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.


  1. Caren, try a Sakura white GLAZE instead of white gelly roll. It adds dimension and is super bright. Because it sits on top of the tile, it is very dramatic. Message me if you are having trouble finding them. I accidentally ordered 9 boxes of them! Love your colors.

    1. I do have a white glaze pen. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the idea. Good luck finding something to do with all those pens.

  2. OMgoodness, I want to do that too. Probably when I get back from Tangle U tho!
    Gorgeous work!