Monday, April 13, 2015

Black Magic

"Color is a power which directly influences the soul."    
Wassily Kandinsky

I was recently inspired by something that a fellow CZT, Meredith Yuhas, posted on one of the Facebook groups I belong to. She had used colored pencils on black tiles. Her tiles were beautiful, as is all of her work, and I couldn't wait to try her technique.

First I drew N'zeppel in the center of this tile using my white Uniball Signo pen, the only white pen I ever use. Then, using a white Prismacolor pencil, I filled in the "balloons." On top of the white I used two different hues of the same color in each balloon in order to create a shaded look. I found that when I laid down the white first, the colors I placed on top were brighter. The finishing touch was adding a form of Diva Dance on each side, and coloring it in the same manner. I was really, really happy with the way this turned out. 

Next I wanted to do something with Knightsbridge, so I drew the grid you see below.  My idea was to try using Tombow markers for this one, instead of colored pencils. That's what you see in the outer row along the edges of the tile. I was not so happy with the way that worked, so instead of starting over I just continued by using Prismacolors for the rest. They are more vibrant on black than the markers.

My only problem with the black tiles is that they always seem to suck in the white ink (even though the Signo pen works best), and the white lines end up not as white as I'd like. So I often go back over the white lines a second time which works to brighten them up. Because of this, for my last attempt (for now) using this method, I pulled out a little Moleskin book  (3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches) of black heavyweight paper. The black paper doesn't eat up the ink like the tiles do, so the white lines are more vibrant with only one pass through. Here's my burst of Flux.

Thanks for the inspiration Meredith! These were so much fun to do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As Time Goes By

"We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."
Roald Dahl

March has come to an end, and that means it's time to post more calendar pages. I must confess that I've fallen a little behind in my tangle*a*day calendar. So I decided that I will not try to catch up right now, but instead will skip ahead to where I should be, and at a later time fill in the missing pages little by little. Here's the best (in my opinion) of what I did complete during March.

That's as far as I got. The 18th was my birthday, so I will blame it on old age slowing me down! Last time I did this calendar, two years ago, I fell off the grid in March also. But the difference is that back then I never picked it up again, and this time I'm determined not to let that happen. I've just been busy, as I will be with traveling in April, but I WILL get back to it. I'm hoping that committing to posting some pages here each month will be the driving force that keeps me going.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bound for Santa Fe

"The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."   Steve Jobs 

This past weekend I reached a huge milestone. I surpassed 100,000 views on my blog! That's a huge number. Thank you all for taking the time to stop by on a regular basis to see what I have to share here. 

As I mentioned in my last post, next week I will be on my way to Santa Fe to attend TangleU, a retreat for CZTs. It is the third year that I will be attending, and I'm eagerly looking forward to it. Those who are attending have the option to participate in a tile swap. Create a Talavera tile - in the style of the colorful clay tiles adorning building interiors and exteriors all over Santa Fe - to swap for someone else's tile. 

I decided a long time ago, when I first heard we would be doing this swap, that I would use my tangle pattern Baldosa, from my e-book, which reminds me of the tiles I saw all over Spain and Portugal when I vacationed there last year. Here is the basic pattern that I began with on my tile.

Next I added all the color that this kind of tile is famous for. I used my Tombow markers, and added some subtle shading by either applying more layers of the same color or using a slightly different shade of the color. Then my very last step was to add a touch of graphite shading in the parts that had no color.

I hope whoever ends up with my tile will like it, and I can't wait to see what tile I'll receive in exchange. Here's looking forward to another 100,000 views here!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Playing Catch Up

"The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy."   Angelina Jolie

Time has been slipping away from me lately. I've got my hand in so many Zentangle pots that I'm having a hard time keeping up with them all. There's my blog, my FB journal group, Square One FB group, the Diva's challenge, my tangle*a*day calendar, the zendala dare, making a tile to swap at Tangle U (a retreat for CZTs in Santa Fe next month), mass production of my hand-colored tiles that I will be selling at Tangle U, preparing for the classes I teach....did I forget anything? 

Oh yes... I plan to start sending out a newsletter once or twice a month, and I'm trying to get the first one out this week. It will include information about my upcoming classes, links to websites/videos/articles that might be of interest to tanglers, info on Zentangle products, etc., etc., etc. If you are not already on my email list but would like to receive my newsletters, just scroll down the right side of my blog and enter your information where it says "Subscribe to the Tangle Mania Newsletter."

So, with all of that going on I have missed completing the last two zendala dares. So here they are, better late than never. I'll go backwards. Here's the latest template, #99.

And here's my black and white version. 

I would have added shading, but instead of doing that I wanted to add color. I decided to try a watercolor pencil on this, but am not too happy with it. Love my Tombow brush markers more.

Here is the template for the #98 dare.

Using a tan Renaissance tile with black and brown Micron pens, here's what I came up with.

But with the Renaissance tiles the real magic comes with the shading and highlighting. I used a brown colored pencil and graphite pencil for shading, and a white charcoal pencil for highlights. Now it really pops.

Okay - at least I'm caught up in one thing! Ready to tackle something else. Where to begin?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Basket Weave

"Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love."   Unknown

Once a month I get together with some friends who I taught to tangle. Each time I try to think of some theme/small project to work on if they choose to, or they can do their own thing. Last time I decided on a quilt theme and made copies of some quilt squares from a book I have called 100 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks. Below is the square I decided to work on - I darkened it on the computer so it would be more visible - the lines were fairly light, just as when you draw your string with pencil. I liked the over/under look of this one, called Basket Weave.

I chose the tangles Gewurtz (looks like a pinwheel), and Chard with blackened stripes. Then I added Nymph, which looks like flowers. 
I decided to only shade the centers of the "flowers", leaving the rest a bold, striking statement.

Then I (and by "I" I mean my husband) took that square on the computer, copied it, rotated it, and combined four of them into a quilt. This is what I envisioned doing with my square before I even began the tangling. So glad it worked out the way I pictured it in my mind. There are a few funky spots where the design on the edges doesn't quite match the adjoining side in the same way, but I'm okay with that.

Then, since most quilts are quite colorful, I decided to see what would happen to mine if I added color. I wasn't quite sure what I would do, but chose to use my Tombow markers, and ended up only adding color to the "flowers." I'm very happy with the way it looks, first on my single square.......

And then on my big quilt........

I am definitely going to try this again using one of the other patterns from the book. It's much quicker than the traditional way of making quilts! Maybe I'll be back one day soon with the results of that.