Inktober Tangles 2021 and an Entanglement

Inktober Tangles 2021| Day 10 “Hirari” by Midori Furuhashi CZT

It’s Day 10 already, of October and Inktober! In the past, Inktober has felt, after the initial surge of excitement and energy, like a chore to be done. Except two years ago with the skull prompts and this year with the Zentangle patterns.

It’s hard to explain why this is. I think with the skulls, it’s because my scientific background has an interest in such things, and I often combined the drawings with mandalas. Mandalas are something I love to draw, though haven’t dome many in recent months. Of course, I draw upon many patterns and motifs to create mandalas, some of which are zentangle-ish in nature.

With the tangle pattern challenge, it’s a simple pattern each day, but it’s exploring variations and developing my own style that is fascinating to me. I’ve found the creation of one (at least) sketchbook page of variations on a theme an excellent way for me to approach the challenge. Not only can I look at different ways of drawing the tangle and keep it’s essence, I can also experiment with different media to add colour, shadow and highlight. These are all things that will spill over into my usual kinds of artwork.

Hirari was a bit of a challenge. I’ve struggled with drawing it. However, I’ve worked out that the addition of shadow and highlight is what brings this tangle to life. I wanted to see how I could arrange the motif to create both floral and border patterns. The floral patterns are relatively easy; the borders not quite so. But by drawing them, more ideas come as the issues with the drawing are identified and ways to overcome them are thought of. I’ve got work to do with the borders, that’s for sure!

I also liked the way the furls of the petals looked by themselves – rather leafy or frondy. So I made a note of them too. I think they’d work well in patterns of their own.

Talking of experimenting with different media… To add colour to this page, I used some tinted charcoal pencils from Derwent. And I’m well pleased with them. The don’t spread as far as chalk pastel pencils or graphite pencils. That means it’s much easier to control how far shadow or highlight extends. They can be layered to increase contrast, both with the same colour or other shades. In doing this, they actually blend rather well too. Once encouraged gently into the fibres of the paper with a paper stump or tortillon, they don’t smudge easily either! Oh, and they don’t have a shiny aspect to them like graphite does.

The colours of the charcoal pencils are all rather earthy and muted, which is what you’d expect from charcoal. These kind of colours really appeal to me at this time, and they’ll work well with the Graphitint pencils, also by Derwent.

So, I’m really pleased with my flash of inspiration that led me to them.

Entanglement

This drawing, on the right, was a pleasure for me to indulge in. It’s a typically ‘Angela’ entangled drawing with plenty of detail and characteristic curves and swirls and arches. Some tangle patterns have found their way into the artwork, which is to be expected as I’m focused on such things at this time.

My only worry now is whether I add shadow/higlight with the charcoal pencils or leave it as it is. I will scan it in before I make any decision. I may try to do that digitally and keep the original pristine, for now. Shadows, at the very least, are needed to bring out the layers and volume of the various elements of the design. But this is for later on.

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