Saturday, October 24, 2015

Orange is the New Black

"I'm pretty lazy when it comes to creativity. I just want it to be easy and fun."    Reggie Watts

I was in the mood for a Zendala. An easy Zendala. One that was already drawn so I didn't need to do the designing. Sometimes it's nice to just be lazy.  So I pulled out a book I have called "Mandala Designs" from Dover publications. The first half of this book has designs with spaces perfect for tangling, while the second half has intricate designs appropriate for coloring, but not tangling. This is the one I decided to work on .

Since it's October and Halloween is approaching, I chose a piece of Canson Mi Teintes paper in orange and transferred the design onto the paper. Here's a picture of my tangling (I had to keep reminding myself not to fill every bit, leaving some white space, or in this case, orange space.)

Patterns used: Wigwam, Dex, Fassett, and some orbs

Then I added shading and decided to make it deep, dark, bold shading to give the Zendala a spooky kind of look. I hope that's what I've achieved here.

It's that time of year... watch out for the witches, ghosts and goblins!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Munchin Crunchin

"The natural urge when running a distance is to push harder and finish sooner - to race against time. Every second behind a deadline is a little defeat."          
 Joe Henderson

I'm rushing to get this blog posted. It's my entry for the Diva's challenge this week, and this week is about to end. The challenge was to use the tangle pattern Munchin, one of my favorites. So I knew I wanted to do at least one tile, but the week flew by and I didn't get much of a chance. Finally... here it is, unshaded.

Patterns used: Munchin, Flux and Tipple
I figured that Munchin is a pattern that flows pretty quickly for me, and doesn't take me long to draw. It took much longer for me to go back in and do the Flux and Tipple, and especially the shading. Here's the final tile, which I'm really happy with.

Phew! I finished before next week's challenge is out!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tangling Tempting Templates

"A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament."    Oscar Wilde

It was time for tangling some more templates from Ben
Kwok. If you're not familiar with him, check out his Facebook group "Ornation Creation." Each week he posts a different template for your tangling enjoyment.

This first one is, obviously, a jellyfish. I decided to use some new Stonehenge paper that I bought, and this is the color they call Fawn. I knew it would be great for drawing with my brown micron pens and adding highlights. Of course my intention was to show you a photo before I did any shading, but in my excitement to get started (because the shading is what brings it to life), I forgot to get a picture. Luckily I caught myself before I got very far, so here you see just the very beginnings of the shading.

 Patterns used: Papyrus, Printemps, Betweed

As you can tell in the following photo, the shading and highlighting, which I did with my pastel pencils, makes such a huge difference in the look. I think the shading in this one took longer than the tangling did, but it was well worth it!

Here's another one of Ben's templates... one of my favorite foods!

Patterns used: Navaho, Emingle, Static, N'zeppel, Crescent Moon, Heartstrings, Prestwood, Munchin, Paizel, Printemps, and some line work

And again with shading...

Next time I'm in the mood for template tangling (try saying that 5X fast!) I know there are LOTS more templates waiting for me over on Ben's Facebook group.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reflections of an Alcoholic

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."    Claude Monet

It's been about 3 months since my last post about tangling on alcohol ink. You can see that post here if you missed it. I still had several colored "tiles" all inked and waiting to be tangled. Here's the first one I decided to use this time around.

Since there were obvious circular shapes on this, I thought I would tangle each of those circles. As I was working it began to take on the look of flowers, so I went in that direction. I added stems and ended up with this little flower garden.

Patterns used: Arc Flower, Floral, Garlic Cloves/Bloom, Dandi, Betweed, Steffi, and some lines.

Then I picked another "tile" with circular shapes, figuring I'd stick to a theme. I particularly love the colors in this one.

Again I tangled in the circular shapes, but did not turn this one into flowers.

Patterns used: Z-trik, Crescent Moon, Sand Swirl, Printemps, and some lines.

I loved the colors, loved the flow of my Microperm pen on the Yupo paper, and am pretty happy with the results. This is not the last you will see of my alcohol ink creations, because I still have even more inky "tiles" all ready for tangling whenever I feel the urge. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015


"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live."     Mark Twain

According to Wikipedia, Op art, or optical art, is "a style of visual art that uses optical illusions." The style is abstract, typically done in black and white, and often gives the illusion of some kind of movement. Black and white... just like Zentangle art. Abstract... just like Zentangle art. Striking contrast that I love. After all, isn't it really just a form of the tangle pattern Knightsbridge? No wonder I'm so drawn to Op art.

So I decided to try making some of my own pieces. First I studied photos in books I own as well as on Pinterest, analyzing them to figure out the method behind the madness, as the saying goes.

Here's the first one I created, on a Zendala tile (I love using the round tiles for all kinds of Zentangle art, not just Zendalas.)

Those tiny spaces in the center were tough, as they began to run together. Not bad for my first one, but I'm not sure I'm loving the zig zags on the sides. I tried several more, all of these on the square Zentangle tiles.

I'm not sure that I got "movement" on any of them, but they're interesting nonetheless, and I'm happy with the results. It was relaxing filling in all those spaces with the pen (using the graphic Micron for most of it.) In case you didn't know, I love contrast, and these sure do fill the bill for that!

FYI... no rulers or compasses were used for these. They were all created freehand. Not perfect like a digital drawing would be, but not too bad. Hand-made art is not supposed to be perfect.

I definitely want to experiment some more with Op art, but have other things I'm off to do now. Hope to see you back here soon.