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!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lucy in the Sky With Gems

"There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration."     Richelle Mead

If you belong to any of the Zentangle Facebook groups, you've probably seen that "gems" have been the hot topic recently. I decided to give them a try, not really expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they really were to draw, and how realistic they look.

I used Prismacolor colored pencils, 3 or 4 shades in each gem. Normally I don't do a lot of colored pencil work because I find that it is very labor intensive due to all the layering and blending that needs to be done. I once colored a large piece with colored pencils and it took me forever! But it didn't take too long to just color the gems in these pieces that I'm sharing here. 

This first one just has lots of line work... back and forth, getting in the flow, never lifting the pen except to change the direction of the lines. Very soothing.  

Next, I decided to try a flower, with a big gem in the center.

Patterns used: Betweed, Sand Swirl, Diva Dance, Hypnotic, Fassett, Huggins, and Navaho.

I wanted to see how it would look with color added to the outside border of the flower, so after remembering to scan the one you see above, I added purple in the border.

I'm not sure which way I like it better. What do you think?
All the while I was working on the flower I had another vision forming in my mind, which you see below. I love the way this one turned out, full of bright, shiny color.

Patterns used: Purk and Squid

That's where I intended to end this post. However, I had another piece sitting in the corner of my desk, half finished. I started it with small size gems, and found that I really didn't like working in that small of a space with the colored pencils (you'll notice in the above pieces all the gems are larger in size.) I almost threw this one away, but at the last minute decided to go ahead and complete it.

Patterns used: Arukas and a tangleation of Fassett

I'm glad I didn't throw it away, but it's definitely not my favorite of the batch. The gems were a lot of fun to do, and I expect that they'll be popping up in my art work from time to time.

**In case you've been living under a rock and have NOT seen these gems before, here is a helpful video by CZT Chris Gerstner, on how to create them.


Thursday, December 3, 2015


"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."    Carl Rogers

A couple of weeks ago, the Square One Facebook group had the tangle pattern Paradox as the focus for the week. I don't always have the time (or the desire, depending what the focus tangle is) to create and post anything, but Paradox is one of my favorite patterns so I knew I'd be participating that week. I'll save the two tiles I did for that group until later. But first I wanted to show you a couple of pieces I created that didn't follow the guidelines for the group (3 1/2 inch square tiles in black and white.)

For this one I chose one of my hand-colored zendala tiles, even though I wouldn't really call this a zendala. Sometimes I just love working on the round tiles. I drew some lines to form a string, and where you see black I had expected to leave blank so it would be pink. But sometimes I can't leave well enough alone, and in one spot I brought the Paradox out into the pink space....and was not at all happy with it. I tried a couple of things to make it better, but in the end all I could think to do was fill in all those spaces with black. Well... a happy accident... I really like the way this looks! Just Paradox and black (filled in with the fat end of an Identi Pen.)

The next one was drawn on a pre-strung Rennaisance zendala tile. I'm really happy with this one also. I always love bringing the tan tiles to life with white highlights. A brown pastel pencil and a graphite pencil were used for shading.

Patterns used: Paradox, Static, Munchin, and Maryhill

The following two tiles were the ones I posted on the Square One Facebook page, so if you're a member of that group you may have already seen these.

Patterns used: Paradox, Petales de Fleurs inspired Munchin

Patterns used: Paradox and Tipple

I just want to leave you with this last piece of pure Paradox, laid out totally randomly, and then colored digitally with some green.
I love, love, love Paradox!