Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Anthem is tangle from CZT Jody Genovese. It was recently featured as the focus tangle on the 'Square One, Purely Zentangle' Facebook group.

Here are two classic tiles featuring Anthem.
I liked it so much I thought I'd do a whole page of it it my Book (that non-journal/non-sketchbook I've been filling recently). I did the initial drawing in black ink, and then - because it reminds me so much of crystals - I decided to add some rainbow colors.
The page is quite wrinkled, and some grays bled through from the obverse page where I'd tried something with a lot of water that didn't work as I'd hoped! (That post is here.)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Spliced tiles

I often enjoy working on spliced tiles. It's both fun and challenging. With the three colors of zentangle tiles you have three possible combinations.
One of the first places I saw this idea was on Day 9 of the 12 Days of Zentangle 2017. The video is on YouTube here.

You can create a spliced tile...

...with a knife:
  1. Place one tile on top of another, both facing up (or down). Take care that they don't shift.
  2. Giving yourself an interesting dividing line, use an X-Acto knife or scalpel to slice them in half. Pencil a light line on the top tile first if you want a little more direction. 
  3. Swap halves.
  4. Tape the halves together at the back.
...with scissors:
  1. Cut a tile in half (with an interesting dividing line, of course).
  2. Place one half on your second tile.
  3. Lightly trace the dividing line in pencil.
  4. Carefully cut the second tile in half.
  5. Swap halves.
  6. Tape the halves together at the back.
Here's a black and tan one. I used colored pencils (white and various browns) to create a gentle transformation from one color to the other. Several of the central 'seeds' are gold ink.
Tangle: All Stars
More black and tan, this time it became houses. I used both black and brown inks, as well as white.

Here's a black and white spliced tile. Part of the moon is metal leaf, part metallic ink.

You can bring even more color into the mix if you want! In the tile below I also used metallic inks.
You can see more of this type of work in a post from a while ago about notanicals, a hybrid name I invented to combine notan and botanical imagery.

Oh, those three blank tiles at the top of this post? Here's what became of them:
Black and white tile: Crusade and one Dex
White and tan tile: Bosch and Lamar
Tan and black tile: Molly's Sprouts (that's what I call it!)
The black/white tile is in the same position as above. There is a hint of colored pencil, and clear Glaze ink in the center of Dex for more depth.
The white/tan tile is turned 90 degrees counterclockwise from the image at the top. I decided to ignore the color division and do the tangles across both colors.
The black/tan tile is upside down from the tile above. I tangled in black, white, and gold inks and I used brown colored pencil as well as the gray graphite.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

About as Crazy as It Gets

This is especially for all you Crazy Huggins fans out there!

I had a piece of eco-dyed paper with 'spots' from eucalyptus leaves:
Here it has a few of the 'spots' outlined in brown ink.
I couldn't see any trees or houses or flowers in the marks. Lots of moons, maybe. I didn't have a clue what to do with it for a loooong time. Suddenly it struck me that Huggins has a lot of circles! No, wait. CRAZY Huggins!!!

I outlined most of the circles, deciding to sacrifice a few. These circles would need to be darker than the connecting curved bands. I thought about what tangles could be dark and would fit in a small circle, and which tangles would work in a long space.
I decided to include a gem for some 'pop'. I eliminated the pink at the top left. I made two screws á la Maria. In the end, there IS one moon! After a lot of shading, here is the finished work.
All the tangles:
Appease, Beadlines, Bilt, Bosch, Crescent Moon, Cubine, Drobbles, Emingle,
Fohbraid, Gewgle, Gneiss, Icantoo, Jonqal, Knightsbridge, Koril, Kuke,
Paradox, Pearlz, Snag, Tamisolo, Tipple, Zewm, Ziabolic, Zonked
Plus: Auras, triquetras, a Chinese coin, and striping with a twist
Here's a detail of one section.
And that, I think, is "About as Crazy as It Gets". :)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Slowly, slowly

This is one of those things that was supposed to be something else. But the something else didn't work and it became Something Else.
It was supposed to be patterns left by film wrap and paint but the paper didn't like that idea and it was just nondescript blotchiness with a lovely copper wash in a few places.

This page in my Book developed sloooowwly. I left it for a while as I was quite disappointed in the wash result. Then I noticed a few things at the edges and drew them.
From time to time I added a little more.
I'd noticed the small darker circle and triangle left of center and eventually decided to do something with them. I added a square for three shapes, and decided to use the three primary colors. Originally I was going to use some sparkly paper but yellow looked too gold so I found some leftover bits from other projects.
Tangles thus far: Bosch, Crescent Moon, Doodah, Paradox, Pearlz, Seljuk.
And in the colored squares: Finery and Prestwood
A little more...
Tangles added: Parabola, Tipple (sort of), Y-not (Etcher variation)
...and the finished page.
Tangles added: Icanthis
Or maybe not. I might add more.

Friday, June 7, 2019

'NZEPPEL, and then some

Tangles: Meringue, 'Nzeppel, Tipple and stripes
Possibly the main issue with 'Nzeppel is: Where do you put that darned apostrophe?!?!

The shapes created by this pattern look a bit poofy, especially when you add shading. Sort of like... a zeppelin airship! Take the "in" off the end of zeppelin and put it at the beginning and you get Inzeppel. In English when we eliminate a letter it gets replaced with an apostrophe (don't, isn't, they're, you're) so when we take away the 'I' and add an apostrophe it becomes... 'Nzeppel.
Image from the Puget Sound Airship Society website.
This is the LZ-126, the largest zeppelin yet. It was christened in November 1924 and was included in the list of active ships of the US Navy. It remained in active service until 1940 and was the most reliable American airship ever. It made 331 flights and accumulated 5,368 hours of flight time.

Zentangle's drawing instructions for the original 'Nzeppel can be found in this newsletter.
Drawing instructions for the 'random lines' variation can be found in this newsletter.

'Nzeppel in its original form leaves all the little stars showing at the intersections. A key factor when drawing the rounded shapes is to draw the entire shape. It's tempting to simply round the corners and be done, but speed is not a goal of zentangle. Take your time and draw all around. This means you'll be drawing over lines two times. You can see the effect in the tile below; note how the lines of the stars in the intersections are thinner than the lines connecting them. I'm including a detail shot too.
Tangles: Florz, 'Zeppel, Seljuk

A simple variation is to fill the intersections black, as on the right on the tile below.
Tangles: Beadlines, 'Nzeppel, and Pearlz,
plus Auras, Perfs, and Rounding
Try drawing 'Nzeppel larger and add some fills.
In the tile below you can see:
  1. repeating Auras
  2. one Aura and Crescent Moon
  3. similar to the tangle Gewgle
  4. a wide Aura, then filled black
  5. floating Black Pearlz

For an interesting different effect, draw the grid lines in pencil instead of pen. Then draw the shapes, leaving a space between all the lines. When you trace around the shapes, tracing over most of the pencil lines, rather than inside them all, helps hide the pencil marks.

Cockles'n'Mussels is a tangle I developed based on random 'Nzeppel. The shapes are filled with lines that cause them to resemble shells: cockles, mussels, and clams.

Do a large version of 'Nzeppel and, using the original square grid pattern, fill the sections á la Knightsbridge.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, "Nzeppel, Tipple
Forget any sort of grid and just use the string you have, draw 'Nzeppel's X-lines through it, and go with the flow. Here's a string I drew and the tile that resulted. I added a few lines as needed.
Tangles: Aquafleur, Beadlines, Fleurette variation, 'Nzeppel
Go and have a different kind of flying experience with 'Nzeppel!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mandala page in my Book

Having focused on mandalas for over a decade, I had to include a mandala in my (non-journal, non-sketch) Book.

When I began I hadn't intended it to look quite so Tibetan Buddhist. But the page is rectangular not square and four circles showed up in the corners. Then the four colors crept in, and lotus petals and four gates, and it just kept on.
I included some metallic and sparkle inks that don't show in the photo. I think my favorite part is the background, the Crescent Moon in triangles with multi-toned blue. I'm not sure how I feel about all the white spaces I left, but it's finished.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Vessel tangles

There are tangles that I think of as vessel tangles: tangles that are quite simple and essentially empty, allowing you to fill the spaces in any interesting manner you want. The tangle can be a vessel for a lot more.

It helps to do the basic tangle larger than usual. Here are four of my favorite vessel tangles - alphabetically, showing no favoritism!

From Rick Roberts. Find step-outs here. Here's Assunta in its simplest form:
And here it is with two different fills:
Tangles: Assunta, Cubine, DooDah, Seljuk 

From Cyndi Knapp. Find step-outs here. Here's Bekk in its simplest form:
 And here it is with various fills:
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Bekk
From Jennifer Hohensteiner. Find step-outs here. Here's Exis in its simplest form:
And here it is with various fills:
Tangles: Exis, Knase, Zonked
From Staub Korn. Find step-outs here (wait for it). Here's Pico in its simplest form:
And here it is with two different fills:
Tangles: Bosch, Crescent Moon, Knightspeak, Paradox, Pico
Do you have vessel tangles you like to fill with other things? What are they?