How to Draw Flowtangles
How to Draw Flowtangles

How to Draw Flowtangles

A flowtangle is a free & relaxing art form, made out of simple repeat patterns. Similar to Mandala art in the capacity of channeling the attention of the practitioner, flowtangles are more relaxed, devoid of rules.

It does not need to adhere to precise geometric shapes repeating in concentric circles but rather free flowing or even slightly structured patterns that can be repeated in any form & size. So it is a great mindfulness tool for beginners and nonartists too. And you end up with a beautiful, unique piece of art.

Let us look at it in some details.

What you Need

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A pen & paper, that’s all you need to get started. Unlike what you might remember from early art classes, you don’t start drawing flow tangles with a pencil. You make permanent tangles on paper space, without having to picture the final outcome. Focus on the process –

  1. Find a quiet place. Be it in the house or outdoors, first make your surroundings peaceful, free of distraction. Do it at a time when no one will disturb you for a few minutes, playing some calming music can be nice Remember to stay hydrated, keep a bottle of water close by.
  2. Make your pen choice deliberate. Colored brush pens, a fine tip micron or a vintage ink pen are some options to explore. It makes the process more enjoyable when you are anticipating the next stroke and looking forward to how it’s going to turn out.
  3. Use good quality paper. Pick out a paper that will go well with your pen. Try a smooth finish paper with fine tip pens, a slightly textured paper with more artsy pens or mix and match to create interesting results.

Start out with any shape, a line, a curve, big or small, let your intuition take over. Don’t be afraid of not being able to erase or making mistakes, there are none!

Combine simple elements of Art

Lines – the most basic and easy to draw shape can lead to so many interesting patterns. Squares, slanting lines, long and short alternating strokes, triangles or a mix of other line shapes are some of the things you can start with.

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Color – Adding a bit of color can really uplift your mood and of course make the artwork more lively too. Try a whole piece in shades of a neutral tone or add a few pop colored strokes to a more monochrome palette.

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Perspective – Fluid patterns on paper space create an interesting visual play. A big curvy stroke across the whole page or a small floating shape in the centre, followed up with free flowing repeating patterns can lead to beautiful pieces displaying depth and dimension. The joy lies in the unpredictability of the outcome.

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With some practice, you’ll soon discover what you enjoy and start creating your own unique pieces.

Practical Benefits of Tangling

Flowtangles have roots in the wise & ancient practices. At its core is ritualistic meditation used in many cultures for helping religious and spiritual practitioners to attain a state of calm and inner focus. Let’s look at some of the practical benefits of creating flowtangles.

Mindfulness – While tangling you are in the moment. It is a self soothing form of art that involves minimal decision making. So you are immersed only in the stroke at hand and are open to whatever emerges, much like being aware and mindful of the little things in real life.

Reduces stress and anxiety – Creating flow tangles helps channel emotions. If your mood is tense, you might tend to use more rigid patterns or you may migrate towards more fluid patterns to free your mental space. The fact that it is simple to create and involves small steps has a calming & therapeutic effect on the mind.

Boosts confidence – Flowtangles involve no planning, no instructions, no guides. This means, at the end of each stroke you decide what comes next, without the fear of judgement. This unplanned approach also means that no two flowtangles are the same. Regular tangling can strengthen your decision making skill and really boost confidence.

Teaches you to embrace mistakes – Flowtangles are about letting your emotions flow on paper, without fear. There are going to be misplaced lines that cannot be erased. It is about expecting imperfections, accepting them and incorporating them into your overall design, therefore creating something unique to you. Taking this to real life, you learn to own your mistakes and really embrace them. They make you who you are.

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Flow tangles may look complicated and intricate but are in fact deceptively simple to create. You can dedicate a separate journal for this, put together loose sheets in a file or do it as a focusing activity in your planner whenever you need to re-align. It’s a quick fix for relaxation & inner focus. You just need to find your flow & let it grow.

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