Many artists practice Zentangle to present exquisite patterns and structured decorative designs, exhibiting complex yet precise details that can enhance your drawing and illustration techniques. But for some, this method is a therapeutic form of art that allows healing, relaxation, concentration, and a greater freedom of artistic expression.
If you have embarked on this art journey for the first time whether for meditation or crafts and arts, you should know that Zentangle is simply a drawing method that demonstrates connection of dots and lines that can create an image or pattern. For starters, you may use ordinary pens or pencils. But you would probably agree that with the help of the best Zentangle pens, you can execute such a stunning work of art.
This guide will assist you in choosing the appropriate pens for this method of drawing, which entails adding lines one after another without using an eraser until you have completed the entire picture. There are no good or bad drawings here because the drawing itself is important!
Let us start by assisting you in finding the most suitable pens for Zentangle art.
Top 10 Pens for Zentangle Reviews
1. STAEDTLER Pigment Liner Pens
STAEDTLER transforms ideas into products and writing instruments into popular pens. The combination of tradition and ingenious excellence is what distinguishes the STAEDTLER brand.
That is why, I would say, that these pens outperformed my expectations. They lay down a deep black line as pigment markers, and the tips are well-shaped and allow for smooth drawing. They have worked well for Zentangle-style drawings, and they also work well with watercolors because the pigment doesn’t dissolve when wet.
As a fan of this brand, I have my fair share of experience using these pigment liners that have eventually become my favorite drawing tools. I have always loved the variety of tip sizes, which are quite a treat when creating Zentangle.
These liners provide consistent ink flow that can produce intricate line styles and varied line widths. Same thing goes when making small dots or solid line streaks to form beautiful patterns and exquisite designs.
Typically, small tips would feel scratchy when you write with them but these pens do otherwise. They glide smoothly on the surface no matter which pattern you go for. So far, the performance of these pens has not been a letdown, which is why I would prefer them over the popular micron pens from other brands.
Sifting through the features, I noticed that every pen features a metal tip housing that promotes controlled comfortable writing. Even more so when you have to create countless lines and dots and hence, convenient drawing is a must to reduce hand fatigue.
Furthermore, the overall appearance looks expensive and elegant because of the slim barrels. Plus, the pen body has optimum grip, which lends a nice feel in the hand as you draw even for hours.
I also appreciate the caps that secure the pens nicely to prevent them from drying out. Perhaps, the only issue is the flimsy clip design. I noticed that the clips wear out too quickly although this is just a minor issue.
2. Sakura 50110 Zentangle Set
One of the merits of having multiple pens in a set is the versatility. It is versatile in terms of performance and output, especially for beginners in Zentangle. That is actually what I thought when I got this Sakura 12-piece set.
Looking closely at the pens, I love how the tip designs range from fine to broad lines, which is exactly what I am looking for to create intricate and solid lines. Although some brands offer more options, I think a 12-piece set is enough for Zentangle, especially if you have just gotten into this art.
Besides the flexible tip options, I bet the archival ink quality is one of the main reasons why these Sakura pens stand out. This is a feature I appreciate since it helps preserve the art quality, preventing the ink from feathering and fading in the long run.
The brand also claims that the ink quality is waterproof although I can say that it could be. This is because of that one time when I accidentally spilled something on my Zentangle art, and to my surprise, the ink stayed intact.
Just like the STAEDLER pens, the micron pens in this set also did not have any scratchy feeling when used. Each pen glides smoothly as you write with it, making it much easier to draw clean and crisp patterns. The consistent ink flow makes a huge difference to the line appearances and dots as well.
This set may be considered the ideal one for both newbies and enthusiasts because it includes everything needed to complete your Zentangle artwork or project. Even with the modest pencil and the fairly small tiles, it is still thought to have a little bit of everything.
3. Brusarth Precision Micro-Pen Fineliner Ink Pens
The first time I tried Zentangle, all I had were black regular pens to connect the dots and lines. I finished the art and it looked neat and pretty nice for a beginner. Eventually, I realized that these lines and dots do appear vivid and beautiful in black ink.
With that in mind, these black micro fineliner ink pens from Brusarth are a sweet treat for this art form. It is all because the pens use waterproof pigment black ink.
I am quite amazed how the ink quality does not smear, fade, bleed, or skip easily when used as long as you allow the ink to dry thoroughly. Not to mention that the ink is odorless and non-toxic, making the pens very convenient to use for both adults and children.
These features, in my opinion, will allow you to enjoy skip-free writing and crisp ink colors that leave consistent lettering and lines every time. The fact that each pen is portable, comfortable to hold, and incredibly strong also strikes me as impressive.
Moreover, I think that it is nice that you can always keep these fine liners neatly organized and ready for use because they are stored in a convenient organizer pouch with designated spaces for each pen. That adds to the benefit of keeping you neat.
I love the variety of tip sizes in this set, which allows you to produce fine or broad lines and come up with an exquisite design. These black fine tip markers are available in a variety of sizes to suit your needs and are ideal for writing and drawing Zentangles.
In contrast to some popular pen brands I have used, these pens generally write well and do not bleed. On watercolor paper, they proved to be waterproof after only a minute of indoor drying.
However, please be aware that the ink may bleed or run when used with a medium that contains a lot of water, such as watercolor paint or water-based watercolor markers.
4. Art-n-Fly Fine Drawing Point Pens
It is the vivid and non-bleeding colors that made this set stand out. Although such features seem common for many fine line Zentangle pens, these are critical points to always consider to achieve smooth performance.
For that reason, I am glad that these pens do deliver; you can sketch, trace watercolors, or add a splash of color to the pages of your preferred journal without being concerned about bleed-through when using the colored fine point pens.
In addition to that, the lightfast ink quality ensures high-quality line appearance, which is quite significant when making Zentangle art. Because of that, I am confident that you are less likely to worry about fading or smudging ink as I was when using these fine line pens. Plus, the ink is quick-drying.
One more thing I observed is that each pen has a brisk fine tip and archival ink. They deliver seamless, skip-free writing and drawing with steady lines every time, making them ideal for technical drawing, adult coloring books, and Zentangle projects.
Apart from making patterns and designs, I have also tested these pens for other purposes, including underlining Bible verses and making anecdotes.
When tested on 36 gsm fine bible paper, no ghosting or bleeding was detected. From the opposite side, the marks are completely invisible, which is pretty amazing for pigmented fine pens.
The Art-n-Fly Colored Fine Point Pens’ smooth writing and minimal to no odor also caught my attention. However, I also noticed that the ink color is the same for both light and dark blue. The dark blue might be lighter than it ought to be. Apart from that, these pens are superb and reliable.
Another slight pitfall is that there is no variety of tip sizes. All the pens in this set have 0.3mm tips. I just wish there were more options for the tip sizes.
5. Mr. Pen Drawing Micro Pens
It is thin, pointy, and firm, giving you control as you transition from a thin to a thicker line and vice versa. Although it all comes down to your ability to control your stroke and create different line depths, I believe that the durability of these multiliner pens can make a significant impact on the overall outcome.
It is also nice that these pens come in a variety of tip sizes, allowing a greater freedom to explore different line widths and create a spectrum of Zentangle designs.
They write so well and dry so quickly, which is among the first few things I look for in a pen, more so for Zentangle. Since the pens are quick-drying, I have observed that the pens do not smudge or bleed quickly. Plus, they are resistant to water and fading, making it reliable for creating consistent lettering and skip-free lines.
They are also “wetter,” so depending on the paper you are using, they may begin to feather slightly if you are drawing a straight line and pause without lifting the pen.
However, the fact that they are wetter allows the pens to create a smoother line than a Pigma Micron. This is if you are working on paper with a rough surface. I think that these are factors to consider if you want a range of smoothness, thickness, wetness, and cool blackness.
The pens themselves are very lightweight and may feel cheap depending on personal preference. But if you enjoy sketching, I can say that these pens are an ideal option for both beginners and experienced artists.
Furthermore, the pen cover has a really good grip on both ends, which is another important point to consider, a benefit for me as I frequently misplace covers.
Of course, I can’t ignore that adorable mustache logo on all the pens – at least for me they are. But that is just an additional point to its aesthetic features. However, take note of this one caveat: if you use them to draw over pencil lines and then erase them, the ink smears even after you have given them time to dry.
6. PANDAFLY Precision Micro-Line Pens
With a choice of 10 different nib sizes, this set offers an amazing variety of different tip variations. The needle tip on these black fine tip markers makes them ideal for writers, artists, and illustrators alike. They are available in a variety of sizes to meet your needs.
With such a vast range of nib sizes, I feel that an amateur or experienced artist can explore more of the Zentangle patterns and designs. I, myself, enjoyed switching between the pens to create an image with all the line widths and styles I want.
Also, take note that the tips are extremely thin, like a mechanical pencil, yet they feel durable. Thus, I consider them ideal for complex structured designs and patterns.
In terms of ink quality, I have noticed that the ink almost immediately dries, so smudging and bleeding is no longer an issue. Moreover, the black waterproof pigment ink lasts amazingly long without fading or feathering.
One more thing, the pens are lightweight although do not feel flimsy. I find this an advantage when drawing or making illustrations, which can add extra comfort when drawing even for long periods.
The only thing I noticed is how quickly the numbers on the pen cap’s top wear away. If all the numbers fade, it will become confusing to use and organize. A friend suggested that I paint the tops of the pens with clear nail polish before using them and it worked pretty well.
7. TOOLI-ART Micro-Line Multiliner Pens
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full collection of pens for Zentangle? I bet that would be quite a steal, especially if you need to work on delicate patterns and line styles. That is what I found from these beautiful TOOLI-ART micro fineliner pens.
The variety of precise tips would truly be a luxury for Zentangle artists whether they are beginners or professional ones. But given that they are all micropens, it can be sometimes confusing to pick out the correct tip sizes.
But thanks to their corresponding labels on each cap, finding the perfect tip size for every line width is effortless. There had been no struggle switching between pens when I used them before, and this is what I always need when drawing consistent and intricate patterns.
I also think the brush tip pen is a nice addition to this set. Since the rest of the pens are all for delicate lines and miniscule dots, the brush tip can produce solid lines and broader coverage.
Moreover, the premium archival ink, which is a significant feature for Zentangle pens, provides long-lasting and fade-resistant quality. Aside from that, the ink is quick-drying, which plays a crucial role to deter the pens from smudging and bleeding.
On the other hand, the storage case is ideal for those who are constantly on the go or love keeping themselves busy drawing while traveling. The case can keep the ink at the optimal temperature to avoid drying out or becoming too cold.
I am sure that you will agree that peace of mind is still essential when using these art tools. Fortunately, these pens are water-based, acid-free, and completely non-toxic.
However, I noticed that some pens dried quickly, especially if they were not properly capped. This is a lesson I must impart. Always double-check that your pens are properly capped and stored away from extreme heat or cold.
8. Tombow 66403 MONO Drawing Pens
These drawing pens appealed to me because they are waterproof and can be used with watercolors. I have painted right over them without any smudges.
Upon testing the pens, I am pretty sure that it has got to do with the highly pigmented water-based ink. Thus, these drawing pens render seamless and neat lines that can form a creative piece of work.
As the ink also dries instantly, executing precise and detailed drawings has become more achievable. On most paper surfaces, the ink sits directly on the page without bleeding or feathering, resulting in a very crisp, clean line.
Each pen has a fine precision tip and does not smear when I highlight them. The same thing goes when I have to write over penciled patterns or outlines and erase them afterward. Surprisingly, the ink does not smear, which is why I can recommend these pens for beginners.
I like the way each pen feels in my hand. You can tell that the pens come in a relatively smaller size, but they are actually comfortable to hold. I find this a significant feature, much more so when drawing and working on intricate patterns for long periods.
Each pen has a sturdy nib that can endure rigid pressure without twisting the tips while ensuring consistent ink flow. Therefore, these are ideal for making Zentangle arts, lettering, manga, illustrations, technical drawings, anime, as well as journaling.
However, because the ink dries quickly, you must return the pen caps properly and promptly to ensure continuous ink flow for your next project. Otherwise, it will dry out prematurely.
9. MUJINHUA Micro-Pen Fineliner Ink Pens
Versatility is what comes to mind when I think of a large number of different tip sizes. This set includes multiple drawing pens with a selection of nine different nib sizes. Additionally, there is one soft brush tip that allows you to switch between drawing thin and thick lines.
However, I must admit that I haven’t heard of this brand until now. I won’t deny that it has got to do with its amazingly affordable price, which is quite cheaper than the other brands I have tried. Luckily, these pens are not a letdown.
As mentioned, this set has a good range of tip sizes that can go from fine to ultra-fine precision. That makes these pens suitable for Zentangle or other artwork that calls for accurate and fine details.
In terms of performance, these fineliner pens glide nicely on paper and do not feel rough or scratchy like other micropens do. I could feel that they are durable and firm, which is a major point for steady and solid lines.
Aside from that, the smooth ink flow prevents the pens from messy ink blotches or bleeding. Hence, they can create sharp and vivid super-fine lines that form into a stunning work of art. Plus, each pen utilizes archival and waterproof ink for better longevity.
When combined with other markers, the ink is stable and compatible with watercolor also. It does not dissolve toner, it is therefore safe to write on photocopies.
Perhaps, the only downside is that the ink is non-refillable.
10. Zentangle Basics Expanded Workbook
Getting into a new art technique or form is never a cakewalk – well, at least for me it is not. That is why, when it comes to Zentangle, I thought that going through this art journey should include a handy book about the Zentangle basics, such as this one.
Therefore, this is an excellent book for beginners. Delving into every bit of it, this book is very straightforward with the instructions. However, it introduces you to a vast range of designs to try.
The text is pretty clear and concise, and the diagrams of each pattern are informative and simple to follow. Should beginners take time to read the guidelines, it can provide plenty of room to practice before investing in expensive tiles.
It gets you started and then encourages you to come up with your own patterns. As an art enthusiast, I believe that following and drawing these patterns can help elevate the skills and drawing techniques.
Aside from that, it paves the way for better control when using pens or pencils when drawing complex designs and precise details.
But most of all, I appreciate the direct, thorough, yet friendly instructions to follow for every Zentangle artwork. This makes it much easier for beginners to start from scratch and work their way up to more complex styles.
The only thing I did not like is that some pages have advertisements and promotions. I just wish the book had used all the pages for more drawing practice activities and guidelines.
How to Choose Zentangle Pens
Selecting a Zentangle pen that best fits your style from among the many options offered by various brands may prove to be a challenge. Some products provide nearly identical features and quality, making the decision-making process more difficult. This article outlines the key criteria to take into account when selecting a Zentangle pen for your drawing requirements.
I’ll go over some things to think about when purchasing pens for Zentangle in this section.
A Quick-Drying Ink
A meditative art form is Zentangle. It improves relaxation and concentration. The entire experience could be ruined if you have to wait for your ink to dry before adding more colors. The artwork you have created will be smudged if you add colors or markers to a still-wet pattern that you have been working on for some time.
Even more annoying is the fact that the intricate patterns you worked so hard to create are smeared once watercolor is added. If you use pens with quick-drying inks, this problem can be easily avoided. For a more fluid and impromptu experience, it is best to look for a Zentangle pen with quick-drying ink.
Common Zentangle tile colors include white, black, and tan. Get a pen that enables you to draw precise lines and shapes and that also helps your artwork’s colors stand out against any background color you choose. According to my observations, it is crucial to pick a color that is extremely stable and sharp so that your Zentangle project will have a consistent layout throughout.
Depending on what you plan to do, you should choose a broad tip or fine tip pen. Broad tips are more practical if you prefer to fill patterns with large spaces. However, small spaces require fine tips. But for a Zentangle art, it can be both worlds although most pen sets offer micro pens or ultra-fine pens in different sizes for precision and consistent drawing.
But using fine tips is very challenging. To avoid harming either the writing surface or the actual tip, you must use the pen very sparingly. Pressure and hand control need to work together seamlessly. There are also Zentangle gelly roll pens that, depending on the tip used, require more precise handling.
Compatible with the Paper or Surface of your Choice
You should also think about how well Zentangle colored pens will work with the paper or surface you plan to use. When writing on textured paper as opposed to glossy paper, a pen glides differently. When compared to matte paper, the glossy paper has a different ink absorption quality.
I recommend choosing a pen that will work best for you if you are aware of how the quality of the paper affects your work in general. But before moving on to a larger scale, it is best to try it out on your chosen surface or piece of paper, if that is possible.
What pens to use for Zentangle?
The type of art you want to create and your personal style will ultimately determine which pen to use. Pens for Zentangles come in a range of pigments and levels of quality. However, the tips of Zentangle pens make a significant distinction.
While some tools for Zentangle have broad tips, others have fine tips. In choosing the right Zentangle colored pens, make sure the ink does not dry out too quickly. It must be sufficiently dark for the lines to be visible. To protect your work, the ink must be permanent, lightfast, and archival.
Which Pen is Used for Zentangle Art?
Pens with broad tips are ideal for filling in large spaces when using Zentangle. In particular, if you are working on a larger-sized piece of art, it makes the work much easier and quicker to complete. Fine-tipped pens are preferred by many artists when creating Zentangle patterns. Intricate lines and details are used in Zentangle. Pens with fine tips make it simpler to manipulate small amounts of data.
Zentangle, however, can theoretically be practiced with any pen or pencil and on any kind of paper or surface. However, you should upgrade your art supplies to enable accurate line rendering once you start taking it seriously. I now advise reading through these reviews to determine what best suits your requirements and artistic preferences.
Zentangle artwork promotes relaxation, creativity, and attentiveness. To get the most out of this drawing method, however, it is important to use the best pens for Zentangle. They must be easy to use and not easily dry out, smear, skip, or bleed through.
This article aims to give you a list of some of the top markers and pens for Zentangle, regardless of whether you are just getting started or have been creating stunning abstract patterns for some time. Remember to take note of the features and factors for the best results when choosing from a variety of options.