Monday, 10 October 2016

Zengems–My First Attempts

The second of two posts today.

I have recently discovered Zengems – the latest craze in the Zentangle world. These are realistic-looking cabachon stones done with coloured pencils, blending the colours and adding highlights, which can be incorporated into Zentangle projects. As soon as I saw them, I thought, “I’ve simply got to learn how to do these!” There are lots of tutorials on Youtube etc., and they really aren’t hard to do, and the results are pretty impressive for not a lot of effort, and they give a lovely focal point to a Zentangle drawing.

Here are the first ones I did. They were done on a small scrap of white card.

02 1st Attempts - Photo

01 1st Attempts

I then did a couple of 4-inch square tiles, using a scrap of buff-coloured card I had. This time I used my sepia and sanguine pens, adding some brown shading using a coloured pencil, and highlights with my Sigma Uniball white marker pen, which I also used to highlight the Zengems.

05 2 Sepia Tiles

The first one is a set of three gems surrounded by doodled “settings” and some Zentangle patterns to finish it off. The Zengems were done with yellow, orange and red to co-ordinate with the sepia colour scheme.

03 3 Sepia Zengems - 4-in Tile

The second is a mandala with a single Zengem at the centre, this time using pink and green coloured pencils to add a bit of contrast.

04 Sepia Mandala with Pink and Green Zengem - 4-in Tile

Added shading makes the “layers” of the mandala stand out from the surface like ruched lace. I am pleased with this effect.

This is the first time I have worked on non-white card for my Zentangles (apart from my teabag Zentangles) and I like the soft effect with the brown pens. The sanguine pen has a lovely rich colour.

This is definitely a technique I am going to continue to use.


  1. Beautiful! I love the sepia coloured tiles. They look stunning. I thought, at first, they were photos out of a book. You really did a fantastic job with them!

  2. Shoshi, those Zengems are Fabulous!I am off to learn right this minute!!Haven't heard of them before!

  3. Fabulous! I've never heard of these! The highlights make the gems look so realistic! Loving what you did with the sepia pens on the buff cards - you created a very striking visual effect.

  4. beautiful!!! wished i could do that ....

  5. Hi again Shoshi,
    Yes, I am definitely, positively going to have a go at this! They look stunning! Thanks for showing them.
    BTW I wish that dancer was a die, but I cut it out by hand, (at 1am), with a scalpel!

  6. You totally inspire me! I love the sanguine on the buff paper! I've made some gems and love yours! But today I think you've inspired me to use my pens for a gems...just need to do a mandala! Thanks for the inspiration! ♥


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