Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A few more patterns

Continuing in the UT Architecture series, here are three more. Same disclaimer applies. ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some new patterns :D

I've been mentioning this in a few places, like the ZIA yahoo group, and now it's time to share. Recently, I took a trip to Austin, where I visited the University of Texas campus. There is some fantastic architecture there, and I've been working on some patterns inspired by the architecture. While I haven't seen any of these in any other collections, some of these are common enough that I do include the disclaimer that others might have also come up with steps for these. If any of these have already been done, let me know please. :) They're each named for either the building abbreviation on the UT campus map, or something very close to it.

Here are the first three:

I have more that I'll add over the next few days.

More Morris

This week's challenge was one I couldn't wait to get to. The Diva challenged us to tangle something in the style of William Morris: namely, light patterns on a dark background. I've got two white gel pens and some black cardstock, both of which I've been wanting to play with anyway, so I went right to this one:

This is about a 3.5" to 4" square, though not exact. I just cut a piece of black cardstock into 6 sections. The patterns were done in a combination of the sakura gelly roll white and the pentel sunburst white gel pen. While it was fun working in the gel, it's not going to become my primary drawing medium. I still prefer the pigment ink pens and prismacolor pencils. But I'll definitely venture into this territory now and again!

Mostly used tanglations in this one (however that was spelled...). I think that would be a variation on evoke for the main piece, definitely crescent moon and poke leaf, used echoism in the crescent moon instead of solid fill, and of course an aura. Beyond that, it was whatever the pen decided to do. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter egg

Ahh, much better. When I removed the rush feeling of the previous two, and remembered to keep it a bit simpler, I was able to come up with an egg I'm happy with. :)

So, in honor of Easter and Christ's resurrection (or, if you aren't Christian, then for the symbol of renewal, symbol of spring, or just a day to enjoy chocolate), here's my Easter egg :D

Kept it simple. Ibex, lace, laced, Bauer, and Kristy's Crown. Drawn on 4.5 x 6.5 cardstock, black micron, shaded with cool grey prismas.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A couple of cracked eggs

I really didn't expect this challenge to be this hard. This week's challenge from the Diva was to do something with a theme of eggs, in honor of Easter weekend. And though it was a busy week (busier than the norm for me), what did we learn last week? Just how much could be done in 15 minutes.

So, when I got the other things I needed to do out of the way by Friday, I figured woohoo, plenty of time, right?

So why don't I like either of my attempts this time?

Oddly, what most people seemed to have trouble with this week was the egg shape. Not me. I had trouble with everything *else*.

So, though I think both entries are meh and not up to my standard, here they are anyway:

This one was done on a piece of cardstock in the usual 4" square. I tried using an apple corer as a template.

Took me 4 tries to get it right.

I should have started on a new sheet of paper after that. Because we all know what happens when you erase so much on any paper, then try to draw on it.

Crack number 1.

Then I think I went wayyyy overboard on the complexity, both in color and patterns used. I wanted a nice bright sunny spring. I got bright all right... And if I never see the eye-wa tangle again......

Couldn't get good shading, my attempt at a hidden egg (if anyone finds it, I'll be shocked, because I did it and *I* can't find it) failed miserably.

Easter weekend is supposed to be about the Resurrection, right? Or in other cultures and traditions, about renewal... So how can I revive this thing? Probably by putting it in the tomb of the back corner of the finished pile.

So, I tried again in a sketchbook while I was out this afternoon. I had a general idea I wanted to get across, with a night and day division.

I like it better than the first one, but the interior of the egg is one of those that would have been better off if I'd left it alone with just the band around the middle.

Also found I don't really like working in a *book*. I much prefer working on loose sheets of cardstock or watercolor paper or even plain paper.

So, I'm not satisfied with either one (shading might have helped the second one a bit), but here are entries anyway. Maybe I'll try something else tomorrow, just so I can feel like I did something decent with an egg theme. It'll be too late for the challenge by then.

I did, however, learn that while I enjoy tangling with the triplus colored pens, I *don't* like the look of using them as solid fill as much as I prefer colored pencil. That's going to help me out on a celtic cross piece I've got set aside while I figure out how I want to fill it out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tangled gift

Put this one together for a thank you gift for someone.

It's a 4" square on cardstock, as usual, done in micron pigma and using prismacolors to shade.

As for the tangles... wow, there are a lot. Probably won't get all of them listed. Let's see...
Crescent Moon, Sez, Braze, Deco Star, West Eye, Paisley (Sandy Bartholomew's version, I think I've seen several out there), Kristy's Crown, Echoism, Fescu maybe, Meer, and Betweed

Saturday, April 16, 2011


...the final frontier.

Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)

Trying out the pens on watercolor paper (worked okay on one side, not too well on the other) and testing out a concept for a larger, later piece. This was the result:

Materials: micron pigma pens (1, 01, 005) with black prismacolor for shading, done on the smoother side of a bristol watercolor paper ATC

Tangles: Nipa fading into Msst, Drupe, Jitterbug (I think), Ixorus, Pepper, Mumsy, circfleur, and various embellishments for within the other circles on Nipa

Friday, April 15, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, ptrish posted a VennTangle Challenge. Namely, take multiple (typically three) tangles, put them in circles, and overlap them like in a venn diagram.

Took me a while, but I finally finished mine. I had a *lot* of fun with this one. I don't know how many variations I tried on the scratch paper before deciding what I liked best. I'm not happy with the shading, though. More accurately... what shading, when it comes to the inner tangles? I couldn't figure out a good way to shade all three circles and thought it would look odd to have one of them shaded and the other two not.

Originally, I had thought to put little bits escaping from the curls, and I may go back and do that later. So, maybe this isn't quite finished after all, but it is definitely time to put it in the 'good enough, maybe add more another time' pile. What do y'all think? Add more shading? Keep as is?

The three tangles I went with were efilys, cadent (with a bit more added into the central box to balance the weight and color), and provencal. Or, I should say the three *fill* patterns I went with... because I also added lace to the border of efilys, flux to the cadent border, and btl joos to the provencal border, then combined them where their borders intersected.

I doubt I'll do another VennTangle to this level of detail, but I did really enjoy this exercise and anticipate doing some smaller ones in the future.

Oh yeah, materials: card stock, this time a full 8.5x11 sheet (though the drawing area fits within a precut piece of matboard), micron pens in black and brown, just a touch of micron sepia, and some black prismacolor.

Little bit of lovin'

This is another attempt at the 15 minute challenge. I saw these patterns in Totally Tangled (absolutely fantastic book, by the way. Well worth the cost) and wanted to try them.

I ran out of time before I could shade or color in the hearts for Heartline, but I think it works anyway. :)

Materials: done on a bristol vellum artist trading card (not a big fan of the vellum... it wasn't the right type to get for pen and ink. Much prefer the bristol smooth, which I've since stocked up on again) using micron black pens (mostly 01 and 1).

Tangles: Bleeding Heart, Flyte, Alice, Heartline, and I'm not sure what the row of hearts along the bottom is called, though I do know I've seen someone else name it already. All but that bottom row were in Totally Tangled.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fifteen Minutes and more

This week's challenge from the Diva (link on the sidebar) was to complete a tangle in 15 minutes. I've got one entry for certain, one that I think was about fifteen minutes, and one that has nothing to do with the challenge and is just a new piece.

So, for my main entry:

Although I intended to "cheat" by just a few seconds by drawing the square outside of the time limit (since mine wasn't on a standard ZT square and I knew I couldn't do anything worth posting in 15 minutes on the full piece of cardstock), I finished up the design with just under a minute to the timer, so I actually did get it in the limit. :)

I'm not overly happy with the shading on it, but I'm still figuring out how to shade some of these. Materials: the usual 4 inch square on a 4.5 x 6.5 piece of cardstock, black micron pens (I think on this one, I used the 1, 03, 01, and 005), and the 01 sepia pen, with black prismacolor for what little shading I put on it. Tangle patterns used were "L" and Sundoo with dots for filler.

I don't know if my second one counts or not. For one thing, I did it before the challenge. For another, I don't know how long it actually took, but I know it was in roughly the 15 minute range since it was done while waiting for dinner. Mom and I were at Romano's Macaroni Grill for dinner, where they have those paper tablecloths and crayons on the table. I just started doodling and ended up with a ZIA:

Picture stinks since it's from my cell phone, and this cell phone has a worse camera on it than my older phone. But, there it is anyway. Done on a paper tablecloth, with crayon. I didn't do it with any particular challenge in mind, more keeping in mind the more meditative aspect that you hear about with sand mandalas. Where they'll create the mandalas in incredible detail, keep them for a short period (Day maybe?), then dust the sand away. I have a very hard time letting go of things sometimes, so I'm trying to learn to do that a bit better.

Besides, I had paper, crayon, and time... what else was I going to do? *grin* I tried teaching mom a few of the techniques (she's an artist as well, and my primary teacher), but she has a hard time with the ZT process. She was drawing her own thing instead: butterflies, cats, roses, and trying to come up with strings that I could use. :D

The final one to post is another use of the meditation aspect of ZT. I was in a stressful meeting where most of my time was spent waiting. Those waiting with me said they didn't mind if I pulled out the materials, so I worked on this ZIA. Got about 90% done by the time the meeting was done. And, the meeting ended fairly well. I don't think there's any real symbolism in this one, unlike what happened with "Seeking Balance." But I do like it. It was also one of the first real uses of the colored pens.

Materials used: the usual cardstock with the usual 4 inch square, black micron pens, sepia micron pens, some colored Microns, but the majority of the color is from Staedtler Triplus fineliner pens. I had a small kit of them at home, but I've been wanting a fine grey pen that is not a brush tip, and found a good grey in the Staedtler 20 pack. And since it had several other colors that would fill in holes, we got it. I'm rather happy with them, actually. Oh, and the shading on this one is the cool grey Prismacolor I usually use.

Tangles in this one: "L", BTL Joos, Buttercup, Sez, Wud, Blooming Butter, Drupe, Chillon, whatever you call the fill "officially" used in the "L" pattern, a bunch of dots, and I guess that would be a variation on Opus

Thursday, April 7, 2011


My latest ZIA. I call it Floroborus, from flora (plant, obviously) and oroborus. Granted, a true oroborus is a snake or dragon or serpent eating its own tail, but this is a flower becoming its own stem, so it counts doesn't it? :D

Usual materials. Cardstock, micron pens (black and sepia, though the sepia doesn't show up that much on this piece) with shading done with the warm grey 50% prismacolor. Tangles used: my own design for the flower, loosely based on a wisteria; betweed; what I saw elsewhere being called "wud" (that's the wave / woodgrain pattern), sez, drupe, florez, and nipa

And an observation that surprised me. I used both a micron 005 and micron 01 pen for some of this (and an 03, but it doesn't play into this observation). The difference in size between the 005 and 01 is only .05 mm

Doesn't seem like much at all, yet I could tell a definite difference in how fine I could get the lines when doing the florez or some of the dots. Amazing how much difference .05 mm makes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ZT as therapy

Last night was my first real use of ZT for treating depression. Had a bad night last night with some events, so pulled out the pens and some cardstock, put on some soft music, and let it flow.

Here's the result:

What really interested me was how I kept trying to add more to it, but the piece 'spoke' to me and said it was better as it was. (No, not literally saying words, but other artists will know what I mean).

I call it Seeking Balance.

Mooka this or Mooka that

Challenge 16 from the diva is to use the newly released zentangle pattern, Mooka. When I first saw mooka, I had the same reaction as some others I've seen. No way can I do that one! It's way too complex, especially as a single string! Instead, it flowed smoothly right away after seeing how it was done. It's easier than I expected. :D

This is the first challenge I've done more than two attempts for. I haven't finished my first two attempts yet, but I'll post them when I do. Both of those have a spring theme, but both are missing something.

My third attempt resulted in this one:

Let's see... drawn on cardstock, this time in a 3.5" square, using black pigma micron pens and using a 50% warm grey prismacolor pencil for shading. Tangles include mooka (obviously), fern, printemps, jetties, huggins, L, shattuck, striping, betweed, cadent, ahh, and kitties. The others, I don't know the names on. If anyone could help with identifying the others, that'd be great! The framing could be a variation on Opus. It's a case of seeing it somewhere else and liking it :D

Then I got some micron sepia pens and some Pitt pens in shades of grey, so of course I had to try them out. I saw the perfect opportunity to experiment with the white gel pen.

As usual, done on cardstock. This time a 4" square, and naturally the primary pattern is mooka. With a couple of simple spirals and curlies. I do wonder if anyone has any tips on decreasing the streaking that comes from filling in the larger areas like that...?

Finally, I got the hang of things. This one's my favorite:

Cardstock, 3.5" square, micron pigma pens, but add in the sepia tone and just a little use of a pitt grey for some of the shading and a dark umber prismacolor pencil for the rest of the shading. Patterns are squid, fescu, I guess that would be an inverted aura, mooka, ennies (filled with tipple), crescent moon, and I'm not sure what to call the pattern on the tips of the mooka buds.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My first 'Zendala'

This was done on a piece of 8.5x11 acid free cardstock using micron pigma 005 and 03 pens.

The tangles used were: Provencal, Zanella, Zingiber, Richardson, Santo, Bales, Hurry, and Hibred

This one's going to mom.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Help me identify the patterns?

I'm going back now to my past posts and trying to include the name of the patterns used on each one. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you other zentanglers are aware, looking at hundreds and hundreds of tangle patterns in the span of a week or two results in a totally different type of tangle. One in your head saying "now which one was that and where did I see it again?"

So, if anyone can help me identify some of the unidentified patterns below, I'd appreciate it :)

Tammi tangled

On the site Tangle Patterns, Linda posted a challenge to Zentangle your Name. I bent the rules a little by making it more a ZIA using my smaller size pages (about 4x6 cardstock cards), but I did use only official tangle patterns.

The ones I used were:
T - Tipple
A - Ahh
M - Meer
M - Msst
I - Ixorus

All of this was drawn with a Micron pigma black 005 pen.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zentangle ADD?

So, how many works in progress (WIPs) do you have?

I'm currently working on an Easter cross, a flower mandala (which mom has already claimed as hers, even though it's not done), my pattern cards (I'm using artist trading cards in the bristol smooth as a way to keep track of and practice the patterns I really like), and now I've started putting together something for the VennTangle challenge posted by ptrish of Zentangles and Stuff. And, of course, the pattern cards come out every time I look at someone else's ZIA and find things I like.