I did some zentangling to decorate my Mystery Build contest entry and wanted to do more. I love drawing animals in charcoal, so I decided to try to zentangle some animals. I chose to do a tiger. I used this reference photo:

Okay, so I'm a total noob. I would love to hear how people use their reference photos to set up their doodling project. Also, I could use some feedback on my use of patterns. I'm totally at the experimental phase and trying different patterns. I noticed that some of my patterns were perhaps too intricate for the space that I gave them. Am I right in thinking that once a pattern gets very dark, it loses its detail?

I used the Sakura Pigma Micron pens. This is more difficult for me to do than my charcoal drawings due to the nerve problems in my hands. It would get painful pretty fast. With charcoal, I don't have to use much pressure at all, so it's much easier. Does anyone with carpal tunnel or Guyon's canal syndrome have a favorite pen that seems to work better for them? I have both conditions.

If I wanted to add color to a doodle, is there a best way to do so? Anyone know of any good tutorials about that?

Any help is much appreciated!

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Replies to This Discussion

I think this is awesome great job

thank you

Very nice and very creative. I think it needed the dark areas.


I think you did a great job :)

thank you. I think I'll try my hand at a flamingo for the In Your Style challenge

Your tiger is great!  I like your patterns - and I agree that sometimes when they get too dark you lose the details.  If you decide to color it - my tip is copy it (maybe a few times) first.  That way if you like the black and white better you still have it.  Also, you might try just a touch of color in a few spots for effect and leave the rest b&w.  Also, you might try the Faber Castell pens - they require less pressure it seems than the Micron or Sakura.

Wow, what a great job.


I really like your doodle, I think you did great for a first time. I have tried to do these and make it look like a face or something and I feel like it is a flop. you NAILED it!!

On your hand condition, I was a RN in a former life...One suggestion may be to use a larger piece of paper where you can hold the marker loosely in hand and draw more with the movement of the arm and not the hand. a sharpie fine point marker may be better for this purpose because it has more flow. if you have the funds also the paint tip markers have a soft touch. you won't get fine details with these unless you work large. 

just some ideas. 

Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions. I will definitely experiment and see what works best for me. Thanks!

If you're a noob I'm a noob too when it comes to using a reference photo to doodle, but you've given me a new thing to try.  The result you got was so impressive, I just have to give this method a shot!

I'm floored by the detail in the creativity you did to make that face come out of those doodles I hope to be able to do something like that someday great .

Thank you for your feedback. I hope you have fun with it.



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