Friday, July 1, 2016

Pre-strung Pathway Tiles

"The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere."     Terence McKenna

I'm very excited to share with you my latest creations. Another passion of mine, in addition to Zentangle and photography (as I mentioned in my last blog post, here), is working with alcohol inks. They come in bright, beautiful colors and flow smoothly across your paper as they blend and form new colors. The process of painting with the inks is nearly as relaxing as the Zentangle process is for me. And you can create great backgrounds for tangling!

Recently I began playing with plastic wrap on the inks. You spread ink on yupo paper (a synthetic paper with a smooth finish), lay plastic wrap on top, scrunch it all up with your hands, and leave it alone until it dries completely. When you peel it off, gorgeous and interesting "pathways" have been created on your paper. Some of you may be familiar with the plastic wrap method on other media, such as watercolors. When I saw these pathways, I knew immediately what had to be done! The inks had created a string on my paper to be tangled within.

Maybe a photo (or two...or many...) will help you to see what I'm talking about. Here is the first one I chose to tangle. You can see the pathways that I'm talking about.

Here's how it looked after I tangled it with Baton.

I absolutely LOVED this, and went on to do more... and more... and more! The next one I did, before and after tangling with Cadent... (I remembered before I got too far that I wanted to take a picture)

 And the next one...

By this time, I started thinking that these would make great tiles printed on paper that I could tangle with my Microns. What I had done so far were approximately 5x7 inches each, and because they were on shiny yupo, they needed to be tangled with different pens. So I tested printing them on various papers and found that I liked the Bristol vellum best, as it is similar to the regular zentangle tiles in weight. 

I cut the tiles into 4 inch squares, to allow for a little more tangling space than the standard 3 1/2 inch tiles. Here is a sample of some that I made...

Next is one of my favorite tiles, before tangling and after adding Baton (obviously one of my favorite tangles!)

Here are some more of my tangled tiles. Sorry, but I don't have the "before" pictures of these. The first one uses the pattern Static.

For the next one I decided to use 2 patterns, Cadent and Huggins. You will notice that on most of them I chose to do a monotangle, meaning I used just one pattern. I also shaded this one with graphite, whereas on most of them I have not shaded, instead allowing the colors on the tile to form the shading.

One using Knightsbridge...

A white gelly roll pen was used on this one to draw Printemps...

Then I wanted to complete some tiles by tangling behind the pathways instead of on the pathways. Personally I don't like them as much as the others, but several people have told me they do like them.The first one is Crescent Moon and the second is Munchin.

I have had such a blast designing and tangling these tiles and am happy to share that I am now selling the untangled tiles in my Etsy shop here for you to add your creative tangling. If you decide to try some, I'd love to see what you do!


  1. They're beautiful and make me want to go and experiment! Thanks for sharing and for the idea! Happy tangling!

  2. They're beautiful and make me want to go and experiment! Thanks for sharing and for the idea! Happy tangling!

  3. These are wonderful!!! I've used plastic wrap and love the effects, but have yet to try alcohol inks.

  4. These tiles look amazing. Thank you for sharing your creations