Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Colors of the Wind

"We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains. We need to paint with all the colors of the wind."
"Colors of the Wind" (Pocahontas) by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

I've mentioned here a couple of times that I was going to a Zentangle retreat for CZTs in Santa Fe this month. Well, I just got back from Santa Fe and it was wonderful! But more about that in my next post. 

I had a vendor table there to sell my hand-colored tiles. In preparation for this I spent a lot of time mass producing the tiles so I'd have enough stock to take with me. Since I wanted to show the various ways to tangle on these tiles, I also spent some time tangling samples to bring. Here is some of what I brought with me.

The first one is a pink water-colored tile tangled with a rose-colored Micron pen and shaded with a matching pink Prismacolor pencil. I added a few subtle white highlights also. 

The next one is a blue/turquoise water-colored tile tangled with black Micron. I added some blue Prismacolor pencil shading and white highlighting in all those antidots in the center.

This one was tangled on a purple double-sided tile colored with alcohol ink. The tiles colored with alcohol ink end up with a very organic kind of look to them, and since they are colored on both sides, you can choose to tangle both, or just have a tile with a very pretty colored back to it. I used purple Micron on this one and purple Prismacolor pencil for shading.

Another alcohol ink tile, this one was colored with subtle blue and gray tones.  I decided to use black pen to tangle it, and then added shading with both a graphite pencil and blue Prismacolor. 

This yellow tile called out to me to use a brown pen, and I love the way it looks on the yellow. Brown colored pencil was used to shade.

This last tile was done with watercolor and turned out a little darker than many of my other tiles. I tangled this one using my white Signo Uniball  pen to show how nice the white works on the darker tiles. This is not my favorite tile, but at least it illustrates my point well.

There are so many options for working on colored tiles and they're a lot of fun to do when you want to take a break from the traditional black on white. If you'd like to try some, please check out my Etsy shop for these tiles. Round Zendala tiles are available also. What's really fun is that no two tiles are exactly alike!


  1. Carol, just had to tell you that I love the colored tiles you did for your Santa Fe trip...just awesome! Love the way you used 'like colors' to make them all so beautiful. Thanks for sharing you awesomeness!


  3. Alcohol ink on paper? I've never heard of that. I thought alcohol ink had to be on a non-permiable surface like glass, tile, plastic or yupo paper. Amazing.

    1. I was surprised too Ginny. If you're going to "paint" with alcohol ink it needs to be a glossy type of surface, but for this you mix the alcohol ink with water and swish the tiles through. Here's a link to a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hUJrJZfhY