Zentangle techniques are one of my primary interests and the stained glass technique is the one I really enjoyed exploring. If you wonder about the characteristics and supplies, please continue reading. I’ll also display some of my stained glass inspired drawings.

Let me start this blog by explaining what I mean by mentioning “Zentangle techniques”. First, I refer to any techniques developed by Zentangle Inc. or the founders of the method (Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts). But I also refer to any technique that was inspired by the Zentangle method and developed by tanglers and certified Zentangle teachers.

Stained glass technique was explored by other tanglers and certified teachers before. However, when I started playing with it, I tried to give it my own stamp and put a new spin on it. I can only hope that I succeeded.

Traditional Stained Glass Art

When you think about the stained glass art, you probably first think about church windows or Tiffany lamps. Small colorful pieces of glass are arranged together and connected with strips of lead. I find that the contrast between the black metal frames and vibrant colored glass is what makes stained glass so interesting.

In the photo below, you can observe fragments of stained glass lamps and the examples of some of my stained glass drawings in the middle.

It is only when you turn on the light or shine some light through the glass, that the beauty is exposed and the contrast is really shown. I believe that it’s vital to use really light and bright colors to capture that effect.

Zentangle Inspired Stained Glass Technique 

My exploration of Zentangle inspired stained glass method started by using the rounding technique. Rounding is one of the tangle enhancements methods, added to tangles to enrich the design. Some other examples of enhancements are auras, shading, sparkles or perfs. 

I’ve been using rounding almost excessively lately and one of my use of it led me to believe that it would be a wonderful foundation to creating the stained glass effect.

Stained glass technique - supplies

Recommended Supplies for the Stained Glass Technique 

I’ve already mentioned the key characteristics of the stained glass technique – black lines, vibrant colors and the contrast between them. I have tried some different supplies and you can read my thoughts below.

Black Pen

In my opinion, a black pen with a wider nib is the best choice. You can see in my video classes that I’ve been using a Pigma pen 05. A Micron PN or a Micron 05 would be good choices, too. It seems to me that most tanglers prefer using a thin pen, such as Micron 01. If you ask me, the line that such a pen produces is not bold enough for this technique but you can certainly try whatever you prefer. Just make sure to use a water-resistant pen if you plan on using a water-based medium for coloring over the linework.

Coloring Medium

  • Watercolor Markers are my supply of choice. Vibrant and transparent, they seem to be the perfect addition to contrast the black lines. In my traditional Zentangle practice I rarely use it because the colors seem just overpowering. But it is that same characteristic that makes them the right fit for the stained glass effect.
  • Alcohol Markers are another possible choice. However, I find that the water-based markers are much more vibrant so I prefer to use them.
  • Pencils – you could use watercolor pencils or colored pencils, too. In fact, in my classes I’m using colored pencils to add some effects to the drawing. 


For all my stained glass drawings I used the white Fabriano Tiepolo paper. Original paper tiles by Zentangle Inc. are made of that paper. If you don’t have Zentangle tiles, you could use any other thicker paper. If you decide to color with water-soluble media, make sure that you use watercolor paper or any kind of paper that can be used with watercolors. Only on white paper can the colors turn out being vibrant enough to emulate the stained glass effect.

Stained glass technique - examples

Learn the Stained Glass Technique 

If you feel intrigued by reading this blog post or by looking at the photos of my stained glass inspired drawings, you can take one of the classes I offer. Both video classes feature the same technique and the difference is in the design. Should you prefer the mandala design, click on this link. If you would rather try the floral design, check out the other video lesson by clicking here. You can also buy the discounted bundle, which contains both of these video classes.

No matter whether you decide to try this on your own or take one of my classes, I hope that you’ll enjoy this wonderful technique.

April, 2021

Written by Anica Gabrovec CZT

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