It is day six and I only just finished my second tile.I’m full of excuses. It really boils down to not finding a groove yet. I have a hard time taking time to do my own things when DH is around and he has every other Friday off which happened to be this week. We also are lacking in the lighting department because lamps are bulky and expensive to move across the country. With the nor’easter this weekend and 11 straight days of cloudy skies things were just overall very dark in our apartment despite an abundance of windows. I’m also just slow. I laugh whenever I read that Zentangle is a 15 minute process. I don’t even get all the patterns inked in 15 minutes when I know all of them well. Then on Saturday I was felled with some sort of odd malady which I was still cautiously recovering from on Sunday. I still don’t know what the cause may have been. Too much gluten?
This tile is a prime example of shading saving the day. I freehanded all the circles so things are wonky and I am way out of practice on spherical grids and cadent so when I started there I was already quite unhappy with the results before moving on to the gneiss/paradox/purk tangleation. I kept at it a bit adding black pearls, kozy, and cruffle to the mix (see below). Some rush jobs greeted me when I logged on after my tangling and breakfast hour so any further work was stalled until this morning. I much prefer to shade in natural lighting anyway so it was probably for the best that I didn’t revisit it last evening after work. Plus it gave me that oft advantageous “distance.”
The shading masks my wonky cadent and it’s definitely not round “sphere.” And overall it just brings more dynamics to the piece through the dimension and layering it creates. I think really the shading is some of what I love most about the tangling process, yet when I first started I neglected that step for a few weeks or more! So sad! As has become usual for me, I used three different leads in my shading – 3H, HB, and 3B to help develop more realistic shadows.
After yesterday’s rush jobs I’m hoping to carve out the time to at least ink a third tile today, but we’ll have to see. Then this evening is the monthly handcrafters group at my library so I *may* tangle there. I’ve brought my basic kit with me every time but always end up knitting because it seems easier to visit with others while knitting than tangling.
It’s been a long time coming, but with a slight push from CZT, Sue Clark, I finally finished my illuminated letter from the workshop she hosted at the end of April. I have to say with everything in chaos in my life/house the pressure of doing a ZIA kind of got me on this one. I’m not quite 100% certain this is done, done. But it is done until the move is over and I’m settled in Alexandria for sure. I’m kind of feeling like I need something more in the background in the upper left. Something open and light like the n’zeppel perhaps? We’ll see how I feel once I unpack it.
I was a bit unsure how to shade vitruvius, but I’m pretty happy with my decisions to outline the squares with graphite and then darken the center and the very outside.
We got to use Sue’s Fine Tec metallic watercolors at the workshop. Because part of the draw to Zentangle for me was doing letter work like this those watercolors are going at the top of my post-move wish list! They were so easy to work with and the result is much closer to actually gold leaf than any other gold pen or paint I’ve worked with. I was even able to layer a bit to create some shadow and highlight!
I used some Japanese pearlescent watercolors on the poke leaf. I like that it gives some sheen to kind of blend with the S, but it lets the gold take center stage.
Sue just posted everyone’s letters here. I highly encourage you to go check them out. There is such a variety in styles and they are all inspiring and gorgeous!
This was my first official black tile. I had played just a bit on a black ATC while going through “One Zentangle A Day” but didn’t like the result. I’m much happier with this one and keep looking at some of my favorite patterns and wondering what they might look like inverted. Though I really wish I had a finer tipped white gel pen. I’m very much a fine tip sort of gal. Have been as long as I remember using pens and even back to my pencil days.
I delayed posting this one thinking I’d do another, but didn’t get that far. Instead, I’ve felt more like just drawing step-outs this week. No pressure to make decisions beyond which pattern to try next. Plus I’m getting to catch up with a bunch of patterns I’ve learned recently in my Doodle Organizer app!
And another first for me – a Bijou tile! I just wanted a quick project last night so I finally broke the seal on my Bijou tiles and made this little guy. Having the constraints of all straight lines all the time (or as straight as I can freehand them) was helpful in it being a quick project. What fun the little tiles are! It probably helps that I enjoy working my patterns pretty small a lot of the time.
Well, Saturday was a BIG day at my house. Yes, my house that has been a total disaster area since I started packing. Thanks to all the help from my sister during her visit I was able to mostly reclaim my dining table. So, nearly a month after my birthday Cate and I finally got together to make messy art!
The plan was to monoprint using the Gelli Arts plate that Cate had ordered. Before her arrival I dusted off what art supplies I could get my hands on that would be useful, then she brought her big box o’fun as we called it and the dining room table was nearly buried in fun things!
We decided to do some printing, then have a later lunch at Panera when we hoped they might be a little less busy for a Saturday and then stop into Jerry’s Artarama afterwards for any additional supplies we found we would like for our continued afternoon printing. It was a great plan and we even snuck in cupcakes between lunch and Jerry’s 🙂 One of the additional purchases at Jerry’s was another Gelli plate, LOL! We got the Zendala-sized round plate, though I haven’t yet tried to print direct to one of the Zendala tiles. If you have done so I’d like to hear how it went for you in the comments!
Taking a break was a fantastic plan because it allowed the morning’s prints to dry so we could layer another print on top which is really where the results start getting fun. Much of the afternoon printing was layering.
We split up the finished pages between us, but not by who pulled the print necessarily. Partly because in some cases we each did a layer or one person directed the other, but also so we can create collaborative finished pieces, even across the miles once I’ve moved. Below are all but two of the sheets I kept.
I cut two the other sheets into 10 ATCs each (artist trading cards, 2.5 X 3.5″ baseball card sized pieces). I was very meh about them and in my experience, cutting something up that isn’t interesting as a whole often makes for really interesting small pieces. It also gives me a much smaller canvas to tangle on which is more realistic for my life at the moment.
In Cate’s box o’fun she also brought her treasure trove of Dylusions Spray Inks. Talk about a messy art adventure! I spread out a large lawn and leaf garbage bag on the floor and had to kennel Brandon to make these sheets. I was kind of rushed to play with them quick before Cate needed to head home, but I can see this being something to explore further in the future. The colors are amazingly vivid. I definitely need some practice though before I’m getting zentangle-friendly backgrounds like Alice!
After cutting my ATCs yesterday morning I had to jump right in and start to tangle on one while I enjoyed my mid-morning coffee break. I think the biggest challenge with these is going to be the white borders I inevitably end up with because the Gelli plate is not sized for edge-to-edge printing on a sheet of cardstock (which makes sense). I think I embraced that well in this one though, coloring in part of Hako with colored pencils that matched the monoprinting to tie that area in with the rest of the piece. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that you can get Prismacolor colored pencil to lay in overtop of the printing a bit as well as the white charcoal pencil. I think that really made the Bublz pattern.
This was the first time in quite a while I went into my tangling without much of a plan. I started with ParasailZ in the white arc and then just worked in each direction as I felt moved to do so. That arc made it feel like a perfect place to do more tangled stacking. Since I’m obsessed with stacks I went with it. It was nice to have the “flow” back again. I wish I knew why I had lost it and how to get it back when it disappears.
Because I’m apparently prone to obsessions, LOL, I started in on another ATC cut from the other print last evening while I waited for my friend, Simmon, to join me for a pint at Zwei Bruder before going to my knit night. I didn’t get too far and finished up the rest this morning. The comb marks on this one also screamed out for stacking to me so I went with it. I think part of the reason stacking appeals to me so much is that I love the ribbon/border tangle patterns and hadn’t really worked out how to put them into a random string. Stacking lets me explore them to my heart’s content. Though I’m unsure as of yet if this is truly stacking or not according to the Facebook group since the copper areas in general are not tangled.
I did learn with this ATC that graphite doesn’t really want to play with the monoprints. So if I’m going to regularly go down this path I think I may want a gray marker or 6. I figure I’ll go with ChartPak as I can easily source them open stock, but they have 6 or more darknesses in both warm and cool tones. Where do I start if I want to only invest in say 3 or 4 max? All cool tones is kind of my inclination from the little bit of watercolor I learned over a decade ago, but would I maybe need warm depending on the color I’m working on top of? And, will ChartPak lay in over the acrylic of the monoprints and will it still blend with the colorless blender? Do any of you have an light you can shed on this topic? I’d be very appreciative!