Relax Your Stress Away with the Zen Doodle Coloring Book

This week we have a new and interestingly unique product in the North Light Shop: Zen Doodle Coloring Book!

We have curated a terrific collection of about 100 pieces of doodled art from our library of titles—the art in this book was originally published in Zentangle® Untangled, The Zentangle® Untangled Workbook, Zen Doodle: Tons of Tangles, Creative Tangle and Zen Doodle: Oodles of Doodles.

Currently the book is available only as a downloadable PDF—we worked really hard to make it available for Doodle December!—but the paperback version of the book will be available through retailers everywhere in May.

Meanwhile, though, I think there is a lot of potential in the PDF version—and I’m happy to share a few examples!

photo 3

This doodle, C is for Catherine, was created by Catherine Langsdorf and appears in Zen Doodle: Tons of Tangles.

For this piece, I printed the page from the PDF using my home printer. I then did a graphite transfer to watercolor paper. I filled in the design using a limited palette of Derwent Inktense Water-Soluable Ink Blocks (pink, blue and yellow), which I used like watercolor paints (wet on dry). I painted all of one color at a time—all the purples, then the pinks and then the blue. I left the small circles for last—I painted the yellow wash and let it dry.

Final version? What other touches might you suggest? (Comment on this post!)

Final version? What other touches might you suggest? (Comment on this post!)

When the yellow paint was dry, I went back in and filled in all the small bubbles with blue Inktense—they came out a little more like teal than the original blue (thanks to the yellow wash—not my intent, but it’s all good). I also filled in some of the bubbles with a silver marker. Unfortunately, the silver doesn’t show up as much as I’d like. I wanted to use silver leaf, but I only had gold leaf at home at the time, and gold wasn’t a part of my plan. So I might still go back and add some silver leaf. I also want to make this a bit more doodle-ish by outlining all of the individual shapes with a black marker or Sakura Pigma Micron pen. I haven’t done that because I got distracted working on another doodle! This one:

This design, Quib Quip, was created by Eden M. Hunt and is featured in Zen Doodle: Oodles of Doodles

This design, Quib Quip, was created by Eden M. Hunt and is featured in Zen Doodle: Oodles of Doodles.

Again, I printed this page from the PDF and transferred it onto watercolor paper using graphite transfer paper. You’ll notice one of the sections was left blank—the original design is a tight S-shaped pattern, but I think I want something looser and perhaps more geometric to fill that space.

In progress - 2

I’m working with Inktense blocks again and also with another limited palette (the green, like the purple in the previous doodle, is custom mixed). I really LOVE the way these colors work together, especially the blue and the brown.

Almost finished. Any suggestions for a doodle or pattern for the empty block? And what about finishing touches? Should I outline the piece? Add glitter or leafing?

Almost finished. Any suggestions for a doodle or pattern for the empty block? And what about finishing touches? Should I outline the piece? Add glitter or leafing?

And here I am almost finished. As you can see, I still need to add a pattern to the empty block, and I’m taking suggestions. I’m thinking perhaps a zigzag or chevron. And I think I’d like to draw over all the lines with black ink—I think that would really make the individual shapes and patterns pop. What about other finishing touches? Maybe highlights with a glittery Gelly Roll pen? I’d love to hear your ideas. (Comment on this post!)

When I do finish these two pieces, I think I will trim them to 8″ x 8″ square (Instagram style, and speaking of Instagram, are you following us? We are createmixedmedia!) and frame them. I think they’ll make for some simple, pretty art, maybe in my upstairs hallway or foyer.

Overall, I undertook creating these pieces, coloring in my coloring book, to really test the Zen aspect of the Zen Doodle Coloring Book. Verdict? It worked! I absolutely had a great time doing these pages. It was super relaxing and fun, two evenings of simple creative release. I got intense, I got focused, I definitely lost track of time, and when I realized what time it was? I had a hard time forcing myself to STOP. And now I’m trying to decide which design will be next … as well as which media I will use next. I think just about anything will work. You could easily transfer these designs onto canvas and paint them with acrylic—in fact you could use high flow acrylics on paper (on canvas) as you would watercolor or ink, and, oh, imagine the backgrounds you could create. Of course, you can work with crayons, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and whatever strikes your fancy. (I’ve even considered sealing my paintings with a light coat of clear encaustic—too much?)

Right now, the Zen Doodle Coloring Book PDF is on sale in the North Light Shop for just $7.50 as part of our Doodle December special! I’d love to see what you do with your Zen Doodle Coloring Book pages. Snap a quick photo and send it us at We’ll share your photos in a future post!




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