Saturday, May 2, 2015

Singin' the Blues

"If you're feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color."    Hannah Cheatem (age 8)

Let's return to Santa Fe for a few minutes. One of the wonderful classes I took at Tangle U was with Sharla Hicks. She taught us how she draws her Zentangle inspired botanicals. In particular, what she calls her "Mooka Blues." Along with that she shared many of her techniques on shading, using enhancers, and so much more.

As I've said before, I'm never really enamored with the art I create in a class. Same with this class...the tile I created in Santa Fe was considered to be practice, and I couldn't wait to play some more with all the ideas once I got home. Here is the first botanical tile I did in the comfort of my own workspace. This was completed with black micron, blue chalk pencil, and graphite pencil. The color shows as slightly more turquoise than it is in reality. It's hard to get the color from a scan or a photo to look exactly as it should, but I did my best.

I was pretty happy with it considering I was using new techniques and ideas. But I've never been completely satisfied with the way my Mooka (those big bulb-like creatures) look. I think I finally figured it out. They look too stiff. So in my next one I worked really hard to make them more fluid and flowing. This one was drawn on a Renaissance (tan) tile using blue micron, blue chalk pencil for shading, and white chalk pencil for highlighting. Who would have thought that blue on the tan tile would look so good! And notice how different the blue chalk pencil looks on this tile compared to the white tile. 

My Mooka looks much better on this tile, like it's dancing around. I used some striping as background filler....not so sure if I like that, but it's all about playing around and finding what you like and what works for you. And I know that the chalk pencils work for me. I love how easily and smoothly they blend, so much so that I went home and ordered a set of 24 different colors. I have visions in my head about how I'm going to use those and will be back soon to share what I do with them.


  1. Looks fabulous. I am dying to try the Renaissance tiles!

  2. What brand of chalk pencils; I'd love to order some. The effect is very inspiring...

    1. They are pastel pencils from General's

  3. Great Mooka! It is really interesting how the blue looks on the tan tile. Love your shading with chalk pencils.