Monday, December 21, 2015

Pop Goes the Zentangle

"Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is."       Mason Cooley

Last week I created a tile for the Square One Facebook group focus of the week. Then I decided I wanted to play around with it a little and see the effects. I love contrast and drama in a Zentangle tile, so I started blackening in the background. Loved the way it made the design pop. 

So I thought it would be fun to pull out some tiles I've already created, add some black to them and make them pop too. Some of the tiles I'm sharing here were completed in the last couple of months, and some were from more than a year ago. For each, I show a picture of the original tile (where it's been cropped in Lightroom with a black border), and then the newly altered tile (without the black border since it would just blend with the black I added to the tile.) On a couple of them I also added more to the shading... I've become much bolder with my shading over the last few months and felt that some of them needed more.

Here's the first one where I liked the way it looked with just part of the background blackened.

In the next one I added an aura around the whole design and then blackened all around.

Here's another one where I blackened the whole background. This might be a good time to mention that I did all the black with an Identi-pen, using the thick end for most of it which made it quick work to get great coverage. I used the thinner tip to fill in any tiny points.

In the one below, I filled in the centers of the Crescent Moons along with the background.

This one didn't have a lot to blacken, but those small sections still went a long way in making the design pop.

This one is a Zendala a little larger in size. I chose to only blacken a bit on this one.

The last one was created on one of my hand-colored round tiles. I loved the combination of the black pen on yellow, and again, the extra black around the sides just made it pop even more.

In my Zentangle journey so far, it has taken me a while to feel comfortable leaving white space, rather than tangling every little spot on the tile/paper. Now that I'm finally comfortable doing that, I'm beginning to get comfortable taking that white space and converting it to black space instead. I love bold contrast, and this is a surefire way of achieving it!

It was fun to see the transformation of some older tiles. Looking for more drama in your life (speaking of the good kind of drama)? Pull out some of your old tiles and give it a whirl!



  1. Loved seeing the before and after... And I think the blackening in every case makes It a more stunning piece! Nicely done and thank you for sharing!

  2. ..... and the song says "...what a difference a day makes 24 little hours" the black work.

  3. Great examples of how that extra black makes a difference. I try to balance how much black is already present in the tangles on the tile to help choose the next tile. I often feel even with shading that I want more contrast. I will keep this in mind. I am questioning if adding black outside of the tangles (you know that original squarish thing you add the strings to) to have the black and the irregular frame.