As the old year closed and the new one circled around with more daylight (and a lot more snow here in Wisconsin), I decided to broaden my Zentangle experience. In addition to my usual black ink and graphite on white tiles, I tried brown inks and colored pencils — and the new Zenstone — on the new brown Renaissance tiles. I also experimented with water soluble graphite and colored pencils on regular white tiles. And then, just to mix it up a little, I went back to the old, familiar white tiles with black ink.
Tangles: flux, tipple, tripoli, a hollibaugh variation, sez, lanie, and eye-wa.
First, I used a really dark brown pen on a Renaissance tile. I also used some Prismacolor pencils, and, in the flux tangle along the top, I highlighted the leaves with my new Zenstone, which I love. It adds a light tone (not quite as white as the white Prismacolor pencil which outlines the tripoli triangles, below the flux), and it is remarkably strong. When I hold it, I am aware of its squareness, and it looks translucent, not like it can produce such a nice light effect.
Tangles: copada, crescent moon, borbz, prestwood, and flukes.
Next, I experimented with colored pencil (the blue and green in the copada) and with water-soluble graphite (Derwent Graphitint) that has just a touch of hue for all the other shading.
Tangles: shattuck, betweed, quandary, well, elven, knase, copada, keeko, and an oval pattern I’ve been working on.
On another Renaissance tile, I used the Sakura Pigma Micron lighter brown ink (more of a sienna than their super dark brown, though when I filled in larger areas the ink really got dark). Then the Zenstone and some Prismacolor pencils. Aside from the ink, I haven’t tried any water-based media on these tiles. They are a little more fragile feeling than the white tiles, and felt like they wouldn’t take water well. They really soaked up the ink to the point of getting really dark.
Tangles: opus, striping, krli-qs, warble, nzeppel, borbz, verdigogh, and flux.
For this tile, I used a water-soluble graphite wash as my string, and tangled on top of it with the dark brown ink. It is really close to black. Then I went in with dark brown and white pencils to add shading and highlights.
Tangles: a variation of well, knase, hibred, meer, shing, striping, festune, and a leafy form like sampson.
Inspired by Margaret Bremner’s houses, I wanted to try some house-like structures, only with a little more abstract quality. Where hers are whimsical and delightful to look at, I wanted mine to be about surface planes. I live on a hill and look down at rooftops. I like how they blend together with the landscape. This tile was still a bit too realistic for me.
Tangles: a variation of florz, dansk, meer, lanie, sanibelle, tipple, nzeppel, and striping.
I returned to the old black-and-white to work on a string made of the forms that suggest the planes of walls and roofs. More abstract; more me.
Tangles: flux, emingle, ynix, knase, tipple, flukes, sez, striping, prestwood, dribbetz, divadance, crescent moon, a variation of chillon, and a variation of bucky.
I added a few more organic elements to the planes and like the results.
Tangles: eye-wa, sand swirls, knightsbridge, warble, sez, and meer.
This one got a lot more flat, and doesn’t suggest landscape as much. It’s more about filling large areas with pattern.
Sometimes a change, or trying something new, doesn’t have to be a big, huge shift. Just a different background, or a dollop of color are all it takes to keep things lively and fresh.