Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stacking the Deck

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."   Albert Einstein

A few weeks ago the prompt for the journal group I belong to was to create a stacked Zentangle. A stack is "rows of tangles that go in the same direction and touch or are close enough to appear as one solid cohesive piece rather than an assemblage whose pieces could float away. These rows in the stack may be vertical, diagonal, horizontal, circular, or semi-circular." Below is the piece that I tangled for that prompt. It isn't shaded because I knew I was going to take it one step further by adding color.

Patterns Used: Baton. Emingle, Knightsbridge, Hollibaugh, Printemps, Sand Swirl, Dex, Purk, Betweed

Here it is after adding color and shading with Tombow markers. I think some sections came out better than others.

Shortly after this, two CZTs, Alice Hendon and Jane Eileen, started a Facebook group called Zentangle: Stacked and Tangled. A place to share only art work that follows the above definition (as stated in the guidelines for the FB group.) Since I had really enjoyed doing the stacks in my journal, I decided to join the group.

Here is a stack I completed on a Zentangle tile (3 1/2 inches square). I used a stencil from Acadia Laser Creations and filled the open sections between stacks with Tipple (the little circles.)

Patterns Used: Knightsbridge, Z-trik, lines, Gerwutz, Static, Shattuck, Copada

Then I used another stencil from Acadia Laser that is similar, but meant for a Zendala tile. This time I chose a Renaissance tile and used brown and black microns with graphite pencil, brown pencil, and white pencil for the shading and highlighting. The knightsbridge (checkerboard) filled the spaces in between.

Patterns Used: Footlites, Beelight, N'zeppel, Diva Dance
It never fails to amaze me how the tan tiles come to life with the different color pens and pencils. Stacking is fun and simple to do. Check out the Facebook group linked above and see what it's all about.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Little Piece of Tangle U

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."    Anthony J. D'Angelo

Another Tangle U goes down in the history books. I had a week long vacation in Santa Fe before TU even began. Unfortunately I caught a cold on the plane and was sick the whole time. There's nowhere to escape when everyone around you on the plane is coughing and sneezing, and I knew the outcome wouldn't be good. I still managed to enjoy my time out west, but it could have been better. Tangle U was an amazing event, thanks to Elaine Huffman, as it was the last two years, with lots to do. It would have been totally exhausting even if I hadn't been sick!

Now that I'm home from Santa Fe (still coughing) and have slowly found a place for all the goodies (pens, pencils, paper, markers, etc.) that we received, I fit in some time to start working on/completing some of the projects and ideas brought home with me. 

One of the classes was a mandala class given by Ann Grasso. We used her 4 N 1 Mandala Stencil and created strings for 4 different Zendalas. I have to say that the stencil itself is quite weird looking, and when I first saw it I had no idea how it would be used to draw a Zendala string. But it works, as Ann taught us. After learning to use the stencil and drawing the 4 strings, we had some time to begin working on one. Here is the one I began in class, on an official Zendala tile, and finished after I got home this week.

Then I took out another string I had drawn on a piece of light gray cardstock. You can't really tell from this picture that it's gray, and as I found, it's not a dark enough gray to use white highlights on as I do when I use Strathmore gray toned paper. So just graphite shading on this one, no highlights.

Whenever I work on something in a class I find that I'm not as happy with it as something created at home when I'm more relaxed, in familiar surroundings, with all my supplies accessible to me. This was the case on these Zendalas as well....I like the second one better than the first. But now I have another fun method in my Zendala making arsenal. And I still have two more strings I drew in Santa Fe to work on. Maybe I'll be back with those another day. But before then I will be working on some of the other projects from Tangle U to share with you soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Colors of the Wind

"We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains. We need to paint with all the colors of the wind."
"Colors of the Wind" (Pocahontas) by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

I've mentioned here a couple of times that I was going to a Zentangle retreat for CZTs in Santa Fe this month. Well, I just got back from Santa Fe and it was wonderful! But more about that in my next post. 

I had a vendor table there to sell my hand-colored tiles. In preparation for this I spent a lot of time mass producing the tiles so I'd have enough stock to take with me. Since I wanted to show the various ways to tangle on these tiles, I also spent some time tangling samples to bring. Here is some of what I brought with me.

The first one is a pink water-colored tile tangled with a rose-colored Micron pen and shaded with a matching pink Prismacolor pencil. I added a few subtle white highlights also. 

The next one is a blue/turquoise water-colored tile tangled with black Micron. I added some blue Prismacolor pencil shading and white highlighting in all those antidots in the center.

This one was tangled on a purple double-sided tile colored with alcohol ink. The tiles colored with alcohol ink end up with a very organic kind of look to them, and since they are colored on both sides, you can choose to tangle both, or just have a tile with a very pretty colored back to it. I used purple Micron on this one and purple Prismacolor pencil for shading.

Another alcohol ink tile, this one was colored with subtle blue and gray tones.  I decided to use black pen to tangle it, and then added shading with both a graphite pencil and blue Prismacolor. 

This yellow tile called out to me to use a brown pen, and I love the way it looks on the yellow. Brown colored pencil was used to shade.

This last tile was done with watercolor and turned out a little darker than many of my other tiles. I tangled this one using my white Signo Uniball  pen to show how nice the white works on the darker tiles. This is not my favorite tile, but at least it illustrates my point well.

There are so many options for working on colored tiles and they're a lot of fun to do when you want to take a break from the traditional black on white. If you'd like to try some, please check out my Etsy shop for these tiles. Round Zendala tiles are available also. What's really fun is that no two tiles are exactly alike!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Black Magic

"Color is a power which directly influences the soul."    
Wassily Kandinsky

I was recently inspired by something that a fellow CZT, Meredith Yuhas, posted on one of the Facebook groups I belong to. She had used colored pencils on black tiles. Her tiles were beautiful, as is all of her work, and I couldn't wait to try her technique.

First I drew N'zeppel in the center of this tile using my white Uniball Signo pen, the only white pen I ever use. Then, using a white Prismacolor pencil, I filled in the "balloons." On top of the white I used two different hues of the same color in each balloon in order to create a shaded look. I found that when I laid down the white first, the colors I placed on top were brighter. The finishing touch was adding a form of Diva Dance on each side, and coloring it in the same manner. I was really, really happy with the way this turned out. 

Next I wanted to do something with Knightsbridge, so I drew the grid you see below.  My idea was to try using Tombow markers for this one, instead of colored pencils. That's what you see in the outer row along the edges of the tile. I was not so happy with the way that worked, so instead of starting over I just continued by using Prismacolors for the rest. They are more vibrant on black than the markers.

My only problem with the black tiles is that they always seem to suck in the white ink (even though the Signo pen works best), and the white lines end up not as white as I'd like. So I often go back over the white lines a second time which works to brighten them up. Because of this, for my last attempt (for now) using this method, I pulled out a little Moleskin book  (3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches) of black heavyweight paper. The black paper doesn't eat up the ink like the tiles do, so the white lines are more vibrant with only one pass through. Here's my burst of Flux.

Thanks for the inspiration Meredith! These were so much fun to do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As Time Goes By

"We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."
Roald Dahl

March has come to an end, and that means it's time to post more calendar pages. I must confess that I've fallen a little behind in my tangle*a*day calendar. So I decided that I will not try to catch up right now, but instead will skip ahead to where I should be, and at a later time fill in the missing pages little by little. Here's the best (in my opinion) of what I did complete during March.

That's as far as I got. The 18th was my birthday, so I will blame it on old age slowing me down! Last time I did this calendar, two years ago, I fell off the grid in March also. But the difference is that back then I never picked it up again, and this time I'm determined not to let that happen. I've just been busy, as I will be with traveling in April, but I WILL get back to it. I'm hoping that committing to posting some pages here each month will be the driving force that keeps me going.