Tangle Exploration - Showgirl

Exploring Tangles

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. 

First Attempts

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.

Learning Opportunities

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.

More Examples

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.

Happy Tangling!