Saturday, 8 December 2012

Star Auraknots & Keenees

The "Seasonal" theme for the Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group's December Challenge can be interpreted in many ways but for this tile I wanted to make the Christmas star my focus. I had briefly experimented with how Auraknot looks when varying the number of points to skip when joining the edges for the first 'aura' sequence of the pattern & decided to skip two for my tile. I used one of Wendy Stenton's Tempting Templates for drawing the star shape.

tangles: Auraknot, Beadlines, Florz 

I have some Pinflair Stepper shapes which includes a star in various sizes. The smallest star fits comfortably onto a Zentangle tile three times so I thought I'd draw out the variations of the Auraknot pattern when skipping one, two & three points (skipping four points doesn't work terribly well on a five  pointed star).

tangles: Auraknot, Keenees

Although I'd not set out to join in Laura Harms' Weekly Challenge I found the little circular tangle pattern Keenees (by Donna Hornsby) she'd set seemed to want to fit into the indented points of my stars. A garland of Keenees baubles evolved as well so not only do I have another Seasonal tile for the  Chocolate Baroque theme, but I can enter Laura's Challenge too.

Challenges Entered
Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group Challenge 9 - Theme: Seasonal (both tiles)
I am the diva Weekly Challenge 98 - UMT v. XI: Keenees (second tile)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 4 Final Project

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

Marie finished the course by providing instructions for making a Tangle Board - a Zentangle decorated board with a clip forming a hard surface upon which to lean when tangling whilst travelling. I've not been able to find a suitable board but thought that I'd make a large rectangular (just under 10 x 7 inches)  Zentangle Inspired Artwork anyway & to ensure I used the remaining patterns for which Marie had given us intructions.

tangles: Barberpole, Cadox, Hollibaugh, Jester, Meer, Nekton, Purk
Scrolls, Socc, Spinning, Verdigogh, Wartz, W2

close-up of left section

close-up of central section

close-up of right section

I decided to decorate the central area with my initials (using chipboard letters to draw round) filled with the tangle Socc by Erin Olson that Laura Harms set for her challenge this week.

Challenge Entered
I am the diva Weekly Challenge 94: UMT v. X "Socc"

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Black, White & Gold Stripes

The Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group Challenge for November is based around the concept of using stripes for the string. I thought I'd use a loose interpretation of the tangle Hollibaugh as the basis of my string & then fill the spaces created with Betweed.

This 'tile' is in my Moleskine sketchbook where I set out tangling the outline of a tile as usual but kept adapting as I went along because I didn't like what was emerging. Eventually I really had a mess but, remembering the Zentangle principle that nothing is a mistake, I was determined NOT to glue something over it but to adapt & overcome. So I filled in the whole of the tile shape using the 0.7 Letraset Fine Line Drawing Pen (the one that I mentioned smudges when combined with a Tombow Blender Pen), then tangled & coloured over it using white & gold Pentel K118 Hybrid Gel Grip Pens.

tangles: Betweed, Hollibaugh

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 4 More Ideas

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

In addition to Zendalas Marie also gave us an extensive gallery of different ideas for future (beyond the course) tangling projects. I selected a couple to try now using more of the tangles Marie had given instructions for. Time & again I find the actual act of working on an example enables me to uncover not only information about products but my own responses to techniques or formats of artwork in general.

This tile provoked some thought whilst I worked on it for I found I felt somewhat constrained by the 'landscape' format. There's somehow a freedom & spontaneity in the traditional Zentangle black & white that I find lacking when trying to make a picture like this. I tentatively tried using a little Sansodor with my Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils but the Pigma Micron linework started to smear - however not as badly as I'd anticipated - another bit of product knowledge to file away.

tangles: Crescent Moon, Dust Bunnies, Fractal Tree, Girdy, Hazen, Pina, Stack, Toeter, Vermal
coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils with a dry paper stump

One of the examples Marie showed was a Zendala tangled on kraft cardstock & coloured using Tombow Markers plus a white gel pen. My kraft card tile uses the tangle Tore-Up with K-Ning inside it.

Colouring on Kraft
tangles: K-Ning, Tore-Up
tangled using Pigma Micron Pens 01 & 05
Tombow Marker & white gel pen colouring with Polychromos pencil & dry paper stump shading

Thursday, 25 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 4 Zendalas

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

In the final week Marie introduced us to Zendalas created using different types of strings including several examples made using Genevieve Crabe's Mandala stencils. As I don't have any yet but still wanted to try drawing a Zendala  myself I wondered if I could make something similar. What I managed to construct is a little crude & definitely not accurate in terms of angles but it enabled me to experience the thrill of actually drawing my own design.

I used a compass & protractor to draw myself a grid on a piece of paper & die-cut a circular shape from some plasticky translucent packing material. Using my grid I pierced holes (large enough to accomodate a pencil point) into the plastic. It's a little unwieldy so I ended up with some pencil indentations when transferring the marks to my tile but I still managed to draw what I considered a workable pattern.

tangles: Box Pleat, Crescent Moon, Frairum

In the next example I transferred the string for Erin's Zendala Dare #28 onto the outline of a tile drawn in my Moleskine Sketchbook & worked on some more new-to-me tangles. 

tangles: Ixorus, Scrolled Feather, Xircus

Challenge Entered

Friday, 19 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 3 More Colour

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

I was pondering over my unsuccessful hunt for a stamp with a large open flower image when I remembered my Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die. I found that the largest flower is the perfect size for a Zentangle tile so I've die-cut myself a cardboard template to draw round. It's proved perfect for the rest of my colouring exercises.

Tombow Markers Direct to Paper Watercolouring
tangles: Jetties, Trentwith, Vernazz, W2
complimentary colours on Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper
Sakura Stardust gel pen used for petals & flower-centre outlines plus flower-centre accents

Tombow Glue Pen Resist
tangles: Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Knightsbridge, Tipple
monochromo colours on Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper
Tombow Markers direct to paper watercolouring & Sakura Stardust gel pen for outlines

Black Cardstock
tangle: Tripoli
tangled using Sakura Moonlight gel pens 

Coloured Pens & Coloured Pencils
tangle: Nzepple
monotangle on Daler-Rowney
 Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper
coloured Pigma Micron tangles, Sakura Stardust gel pen outlines & Faber-Castell Polychromos shading

As I said (in my previous post) colour introduces a very different aspect into tangling & it's certainly one that I wish to explore further. I'm quite drawn to the idea of monochrome tiles like my final one where shading is carried out using a coloured pencil & a dry paper stump - in fact this is also my tile for the current Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group's Monotangle challenge

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 3 Colour

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom)Marie Browning

Black & white is the traditional format for a Zentangle tile & I certainly find it to be the format in which tangling can be carried out anywhere with a minimum of supplies. I also found that once colour is introduced the whole process becomes much more involved with the need to think about whether colours work with one another or not. There is also the added complication of whether various media are compatible with each oher - after a couple of tiles with black smudgy messes I discovered that the Letraset Fine Line Drawing Pen (Waterproof Non Fading Pigment Ink) bleeds when used in conjunction with the Tombow Blender Pen whereas the Sakura Pigma Micron (Archival Pigment Ink waterproof & fade proof) does not providing one allows it a few minutes to dry.

The whole ethos of Zentangle is one of lessening stress & I certainly find that there is a terrific freedom in not having to consider colouring aspects. However, the delight I have had in colour ever since I can remember remains unchanged. Understanding different media & colour theory still fascinates me & I've been amazed by the variety of techniques incorporating colour with tangling that Marie introduced us to. 

Tombow Markers Splash Background
tangles: ??, Fescu, Floo, Flux, Fractal Tree, Ixorus (tangleation), Knightsbridge, Warped Eggs
neutral colour scheme on Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper
tangled using Pigma Micron Pens 01 & 05 with White Pentel Hybrid Gel Pen highlights

Tombow Markers Salty Splash Background
tangles: Barberpole, Gust, Tipple
monochrome colours 
on Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper
tangled using Blue Sakura Moonlight Gel Pen & White Pentel Hybrid Gel Pen

Tombow Markers Indirect Blending
(direct to paper used for central apricot section)
tangles: Astro, Barberpole, Fur Balls, Knightsbridge, Meer, Starbarz
analogous colours on Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper

Impress Technique
tangles: Hollibaugh, Screen, Umble
monochrome colour scheme (Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils) on W H Smith 220gsm White Card

Monday, 15 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 3

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

I have quite a few projects from the third week of the course when Marie introduced various ways of adding colour to tangles. Since there are too many to post at once I thought I’d post my final piece of artwork for that week first. It was actually supposed to be a Zentangle Inspired scrapbook page – I adapted the exercise somewhat & started by drawing & colouring the butterfly as my focal image & then constructed the rest around it – much the same as if I’d used a photograph for the focal image.

This has taken the best part of a week to draw, colour & assemble with plenty of learning experiences along the way as I’m not a person who can draw by instinct/naturally. 

Prior to this course I’ve not used Tombow pens & I discovered as I was initially trying to work on my favourite Winsor & Newton Cotman 190gsm Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin watercolour paper that the Tombows refuse to blend out smoothly when direct to paper watercolouring - a very visible hard line remains. On an earlier exercise where I’d not been shaping elements I’d used the more robust Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper without the hard lines so I had to conclude that the different watercolour papers were having an impact upon the blendability.

The thick hot pressed paper doesn’t really respond very well to a ball tool for shaping but I eventually managed to shape my butterfly & petals without creasing by gently rounding them over several sizes of glue bottles & pencils.

angled view showing dimension of flower & butterfly
close-up showing detail & glittering of butterfly 
close-up showing lettering, bee & caterpillar

The project was drawn by hand using Sakura Pigma Micron Pens 01 & 05 onto a 9¾ x 7 inches piece of the Langton hot pressed watercolour paper & watercoloured with the Tombow markers using the direct to paper method. The butterfly’s body has been glittered using Stickles glitter glue & shaped as above.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - More Wk 2

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

tangles: Chemystery, Coil,  Happy Dance, Tipple

In my final tile for the second week I wanted to experiment a little with the Coil tangle & to try some of the other tangles that Marie taught us. She also introduced us to a grid based tangle of her own called 'Happy Dance' which I was particularly keen to try as I'm rather partial to the grid format.

In my previous post I used TanglePatterns String 002 & I wanted to use that again as part of my contribution to the Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group's current challenge theme based upon the word "Favourite." I have a particular liking for taking something - in this case it's the string & the Coil tangle - & exploring different aspects of it. The type of shading technique I used for the Chemystery tangle (top right) is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine & my liking for grids also make this tile a good illustration of the "Favourite" theme.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 2

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

In the second week Marie has been showing us the principles of shading & how to make a small wallet for keeping our tiles in.

I had to improvise a little making my wallet: I used coloured cardstock instead of double-sided patterned paper & a velcro strip instead of a Tombow Fastener Tab.

Through Marie's teaching I'm learning how varying the softness/hardness of the graphite pencil used gives different results when shading.  I've been quite astonished by how effective the graphite shading is in adding dimension & life to the tangles especially when combined with inked shading techniques (as in the Coil tangle around the Fishnet top right below).

tangles: Coil, Nzepple, Star Snail, Tipple, Triangles, Tripoli
I used TanglePatterns String 002

The full realization of this hit me when I set myself the task of using ONLY inked shading techniques in the next tile. I was rather suprised how difficult I found this to do for I kept reaching for the pencils & the limitation of using ink alone actually hampered me in my choice of tangles. Proof really to me that I'm not so frightened of pencil shading any more - a significant milestone to reach.

tangles: Crescent Moon, Cubine, Fricle, Knightsbridge, Msst, Skistel, Tipple

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - More Wk 1

Links: MCC (My Creative Classroom), Marie Browning

Letters String
tangles: Crescent Moon, Florz, Poke-Root

Stencil String
tangles: Cadent, Chevron, Jester, Plum Leaf

Tangle (Umble) String
tangles: Feathers, Stepping Stones, Triangles, Wavy Border

I really don't like the next one at all. I should not have tried shading around the squares thinking I'd add some definition - firstly I don't think my Pigma Micron had dried enough before I used the paper stump & secondly I'm not sure that the shading shouldn't have been inside my squares. I was sorely tempted to take my eraser to all of the shading but kept thinking about there being no such thing as a mistake in the process of tangling. I also feared that I'd end up with something worse like a hole in my sketchbook page. I'm looking forward to learning about shading.

Repeating Shape String
tangles: Beadlines, Casella, Clothesline, Twisted Ribbons

Stamped Image String
tangles: Chevron, Fescu, Hollibaugh

I drew around chipboard letters for my initials, the stencil for drawing the pear is Dreamweaver & the flower stamp is Chocolate Baroque UA4SP0146 Big Flowers.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

MCC All About Zentangle - Wk 1

I've learnt so much through participating in the MCC classes with Glenda Waterworth of Chocolate Baroque so when I was notified of a new course "All About Zentangles" being taught by Marie Browning (the author of Time to Tangle with Colors) I enrolled.

As always the assignments for each week are entirely optional but I thought I'd include what I am choosing to do for my 'homework' projects here. Except where it's impractical (as with the Tangle Catcher) I'm actually using a Moleskine sketchbook in the Large Format to work in. This was quite daunting for the little chattering perfectionist imp but when she's threatened with me using my left hand for tangling she keeps quiet - she's already endured one such project.

First Tile
tangles: Knightsbridge, Nekton, Printemps, Tipple

Tangle Catcher
drawn using non-dominant left hand

Windspinner Tangle
I have no idea whether this is a new tangle pattern or not but I was intrigued by Laura Harms' Pinwheel Challenge this week & decided it must be possible to actually draw one of those pinwheel shapes - this is what I came up with.

Two-Pencil String
tangles: Knightsbridge & tangleations

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A tangle I wasn't going to bother with......

.... but my husband liked it.

I'd intended to tangle all the areas inside the knotwork using Tagh but decided that my grid was so uneven that I'd fill them completely with black instead. The tile was lying unfinished when my husband saw it & suggested I not do anything more, except post it to my blog. That really silenced the perfectionist imp chattering in my ear & all I added was my signature & date. The little creature is still sulking trying to fathom why the Triquetra points aren't equidistant from the tile's edges when the compass point started off at the tile's centre (I measured it).

tangles: Peaks Border tangleation

Margaret Bremner (see her blog for some very informative posts about knotwork & illustrations of how she incorporates tangles with them) & Judy West's recent knotwork patterns have rekindled a rather dormant liking for Celtic knotwork, particularly Margaret's post making connections with Runestones. I remember seeing Runestones as a child in Sweden but it's only now that I'm realizing that knotwork features in my own Scandinavian roots. I ended up watching a number of YouTube tutorials* & when I had to spend some time in bed this week worked with a compass to draw the above Triquetra knot with a circle. I actually set out to to tangle the knotwork with the Peaks Border pattern but that morphed into a tangleation.

*YouTube Tutorial Links
How to Draw the Ancient Celtic Symbol TRIQUETRA freehand drawing based upon a triangle suggested to me by Margaret Bremner
Brendan Hollandsworth - Triquetra (Trinity Knot) using a compass to give the knotwork design I used above
Jason Bellchamber - Celtic Triskele freehand drawing based upon a triangle
Jason Bellchamber - Perfect Triskele (positive) using a compass

Friday, 31 August 2012

Celtic Knot Anniversary Card

An anniversary card made using Judy West's Celtic Knot instructions for the focal image. I drew a small heart motif & repeated this for the "rope."

easel card standing
close-up of knotwork panel
close-up of wet embossed initial "D"
close-up of wet embossed initial "J"
close-up showing red textured paper & inked edges of rose
inside of card (click to see sentiment)

Stamps Chocolate Baroque UA6SP077 Rose Stem Script (sentiment), UDLGW0093 Ornate Alphabet (initials) & UA5SP0292 Romantica (swirls).
Inks VersaFine Satin Red (swirls & sentiment); Aged Mahogany Distress Ink (inking various cardstock edges); VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad with Stampendous Detail White Embossing Powder (initials).
Pencils, Markers etc... Sakura Pigma Micron Pen with Derwent Inktense Pencils for drawing & watercolouring knotwork image.
Cardstock An assortment of whites & reds from stash.
Paper Winsor & Newton Cotman 190gsm Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin watercolour paper & textured red from stash. 
Dies Sizzix Bigz Die - Tattered Florals, Spellbinders Nestabilities Large Deckled Rectangles.
Punches Woodware (corner rounder, scalloped hearts & small hearts).
The gems are from stash.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Earth, Wind & Fire Knot

When I saw the pattern of the Celtic Knot Challenge that Judy West set for this week I could see a knot garden in my mind or a garden maze with various different plants & wildlife. As I've also been wanting to try a coloured Nature themed tile for the Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group, depicting the plants & wildlife using tangles was a quite logical progression. What I'd not expected was that my brain would take hold of the Pan Pastel Challenge to depict Earth, Wind & Fire! Since Earth can be represented by nature & I still had some spaces to tangle plus the colouring left to do I decided to see if there was a tangle to depict movement or wind & to include fiery colours in the colouring.

I have Linda Farmer's Tangle Guide in which I found the tangle Hurakan listed. Looking at it I certainly thought it fitted the idea of depicting movement & even more so when I read Carole Ohl's explanation that "Hurakan was the Mayan god of wind & storms."

tangles: Hurakan, Oke, Peacock Tail, Plum Leaf

In each corner of my fantasy knot garden the enclosures contain peacocks (purple coloured Peacock Tail tangles) which strut about. The other enclosures contain plum orchards (pale green coloured Plum Leaf tangles) through which the wind (Hurakan tangles) rustles. In the centre is a majestic oak tree (Oke tangle) & the whole is bathed with the warmth of the rays from a fiery sun (the red orange colouring). The pathways (grey & black) are paved with grey & black cobbles using the black to delineate the knot pattern.

I used Judy's instructions to draw the knot pattern onto a 3½ inch square tile & coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

Challenges Entered

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Leafy Mooka & Assunta

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the two tangles Assunta & Mooka ONLY. It's the first time I've tried either of these & I've been fiddling about with both all week. Assunta came together quite easily but Mooka & I, for some reason, didn't quite gel until I saw Daniele O'Brien's post using her leafy Mooka (a Mooka tangleation). That then became the catalyst for my tile as I realised that Mooka's ends didn't have to be round & it was their roundness that was troubling me. Mooka suddenly opened up for me & I could see Assunta fitting into the leafy ended Mooka very nicely. 

tangles: Assunta, Mooka

I'm particularly fond of stylized plant designs & am quite excited by the Nature theme of the current Chocolate Baroque Zentangle Group Challenge. I'm hoping to explore this further but for the moment I am submitting my leafy Mooka tile. I did wonder if it has enough of a nature theme but concluded that it does after an observer remarked:
 "That's an onion, or a triffid*......or a triffid masquerading as an onion!"

*according to The Chambers Dictionary a triffid is:
  "a monstrous (fictional) stinging plant...."

Challenges Entered

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Duck-billed Brayd

The Diva's Challenge this week is a regular monthly feature called "Use My Tangle!!" where a tangle submitted to a Linky List is picked at random to form the basis for the challenge. This week the tangle featured is Brayd created by Shelly Beauch.

My husband saw me experimenting with the tangle on a rough piece of paper & thought it was a snake  - whereupon I gave my swirly scrawl a head which rather put me in mind of a duck-billed platypus. This is what evolved when I worked on the idea in my notebook & although my husband settled for it being a python, I think this creature looks far too benign for that so I'm naming it a "duck-billed brayd."

tangles: Brayd, Cross Stitch, Networking (variation), Zig Zag Border

The border started off as Networking from Suzanne McNeill's Zentangle 2 book but, not having practised it, I ended up with something else - I'll call it a variation. That's the beauty of Zentangle - nothing is a mistake - so I didn't have to start again.

Challenges Entered
I am the diva Weekly Challenge 82: UMT v. VII "Brayd"
Inspiration Avenue's Weekly Challenge: Zentangles