Monday, May 9, 2016

Breaking Through a Slump

Do you ever get paralyzed by too many choices. Do you ever have an overflow of ideas and possibilities. Do you ever have that feeling of so much to do, so little time? That's where I've been for a few weeks. I finally had it with this indecision roadblock. So, I chose to do something about it. First, I made a list of the themes that were running through my brain. I loved the idea of them all, but of course could only work on one at a time. I had a list of 18. Three dice have the possibility of the numbers 1 to 18. I numbered my list and rolled the dice. There were 13 dots and number 13 was dragonflies. That was easy.

I went to my dragonfly theme box. In it were images, ideas for painting and drawing and stamps. I drew a few dragonflies here and there, but was still not feeling motivated to move on. Then, I pulled out the stamps, ink pads and various Zentangle tiles.

That was it. I closed my eyes and chose a tile. After some tangling and coloring I was pleased with my progress and looking forward to doing some more Dragonfly ZIAs.

Tangles: Msst, Rick's Flux, 'Nzeppel Tangleation

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zenstones on Black Tiles

The latest trend in the world of Zentangle is creating gemstones to add some color to a piece of Zentangle Inspired art. There are some great tutorials online for this. I use Eni Oken's ebook, 3D Tangle: Shading Zenstones, as my guide. You can find it here: 3D Shading Ebook Webshop. I thought I'd stretch myself and try some gemstones on black tiles.

At first, I used a dip pen to tangle on the black tiles. There were some flaws because I am a beginner when it comes to using a dip pen. I didn't let that bother me. I was having too much fun.

Here are the tiles before adding the Zenstones:

I tried different ways of adding a white undercoat, following some suggestions from fellow Certified Zentangle Teachers - white colored pencil, Gesso, white Inktense and watered down acrylic. The Inktense (lower left below) became very weak when water was added, so I had to add white colored pencil on top of that. This was my least favorite. It could be that Inktense and Prismacolor just don't play well together. Gesso (lower right) was too rough, but I didn't think about trying to smooth it out with paper as I did with the acrylic in the bottom photo. White colored pencil (top middle) was okay, but the black tile is rough enough that the pencil doesn't fill in very well and leaves white spots all over the gem unless you really burnish it with white. This would be my second choice.
As I was coloring in those Zenstones, I realized that tangling first made the coloring a bit tricky. But here they are colored in:

Then, I tried coloring the Zenstones before adding the tangling. It worked much better. I used slightly watered down acrylic for these. I found out that I like the watered down acrylic best on the black tiles, especially when I smoothed it down by "sanding" it with a plain piece of paper.

This is what I learned:
1. Color in the Zenstones before tangling around them.
2. Use a white undercoat of some kind to brighten them up.
3. Using slightly watered down acrylic paint is my favorite white undercoat on the black tiles.
4. After the acrylic is dry, use a piece of plain paper to "sand down" the paint so that it has the least amount of roughness possible.
5. Using a dip pen with white ink is a lot less exact than a white gel pen for tangling. But the dip pen is a fun challenge.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Advent Journey - Merry Christmas

I hope this Advent Journey has been a blessing. Here is my final piece. 

May the light of Christmas bring you peace and joy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 Advent Journey Week 4

How can this be? We are already at the fourth week of Advent. I hope if you've been following along, that you have found peace and joy in your devotions and tangling. Here is what I have so far.

There are only 2 tangles this week.  Spend the rest of the week catching up, adding details and shading (or even coloring).


Maria's Flux                                 Trio 

Suggestions for this week:
1. Use Maria's Flux to fill out the space around the top of the window.
2. Use one Trio in each space within the loop at the top of the window. Notice below how I filled in the shape with Auras in the space around Trio.


3. Add any details you think you want to include. 
4. Shade the scroll shapes to make them look rounded.
5. Shade to add further dimension. Remember that anything you want to go into the background, you will want darker and anything you want closer, leave lighter. 
6. Use a white gel pen or a white colored pencil to make the highlights even lighter.

I'll be back Christmas morning to post my completed piece.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

2015 Advent Journey Week 3

Here is my Advent Journey 2015 piece so far. If you have been following along, I hope you are finding your Advent Journey meaningful and enjoyable. If you haven't been following along, I suggest that you go back to the November 2015 post to better understand what is going on.

Below are my suggestions for this week. Some will take more than one day.
1. Fill in the hourglass shape at the top of the window with Pais.


2. Draw strings with 2 or 3 Christmas balls coming down from the each evergreen. These may need to be smaller than the ones on the windowsill. Use ideas from the balls on the windowsill for designs on them or shade them to look like shiny glass balls.

3. Use Zander to form pillars on each side of the window, tucking them behind the evergreen and Christmas balls. I've seen Maria use a form Zander in her illuminated letters. Click here and scroll down to the 9th picture to find an example. This is an official tangle with no step outs.


4. Place perfs along the inside borders of the empty window panes.

Next week I will be adding details, shading and placing the flame as the final tangle. Enjoy your week taking time to focus on what Advent means for you.