Thursday, April 2, 2020

Less can be more

Tangles: Crazy Huggins, Pearlz, Tipple
"Less is more" - often credited to Dutch architect Mies van der Rohe, but opinions differ. Someone later countered with "Less is a bore" which is closer to my style of art and d├ęcor!

I need to remind myself that not every section of a Zentangle drawing needs to be filled with tangles. It can be very effective to leave an area of plain (or almost) paper. This could mean a section of a tile that is enclosed by other sections, leaving a blank space in the 'middle'. The tile below began with a simple string of two overlapping squares.
Tangles: Beadlines, Pearlz, Seljuk
CZT Sue Clark's Tri-Shape string idea often works well for me. Read about that and see more examples of leaving blank space here.

Try drawing a very simple string and use only 'border' tangles on the lines of your string.
Tangles: Dewd, Knase, Lamar, Seljuk, Snailz, Tri-dots
Shading (as usual!) can be quite effective.
Tangles: Black Pearlz , Msst, Zonked
 Here's a recent one that I think is quite fun.
Tangles: Beadlines Firecracker, Knightsbridge, and a Black Pearl(z)


  1. Very refreshing to see those calming pictures, my faves are the two last ones, inspiring to try!

  2. Margaret, I love the way you've shaded the zonked drawing to look like a dove. It's beautiful and very clever! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Margaret - Thank you so much for pointing out tricks and techniques for all of us to try. The dove is superb.

    I'd like to point out to your readers one of my favorite uses of negative space in commercial art - the FedEx logo. Very effective. Once you see it, you will never "unsee" it. Enjoy. Linda

    1. I wish I could post an image here, Linda, but perhaps this interesting link will work for people:

  4. Another thought:

    Would you consider a "black silhouette shape" on a white tile as negative space? Thank you. Linda

    1. That's an interesting question, Linda. Often it does looks like empty space, or space 'going through'. I guess it depends of what impression the viewer gets.