Hi there!

I'm Eni Oken, artist and author of hundreds of articles, tutorials and books in print and online. For over 30 years I've explored art, color theory, fantasy and ornamental design.

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Umble and Zentwining

This week I became quite obsessed with drawing wrapped ribbons. I already like ribbons before, but after the Monster Aquafleur, I just wanted to wrap everything! I decided to try my hand at Umble, a tangle by Maria Thomas (see step out directions here) with a mix of Zentwining, which is a ribbon technique described in detail by Lynn Mead -- by the way, I really like how this gal's mind works, she likes to take things apart and put them back together!

1) Umble tangle

Sketching Studies on Umble and Zentwinning, by Eni Oken - enioken.com

I really like the embellished version, and the way the ribbons wrap around a shape as if it were gift wrapped.


2) Here are my first attempts at wrapping other stuff:

I really like this!!! And I haven't even reached the fun part, the embellishments.


3) Time for a little project:

Sketching Umble and Wrapped Ribbons - enioken.com

This is work in progress, still have to add the embellishments and shading. Reminds me of some sort of fantastical critter.


4) Can I wrap letters?

Sketching Umble and Wrapped Ribbons - enioken.com

I like the results, very dramatic!


5) Now for the fun part, can I wrap Narwal?

Sketching Umble and Wrapped Ribbons - enioken.com

Nice!!!! I like what's happening here, very organic.


6) Time to step up the embellishment:


Can you see James Christensen's influence? Especially the tassels!

(If you don't know who James Christensen is: under what rock have you been hiding? Go check my Pinterest board now to see some of his fabulous work.)


7) Ok, no more procrastination, time for a real project:


Oh my gosh, these details are SOOOO TINY (and the tile is apprentice size 4.5x4.5 inches), how am I ever going to shade this?


8) Started shading....


Instead of focusing on the little details, I worked the larger masses.


9) Finished shading!!!

Sketching Umble and Wrapped Ribbons - enioken.com

Wow, this was fun and challenging. Very very small, I needed magnifying glasses.

Some of the tangles you will find here: Umble, Zenith, Adente, Tri-roda, Abundies, Printemps.

And that's it for now!


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Monster Aquafleur

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