I actually had finished this tile in time for posting for the Sunday Smackdown #9, but then got distracted by more Gelli printing fun at Cate’s 🙂
I kept it pretty simple and clean, using only three patterns, though I’m not quite sure what to call the petal-shaped one as that is really just a technique employed in lot of the patterns. Can anyone help me out on it?
Inspired by my IG feed I took an artsy shot this time around and I really liked it so I thought I’d share the close-up look at it 🙂 It does really show the detail in how I shaded.
Then, speaking of procrastination, this has been done for probably a full month I think, but I never took a proper picture of it. The bricks had me employing a bunch of stacking of tangles, though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t quite meet the criteria for the Stack and Tangled FB group. That’s okay though because the same two people have just launch today a Journaled and Tangled group that this will fit in!
I know, you are all super surprised that I’m issuing a Zendala template Sunday Smackdown. I can’t help it. I love to nerd out with Adobe Illustrator! While I use Illustrator for work frequently, it isn’t often in this type of manner so I still get to learn some new things that no doubt will help my daily work and have some fun and support my hobby at the same time.
As usual, I have a 2-page PDF available here. You will find the template sized for standard Zentangle tiles, Zendala tiles and full sheets of printer paper/card stock.
On this one I tried to keep it helpful, yet not stiffling. As I created it I had many different ideas pop through my head depending on what lines I left as is and which I ignored and where I maybe added lines. I think that means I achieved my goal. I also have a thought to try use this as a template beneath a round Gelli plate. I’ll post my method for that later in the week if it works as I’m envisioning.
When you’ve completed your ZIA and posted it somewhere, please come back here and share a link to it in the comments. We would love to see how you interpret the template. A credit line linking back here for the template so others can play along would be greatly appreciated as well.
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!
As Cate and few of you know, my day job involves working with the suite of Adobe programs so I’ve itched to make zendala templates almost since I put the pen to Zentangle tile. While my last string challenge, the first Sunday Smackdown, was kind of Zendala-like I didn’t quite feel it was a Zendala. This week’s however is definitely a Zendala or mandala if you just want to color it.
There was no real inspiration behind this one. I just started playing with various shapes on my art board in Illustrator and flipped, rotated, duplicated and tweaked path points until I liked what I had.
You can download the template file here. In it you will find sizes to fit both the square and round tiles from Zentangle as well as to fit a full sheet of cardstock or paper.
Below you can see what I did with it on the first try.
I opted to use a 4″ Strathmore Toned Gray artist tile. The round tile template fits on them, though as you can see I can’t center it on the tile without the outline to guide me 🙂 I have really fallen in love with adding in both highlights and shadows and it even makes my mac ‘n cheese patterns semi-challenging since I have to figure out how to do the highlighting.
I will likely give the template another go at some point this week to try move away from my first instinct to paradox and b’tweed everything. No promises to use a white tile though 🙂
I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s interpretations of the string. Be sure to post a link in the comments here if you use the template so we can all see!
Well, Cate, you did good! At first I was a bit frustrated that you had jumped right in with the Neocolors and used overlays with washes. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the heck I could do with my currently limited supplies that was different from that. Then Sue’s mention of her upcomiing gathering with the CO CZTs the day before popped into my head and I knew I had a bunch of unbleached coffee filters in my cupboard and no plan to move them. Plus, we had just finished the Renaissance tile class and I had sepias and browns and white charcoal on the brain. I didn’t want to use the crayons on it though because the of the brown tint (though that could be used as an asset too) and I was wanting to put the Renaissance class skills to use. I also knew I didn’t have any walnut ink on hand to dye them with. Then I remembered up in the cupboard there was also some really, really old flavored coffee beans that never got used and were well past drinkable. And thus my Sunday Smackdown #3 project was born.
Firstly I brewed up some coffee. I’d recommend brewing it at a stronger strength with a bit finer grind than I did. I just winged this step. You could even use left over coffee if you have some.
While the coffee was brewing I folded up a bunch of the coffee filters in different ways. Some I used binder clips on to ensure they held nice folds. My intention was for kind of a dip dye effect so I’d get patterns on the filters according to how they were folded.
Then I stuck an edge of the folded filters into the coffee and let them sit. I pulled two out rather quickly and they seemed almost undyed. I sprinkled some salt on one and some of the coffee grounds on the other. I didn’t want to let the filters sit too long because I was afraid they’d lose the effect of the folding, but since the first two I pulled seemed unaltered I let the others sit for a couple of days. To dry them I laid them out flat on cookie sheets.
You could hasten the drying by putting them in a low oven for 20-30 minutes as long as you keep a close eye on them.
Once dry I ironed them. I placed a filter inside of an old tee shirt to protect my iron and ironing board. I set the iron to the lowest temp that allowed use of steam which on my iron was the cotton/poly blend. Then I pressed the heck out of them. The folds did not completely disappear. Even the nearly undyed ones have fold lines on them.
Using the fold lines like a starting string I put a pen to paper filter and started drawing. This was my first freehand drawn mandala. It was quite the experience. I did a lot of finger measuring to set landmarks for the patterns as I progressed to try keep things somewhat symmetrical. For me the beauty in mandalas is that symmetry. The base filter for this zendala is the one in the upper left corner of the photo of the filters.
One thing I noticed was that the more I added to it the less you could see the inconsistencies! They are still there, though I suspect they pop out at me more than anyone else. It does make me think I’d really enjoy using Genevieve’s Dot Mandala Templates. It was really enjoyable to let the shapes appear as I progressed, but my tendency for precision would really like some solid landmarks to work from.
In the meantime perhaps I’ll make myself paper dot templates in Illustrator to trace to make sure I’ll use something like that enough to justify shipping costs. The coffee filter is light enough a light box is probably not even required to transfer dots or a string to it. Or perhaps I’ll do an asymmetric tangle on some!
I should point out that due to the nature of what a coffee filter is there will be bleed through so be sure to work on top of scrap paper. Also, the ink will bleed and feather a bit. One can use this to your advantage, but it is good to be aware of. You need to keep strokes moving. The slightest pause will cause a thicker spot in your lines. Overall though I really enjoyed working on this piece and am looking forward to working on another of my filters soon.
So, anyone else going to join me in tangling on coffee filters? I’d love to see your coffee filter tangling whether dyed with coffee or watercolored or whatnot. Leave a link in the comments if you give it a try!
I had to do this week’s Zendala Dare of course. Who could miss the 100th one?!? I ended up doing a lot of riffing on this one, just letting the pen do what it wanted. As a result there aren’t actually many tangle patterns in it. Though the oblong b’tweed outlined only with graphite kind of makes me think of pine cones. I’ll have to remember that when winter rolls back around!
I can’t wait to go look at what everyone else has done with this great template!
I used Strathmore’s Toned Tan for this one. It isn’t quite as warm of a tan as the Zentangle tiles so I’m not as fond of the sepia on it (the colors of this photo are a little off since it was photographed under a lamp instead of natural light). I do like the finish though. It isn’t quite as absorbent so coloring is easier, but there is plenty of tooth to shade and highlight with graphite and white charcoal. I am still a bit meh about this one. I don’t feel like my Weave was free form enough and as a result it looks sloppily executed instead. Cate things I’m on crack. What say you?
I also ended up putting in Mysst which I just haven’t been happy with using myself yet. I’ve seen examples of other people’s work using it and liked it, but I have yet to like my own stuff using it. I do however love Stickers! What fun!
Yesterday was dedicated to finishing my Sunday Smackdown #3. This is a sneak peek of it in progress. I completed all the drawing last evening, but I’m still on the fence whether to add any highlighting and shading. Cate says to post it everywhere and frame it and hang it in our living room once we’re moved. We’ll see. It would suit our furniture in a way… I’ll likely post another shot of what it looks like now on Instagram (fiberfool) at some point today if you’d like to ring in on whether I should take it further or leave it as is.
I think I’m done with the first toned gray zentangle inspired art piece. There is a good bit of open space in the lower left yet that has me slightly unsettled. I did end up adding Sunup Sundown on the ribbon and did fairly extensive shading. I need practice on ribbon work though. But Sunup Sundown could very easily become a mac & cheese pattern for me. Loved it!
I’ll be back soon sharing my finished Coffee Filter Zendala and the how-to for my response to Sunday Smackdown #3.
I had such a great time with the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus pattern last week that I jumped right in this week. Oof is the pattern for the week and I thought I was using it on Friday, but I went off of memory and drew my first arcs the wrong direction. I ended up with a fun tangleation, though I’ve neglected to photograph it.
So I tried it again on Saturday morning as I sat in the coffee shop at the south transit center waiting for my bus to have lunch with Cate and take Sue Clark’s Zendala class. I finished the tile the following morning, or I thought I did. As I sat and sipped my coffee the tile was mocking me for being too flat and dull so I added in more. But, if Instagram is any indication, less was more in this case. Oh well!
For our first zendala we used an official tile and these great stencils to set the symmetric string.
I had to finish this one the next day as well. This was a pre-strung zendala tile and Sue demonstrated how the string can really just be a suggestion and you can divide more etc. While I knew that, I’m not certain I would have done it to a zendala all on my own. I’d be afraid of messing up the symmetry I think. But it worked out. Although I couldn’t manage to divide every other section so I did them all and added in an extra pattern – copada.
Because I put the finishing touches on so many tiles on Sunday morning and I was pretty worn out from Saturday’s craziness I just started doing the step outs for Weave in preparation for my Sunday Smackdown #2. I found doing the step outs helped me solidify keeping the “top grid” and “bottom grid” straight. I highly recommend it!