Friday, October 21, 2016

Leafy goodness

It's autumn where I live, and also where Laura the Diva CZT lives. Same city in fact. Different sides of the river. The leaves are starting to change color and fall off the trees. Her challenge this week is to tangle leaves in one way or another. I suppose that could mean actual leaves but I went in other directions.

I was working on another project and used some of this lovely green and copper paper I was given. In the leftover pieces I saw what could be a leaf in the copper 'flings' so I cut around the edges, glued the pieces to a Renaissance tile, and tangled.
Tangles: Finery, Koril, Pearlz, Tipple
Chris Titus (a CZT in Wyoming USA) had sent me an eco-dyed tile. It's almost difficult to draw on these because they are so beautiful all by themselves. But it seemed a perfect thing to use for a leaf theme.  I had some leaf skeletons I'd bought quite a while ago for something that I never got around to, so I glued one of those to the tile. And with the falling leaves come the first flakes of snow.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Finery, Leaflet, Pearlz, Sampson, Tipple and stripes
This is not tangling, but it is a pen-and-ink drawing of leaves. I did it years ago for a book illustration; back then I did a lot of cross-hatching. It's a favorite of mine, and I love gingko leaves!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Progress, in black and white

I thought some of you might be interested to see how some ZIA tiles progressed as I worked on them.

I had started four tiles with gray washes. I had a vague idea of 'tree' or 'houses' but I try not to be too specific with shapes at this point. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of just the washes. Here are the four tiles with some initial tangling on them.
At this point I'm thinking:
  • I like the tree trunk but what to do in the sky?
  • It looks like a big window in the left-hand tower, but that's not appropriate, is it?
  • I like the dark gray in the middle sky. The tree worked out alright. What's going to happen on the left?
  • I like the two windows on the right. What's that Paizel on the left?!?

Next stage, well-developed but lots to do still.
At this point I'm thinking:
  • Nice Paisley Boa fills! Still, what to do with the sky?
  • Interesting layers happening in the background - not quite what I expected. Why did I do those windows on the left-hand tower?
  • Nice moon. Nice bushes. Okay cloud.
  • Nice windows and door. It's become a rainy day. Still not sure what that Paizel is on the left.

Finally, finished.
The finishing and fine-tuning:
  • 'Jujube Tree' - I added red/orange jujube fruit. The sky needed to stay simple so I just added an orb and shading. I did a thicker outline around the tree.
  • I wanted a dark sky so I made it medium gray and tangled Morse over top.
  • "Moon Roofs" - The cloud ran into the top of the onion dome so I darkened it at that end. Added a few shadowy Sanibelle bushes behind what was already there. Fine-tuned the moon glow and whitened the moon.
  • "Rainy Day" - I grayed the clouds and darkened along the top to give an overcast feel. I put some white lines in the black of the Paizel/house on the left. I made the half-circle window above the door stained glass. I added thin, wiggly lines of rain in front of the houses in 005 black pen and added some tiny circles. I added similar wiggly lines in Sakura's Clear Stardust for some rainy sparkle, and used a clear Glaze pen on the windows. The angled photos below may show the sparkle better.
    Oh, the Paizel? I think it's a vine.
Attempting to show the sparkle of Stardust and Glaze pens.
At this point I'm thinking:
  • I might do something more/else with the ground. I'll probably mount it on canvas and paint around it.
  • I probably will not mount this one. I find the background too busy, or perhaps it's the towers. Maybe I can do something about that later.
  • I will quite definitely mount this on canvas and paint around it. I love the light in it.
  • I'll probably mount it on canvas and paint around it using a bit of glittery paint. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I love the tangle Tripoli. I think it's because this tangle is almost more of a way to set up a triangle grid rather than a strict pattern per se. Within the grid you can fill the triangles with all manner of different things for totally different looks.

Here is some of my play with Tripoli.

For the first tile I used Zentangle's basic 'triangle' string. (It's sideways now.)

I had a tile with an 'R' string so I used that next. (It's upside down now.)

Then I pulled out a bookmark-in-waiting with some old art on it. Nice colors, and the original art had a bit of a square grid so that was a little challenge.

As always, thanks Laura the Diva CZT!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A backlog of diva challenges

I've been travelling this summer, and thinking about various large projects that need my attention, so I haven't been posting challenges as they come. Here are a few - better late than never.

First, Daniel Lamothe's tangle Knightstar. The construction is the same as Donna Lacey's Knightspeak, however Daniel's is done in in multiple on a square grid resulting in a 'netting' look. It's quite a different result from Donna's with it's single star and checkerboard pattern. Either way, it's a really fun, visually delightful pattern.

On my first tile I definitely still had Knightspeak in mind. Some of my lines went haywire, the gray ink wasn't working out, and there is now a teeny-tiny tear on one side because I came this close to ripping it up. But the zentangle angel on my shoulder said, "Wait! No, no! NO mistakes, right? Keep going!" So I did. Glad I did.
Tangles: Arukas, Black Pearlz, Hibred, Knase, Knightspeak, Zonked
I did want to try Daniel's method, in a grid, and had a Bijou tile handy with a grid already on it. I did some of each tangle just to see the difference: upper left is Knightstar, lower right is multiple Knightspeak.

Next up, Molly Hollibaugh's tangle ING.
The original Ing tangle is angular, but sometimes I like to do the same thing but with curvy lines. It looks very ribbony. Here I've one strip (second from left) with multiple additional sections.

One week the challenge was to be inspired by the Olympics so I used the five rings as a string.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Spill it!

Need a little something unexpected to stir things up a bit? The DivaCZT's challenge this week is to spill something on a tile, let it dry, and tangle around/on it. You could use coffee, spaghetti sauce, food coloring, anything that will leave a splotch. I had some watered-down acrylic paint near my desk so I used that.

These became almost like Rorschach tests; I was seeing all sorts of things in the splotches! Here are pairs: the original splotch and the splotch tangled.

Hammy the Hamster Discovers a Corn Kernel
Tangles: a Black Pearl, Hollibaugh, Tipple, sort of Zander, and sort of either Printemps or Tortuca.

Bug, Meet Windscreen
Tangles: Going Down, Printemps, Tipple and stripes

Red Giraffe, Bending and Reaching
Tangles: Featherfall, N'zeppel, Wud, and stripes

This was originally inspired by Picasso's "Head of a Bull", briefly looked Georgia O'Keeffe-ish, and finished as a sort of African mask.
Tangles: Buttercup, Knightsbridge, N'zeppel (ordered), N'zeppel (random), Tipple,
plus a simple zigzag and a rope twist pattern
That was a lot of fun! Thanks again Laura.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Travelling Tangles completed

It's great fun sending and receiving partially done tiles, ATCs, and occasionally other zentangle art from fellow aficionados around the world. Here are some recent pieces, as received and as finished.

From Yvonne Westover in Ontario Canada, on a linen-textured paper:

From Kelly Barone, on an interesting soft paper with seeds in it:

From Bonnie Baskin for the 'Summer' theme swap:

From Diana Claus:

From Janet Day in Washington, USA:

From Pat Floerke in Nicaragua:

From Prairie Kittin in Washington, USA:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Line drawing lessons

Some time ago I started doing Simone Bischoff's series of lessons for sharpening one's line drawing skills, so I thought I'd share my efforts with you. Originally in German, the short series is abbreviated in translation on There you'll find the details of each exercise. I did all my work on zentangle tiles.

Lesson one: ways of connecting dots 
Simone shows various ways to connect two dots. I used Black Pearlz for three of the dots.

Lesson two: lines in waves
This didn't work out the way Simone's did, but it is wavy lines!
Two tangles that use a series of wavy lines are Diva Dance and Magma.

Lesson three: fantasy flowers

Lesson four: spiral forms
First, a helix, a double helix, and a spiral.
The second idea in this lesson is to use the three spiral forms all starting from the same place.
It started going rather haywire so I just let it do that, and added more.

Lesson five: angled lines
Using straight, and angled lines first, then adding geometric shapes on the lines.
Some tangles that use this type of angled lines and shading are Raddox and Static.

That's as far as I got (thus far, at least). It is a fun exercise and offers new ways of thinking about mark-making. Give it a try!