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.