Friday, October 15, 2021

Shaving tangles

Shaving: removing a small amount or a (thin) slice from the original form.

Almost any tangle you'd care to draw can be changed considerably by shaving it, but I find this idea works best with tangles that are composed of lines, like Emingle at the top here, rather than tangles that already come with black areas. 

I introduced shaved square grids here. Here's an example of a simple square grid (albeit curvy), shaved on two sides of the squares, with added Pearlz:

I introduced shaved Paradox here. Below are tiles done at a workshop I gave.

This technique can be used with lots of other tangles. Sometimes I shave inside the tangle, sometimes outside. Here are more possibilities:

The Zentangle-original tangle Stoic (a.k.a. Twile) shaved.
On the left, shaved at the permimeter of the squares.
On the right, shaved inside the squares.

All Boxed Up, shaved.
You'll need a wonky grid for this to work well.

Jalousie, shaved. Once I had that tilt happening
I decided to angle the "bubble on a stick" too.

Shaved 'Dillo

Shaved Bales, Cubine, and Knase

Shaved Tripoli, Dewd, Copada, and Paisley Boa.
Sometimes I like to make the shaved part look shiny,
or to add Pearlz in the shaved area.

It's also a great way to even things up if something you drew feels too wide, or to darken a tangle if you feel there's too much white (thanks to commenter Ragged Ray for that insight!).

Choose two or three tangles to shave, and see what happens!


  1. Now that is a simple but incredibly clever addition. A great way to add some darkness to a tangle when the tile needs it. I like the idea of it instead of rounding, which I always resort to when I need darkness or to even up miss-strokes. This is like a sharper version. I'm looking forward to trying it out!

  2. thank you so much for using All Boxed Up. it looks great shaved - I am going to try this today :)