Life has been pretty challenging itself lately so I haven’t been consistent in playing along, but an idea of this week’s Diva Challenge popped into my head over the course of the week so I sat down on Thursday and made this Renaissance tile. I was curious about a couple things:
How would Dex work in a circle?
How would using multiple colors of ink (in this case black, sepia and brown) helpcreatethe dimensionality of Dex?
For me, there is just something magical about creating a chiaroscuro tile, whether it be an official Renaissance tile or on the toned gray tiles from Strathmore. Add the highlights and everything starts to really pop, but then add the shadows and it has more dimension than you ever imagined. I’m quite pleased with this tile!
Ever since the Renaissance tile class with Sue I’ve been a woman obsessed. There is just something about working on the mid-tone papers, be they the usual tan of the official Zentangle Renaissance tiles or the Strathmore Toned Tan or Tone Gray. It seems as soon as you put white to them something magical happens and everything pops. I just love it.
All of that said, I’ve not been overly enamored of shading the primarily brown tangles with graphite in all situations. So this week in the couple tiles I took time to make I played with using some colored pastel pencils in place of plain graphite. I picked up three Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils from my local art supply store in 283 (Burnt Sienna), 192 (Indian Red) and 225 (Dark Red). I haven’t really used the dark red because I haven’t yet played with adding in some red ink on my Renaissance tiles just yet. But you’ll see both of the other colors in each of the two tiles of this post.
Have you played around with shading with other colors on Renaissance tiles? What medium did you use, pastels, colored pencils, markers?
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.
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?