Hi Rick and Maria. First, I love your site and learning patterns for Zentangles. I am hooked. I am having a really hard time learning your Paradox pattern however. I can't get mine to curve like yours. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I was wondering if you would do another lesson on your paradox that goes further than the one you have on there now. I really want to learn this one but just can't grasp it.
I wrote back:
Two key items to keep in mind are (1) Always make your lines straight, and (2) Always turn your tile each time you draw a line. This latter step may not seem necessary but for me it is, otherwise I lose my place. First draw a triangle, or square. Then, per newsletter instructions, turn your tile each time so you draw your straight line in the same direction. It is easiest to draw my line towards me. We call this tangle "paradox" because by only using straight lines, you create beautiful spirals.
Recently she replied:
I sent you an email a month ago asking you for help with Paradox. I am attaching three Zentangles with Paradox to show you how much your help was to me and how much fun I am having in doing these. Thank you so much.
Here are two she sent. Beautiful! (Trivia note: This tangle is sometimes called "Rick's Paradox.")
[Click any image for large view]
When you create adjacent paradoxes, you have a choice of which way to "rotate" your paradox. In this next Zentangle, I rotated adjacent paradoxes in opposite directions. You can see more examples of this effect in this newsletter.
Here's that same effect translated into 3D:
This shape is a cuboctahedron and was a favorite of Buckminster Fuller. To create this I tangled a square and an adjacent triangle, made copies and assembled those. Here's its original before shading:
All of these inner lines are done by hand - no ruler. If you look at any one line in the above image, you'd see that some are pretty shaky and erratic. Embrace that! Once you're done, it becomes part of your pattern's overall color.
On another note, you may have noticed that many of our tangles are only one or two strokes that repeat over and over. We put a lot of time and thought into deconstructing familiar and seemingly complex patterns down to their essentials. This allows you to get into Zentangle's process without trying to draw something.
Imaging if someone asked you to draw a logarithmically spiraling pyramid . . . "Huh!?"
But with Zentangle's approach, simple repetition of basic elements (in this case, a straight line) allows something quite beautiful to unfold in a very enjoyable way.