Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chalk it Up to Experience

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules,making mistakes, and having fun."   Mary Lou Cook

In my last post I mentioned that I had bought a set of 24 chalk pencils after having learned about them at Tangle U. For the past week I've been experimenting with them. To begin, I decided to do a few Bijou tiles (2 inches square) using the chalk pencils instead of graphite for shading. Here are my samples, showing Merryweather, Flux, Bunzo, and my own tangle Robo from my e-book Step Out in Style.  I tested several colors as you can see here.

Next I wanted to use the pencils in a Zendala since they are one of my favorite things to create, and a Zendala was what I had in mind from the minute I decided to purchase these. I used a template from a mandala coloring book I have, and tweaked it a little bit. Using three shades of green, including a teal, I added the color, as well as a little bit of graphite shading on the N'zeppel.

I love the way the color came out and I love the way the Flux looks as a border. 

After completing that, I decided to do a 'stack,' incorporating the pencils. In case you don't know what a stack is, check out my recent post here. This is how it turned out, using Strathmore gray toned paper.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked it, but it has since grown on me. I do know that I love my chalk pencils. What do I like about them? They blend easily. If the color goes outside the lines, they erase easily (shhh...I didn't really say that). They are easier to control than watercolor pencils, markers, etc. When used over your Micron lines they don't muddy the lines the way some pencils do. What don't I like about them? Nothing that I've discovered yet! 

But I'll tell you one thing I did discover. Not all tortillions/smudgers are created equal. I used different smudgers for the different colors. Most of them were from and worked great. But I had a couple that were obviously different - you could tell by looking at them - and they did not work well at all. The paper was not the same. I don't know where I got them, but now I know to be careful what I pick up when shopping for smudgers!


  1. These are gorgeous! I LOVED that class also! Your art makes my fingers itch to get to work! ;)

  2. Caren, I love the colors you have added. I, too, have noticed the difference in blending stumps. The really cheap ones are looser bound and have a wider distance between the rolls. The ones Zentangle sells are the best and you can find them in craft stores if you look. I also like to use the burnishing sticks that come in different thicknesses. Looking forward to Tangle U next year! Hope to see you there, too.

  3. Really, really just beautiful! I got a dozen of them the other day, but haven't played yet.