Illuminated Letter S

My first (because there will definitely be more) illuminated letter featuring prestwood, black peals, dex in a ribbon, vitruvius, 1/2 cruffle, poke leaf, zander, n’zeppel and feathers.

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 just love the contrast between pre- and post-shading!

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.

A better look at the sheen of the Fine Tec gold watercolors used on the S.

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.

And because I love the feathers, a closer look at those too!

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!

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Weekend Tangling

Renaissance tile zentangle using chiaroscuro.
Zentangle Tile 2015-080, my first renaissance tile using black and brown micron, graphite and white charcoal on knight’s bridge, purk, bales, and indy-rella.

 

Cate and I spent Saturday afternoon with Sue Clark of Tangled Ink Art again. This week, the class was on the Renaissance Zentangle Tiles.

A renaissance tile without the shading and highlighting.
Zentangle Tile 2015-081 before adding highlights and shadows with the graphite and white charcoal.

In an odd bit of synchronicity, Sue gave us some info on chiaroscuro which I had just read about in The Witch of Painted Sorrow by MJ Rose. I’m in love! With both the technique and the book 🙂 Although so far I wouldn’t call my use of highlights and shading particularly bold. I need to work on that.

There are some marked differences between the standard tiles and the Renaissance tiles. The paper seems to have less sizing, making it super absorbent and somewhat delicate. You really need to have a light hand when inking and shading. You also need to make sure you haven’t recently applied lotion (see top tile for evidence) or use a bit of paper towel between your hands and the tile. I’ve actually put a paper towel in my Renaissance kit.

My first solo renaissance tile zentangle.
Zentangle Tile 2015-082, my first solo attempt at a Renaissance tile featuring feather, n’zeppel, nymph, bunzo, flux, tipple and black pearls.  

I decided it would be a good idea to practice what we learned on my own so I did another renaissance tile last evening. My thoughts on mixing N’Zeppel and Nymph didn’t work as envisioned. A good lesson to just jump in and let it flow rather than planning, eh? I also think a sanguine charcoal pencil might be a good addition to my Ren kit. The shading on the feather could be more effective with that instead of graphite. Bunzo was also a challenge due to the absorbance of the tiles. The brown darkens as you go over it so you don’t get very even coverage when coloring large areas. All good lessons. Despite that lengthy list of nitpicky things I do still like the tile over all.

Cate and I both brought home pre-strung Renaissance Zendala tiles so you may see that popping up as a Sunday Smackdown at some point in the future. I’m anxious to throw some red into the mix too. I loved Sue’s Renaissance Zendalas she had on display in her studio and classroom space that used red.

Have you worked with the renaissance tiles before? Do you have any tips to share?

Feathers On The Wind

The Zentangle method of drawing a feather ala "One Zentangle A Day."
The Zentangle method of drawing a feather ala “One Zentangle A Day.”

It may be organic, but Day 29 was much more of my kind of organic!

A pair of feathers on the wind.
A pair of feathers on the wind.

I didn’t know how to finish off the tile. Cate suggested leaving it as it, but it felt unbalanced. But I too liked the simplicity of the feather not fighting for attention against anything else. The only answer seemed adding another.