Taiga and Elm Seeds

Click on this link to watch the accompanying video tutorial on YouTube.

I do love seeds! There’s such a huge variety across the globe. Today, I chose some elm seeds to stylise for this drawing.

I also had a hankering to tackle, once again, Tomos Padros’ beautiful Zentangle pattern “Taiga”. It took me two attempts to work out how to do it, but I got there in the end. It is a beautiful woven pattern with so much volume when high contrast shade and light are used.

Exploring Stylised Flower Motifs

This morning I wanted to do something fairly simple, soothing and relaxing. So, I chose to look at some variations of a stylised flower motif.

The version I started with is in the centre bottom of the design.

I used various Distress Watercolour Pencils and a water brush to add colour.

The white and gold highlights and patterns were added using gold and white acrylic ink and a dip pen.

Finally, the more intense shade was added using a graphite pencil and a paper stump. I even put some graphite around the gold foliage surrounding the design.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this one. I like the mostly monochrome blue/teal colour scheme on the grey tile. I wasn’t sure bout the gold patterns, but now it’s finished, I think It’s turned out just fine.

Zentangle Fengle variations, Pokeleaf and Mooka

I enjoyed drawing this design, though I wasn’t sure of the grubby-looking graphite and white charcoal on the big leaves. However, I persevered and am now fairly happy with this design.

I started with the Zentangle pattern Fengle and drew it in two different ways. The Fengles are stacked on top of each other.

Rather than try to squash another Fengle in, I elected to add some large, furled Pokeleaves, and of course, some Mookas had to grow with them.

The paper I used to draw on was a piece of Fabriano Toned paper in sand. The paper becomes the mid-tone of the design, so it’s perfect for using both graphite and white charcoal to add shade and highlight. Which I did, and the leaves ended up looking rather grubby.

So, while the video was uploading and processing, I completed adding all the shades and highlights. Then, I re-drew all the black and brown lines. Next, I added dotted highlights using white Gellyroll and Posca pens. Finally, I used a brown Arteza Everblend marker pen to fill the background gaps and draw around the design.

I’m so glad I added so many white dots to the pokeleaves and mookas. They just lifted the colour so much. The richer brown background also helped with this, though I think I need to tidy up the edges somewhat.

For someone who really doesn’t like using graphite/white charcoal in this way, I’m quite pleased with how this has turned out. I’m so glad I remembered I had this toned paper in my stash!

Oh, the patterned background is actually my drawing board! I decided to decorate it with all kinds of patterns and motifs. I’ll finish this side, seal it with some tough spray varnish, then start on the t’other side! Inspired by Zentangle’s Maria Thomas’s suede mat.

Another Flowy Zentangle Inspired Pattern

In today’s video, I started drawing this design inspired by one by Doodlillusion on Instagram. I’d been asked to look at this one by a YouTube subscriber, so today I have.

I definitely used Doodlillusion’s art as inspiration, drawing it in my own way. I trust that I can show and explain how I approached this kind of pattern, along with some hints and tips and various ways of working with it.

I’m quite pleased with the end result. I like the graphic black and white. Something I need to consider more in my monogram and other explorations, maybe!

Rectangular Zentangle Fragment Explorations

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

This was a nice way to start my day! Exploring fragments and creating fragments is always a fascinating process. I never quite know what will come from my mind onto the paper. Some fragments work out, others don’t. Either way, it is still of value, even if just exercising hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and the creativity ‘muscle’!

I can see some of these fragments working best as individual motifs. Others would work well in a reticulum – the zentangle name for a grid.

I still have quite a few rectangles to fill, so I will post them as a resource when that’s done.

Talking of resources… I now have quite a few sketchbooks and loose pages filled with explorations of fragments. I need to start organising them all so I can refer to them for inspiration. Or do I? I mean, it’s not a huge issue to just sit and do some of these fragments until I find one I’d like to use in a drawing. I worry about forgetting things, not using them or referring to them. Perhaps the value in all of this is to get a memory hoard of shapes and ways of putting patterns together, which can be drawn upon when needed.

Yes, a memory hoard, whether conscious or stored in the subconscious, is so important and trusting that all these things will be there, somewhere, ready to be used in different, unusual and even unique ways.

Zentangle Scena variations on vellum – Part 2

To watch the accompanying video on YouTube, just click on this link.

Today, I experimented with various things during this video. The first was putting a coloured background behind the drawing on vellum paper/parchment paper. Then, I coloured the back of a drawing with alcohol markers to show the difference. Alcohol markers work fine and well, but brush markers like Tombows, with water-based colours, work better. Coloured pencils will also work, as will most mediums.

The next experiment involved drawing on some vellum with a metallic gel pen and then a black fineliner and embossing from the back. These work really well. You could draw with any kind of gel pen, fineliner or just a pencil, graphite or white or another colour.

I also showed how you can add highlights to the drawing even when the colour has been added to the reverse. The embossed vellum will always look white on the front if you emboss it on the rear.

The final thing I did was to complete the drawing of scena variations, which you can see above. This will need a good while to flatten out under some heavy items before I can finish adding filler patterns and either colour or coloured background.

I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring vellum/parchment to create Zentangle-inspired art using not pens but ball styluses. It’s the same yet different to drawing on paper with a pen. But, I think it is worth continuing to explore and use from time to time.

“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.

#DrawWithMe – Exploring some square Zentangle pattern fragments

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

Earlier today, I just wanted to explore a simple Zentangle Pattern fragment, or two. I started with two square fragments, each with a circle in the centre. One had a diagonal cross, the other vertical/horizontal. And I went from there to create some more ornate versions of them.

I never know where this kind of exercise is going to go, but it is always interesting and some pleasant kinds of fragments result.

These are just a few fragments I came up with during the course of the video; I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the possible variations.

This exercise is good for flexing your creative ‘muscles’, warming up hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, and playing around with colour, shade and highlight. Also, it’s perfect for relaxing, taking a break from all that is happening in this world. Even if for just a short while.

A Zentangle Cartouche using Tripoli and N’zeppl Variations

Click on this link to view the accompanying video.

Today, I am exhausted. I’ve had an incredibly busy three days, and as enjoyable as they all were, I managed to get over-stressed, over-anxious, over-wrought and exhausted. Oh, and an upset digestive system also always happens when I’m stressed.

All I need is a couple of stress-free and calm days to recover. Maybe more than a couple of days.

Earlier today, I wanted to draw, and I wanted to draw something that wouldn’t be too challenging – the focus being on calm and meditative. A Zentangle Cartouche seemed to fit the bill.

The central motif was a sticking point. Try as I might, it took me several attempts to get an assemblage of Tim Holtz Ephemera that was to my liking.

I knew I wanted to use a triangular fragment as part of the ‘cartouche’ to frame the focal point. I knew that black would most likely be too harsh. So, I went with a softer blue-grey. And that seemed to work out just fine. Apart from the fact I used a Zebra Sarasa 0.5 gel pen and the areas of dense ink are rather uneven. What is daft about this decision is that I have plenty of fine-liners that would do the job better!

Brain full of fluff and addlement today – told you so!

Anyhoo, I persevered and have got it to a point where I like the contrast between the ink-dense tripoli border and the more open N’zeppl. The next job is to decide how to add some contrast, colour, highlight or any combination of these! Oh, and what medium to use too, but that decision can wait until I’m less overwrought, brain-addled, and my head is less full of fluff to decide.

I have also managed to bake a cherry and coconut cake, which is remarkable, given I’m not too good at baking when I’m emotionally overwrought. It’s cooling down, so will try it later on for sure.

Entangled Botanica – Part 2 – WIP

Click on this link to view today’s video on YouTube.

A lovely half hour or so adding some more elements to this drawing. A nice way to start the day for sure!