Saturday, June 8, 2013

Scratching my Zentangle Itch

"If I couldn't see the colors, now that would be a problem."  
 Im Dong-Hyun 

I was recently inspired by some posts I saw on Facebook, to create some tangled scratch art. For those of you who are not familiar with scratch art, it is a special kind of paper on which you use a pointed wood stick about the size of a pen to scratch off the coating, revealing colors underneath. I found both black scratch paper and white at Dick Blick and decided to order both kinds. Most people (and I'm sure this is very appealing to kids) would just draw pictures on the paper, but I'm not most people. I'm a tangler!

The plan was to get together with a few of my tangle friends to see what we could come up with. One uninvited guest, named tropical storm Andrea, decided to show up a little early. Arriving the evening before our scheduled tangle time and overstaying her welcome through the night, she threatened to upset our plans. The next morning brought some rain with threatened flooding, which turned into sunshine, then back to rain, then back to sun. Well, you get the idea. So after some indecisiveness on our part as well as the weather's, a few of us decided to go ahead with our plans, and I'm glad we did. 

Here's a picture of the Zentangle inspired art I completed on black paper that morning, and one on white which I began then but finished up later in the day (by which time Andrea had moved on to make trouble for our neighbors to the north).

I'm very happy with the way they both turned out, although the black one may be my favorite because of the way the colors pop against the background. The black paper is thinner, and I found it easier to scratch off the surface than I did on the thicker white paper. By the time I finished the white piece my hand was aching a little from the pressure I needed to scrape with. The white one also produced a bit of a mess with the white surface flaking all over as it was scratched off, so I was glad I was working on a sheet of newspaper! I'm sure there are other sources for the scratch paper, and they may perform quite differently. My friends, who have not been tangling as long as I have, were pretty impressed (or at least I think so) with their own pieces as the colors slowly appeared and the patterns took shape.

If you enjoy tangling on different surfaces I think you will find this activity well worth your time.Whenever the itch strikes me in the future, as I'm sure it will, I'll be there scratching.


  1. wow, also scratch paper in white! I haven't seen that in the Netherlands. Great tangling, by the way. I love scratching tangles - will have to find some (not-pre-drawn) ones again in the Netherlands. Wish you much succes with tangling again. :-)