Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Zenspirations Butterfly and pen test

Zenspirations come from the very talented Joanne Fink. Yesterday she did a post on her blog about the butterfly designs she did in honor of her friend Barb. Her blog post can be found here. She really did a great step by step explanation so I highly recommend that you click over to it when you are done  here. Butterflies are a symbol that reminds me of my mom too so I had to jump right on that project.

I loved playing with all the colors and then adding tiny tangles. Using my markers with watercolor techniques really expands their uses. (Note - the colors are not lightfast so I will be sure to display this piece away from sunlight.)

Joanne used the Sakura Koi markers (which I love) but since I don't have a wide range of colors for the Koi markers I ended up using my Tombow markers instead. Joanne also suggested printing out her designs onto watercolor paper using a laser jet printer. That wasn't an option for me and I wanted my butterfly to be bigger anyway so I had to try out all my pens to see which one worked with my Tombows. 

As you can see in the picture above, there were some pens that bled badly when I put the Tombow color on top of them. In the end I determined that the ones that would work for me were; Uni pin, Sakura IDentipen, and the Sakura Microperm. I ended up using the Microperm because I like the tip and thickness of the pen best. (Note - the Micron pen did not work for me with this technique.)

This shows the piece in a mat. The finished piece measures 8" by 8" plus the mat.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Black, white and red

Black, white and red all over is the challenge that the Diva issued this week. When I sat down to do this last night I really had no idea of what I wanted to to do so I really just let it flow. I started with a continuous line string. (See below). In this type of string you can alternate colors or patterns easily - just like a checkerboard. It simply requires that you pay attention and go from one section to the next and not skip around. Striping is the tangle pattern that came to mind first so I went with it. I alternated red penwork and black penwork. Shading was either a pencil on the black sections or red colored pencils on the red sections. At the end I felt I had a lot of red so I colored the background in with black.

Picture taken late at night with poor lighting!

A continuous line string is where you put the pencil down and start drawing and don't pick it up until you reconnect it to your starting point. Here it is entirely self-contained within the tile. I used the one on the left for the tile above. I decided not to use the one on the right because there were too many small sections to work with. I've also done continuous line strings that go off the tile. I'll have to do a demo on that later.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rainbow Beads

Rainbow Beads - The diva challenge this week is inspired by the Beads of Courage program that she supports. It is a wonderful way to support and encourage children who are receiving all sorts of medical treatments. See Laura's blog at for more details.

I decided to use a variety of linear tangles that reminded me of beads. And to remember the victims of the terrible tragedy in Orlando I decided to use a rainbow background. Creating the rainbow background was a creative journey so I am sharing photos that show how I picked the colors to use. 

All the tangling was done with a black pen. I used colored pencils that coordinated with the color of the stripe behind it for the shading. A little white pencil added some highlights.

Tangles used: Zenith, Lezy, Eek, Binial, Girland, and Inapod.

These are the Tombow dual brush markers. I used the method where you put each color on a plastic palette first. I then wet my tile thoroughly with water. Using a wet brush, I picked up the colors one at a time and stroked them on, allowing them to softly blend into each other.

This envelope is where I tried out the Tombow colors that I wanted - I looked at the pictures of the rainbow flag online so I had an idea of the shades I was going for. I had to try out a few different markers to get the right choice.

I also tried out my Inktense pencils. The tile is where I tried out the possible color choices. With the Inktense it's important to wet them to see the colors. When I did the tile I colored the paper directly with the pencils and then wet each stripe. I haven't tangled on this tile yet but I will!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

tangled checkbook

There are so many things you can use Zentangle techniques in. Last week one of my good friends celebrated her birthday. She had a blank canvas covered checkbook that was waiting to be tangled. She wanted her initial on it. This didn't take me very long to do this for her. It was done in one evening.

The process was started with a post-it note. I sketched out a large letter 'R' on the post-it and cut it out. I placed it on the checkbook and using a Sakura IDentipen, tangled around it as I normally would. I used tangle patterns as my strings. Since this is a checkbook that will be handled often I didn't add pencil shading as I normally do but simply added a few extra lines here and there. I finished it off with the dashed line inside the 'R'.

Tangle patterns used; Zenith, W2, Copada, Printemps, Meer, Leezy, Bales, and Ditto.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Skye - snakes in the grass

Skye is a new tangle pattern from Margaret Bremner. It is a wonderful, complex tangle - just the way I like them! I printed out the step out right away but haven't had a chance to play with it until this week. 

It flowed easier than I thought  so I just went for it on this tile. I meant to leave enough space so I could close the loops at the ends but when that didn't happen, I discovered SNAKES! Oh yeah, twisted snakes! I have no desire to see this in real life, but on a tile, FUN! And since they ended up being snakes, I used other tangles that had a grasslike feel. Quabog and Fescue.