Dex is a grid-based tangle pattern by Zentangle Inc. It’s interesting to add variations to. Indeed, I’m sure I recognise some of the variations as other tangle patterns. I expect there’s going to be a lot of overlap.
Mandala | 25 October 2021
I’ve been working on this mandala from time to time. Originally, I wanted to stick to fairly warm brown tones. But today, I just wanted to lift the colours with blues and oranges.
I’m glad I did. The colours are stilly vintage-y, rusty, corroded, aged. But there’s a warmth to them that I like. It is a limited color palette, and I do seem to do well with them.
The shadows and highlights really help to add some volume to the design.
I can see some Zentangle patterns in the design -Morriseau, Shattuck, Mooka – and perhaps others that have shades of tangle patterns about them. It seems that Inktober Tangles 2021 is having an effect even on my mandalas, though this is the first mandala I’ve created in a couple of months.
Created in Clip Studio Paint.
Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 25 “Round Square”
Round Square, by Karin Guzzetta CZT, has turned out to be an interesting pattern to try variations out on.
At first sight it seems a rather, well, boring pattern. However, with just a little creativity, it’s become fascinating rather than boring. From adding ‘auras’ and patterns, to threading laces through the pattern, to inverting the dark and light areas, and even changing the shape from square-ish to triangular, this has become a pattern full of possibility.
I’ve just realised that I didn’t try adding white (or coloured) patterns to the darker borders in some of the patterns.
Will it make it’s way into my artwork? I don’t know. I can see some interesting optical illusions going on in places. A bit more forward planning with the ‘laces’ running through the pattern could have a really interesting effect, maybe.
However, these will have to be shelved for now as I do need to turn to other work for the day.
Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 23 and Sketchbook Saturday
Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 23 “Ple-A” by Apple Lim CZT
This was a new tangle to me, but not any more!
It took a while for me to understand it’s basic structure. Then, it was experimenting with it to fill (mostly) a page of my A5 sketchbook with just a few possibilities.
I did start adding shadow and highlight, but went on to focus on patterns in both black and colour. I may return to add those shadows and highlights to increase the illusion of volume.
Sketchbook Saturday – My week in art
It took nearly an hour for me to look back on my week in art. I didn’t think I’d done this much as I’d been unwell for a few days and needed to sleep a lot.
In the video, I share with you my observations, reflections and lessons from all of this work.
Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 22 – “Paradisum” By Oswaldo Burbano CZT
Today, I thought I’d share part of my explorations of Oswaldo Burbano’s lovely organic tangle pattern “Paradisum”.
It’s not easy for my to vocalise my thought processes, as my thoughts are not in words, but in symbols, images and feelings. But I try, and making videos forces me to vocalise them.
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing all the art I’ve done this week in a vlog, so you’ll see the whole of this page if you don’t get to see it on my other social media.
Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 19 “Oopsmie by Hanny Nura
I think the key for me, as I look at the sketchbook page on the screen, is to start with drawing the ‘seed’ – it’s shape and size – and then work from that out. I need some more time with this tangle to explore that idea more.
Today may very well be the perfect day for such a journey. It’s wet and grey out. I’m tired after a poor night’s sleep and early waking. I’m not up for the challenge of working on templates for ‘Adorable Dogs’ today. I need do to comforting art that gently challenges me to stretch my visual vocabulary.
The grey, wet, gloomy day isn’t helping my energy levels or mood. I think more tea is required, lots more tea!
Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 18 “Moonpie”
Moonpie is a tangle pattern by Zentangle Inc. It’s based on crescent moon, another pattern by Zentangle Inc. In keeping with that, I divided the triangular segment up in the way that crescent moon is drawn – in circular arcs. Next, the addition of patterns to the segments.
This motif is something that is a familiar feature of my art, usually nestled betwixt arches or other elements of the design. The variations are endless.
Shadow and highlight, and/or colour really helps to bring these drawings to life.
I thought it would be fun to add stems to some of the moonpies. Some end up looking like flowers, others like very architectural seedpods! And, of course, I started the whole page with a couple of wobbly moonpie pies!
Matt graphite pencils?
I have long disliked using the humble drawing pencil to add shading to drawings. It’s also rather reflective, giving a sheen to the drawing that obscures the pen lines, no matter how carefully the graphite is blended out.
Towards the end of last week, a video popped up You-Tube for some pencils that claim to be matt graphite pencils. These are the Pitt Graphite Matt pencils by Faber-Castell. I watched the video and the review for them seemed to be fab. So, I had to get some to try.
In the same video, Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black pencils were mentioned as having less shine than traditional graphite drawing pencils. So, I thought I’d try those out too.
The result? They are a lot less shiny than traditional graphite pencils! They don’t blend out as far as traditional pencils do, which is fine by me as it really helps to keep the shading in the area you want it.
There’s still a little shine with them; graphite is a shiny material. When I was a science teacher, it was always surprising to myself and my students how slippery a piece of shiny-grey graphite feels. It really is shiny too. So that doesn’t surprise me. So, it’s not the graphite that’s less shiny itself, it’s what is included in the mix.
Carbon and charcoal pencils are duller, but messier and impossible to erase if you need to. I think this may be one of the ingredients in the pencil ‘leads’ in both makes. The Mars Lumograph Black also seem waxier, though I’m not sure of that yet.
I’ve only been using these for a couple of days, and so far I much prefer them to traditional graphite pencils. Time and use will tell if they become my go-to drawing pencils for shading.
Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 16 “Ecstatic” by Jem Miller
I wondered what I was going to be able to do with this tangle, which is essentially a series of zig=zags that become broken and smaller so that they seem to be wearing ‘hats’.
Surprisingly, I found it a really interesting tangle to work with, especially with the addition of shadow and highlights. They really bring the tangle alive.
It is, however, fun to add ‘dangle’ elements to the peaks of the design, both above and below, or ornaments that act like finials atop roofs.
I think there’s a lot more exploring of this pattern.
Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 16 “Moonesque” and Saturday Sketchbook – My week in art.
Today’s tangle pattern is the lovely grid based tangle ‘Moonesque’ by Leslee Feiwus CZT.
Grid based tangles are often my favourites, though during Inktober I’ve discovered that I really like other tangles too.
All grid based tangles are full of opportunities for variations, and so a page full of them was the most natural thing for me to do. And there’s only a few possible variations here.
Sketchbook Saturday – My week in art.
It’s become my habit to take a look back at my week in art with you via a video. It’s a really good way for me to reflect on my recent art and insights gained about myself and my arty journey.
This week, I think it’s discovering how valuable it is to work on variations of a motif or pattern. This aids in understanding the design, but also leads to variations that, perhaps. are more my style. I really think I’m going to do this with more of my favourite motifs and patterns going forward too. The result could be both a library of inspiration for myself, and a regular art practice too.
I wondered if people would like me to share that daily (or almost daily) practice with them, explaining how I draw various patterns and motifs. If it’s something you’d like to see, leave me a comment!
It’s also been a surprise that I’ve enjoyed drawing motifs and patterns on a larger scale than I would usually. That gives me much more space, both on the page and in my mind, to explore and experiment. That’s saying something from me, who tends towards the small and highly detailed, fussy kind of line drawings!
Discovering that using graphite pencils for shading can be useful and attractive is another surprise of the past couple of days. I’m not entirely convinced it will be something I use regularly in any work I do; I think it’s likely to depend on my mood at the time as well as the colours/media upon which I add it. Still, it was a surprise!
Inktober Tangles 2021 | Days 14 and 15
C-Knots by Valli Ganti CZT
This is an absolutely lovely tangle. Curves that are interwoven. Those delightful c-shaped arcs that create fan shapes that remind me of ginko leaves. The finished tangles remind me so much of medieval brooches.
It took me a little while to work out how the placement of the starting grid influences the final shape of the pattern. That was an interesting way to give my analytical mind a bit of a work out.
I did struggle finding different ways to complete the design, though I have started on a second page in my sketchbook just for this tangle. I also haven’t tried turning it into a border or repeating pattern…yet. As much of my signature art includes motifs rather than patterns, it’ll be a really useful pattern going forward I think.
Ing by Zentangle Inc
This is a rather angular pattern, which are not my favourite types. About the only thing that can be done with Ink is to fill the triangular spaces with patterns. That’s what I chose to do, not sticking to one pattern on each ‘ing’, but different ones to see how they worked (or didn’t) in the spaces.
I did, however, try to use a wavy line rather than a zig zag as the foundation of the pattern. It actually worked out, which surprised me. Whereas the zig-zag ing can look like folded paper, the sinuous version is much more like a ribbon, depending on the patterns that are placed in the sections.
I took this pattern as an opportunity to work on shading and highlight. I could kick myself with the lines of gel pen I used as stark highlights on this page. Goodness knows what I was thinking! Most probably not thinking is the more correct statement. Still, it’s only by doing can I learn, eventually, about what works and what doesn’t for me.
I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying drawing the patterns much bigger than I would usually do. Despite my reticence about using other patterns to fill spaces, I think I’m learning that it just depends on what pattern you choose to fill the space.
In the ING wavy variation, I really like the nested tear-drops towards the bottom of the pattern. They really seen to give a lot of volume to that part of the design. I’m sure I could use nested triangles in the ziggy-zaggy version. However, I’m not sure the effect would be quite as dramatic.
Previously, I’ve used my finger to smudge white Gelly roll lines, which gives a softer edged highlight that is brighter than white charcoal. Today, I didn’t do that. I wish I had, or at least used broken lines or dotty lines.
Surprisingly, I’m using a 2B pencil more and more for shading. Today, I didn’t seem to have that ‘it looks grimy and I don’t like it’ thought. Maybe it’s just my mood today that appreciates that kind of shading. It’s certainly useful for adding shadow around motifs/patterns if nothing else.