“Zentangling” Our Way Through Art

It’s been a busy, fun, creative few weeks in art with the young artists of MBTS with space to explore, create and grow. 

The Lower Elementary children have been busy bees this September, getting creative and having fun in various art projects. We have learned about oil pastels and how to layer the different colours. This led to the children drawing, colouring, and painting beautiful underwater pictures. We next explored Zentangle.

Oil Pastel Project

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. The children drew Giraffes and filled them with Zentagles before painting a stunning watercolor background to stick them on.  


It has been an exciting start to the term in Upper El as well.

The Grade 4’s have been learning all about warm and cool colours through angles and shapes. They experimented with chalk pastels, drawing and shading their fish drawings. They learned how to layer and shade the colours, creating some beautiful works of art. They have also been working on their Toucan birds with acrylic paints. Their artwork speaks for itself–stunning!

Fish Drawings

The Grade 5’s have been learning about the American artist Wayne Thiebaud (1920-2021). He is best known for depicting rows of candy-coloured frosted cakes, each with different layers, heights, shapes, and decorations. We studied his cakes and were inspired to draw and colour our own using oil pastels. The children thoroughly enjoyed this project, especially the outcome of their colorful cakes. We next studied the American artist Jim Dine (1935) and his series of paintbrushes. We spent one lesson drawing and spray-painting our pictures. The children became very creative with the paint and were surprised by how well their pictures came out. Great fun! 


The Grade 6’s have had a very creative few weeks. They have been busy finishing their Tree Frog paintings. They had to draw a tree frog and then trace over it with black glue. They next coloured the frog with oil pastels, learning to overlap colours and bring shadows into their work. They then painted the background with acrylic paint. The frogs are beautiful, and they really jump out at you! We are now drawing and painting a still life of oranges. They will use their knowledge and creativity to bring their oranges to life. They can pick a medium to use – watercolor, oil pastel, chalk, acrylic paint, color pencil, and charcoal. They are now experimenting with different mediums and colours and are developing their unique styles.

Tree Frog Painting

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