Wednesday, 17 February 2016

onwards and upwards

This week's Diva Challenge is another one of those that invites us to remember where we came from.  To take a tile from the past and recreate it.

And so to 2nd July 2013 - I'd been teaching myself to tangle from a book.  This was Day 5, tile 5.  I had a handful of tangles at my disposal, a basic pen, pencil and some tiles cut from thin white card stock.  But I could see something I liked in the way these strange shapes started to rise up from the paper as I drew.

Things I would have thought then -
  • that Printemps is harder to draw than you'd expect
  • that I didn't really 'get' Isochor
  • that I didn't really believe in all the 'talk' about certain pens, tiles etc
  • that shading seemed a bit like putting a load of graphite over something that looked neat until you did
  • that I couldn't imagine this Zentangle holding my attention for more than a few weeks

Then and now - the evolution of a tile
[click to enlarge] 

Fast forward to now.  The same tangles, a similar string.  And a world of difference.  And the differences mainly come about from confidence, commitment and community.

What I know now -
  • that Printemps is still a challenge, and Isochor is a odd one!
  • that better materials do help - not least because they make you value yourself and your art
  • that shading makes the ink lines come to life
  • that nearly three years later I tangle almost every week, and can't imagine ever stopping

Thursday, 4 February 2016

molygon and done it

I'll admit that when the first tiles featuring Molygon started to appear, before it was released to the masses, I wasn't that impressed.  I couldn't see it as much more than a few crescents laid side by side.

But Molygon comes into its own when you actually start to draw it, you get into a kind of rhythm, and then stopping is far hard than starting ever seemed.  Prompted by this week's Diva Challenge - I played with lots of variations in my sketchbook, but for now I went with this one. 

Micron and watercolour pens on lilac Indian cotton rag paper

A sort of nameless line fill, partly like the fill you sometimes see on Jetties, and partly like my own Kitl.  It just seemed to work well round those bends.  And then Finery in those panels that appeared when I followed the breaks between the Molygons.  I don't think I'm tucking my Molygons in as tightly as suggested, but I quite like them this way, with that gap in the middle - room to tuck something else or just leave blank.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

take one

I'm not saying I lost sleep over a tangle, but I did spend a lot of time with it circling around in my head between seeing it and getting to draw it.  The ever-inspiring Sandy Hunter's new tangle Lollywimple is one of those.  You know them when you meet them. 
Apprentice sized tile to allow room to play.

So I'm taking my time getting to know it - I don't want to rush things.  On my tile, her three simplest versions as three partial frames, so allow me to practice the tangle, and to try out different fills and shading.  I think this could be the start of something wonderful!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


It was only as I sat to enjoy my Tuesday morning ritual of browsing through the array of tiles sent in for Adele's weekly String Thing challenge that I noticed that my tile was missing.  And only then that I realised that it was missing because I hadn't sent it in.  I'd drawn it, scanned it, and then forgotten all about it.

Drawn on Daler-Rowney Murano paper so those
white ink hearts would really stand out

So here it is.  The one that never reached its destination.  The one I encouraged (I won't say forced) myself to do despite the fact that I really don't like drawing hearts.  It's not that I don't like love.  It's just that hearts remind me too much of the commercialization of love.  But then I remembered that in the weird world of Zentangle a cirlce is an orb - which makes it far less scary to draw.  So surely therefore a heart is just a shape, with a point at one end and two bumps at the other.  So I just drew some of those shapes.  And as a result of that slight tweak in my thinking I had a great time.  Even if I did forget to email it to Adele!