One of the key elements in a traditional Zentangle pattern is that it’s simple, and it’s versatile. A typical tangle used in the Zentangle method is one made of ‘elemental shapes’; simple lines, curves, dots, or orbs. Often it’s ageless; you can find it in nature, in ancient texts or in old objects. And sometimes a pattern is so simple it can be overlooked.
Knightsbridge is one of these patterns. On the surface, it’s a simple black and white chessboard. It’s also a flooring pattern (like in the Knightsbridge Underground station), and it can be found in any number of other places. How much more straightforward can you get? There is a process to drawing Knightsbridge, and surprisingly, you do have to slow down and focus in order to get your black squares in the right place! Click here for the link to the stepout from the folks at Zentangle.com (scroll past Alfie and the 3Z tiles).
Knightsbridge was one of the first tangle patterns I learned (here it is in the second tile I drew) and it was one of the patterns that convinced me that learning Zentangle maybe wasn’t going to be that hard. For a long time, I thought of Knightsbridge as only a black and white checkerboard; it was hard to think of using this pattern in any other way.
Lots of times we learn a new tangle pattern, use it and move on. While I have my favourite ‘mac and cheese’ tangles that I return to again and again, I also tend to use the same tangle patterns in the same way, so when I limited how I thought about using Knightsbridge, I could only see one look for it. (That’s often the problem with the little book of tangle ideas I keep handy; there is only the ‘official’ tangle showing, so I can miss thinking about other ways of drawing it.)
So what if we shook things up a bit?
I’ve been thinking it might be fun to take a closer look at some tried and true Zentangle patterns and see what can be done with them. This is going to stretch my creative muscles a bit, but my mantra is “it’s about process, not outcome”, so as long as I stay relaxed, draw slowly, and focus on one line at a time, it doesn’t matter how it looks in the end.
I’m inviting you to try this with me – let’s focus on one tangle and see how many different ways we can use it in our tiles. We are just experimenting and nobody is going to see it if you don’t want to share it. So go wild, let yourself try anything! And if you’re stuck, here are some ideas to play around with.
So what can you do with Knightsbridge? What are the characteristics of this tangle?
- Square grid
- Does it have to be square? What other shapes could you use?
- Does it have to be 90-degree angles? Can you set the grid on a different angle?
- Do all the angles have to be the same? Can you make a ‘wonky’ grid (wavy lines)?
- What about size? Big squares? Tiny Squares? Different sizes?
- Alternating black and white squares
- Do they have to be black and white?
- Do they have to be solid?
- What about shading, stippling, hatching, cross-hatching?
- Do they have to alternate exactly?
- What about looking at groups of squares? Could you do something with groupings?
Here are some examples to get you started:
Give it a try!
I would love it if you want to share! 🙂 Just post your tiles below in the comments section below.
Above all, whether you share or not, just have fun with this!