D23 has turned out to be a rather interesting fragment with some really fun and pleasing avenues to wander down. Yet again, I’ve only scratched the surface of variations of this one. No doubt it’ll be something I’ll return to.
The most important thing I’m learning through this challenge is about the ways to vary tangles, and also which ways will best suit different fragments. And, of course, that will translate to my other arty stuff too.
This was one of those fragments where I thought there wouldn’t be much I could do with. I wasn’t sure if it would transfer to other shapes and so on.
Turns out I need not have worried at all. Admittedly, some shapes and variations work better than others. Also, I’m aware I’ve barely scraped the surface.
This page also gave my TWSBI Eco fine nib fountain pen a work out. Treating Canson Imagine mixed media paper with Distress Ink does make it a bit more absorbent and the pen ink does result in a broader line. Such an effect wasn’t noticeable on the ClaireFontaine Paint On paper coloured with Distress Inks. It’s going to be a bit of trial and error process going on until I get the hang of it!
I managed to get all the days muddled up in the challenge. That’s not a problem, I’ve been told, just work with a fragment a day, follow the list, ignore the list, all is fine and good!
Today, I chose to do fragment X7, which can be found in the Zentangle Primer book. It’s the circular version that is suggested today. But of course I had to work with other shapes and forms too! So much so I fairly quickly filled a page up.
The second sheet was done in today’s video. I had recorded the process of drawing the first sheet, but forgot to check that I was in frame. I wasn’t for way too much of the time. So, I just recorded a different video, including some other variations of the fragment.
Once you start exploring, you just can’t stop! Or so it seems in my case.
What a lovely way it’s been to spend a few hours today! Trying out variations of the Pokeleaf Zentangle fragment.
I didn’t think I’d run out of space on this page, but I did. And there’s a couple of new fragment shapes there as well!
I used iridescent gold pigment as a watercolour on some areas, sometimes with a little colour added with a chalk pastel. On other leaves, I used chalk pastels, sometimes with some embossed patterns too.
Again, the possibilities are endless – shape of fragment, shape of leaf, number of leaves, arrangement of leaves, background or filler patterns … and so much more! All that’s needed is a pen, some paper and some time and imagination.
Today’s video shows the drawing of many of these variations, but not quite all of them. Nor does it include much i the way of adding colour.
I hope that these variations will fire up your creativity and have you reaching for pen and paper to have a go yourselves.
This is the first time I’m taking part in this particular month-long challenge. It’s being run by 7Forests5Rivers on facebook. Each day, there’s a different tangle pattern fragment to work with. And, with me being me, that means I’m most likely to create a page of lots of variations on a theme!
A fragment is a small, self-contained pattern-cell that can be repeated to create a grid pattern. The grid is called, in zentangle-speak, a reticulum. Within the reticulum, the fragments can be placed all in the same way, or they can be rotated and/or mirrored to create a pattern.
So, with just one simple fragment – the basic ‘cell’ of a repeating pattern – a whole host of patterns can be created. If the basic cell is changed by simple variations, then even more patterns can be created!
With me being me, I’ve created a page full of variations of the basic fragment for “Well”, which happens to be one of my favourite tangle patterns.
Some of the variations are different shapes for the fragment and ways of spacing and joining them. I couldn’t resist a few of my medieval-style flourishes too.
I needed to add shadows to the drawing completed and given a colour wash yesterday. As I so often regret my choices of how I do this, I decided to make a test page of various methods for my sketchbook.
They all have their own charm and feel. However, putting them side by side so I can compare and contrast gave me a better idea of what I really like.
To add shadow/highlight to a drawing, I really like the hatching/contour lines created by a micron pen or a biro. The biro I particularly like as it is much softer and I’m able to get a tone variation with the lines.
I also worked out that for using gradations of colour, they just feel a bit … plain. So, like in the drawing of medieval flowers and leaves, the combination of lines and colour works for me.
I found when I was adding shadow below the drawings that using Distress Inks like watercolours just wasn’t going to work. The use of water results in weird boundary lines that I’m not fond of. Of course, if I’d not coloured the background in Distress Ink, a gradated wash of colour may have created a lovely shadow.
So, I think I’d prefer to use chalk pastels for adding shadow. The ability to blend them out gradually, with no harsh line, is a great advantage. It’s also easy to add more of the pastel if a darker colour is needed.
So, that’s what I chose to do. Not just with the drop shadows, but with darker areas on the leaves etc. I even found that the pastel can tint the gold I’d added in places, which is a really interesting twist.
Bit by bit, I’m working out colour, shadow, highlight and what works for me.
It’s also no bad thing to spend time trying out techniques with various media. Mixing and matching. Making a reference page for my sketchbook / zibaldone has proven to be a very valuable exercise.
When I’m quite happy with the drawing. I will do my best to take a good photograph of it. It’s worked out much better than I thought it could.
The paper is 8″ x 4″ in size and coloured with various Distress Inks in shades of brown. The flowers and leaves were inspired by Medieval illuminated manuscripts, and there’s some zentangle-ish stuff going on at the bottom.
What I really enjoyed was adding contrast with pen strokes. Not graphite pencils, not chalk pastels or markers, just a very fine pen. The end results reminds me of an etching.
I have since added simple washes of colour, using the same colours I used on the paper, with the adding of Old Paper Distress Ink. I’ve mucked up a bit in trying to add shadows beneath the flowers, perhaps. I’ve also added some gold accents. This work isn’t shown in this photograph; I will show it when I’m happy with how things are. Well, happyish. I’m thinking that adding colour may not have been such a good idea after all!
The video is a long one, showing most of the drawing process. But hopefully I’ve done it in a way that if you want to ‘draw with me’, you can!
Well, I have been a bit busy with variations on the simple flower motif in the bottom left corner of the image!
I’ve said (typed?) it before; I really, really enjoy taking a simple motif and seeing how I can vary, alter and create patterns with it. There is something fascinating in doing this. Some explorations don’t work out and need amending, others lead my thoughts to unexpected versions.
Today, I felt the need to play around with a simple flower motif. I had planned on doing a page showing how to draw my current favourite patterns/motifs. Instead, as I started to draw this flower, I wanted to explore variations and patterns I could create with it.
There’s only about one third of an A5 page filled with such line drawings, and that took about an hour or so to do. But there’s so much in there already!
Being able to just lose myself, guilt free, in drawing over the past couple of days or so, has been a pleasure. ‘Adorable Dogs’ is almost done, just three templates to add colour to remain. I have a break before I start work on the next colouring book for Creative Haven from Dover Publications Inc.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be working on another project or two. But for the next few days I’m just going to indulge myself in drawing for the sheer pleasure of drawing! And that includes a New Year template for the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Books Fans.