 2 thru 8, Zen Mandalas, Inspired by Zentangle Fabric Arts Quilting Embroidery, Totally Tangles, Yoga for Your Brain, Zentangle for Kidz, and Time to Tangle with Colors.

Should you buy this book? Well, maybe.

Pros: If you are new to  Zentangle, this is would be a nice starter book, and cheaper than buying all the other books.  Even if you do own 1 or 2 books, you might want a ‘sampler’ of tangles and writing by more than one author, this would be a good book.
If you own the other books, but want something handy for carrying around that gives a good variety of tangles, this would be a good book for you.
Cons: If you own several Zentangle books, and are looking for new patterns or new information–this is not the book for you.
There are 107* tangle patterns in this book, but there are many more patterns to be found in  the combined books above, obviously.  The amount you have to spend and your desire to know every pattern under the sun will have to guide your decision.  (NOTE: The book says it has 101 patterns, but they didn’t six that were included in some of the introductory chapters.)

(NOTE: The book says it has 101 patterns, but they didn’t six that were included in some of the introductory chapters.)

But let me give some more information. Hopefully it will help you determine how much of this book you already own.

This Zentangle-Inspired artwork was done using Crossroads, Lacy Knight’s Cross and Etcher–all tangles included in the  Joy of Zentangle.

Cover: Flexible cardstock
No. Pages: 144
Size: 9 x 7.5 inches (22.86 x 19.05 cm)
Binding: Glued

Look and Feel
The Joy of Zentangle is a medium size, not too big and not too small.  It would fit in some purses, though it might be a little heavy for comfort.

The binding is glued, but seems to be well glued–I wouldn’t expect pages to pop free easily.  On the other hand, the pages don’t lie flat nor would I recommend trying to fold the book in half for easily holding.  You’ll need to either hold the book open or weight it down.  Annoying if you are trying to refer to the steps of a tangle while drawing.

The publishers went with a CAS (clean and simple) look for their layouts.  There is a LOT of white space.  The paper isn’t too glossy, so if you someone who writes in the margins, this might be a plus.

The tangles are shown with a single block example of the pattern and then the steps to create the pattern.  No completed examples are shown.  Personally, I find I prefer a completed example, because often it easy to complete one round of a pattern, but more difficult to do rows of it.  A complete example can help show how to continue past the first block.

Quotes from various CZTs, tips, symbolism, and exercises are salted throughout the book.  These blurbs are placed on the page with no relation to what else is on the page, and no example.  For instance, the exercise BIG explains, in essence, that you can use one tangle as a string that can be filled with other tangles. The rest of the page is taken up with the steps to the pattern Cootie, which would be a good choice as a string, but otherwise has nothing to do with the blurb.

While Suzanne McNeill, Sandy Steen Bartholomew and Marie Browning are the three contributing authors there are a few tangle patterns from other artists (my own patterns Lacy and Crossroads are included, which is why I was sent a copy of the book).

About the Contributing Authors-author profiles
Dear Reader-Introduction to the book by Publisher Alan Giagnocavo
Zentangle Resources-The CZT network & Using Zentangle
Chapter 1: What is a Zentangle?
Chapter 2: Zentangle Basics-Tools & Your First Zentangle
Chapter 3: Advanced Zentangle Techniques-Shading, Design Tips, Keeping Tangles & Draw from Real Life
Chapter 4: Tangle Directory
Chapter 5: Learn to Draw 101 Tangles
Chapter 6: Traditional Zentangle Gallery
Chapter 7: ZIA Gallery
Chapter 8: Additional Applications-Jewelry, Paper Crafts, Printmaking, 3-D Objects, Fabric

Tangle pattern step-outs
Included in Draw from Life by Sandy Steen Bartholomew: Vine Twist, Uptown, Becki, Apeel and Twiggy).

Official Tangle Patterns: Bales, Beelight, Cadent, Chillon, Cubine, Ennies, Flukes, Hollibaugh,Keeko, Knightsbridge, Nipa, Nzeppel, Printemps, Rick’s Paradox, Tagh, W2, Yincut

Patterns from Suzanne McNeill: Asian Fans, Bricks, Bubbles, Cadent Variation, Cheesecloth, Corn Rows, Crescent Moon Variation, Cubism, Daisy Beads, Dandelion Seeds, Droplets, Floating Disks, Flora, Florz Variation, Flying Geese, Footprints, Frond, Gewgle, Growth, Holes, Intersection, Itsy Bitsy, Jonqal Variation,King’s Crown, Lettuce Farm, Lollipops, Marbles, Melody, Mixed Signals,Orange Peel, Papyrus, Pinwheels, Printemps Variation, Pyramids, Queen’s Crown, Rain Variation, Soup Bowls, Square in Square, Starry Night, Static Variation, Swag, Teardrops, Tufted Leaves, Twilight Zone, Twisted Ribbons, Waves, Web, Whirls

Patterns from Sandy Steen Bartholomew: Adele, Ammon, Buttercup, Chads.Circfleur. Claire, Cootie, Etcher, Flake, Flutter, Flutter Tile, FlutterBi, Jute, Krust, Kuginuki, Mumsy, Popova, Puff-O, Purlbox, Ripple, Sabi, Slurp, Stature, Tuffit, Unagi, Wabi,

Patterns from Marie Browning: Germie, Knight’s Cross, Sag, Vernazz

Patterns from other Contributors:
Sandra Strait-CrossRoads, Lacy
Kathy in Atlanta- Kathy’s Dilemma
Peggy Shafer-Matt
Molly Hollibaugh-Munchin
Kareann Young-Weave

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Joy of Zentangle”

  1. Sandra, … another great review,… thank you! I've been thinking about buying this book, but I do have all of the books listed, so don't think I will buy it for myself … I will however buy it for my grandsons who are learning to tangle … up to this point I've bought them a few (they love all of my books from these authors) this will be perfect for them & save me some money! I found all of the info you gave very interesting & helpful … by the way love the piece you posted too. Thanks 🙂

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