Wednesday, November 15, 2017

W2 and then some

W2 (for Warp and Weft) is a fairly simple pattern, and depends a little on the initial spacing. Step-outs are on here.

In early November I had the great pleasure of attending OgunquiTangle, a small, semi-annual Zentangle retreat organized by Jenny Perruzzi. There I shared much of what will comprise this post. Here's the group of us in a pumpkin patch. :)
We used an Opus tile and did a sampler of variations of W2, starting with a large W2 overall and filling each section with smaller samples. Each section is about the size of a classic Zentangle tile, so easy to do freehand.

Below is my Opus tile. In the upper left you can see a basic W2 with thin borders added. These borders keep the smaller black squares separated from the larger black squares. The empty section is for people to try their own idea.
The easiest and most basic variation, of course, is to vary the size of the initial squares and, consequently, the bands (the warp and weft). We used both of these possibilities on our Opus tile.


Add thin black ribbons (upper right section).
1)  Start with small black squares and wide bands.
2)  Imagine where one band runs under another (upper left, green dots).
3)  Draw a black line, about 1/3 of the width of the ribbon (lower left, green lines).
4)  Do this on all the bands (red).
5)  Then draw a thin ribbon from one 'slit' to another, going over the initial band (red horizontal and black vertical).

Add rounded forms.
W2 is an angular tangle, so rounded forms add interest. I've used Black Pearlz and Beadlines (middle right section). In the image below you can also see Knightsbridge in one of the small perimeter sections.
1)  Start with small black squares and wide bands.
2)  Draw a circle in the squares, and a Black Pearl in the circle.
3)  Draw Beadlines along the middle of the bands.

Add center band.
A simple, thin pattern leaves the bands clearly visible.

Add diagonals.
W2 is very right-angled, so diagonals add interest. Here it is with the tangle Zonked (center section). You could do Zonked regularly like I did, or randomly. Begin with large squares and thin bands.

Fill the large squares with a square-grid-based tangle.
We used Stoic (lower left), but other possibilities are Cubine, Dex, Buttercup, Demi, etc..

Use a fragment you like.
Those tangles are composed of repeatable fragments, so in another section everyone chose a fragment they liked and filled the large squares with that (top middle). I used what I now call the Lisbon fragment, first dividing each large square into quarters.

A cut-through look (lower center).
Above you'll see Meer going one direction and simple polka dots going the other. Below is an example with Meer going both directions.
1)  Start with small black squares and wide bands.
2)  Draw a diagonal square in the center of each band, and Aura it.
3)  Fill the bands with Meer, showing the pattern 'underneath' through the square cut-through.

Use a border tangle with non-straight sides (lower right).
My example above shows Prestwood, but you could also use Noom, Ing, MySwing, Paisley Boa, Cruze, and many others.
1)  Start with small squares and wide bands.
2)  Draw the W2 pattern all in pencil.
3)  Lightly fill the squares in pencil, just to help stay organized.
4)  In heavier pencil, note where the bands go over and under. Even erase the lines you don't want.
5)  Draw your chosen tangle in the bands.
6)  Fill the no-longer-squares with black.
An Aura may help separate the pattern bands. Here is an example using Noom, with an Aura.
What to do with those little bits leftover at the edges? You could fill some with Knightsbridge (square on, or diagonal), or continued parts of the tangle from the connecting band, or use whatever you feel would be appropriate.

A HELPFUL TOOL: Jenny Peruzzi has designed a stencil with the 16 initial, larger squares placed appropriately. If you'd like to purchase one check out her Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

InkTober 2017 - part two

I'm a little late posting this. I was away from home for three weeks (more on that in a future post) and had prepared this so I could post while away. But... I forgot to put one image in!
I wasn't able to participate every day this year, but these are the ink drawings I did, and the InkTober prompts, for the second half of October.

Day 19 - 'Cloud'
Or in this case, three clouds. The 'stars' are gold ink.
Tangles: Printemps, plus stripes and dots.
Day 22 - 'Trail'
What better trail, or path, than the occasional labyrinth?
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Crescent Moon,
'Nzeppel, Printemps, Tipple
Day 23 - 'Juicy'
No, it's not gruesome. It's a pomegranate.
Tangles: Beadlines, Gingham, Tipple
Day 25 - 'Ship'
In this case a ghost ship, swamped by waves.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Diva Dance, Ennies,
Lamar, Moowa, Opus, Phuds, Shattuck
Day 31 - 'Mask'
For Hallowe'en. Of course. I get it.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Diva Dance, Gneiss,
Knightsbridge, Marasu, Paisley Boa, Pearlz

Sunday, October 15, 2017

InkTober 2017 - part one

I am not able to participate every day this year, but these are the ink drawings I've done, and the InkTober prompts, for the first half of October.

Day 2 - 'Divided'
Gray wash on white paper with smears of sparkle acrylic paint, colored ink and colored pencil.
Tangles: Pearlz, Zander plus Hibred technique
Day 4 - 'Underwater'
Gray and copper washes on tan paper with colored inks and colored pencil.
This worked out nicely with the InkToberTangles prompt Diva Dance!
Tangles: Diva Dance, Skaylz, Pop-Cloud
Day 8 - 'Crooked'
I used a calligraphy pen for the initial zigzag lines across the gray wash 'X'.
Tangles? Pretty much just a lot of Auras
Day 12 - 'Shattered'
Gray and brown washes on white paper with black, brown and white inks and colored pencil.
Tangles: Cracked Windows (variation) and a few Pearlz
Day 15 - 'Mysterious'
Mysterious passages, mysterious space, mysterious connections. It's also usually mysterious what the end result will be!
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Emingle, Knightsbridge,
Knightspeak, Romanancy, Tipple, Zonked

Monday, October 9, 2017


I've been trying to get a handle on a new zentangle technique called tranzending. Essentially it's a method of laying one tangle over another, often giving a watery or glass-like effect. You can watch Rick and Maria demonstrate and chat about tranzending on this Youtube video.

I raided my stash of completed tiles and chose several to experiment with. On the first one I re-used the tangle Fleurette and did it over the entire tile.
Tangles: Drobbles, Fleurette, Knightsbridge, Spinning, Tipple
On the second I reproduced one quarter the flower in a corner. I rather like both of these.
Tangles: Finery, Lotus Pods
Next I tried placing one large Artoo over a tile that included Artoo in the original tangles.
Tangles: Artoo, Lotus Pods, Pearlz, Tipple
I tried a larger Fengle over a smaller one. Much as I love this tangle for its welcoming of other tangles and more detail, I think that what's underneath here is too intricate to take an overlay well. There's just too much going on.

I had a fairly intricate tile, but it was the same tangle all over. I decided to try a simple tangle over it, and chose Echoism. This worked quite well I think.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, (pinched) Assunta, Echoism
 Looking through some other work I realized that I'd done tranzending on a tile received from Lynn Mead in the Travelling Tangles project on Facebook. Maybe my lesson here is KISS ("Keep it Simple, Stupid").  :)
Tangles: Florz, Tipple
I'll definitely be trying this technique again.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Working on papyrus

A few years ago, at a museum exhibition about Mesopotamia, I purchased a package of actual papyrus pages in the gift shop. This is the first time I've used it. It's layered and stripey but wasn't as difficult to draw on as I had expected, although I used larger nib pens.

The 'two women' image - Queen Kawit and a servant - is from a National Geographic magazine. 
The ink drawing is mine, including the Aura of squares around the image.
The queen's mirror is highly reflective silver paper.
There are several tiny gems in the queen's necklace and on the four papyrus plants on the left.

I processed the magazine image to eliminate the paper but keep the image. This is especially useful if you're concerned about archival quality and are using paper that's not acid-free (basically all magazines). In this particular case, 'archival' is not really an issue because the papyrus itself is not archival, but I wanted the texture of the papyrus and a bit of the tan color to come through the image. Magazine ink is another issue.

In fact, it's less about getting the image off the paper as it is about getting the paper off the image! 

Here's what I do:
  • Leave a good two cms. (1/2" +) of border around the image you want to use.
  • Paint six layers of acrylic matte medium on the image, letting each one dry well. You could use glossy medium instead. 
  • Lightly score the back, where the paper is still accessible, with an X-acto knife and wet it liberally with water. You'll see dark lines appear where the water is soaking into the cuts.
  • Carefully rub off all the paper. This takes a few sessions of scoring and rubbing and lots of re-wetting. If you're done, the back will feel quite smooth.
  • In the end, the paper disappears but the ink is left behind. Then you can trim the image to the edges you want. Note that it will be floppy to handle.
  • Use the same matte or glossy medium to affix the image to your art surface.

Some of the supplies I use, and two other images
I plan to use in future artwork.
I'm still not quite sure what I think of it, but it was fun to do!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

'Crazy' 'Nzeppel

(That's a lot of apostrophes!)

When I first watched the video of Molly Hollibaugh demonstrating 'crazy' 'Nzeppel I thought it was about the shading. I never shade it that much. But when I read the DivaCZT's challenge this week, I realized that it was about the random nature of the lines. Like the Diva, I almost always do 'Nzeppel that way, so it doesn't strike me as crazy! (To watch the video go to the end of this post.)

I love adding a floating Cubine square.
Tangles: Beadlines, Cubine, Knase, 'Nzeppel, Zonked 
At first I thought this was going to be a Star of David comet, but now it seems to be a weird flower. I did 'Nzeppel's initial lines in pencil, then drew the shapes.
Tangles: Ennies, Jonqal, 'Nzeppel, Paradox, Pearlz,
Tipple, Zonked and a Tripoli triangle.
Three large Crescent Moons and a lot of Rounding.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, 'Nzeppel, and Rounding
 Last, I used Sue Clark's tri-shape string idea. (I almost always like the results when I use this.)
Tangles: Cubine, Knase, Knightsbridge, 'Nzeppel,
Paradox, Seljuk, Tortuca and Rounding

Here's the video of Molly demonstrating this variation of 'Nzeppel:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

'My Canvas Has Laces' (3) finished!

Converse canvas kicks, partly done
for the My Canvas Has Laces fund-raising auction
by Shoe Bank Canada.
So, after BOTH my extra fine tip Sharpie paint pens ran out of ink I stopped in at the art supply store where I'd bought them, but they were out of stock. I phoned around town - nine places! - and no one had them. I called that first art supply store and they told me that the pens have been discontinued. Whaaaattt???



Smile (try).

Aha. Well. This is an unexpected OPPORTUNITY, isn't it? Time to get the creative engine in gear. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that.

A friend suggested Sharpie permanent markers, and the package says fade-resistant and water- resistant so I decided to try them. I also got some Sharpie pens, also fade-resistant and water- resistant. I still had larger black Sharpie paint pens which I used in larger areas.

The marker bled a little into the canvas fabric so I abandoned it. The pen is finer point and didn't bleed, although I often needed to go over the lines.
The right shoe, outer side.
Tangles: Ginili, Knightsbridge, Paisley Boa, Pearlz, Pixioze,
Posh variation, Thumbprintz, and the Lisbon fragment
The right shoe, inner side.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, BTL Joos, Fengle, Gemz, Zenith
The left shoe, inner side.
Tangles: Aquafleur, Palrevo, Pearlz, Prestwood variation, Snugz, Y-not, Zonked
The left shoe, outer side.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Delish, Diva Dance, MySwing, Paradox, Skye, Tipple,
In a few, strategic places I used iridescent white paint, or clear paint with holographic sparkles in it.
These are special shoes. Shoes for happy feet. I decided that they needed fun laces, laces that aren't the classic, boring, white shoelaces that came with them. I had some ribbons left over from an earlier project and - while these laces are a few inches short of the "proper" ones - they're a whole lot more fun!