Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who can tangle?

Toucan tangle!

This is my entry for this week's guest-Diva challenge. We were to use the same four tangle patterns in black and white in a 3.5x3.5 inch square for this week. When I finished mine, I found that I had a toucan :D

Done on bristol smooth, with micron pens, 6b shading, and the patterns pais, zedbra, keenies, and baton.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fairy Land

This week's guest Diva is Carol, and she asked us to create Zentangle or ZIA that would make a fairy happy to move in.

This is my piece. :)

Done in a 3.5" square of bristol board with micron pigma and sakura glaze pens for the dots of color.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mom's Birthday Hearts

I've been working on this project for a couple of weeks now, trying to get everything just right.

This was drawn on Strathmore medium weight drawing paper, finished piece is 4.5" x 6.5" to fit in a mat for a 5x7. The hearts are drawn with a black calligraphy marker, with the overlap shape in a warm gray pitt brush pen. The background is a grey copic marker, and if there's a name for that specific fill pattern, I don't know it. (If it's not, and someone wants me to draw up instructions, post so in the comments. :) )

The heart fills are drawn in micron pigma blue, both the 01 and 005, then the whole thing is shaded with 2b, HB, and H graphite. I went with harder leads for the shading on this one because I wanted the hearts to remain cool and bright. I even ended up going back over the graphite tapping it lightly with a kneaded eraser to get the shading the right level for this piece.

This didn't end up quite as I expected it to when I started out. The original vision I had for this was for warm, 'glowing' hearts over a black background, hence the choice of the natural white paper instead of bristol board. However, once I drew the hearts in and was deciding on patterns, my husband came up and asked what I planned to do. When I told him, he said "You're going to lose the hearts if you do it that way. Do some larger tests before you fill in that full piece."

He doesn't speak up often on my projects, but when he does, he's usually right. So, I went to my smaller drawing pad and did some full and partial page samples.

First, using just black and what I originally intended for the backgrounds...

He was right. The hearts, even with shading, didn't pop like I wanted them to. And though I liked the background pieces, they were too bold for this particular design. I even tried coloring in the hearts with a couple of prismacolors in order to give them a radiant glow. It didn't quite work as I wanted.

So, I said what if I used a different color for the background? This time, I tried my two preferences for the background pattern, and went with sepia and grey.

Closer, much closer, but it still didn't have the life that I wanted. Again, even with the colored pencil and some quick shading.

Getting tired of filling in the backgrounds, I said what if I used the black background, but sepia for the fill? Or airier fills in the black, letting the colored pencil let them shine. I also started testing smaller... these are less than two inches on a side...

Still no go. Not bad for themselves, but not what I was after.

Getting frustrated now that I had a bunch of nice images, but none that were what I wanted, I tried the sepia background again but with a lot of other choices for the fills... the whole sepia portion takes up 3 inches on the page with the last two samples.

I liked a couple of those choices, but nothing felt quite right. Both the grey and the brown on the sepia background would have made nice products, but they just weren't what I was after. Though the grey on the sepia did come close.

So, I decided to try switching the colors around. What if I didn't stick with the warm colors as I originally intended? After all, mom and I both love the blues in general. And by now, I'd decided that any of the fills I had tried for the background were too distracting. Plus, I was tired of drawing the same pattern over and over to test. So, I just scribbled a bit...

That actually had the pop I wanted, and I even ended up liking the background texture. But it still wasn't the warm.

So out of curiosity, I tried a little two inch square on bristol board, to see what it would be like if I hadn't put it on the natural white in the first place...

Cute, but not as close to what I wanted as the blue was. So I set it aside for a few days.

Came back to it and decided to give the colors over black and a brown over sepia one more go, but this time with what I had decided would be the background fill.

Again, not bad, but the one I kept coming back to was the blues. It may not have had the glowing warmth I originally wanted, but it was soothing to look at, gave a more delicate feel (something mom and I both like), and fit her colors better.

So, that's what I finally ended up going with, and I'm happy with the results. I hope she is, too.

Happy Birthday, mom. :)

Redrock Canyon

I was watching a show that follows an insane photographer into his various adventures to get his fantastic photographs... this episode was about the redrock slot canyons of Arizona and Utah, and inspired me to do this "Linienspiel".

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Not feeling too well this week, so not gonna post a lot of info with this one. Diva's challenge, from guest CZT Christina.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

String Theory: Creative Genius

This week's Diva challenge is presented by another guest challenger. This time, it's Sue Jacobs from Sue's Tangle Trips. She came up with a creative way to create a relatively random string.

Thread is something I have in abundance. I used to design cross stitch patterns, have tried beading, tried my hand at macrome and tying celtic knots... even some quilting (though that one didn't take off that well with me). And as I'd like to get back into embroidery and macrome again some day, I still have all my materials.

So, to create a closed string, I grabbed a bead stopper and some pearle thread and played with lowering it onto a 3.5x3.5 square I cut from a page of bristol smooth. Took about three tries to get a string that was pleasing to me, but it worked pretty well.

And here's what I did with it.

I used btl joos, tripoli, and Sue's pattern bumps. Done in micron pigmas, shaded with 4, 6, and 8b graphites.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shaded Tripoli

After some playing today, I decided how I wanted to shade my tripoli creation. I hadn't realized at the time that there was a natural shading orientation to it already based on the colors I used. It wasn't until I played with it on some scratch copies (yay for having a scanner!) that I found just how much the piece wanted to be shaded in a certain way.

So, here's the finished Tripoli.

Tangles used in this one are Tripoli (of course) done in black micron pigma, keenees, vitruvius, well connected, lis, and rosquire in copic grey, and zuanshi in sepia. Shading was done using a combination of 8b, 6b, 4b, and hb graphite, and thank you to my facebook friends for suggesting I try softer leads for shading.

I did promise some WIP pictures for this particular ZIA (and it is very definitely an inspired art rather than a zentangle...way too much planning in this one), so here's how it progressed. Probably in more detail than anyone cares about ;)

I started out by drawing the s-curve, squares, and circles. S-curve was freehand, the others used templates. I knew I wanted the s-curve to be filled with Tripoli, so I filled that in with just the triangles. I'd also expected the orientation to be different than how it ended up.

Then came deciding which other tangles I wanted to use. I was after a specific look this time, so I spread out my pattern cards and narrowed it down to... well... take a look.

Every one of those cards is an ATC with the pattern in a 2 inch square. I keep them in deck boxes designed for baseball cards (and other collectables), organized into the most common 'theme' I hunt down. Namely, a pattern on a grid, an official ZT pattern, or what I call 'motifs' and 'freestyles'. That makes it easier to find a pattern with a certain feel when I'm after something specific (and gives me something to do when all I feel like doing is playing with cards). I've got them laid out on two magnetic dry erase boards, held down with magnets I've been collecting the past few months.

Once I had the patterns narrowed down to about seven, I started filling in.

Once all the patterns were filled in, it was shading time. Next comes actually putting something on display for a change. ;)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trying some Tripoli

This week's Diva challenge was to use the new Zentangle pattern Tripoli. This one, for some reason, really spoke to me. I've spent more time on this one than usual, and I still haven't shaded. But, the time to post is rapidly approaching and I haven't decided from which angle I'm going to have the light come, so I'll post the unshaded version.

Done to fit in a piece of 4x6 matboard, and actually done on cardstock again. If I'd realized I'd like how it turned out so much, I would've done it on bristol.

When I get the shading done, I'll add another post with the steps. :)