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Animal Zentangle Art Project for Kids

animals watercolour Oct 22, 2022

Easy to follow zentangle art lesson to turn your scribbles into a masterpiece. Learn to draw two Australian animals with a free download and add zentangle patterns, kids of all ages love this lesson.

Have you ever scribbled patterns on a napkin while your waiting for your coffee? Grabbed a pen and found yourself drawing lines and swirls and shapes instead of getting to that ‘to-do’ list. Or maybe you noticed lots of ‘doodles’ in your child’s work book and wondered if they were day dreaming in class.

These scribbles are more beneficial than what you might think and are the beginnings of something wonderful and creative. Scribbling or doodling now has a world-wide recognised brand name; Zentangle.

There is a little difference between margin scribbles and zentangle though. Scribbles or doodles are generally done out of boredom or mindlessness. Whereas Zentangle is focused on creating pattern designs and mindfullness.

I was surprised to find out that Zentangle was invented by a monk named Rick Roberts and an artist named Maria Thomas with the intention of combining meditation and art. How cool!

For children, Zentangle is a fantastic drawing activity with zero risk, no right or wrong and unlimited potential of designs. It can be a quick, small drawing, or make up a larger artwork and be created over a number of sessions.


The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. We call these patterns, tangles. You create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. These simple shapes are the "Elemental Strokes" in all Zentangle art. These patterns are drawn on small pieces of paper called "tiles." We call them tiles because you can assemble them into mosaics.

Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result.



When I was a kid I started drawing outlines of fantasy creatures and filling them with patterns. Time stood still as I segmented each part of my creature and filled it with different patterns using an art fine liner pen. The patterns were never difficult or complicated, but they gave that affect because they were very detailed! People thought they were great and gave me so much encouragement to keep on drawing. Throughout high school this became my favourite go-to art activity and I quickly had quite a collection of detailed black and white drawings. My Dad loved them and took me to Officeworks to print them onto gift cards and frame the originals. This was a huge moment for me - seeing my art on a product was a pivotal part in my arty-creative journey! My teenage-self felt so much confidence and pride to go out and start selling my gift cards to stores, my teachers and school and anyone who came over. I travelled around Tasmania as a 15 year old ‘artist’ with my box of gift cards asking store owners with cute boutique stores if they would stock my cards for $2 each! I didn’t realise it, but this was the very start of my path to becoming an Art Teacher and running my own business in the future.


This Zentangle inspired project has come from my collection of childhood drawings! I am so glad I kept them all from my high school days. I wanted to send you a fun, stress-free drawing lesson that is achievable for all year levels. Drawing patterns is something all kids can do, and this lesson is a crowd favourite from my Cool Creatures Art Bundle.

If you want a little extra help drawing your animals in our lesson; you use my FREE Aussie Animal Drawing Guide to get your started.

It’s a fun drawing lesson to do if you are studying Australian animals, pattern design or creating ‘contrast’ (black and white). We start our project by learning to draw two Aussie Animals; a Frilled Neck Lizard and a Numbat. Then; using Zentangle pattern ideas we fill our animal/s with small collections of repetitive lines, dots, curves, shapes, swirls, strokes - any mark making works perfectly. In the true style of Zentangle there is no right or wrong way to add our patterns! I love this style of drawing because it is low-risk for kids, they can’t possibly do the ‘wrong thing’ when creating patterns.

It’s fun to see drawings from my high school days still be relevant to my lessons today. I’d love to see what your Little Artist creates! Feel free to use my Aussie Animal drawing guide to get you started on this project too.

Grab my free drawing guide to get you started on this fun art project!

If you love this lesson or want to paint along with me in the full length video lesson then you can try my Cool Creatures Art Bundle. It is packed with SIX video art lessons including Party Puppies, bold beetles, a cuddly Koala and more. Lots of my arty families find these Art Bundles a great resource to pull out for after school activities, on weekends or rainy days.


STEP 1 - Draw your Animal outline

Draw one or both Aussie Animal outlines OR choose your own animal. Both these animals are from the Australian outback desert, they’re a great conversation started for this topic. For younger students I like using the Frilled Neck Lizard design because it is easier to separate the ‘frill’ into sections of different patterns. You can follow my step-by-step drawing guide to create the Frilled Neck Lizard drawing. I also love the big bushy tail of the Numbat and the gorgeous stripes on his back and face.

STEP 2 - Practice Patterns

On a scrap piece of paper start drawing some ‘doodles’ or patterns. These can be simple or complex. I like to draw one element; such as a star, and repeat it in a cluster to create a pattern. If there are any gaps, add some poka dots or tiny strokes.

Fill your scrap paper with clusters of different Zentangle patterns made from strokes, swirls, wiggly lines, dots, crosses, starts, circles, shapes …. anything! Make sure you experiment with coloured in shapes - e.g lots of black, and patterns with white space.

STEP 3 - Add Zentangle Patterns

Start adding Zentangle patterns to your animal. Choose a pattern from your samples, then find a place on your design to start drawing. Overall your animal should have at least 10 different Zentangle patterns. The trick is to have a balance of black and white in your pattern designs. If an area has too much white, then colour in some shapes or the background with your black marker. This will help create a balanced design.

STEP 4 - Add a background

Your black and white design might look a little plain - so have some fun with a colourful background. I used Neon Poster Colour Paints from Zart Art to paint some polka dots and radiating lines around my Aussie Animals. You can use what ever coloured art supply you like.

The full length lesson video is available inside my Online Art Club for Kids and Cool Creatures Art Bundle

I would love to see your Aussie Animal artworks! Send them through to me at [email protected] or tag me on instagram @artwith_georgie I always respond to each Little Artist.

If you loved this lesson or want to paint along with me in the full length video lesson then you can try my Cool Creatures Art Bundle. It is packed with SIX video art lessons including Party Puppies, bold beetles, a cuddly Koala and more. Lots of my arty families find these Art Bundles a great resource to pull out for after school activities, on weekends or rainy days. You can find it over here. Here are some Little Artists and their artwork from the Cool Creatures Bundle.

Little Artist artwork photos from lessons inside the Cool Creatures Art Bundle

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