Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Alcohol Ink Zendala Tiles

"Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next."   
 Joseph M. Marshall

I love the black and white format of traditional Zentangle. The contrast of black and white is what really drew me to the Zentangle method in the first place. But, oh what fun color can be!

A few days ago I shared my new alcohol ink colored tiles made to create interesting backgrounds for your tangling. I'm back today to show you what I've done with some of the Zendala tiles. The first one is a pretty blue and white.

I decided to tangle with a blue Micron pen. I used a stencil made by Genevieve Crabe, which has lots of holes through which you mark dots, using them as a guide to create your own Zendala design. You can see these stencils here. My theme was triangles and I tangled them with lots of Munchin and a little bit of Phroz.

Next, of course, was shading. Now if you follow me regularly, you probably know of my love affair with pastel pencils. So you think you know what's coming, but no.... this was not shaded with pastel pencils. I used Prismacolor pencils and blended them with a tortillion dipped in Gamsol odorless mineral spirits. It was the first time I've used this method, and I'm happy to say that it worked really well! In the past, the few times I've used colored pencils, I blended by layering and layering and layering and going over and over and over it with a colorless blender. Maybe some of you like that way of doing things, but I found it to be very long and very tedious and very tiring on my hand. Using the mineral spirits was so much more up my alley, much quicker and much easier on my hand. It may have been my first time using this method, but it won't be the last, as you'll see in my next tile.

I love the way the white parts of the background make this tile appear to be glowing.

Next up was a pinkish-purplish tile.

I wanted to give this one a more organic look and used Flux (one of my go-to tangles recently) and Betweed.

As I said, I again used Prismacolor pencils and mineral spirits for shading this.

I added some sparkle to it by applying a clear Stardust gelly roll pen over the shading in the Flux, but you can't even see a hint of that in the above picture, so I took a closeup at an angle to show you the sparkle.

The last tile I have to share with you for now has shades of yellow, orange, and green.

I used a stencil from Acadia Laser Creations for this one. Since it is more earth-toned, I tangled with a brown Micron. It took me awhile to decide how many patterns to include and which parts of the stencil should be tangled with which pattern. This is what I ended up with, Knightsbridge and Baton.


Then I agonized over what materials to use for color, and after testing several things, I went with Tombow markers to fill in some areas, but no shading on this one.

I am liking this tile more than I expected to as I worked on it. Always a pleasant surprise when that happens.

Remember, if you're thinking about trying out some of these new tiles for you own tangling, you can still get 10% off until the 18th by using the code NEWCOLOR in my Etsy shop.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Color Tiles

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams."   Paul Gauguin

I'm very excited about the new line of tiles I'm introducing. About six months ago I started selling what I call my pre-strung pathway tiles. They are made with alcohol inks which form pathways for tangling, or tangling between, or tangling over, whichever you prefer. They were so well received by all of you, that I started thinking about making more tiles with alcohol inks, but different from the others. And thus were born these tiles that I am introducing now.

The difference is that my new tiles don't have pathways. They just having interesting colors and designs that meander and mix and flow all over the place. You can use the designs that the inks make to define the spaces you want to tangle, or you can just tangle over the whole background however you want. The unpredictable nature of the inks is what gives such an interesting look to the tiles. 

Here is my first example of a tile.  

 I decided to outline some of it first.

And then fill that area with tangles (N'zeppel, Diva Dance, and Btl Joos.) I used some pastel pencils for shading to add extra color. It's kind of a weird and wacky piece.

Here's the next tile I chose. I love the combination of pink, purple, and teal in this one.

I let the colors serve as an overall background this time, and tangled some Garlic Cloves, Pais, and Tipple. I love the way it turned out (all those soothing lines!) and thought that it looked best turned like this.

I used pastel pencils (of course) to add shading and give it a more 3D look. I matched the shading to the color in the background, using pink, purple, and teal. A touch of highlighting was added with white in the centers of the petals.

The next tile has a more textured look to it.

When I saw the tile turned sideways, it reminded my of the ocean (good imagination), so I thought of the pattern Sea Wave.

I added some Henna Drum flowers to it.

And then added shading, again, with pastel pencils.

Love this one too. The great colors and textures on the tiles make it almost impossible to end up with something I really don't like.

I was going to end my post there, but I did another tile that I really like, so I'm adding it here. Untangled tile...

Tangled with Sand Swirl, Meer, Florz, and Maryhill.

The shading didn't show up in this picture as well as I would have liked, but here it is...

I've had so much fun playing with the alcohol inks and coming up with these new tiles. Although they look very different than my pathway tiles, the thing that is the same about them is the process: designed with alcohol inks on yupo, then printed on bristol vellum paper and cut into 4 inch tiles. I love the slightly larger size of the tiles compared to traditional Zentangle tiles, and I love the vellum surface for tangling with Microns and shading with most anything. 

If you'd like to take a look at more of these tiles, or the pre-strung pathway tiles, you can check them out in my Etsy shop here. They are available in both square tiles and Zendalas. As an introductory offer, if you order any of these new tiles between now and January 18th, you can use the code NEWCOLOR to get 10% off. I'll be back soon with a post showing you some of my new tangled Zendalas. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Recipe for Zentangle Inspired Art

"I just want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares."     Unknown

Zentangle Inspired Art


     Stonehenge paper
     Black micron pen


Using your pencil, draw a string with random curves. Then draw auras around your lines so you have space to tangle between the lines. Now take your Micron pen and fill that space between the lines with the tangle pattern Baton.

Next, aura the outside lines and fill that space with one row of Knightsbridge. Aura the inside spaces and fill the narrow area with orbs and blacken behind them.

With your pencil, add a first layer of shading. Then go back and darken the shading right along the edges.

Add a few lines to the center open areas, just because.
And voila!

Just the kind of recipe I like... one with only a few ingredients and a few steps. And one that tastes good in the end!

Wishing everyone a happy new year, one filled with lots of tangling!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Renaissance Faire

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."      Leonardo da Vinci

Here is a piece I completed recently on tan-colored Stonehenge paper. I really enjoy working on that paper because of how nicely and easily you can shade on it with a tortillion. In my opinion, the shading is much smoother than on the Renaissance tiles from 

Patterns used: Henna Drum, Mooka, Steffi, Flux, Printemps, Flowtus and Tipple

I absolutely love the way this turned out. And what a difference the shading (with brown pastel pencil) and highlighting (with white pastel pencil) made! I was never a big fan of Mooka, probably because mine just never looked good to me, but here I really like it. Those little flowery things in the upper right are my pattern Steffi from my e-book, Step Out in Style.

Coincidentally, the day after I completed this piece, Cris Letourneau contacted me. She is the author of the Zentangle related books Pattern Play (co-authored with Sonya Yencer) and Made in the Shade. She wanted to know if I'd like to contribute any of my art using pastel pencil shading (since I use that method so often) to a new book she's working on all about tangling on Renaissance tiles and tan-toned papers. (More info on her book at the bottom of this post.) Of course most artists wouldn't pass up a chance to have their work published, so I showed her the piece from above, and then worked on a few more to send to her.

The first one is light and airy with lots of open spaces for shading and highlighting. Completed on a Renaissance tile.

 Patterns used: Joki and Pokeleaf

The next one is more traditional, started with four dots, a border, and a string. Also completed on a Renaissance tile.

Patterns used: Cadent, N'zeppel, Leeter and Printemps

I decided to go with color (also pastel pencil) on the next one instead of the brown I usually use. This one is on tan-toned paper from Strathmore.

Patterns used:Flux, Sea Wave and orbs

This last one was not one I sent to Cris, but another one done on a Renaissance tile, this one a pre-strung zendala. I used both brown and black Micron pens, along with brown pastel pencil and graphite for shading, and of course the white pastel pencil for highlights.

Patterns used: Purk, Baton and Munchin

I have no idea which of these might show up in Cris' new book, but I enjoyed working on them all.

Cris informs me that the title of her new book will be Timeless Tangling: Art Inspired from the Renaissance and Beyond, and the publication date will probably be next summer. In her own words, "This book will be about techniques for working on tan-toned papers, using different tools, and learning some fine-art skills to make your ZIAs even more beautiful. Included will be inspirational art, step-by-step projects, and practical information to help take your tangling to the next level."

I know that I'm looking forward to the book and am confident that it will be just as wonderful as her previous publications!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."     Twyla Tharp

I was supposed to be on the road to FL right now. However... we've had a lot of rain in the last 24 hours, and at 11:00 last night we found that a roof leak that we had last year has returned for a visit. So we postponed our trip for a day (the roads would have been bad anyway and it probably would have been a  s-l-o-w trip.) I turned to tangling as a way to take my mind off our problems. 

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the tangle Moowa, by Anya Ipsen. This pattern was the focus of the Square One FB group a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't have time to give it a whirl then, so this is my first time trying it out. I decided to use one of the tiles I made a while ago using Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions acrylic paints. And this is what I did...

Patterns used: Moowa and Aquafleur

I probably should tell you that I planned it that way, but the way those Moowa lined up was pure coincidence. A happy coincidence. I used graphite to shade the Aquafleur and pastel pencils to add a touch of green shading to the Moowa, and I was pretty happy with the tile!

Well, that took my mind off the leak for at least a little while. Now back to reality.