“Drawing” on vellum paper with ‘Scena’ variations.

Click on this link to view the accompanying video on YouTube.

Like many of you, I have been watching Zentangle’s Project Pack 18 videos. For this project pack, they’ve included vellum tiles, which they’ve called Translu-zen-cy. It took me a while to remember that I had some things in my stash – vellum, ball styluses for working on vellum, and past experiences drawing on vellum in the Pergamano style!

So, I had a bit of a faff around with vellum on Saturday and Sunday. This morning, I decided to share this with a YouTube video.

Drawing on vellum is fairly easy, but it’s not without its tricksy elements. First, you need a surface to work on with a little bit of ‘give’ so that the ball tool, a ballpoint pen that has run out, a fine-pointed knitting needle, or similar can emboss the vellum. This embossing is done on what will be the reverse of the artwork; the marks appear much more opaque white on the front. The darker the surface, the better, as it’s easier to see the marks you’re making on the reverse side.

You don’t need to use a lot of pressure to emboss the vellum. In fact, a series of lighter strokes, giving the vellum a chance to rest and relax back to being flat, is better than using heavy strokes. This will minimise the curling of the vellum, but it will still need to be put under a heavy book for a couple of hours, or days, to flatten it out. So it’s not something that can be completed in one go.

You can always tell which is the front; the lines feel raised because they are! Also, they are a more opaque white. I always check that I’m embossing on the reverse side before wielding the ball stylus with any kind of intent.

To make the ball stylus run smoothly across the vellum, making it easier to have a light hand, you can rub the vellum with a tumble drier sheet and the ends of the ball tools. It also makes your vellum smell nice for a while. Not that the vellum has a smell anyway.

Once the drawing is finished, it can be coloured, again on the reverse, mounted on coloured paper or card, or a combination of these. Metallic highlights can be added to the front if desired.

It has been a nice exploration of this technique and the Zentangle tangle pattern ‘Scena’. I’ve not finished drawing the design; the vellum is currently resting under my cutting mat so it can flatten out. But I’m going to film the process. Then, I’ll look at ways of adding colour to vellum in a third video in the series. That’s if I share the process of drawing the rest of the design.

I’m no expert on Pergamano, but drawing with other tools and surfaces is fun.

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