Valentines is a special time of year where we all have the opportunity to show, give and receive love in some form. In the Zentangle community we often tangle to relax, calm down and measure our emotions.
One of the most important things to do to keep your Zentangle™ art skills growing is to get inspiration and new ideas from a variety of sources.
Its interesting how there can be an amazing global art event and somehow only a small portion of the population hears about it. At the end of March, I saw a post on Instagram from someone saying they were going to take part in the #the100dayproject. I checked the link she posted to learn that it is an effort at global art and creative encouragement.
We can all use a little encouragement, right? I dug a little deeper and found one of the groups I follow on Facebook @ZentangleAllAround run by Alice Dean Hendon. was also supporting the 100 day project. Yay!
Sharing the tangling process with others enhances your enjoyment and expands creative possibilities. I was traveling recently and met up with a group of fellow Zentangle instructors in the San Diego, California area.
We had a wonderful day of sharing, tangling and of course goodies! I learned cool techniques new to me and as a result have started working on a few class ideas. One of the projects we worked on was a friendship tangle.
I just experienced a wonderful Zentangle related Valentines season through the Valentangle 2018 challenge sponsored by Marguerite Samama, CZT 16. Her mission was "to take two weeks to discover how we can put hearts into our tangles and let the tangles flow back into our hearts. We do this by appreciating making a small work of art, nourishing creativity and connecting to each other."
Before I became interested in drawing and found the Zentangle method I loved making cards and scrapbooks. Well actually, I still do, but my emphasis these days is on enjoying and teaching the Zentangle drawing method
A Twisted What?
I couldn’t resist sharing with you my newest favourite card design that I tangled to cheer up a friend. This card has an amazing surprise inside and is sure to please everyone.
Exploring new tangles is a great adventure. You never quite know where you will end up and the journey is tremendously enjoyable.
Over the last month or so I have been exploring the tangle Showgirl by Vicky Bassett. It is a wonderful loopy, flowery tangle that can fill any space or shape of your string. It happily takes on the shape of its limitation. Limitations is a fun concept to explore in the Zentangle method.
My first attempt at Showgirl was not bad. I added watercolor to a tile in light pinks and purple then drew a light string. I added Showgirl and Footlites as my main tangles in the colored areas trying to leave a bit of white space.
I ended up adding a strip of Dragonair and then filling in with Printemps to complete drawing in the pink/purple areas. After shading and adding a bit of added purple with colored pencil I called it done.
Then came a wonderful learning opportunity from Eni Oken when she published her lesson on transforming Showgirl. This amazing video and written lesson really enhanced my thinking about drawing and embellishing this beautiful tangle. I used Nouvart by Ria Matheussen to connect the two sides of the tile.
Eni talks a lot about adding weighted lines and drawing layers which you can see here. I also added extra hatching in the crevices between the Showgirl rounds. There are several extra aura's around Showgirl that I will further embellish later.
I used Inketnse watercolour pencils to begin adding colour. Black was used to darken the layers and add depth to Showgirl and the purple acted as my fill-in colour. A great thing to know about Inktense is that they are permanent after the ink dries and does not reactivate no matter how much water you add. As a result, I ended up with less layers than I was going for, but it still worked out fine.
I love the technique of treating the Showgirl petals like we do for Aquafleur, blackening selected petals and leaving a nice highlight area. You can also see the "skirt" or ribbon penned in the centre aura around Showgirl. Eni emphasis this technique in her video.
My next tile included Nzepple and lots of pink! I also played with the shape of Showgirl trying one that looks more like a bud that is just opening. Inktense provided the color and a burgundy Micron was used to add layers of hatching.
Adding just a bit of water transforms Inktense into my pillow shading on the Nzepple.
Shaping and Transforming
This final 3Z tile shows how I squeezed Showgirl even more to make it fit into the bottom section of the tile. This is actually my favorite of the set.
I encourage you to try playing with a tangle to see where it leads you. You will be surprised at how repitition enhances your skills and allows you to see new possibilities.
I love looking at Mandalas. There is something about the symmetry and consistency, and sometimes the color variations that draws my attention. Have you noticed any cool Mandalas in art or nature?
The very best way to take advantage of the meditative effects of Zentangle is to follow the standard 8 steps suggested by Rick and Maria. These simple steps allow the drawing to take shape without pre-planning the outcome. Relaxation is quickly achieved and the outcome brings a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
One of the keys to this process is the String. During CZT training, Rick Roberts referred to the string through a story of making rock candy with his grandmother. The string, dangled above the table and gently released creates a layered shape of many sections delicately encased by the string.
We can use the string concept with simple pencil marks on a tile or in a more formal manner by using a predefined template. It is fun to use many different types of strings, and when we control the outcome or plan the tangles we will use, it is called Zentangle Inspired Art.
Zentangle headquarters ran a special Christmas challenge this month counting down the days til Christmas and introducing their new 3Z tiles.
The challenge consisted of creating a tile, paper or journal page with the tangle of the day. People from all over the world participated in the challenge and at the end Rick and Maria gave away packages of 3z tiles randomly drawn from all the posted artwork.