Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reviewing and Refreshing my Zentangle Practice

I've been working my way through Beckah Krahula's book, One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun.  At first glance, this book looked like just another review of the practice of Zentangle.  It seemed to be just another way of presenting what I already knew.  I decided to work through it as a review and a way to get back to the basics of the practice of Zentangle after all of the Zentangle Inspired Art that I have been doing recently.  Looking for what I could glean form each day's exercise, I began reading through the book and doing the exercises with fresh eyes.  I found that Beckah breaks down the practice of Zentangle into simple, concise explanations. This was a good refresher.  She does the same with some art principles. Some of these things I already knew, but she so simplified them that I had some "ah ha" moments as I worked through the exercises.

Here is the tile I did on Day 2 where the focus is on tonal  value (in this case, shades of black and white). It is more of a representation of some basic principles than a piece of fine art.

Tangles: Knight's Bridge, Nekton, Fescu, Static, Tipple

Here are some principles demonstrated in the tile as I see them:
  • placing strokes closer together gives the appearance of darker value - Static
  • placing dark beside light adds depth - Nekton and Fescu beside Static
  • shading a curved line makes that shape seem more rounded - Static and Knight' Bridge, empty center space
  • pencil shading an entire tangled space can give more variety of tonal value and depth to the entire piece - Tipple
While learning principles of art is not the focus of the practice of Zentangle, adding these principles adds to the enjoyment and satisfaction of it.  Our brains seem to enjoy positive challenge and change.  As we become familiar with the process and learn the tangles, we start looking for ways to add to the experience.  Learning and using the principles of art can be one way of doing this.