Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Off-center, but not off-balance

Instruction in art composition always says not to put the center of interest smack dab in the middle. This makes it static, boring, dull. The only case I can think of where this is not true is a mandala.
Today I'll show you some Zentangle tiles that are off-center, a bit wonky, and yet... wonderful!

Tangles: Beadlines, Finery, Paradox, Tipple
In the tile above the main 'square' is off-center but balanced by the 'beads' at the lower left. The empty oval is quite striking and I realized, looking at it just now, that somewhere in that empty oval is a phi intersection of the square. Cool! 

In the tile below, the main drawing is fairly centered, however, the Beadlines and Black Pearlz at the left throw it off. That was part of the string I had drawn, not a brilliant idea I had.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Knase, Munchin, Paradox, Pearlz

Again, the string I had drawn went off the page, below. This frequently happens when I draw a string 'blind', that is, with my eyes closed.

Tangles: Huggins, Pearlz, Tipple

The string below almost went off the page, but not quite.

Tangles: Beadlines, Firecracker, Knightsbridge,
Krli-Qs, and a Black Pearl 

This gray zendala was done for a Full Moon Mosaic, a Zentangle challenge from Hanny Nura on Instagram. We were to use three concentric circles and the tangle Tamisolo. It struck me that "concentric" didn't have to mean "centered" so I offset the concentric circles to a phi intersection on the tile.

Tangles: Black Pearlz, Icantoo, Mika, Tamisolo

Besides being interestingly off-center, the tile below is also very minimal. A zentangle drawing can be quite simple!
Tangles: Beadlines, Pearlz, Seljuk

Sometimes off-center just occurs as one of those happy accidents, but one way to make it happen is to center your drawing around a phi intersection. You can download Zentangle's "Markus Operandus II" for free here; you can use it to find phi proportions on zentangle tiles.


  1. I love these. My garden is sort of like this. A little off center but not off balance.

  2. I love being off center in a lot of things. Sure makes life more interesting that way! Love your art, Margaret!