Fengle, a tangle pattern by Zentangle Inc, is a tangle I’ve found difficult to draw with any kind of success in the past. I just couldn’t seem to get my head around it.
So, today I watched Zen Linea’s video showing how to draw fengle. The pieces of the puzzle clicked into place and this higgledy-piggledy page of explorations resulted.
I discovered that it really is a lovely pattern to draw, and many, many variations are possible, including the direction in which the second stroke is added. I’m not entirely sure this is all that different, but the way the ‘leaves’ seem to overlap feels different and looks more exaggerated. Of course that could just be how I drew those second lines.
I tried to use individual ‘leaves’ to create linear borders, not all that successfully. However, sometimes you just have to go with an idea and see where it leads. As I’m typing, my mind is coming up with ideas of how I could make that work.
I’m not a big fan of putting other tangle patterns inside a tangle pattern. However, I was surprised; the large space inside the leaves lends itself nicely to this technique.
Yesterday, I did start a second page of hirari variations. Today, I can feel some fengling around being done to fill another sketchbook page!
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.
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.
Today’s tangle is ‘Xac’ by Susan Yeo CZT. It’s another floral kind of pattern, which has plenty of possibilities for variations. This sketchbook page contains just a few. The spiral variation reminds me of a succulent. I particularly like the individual leaves/petals; they look like odd seedpods, and that is something I’d like to explore more, maybe.
Sketchbook Saturday | My week in art.
In this vlog, I look back at the first nine days of Inktober.
I’ve had a lovely tangle-y, arty, creative morning. Some good stuff. Some experiments that worked, some that didn’t quite. Either way, I have two more pages in my sketchbook filled with explorations of Zentangle patterns.
On the left is the page of explorations of Morrisseau by Cheryl Moote CZT. The white lines in the wavy border are just … too stark and a clear line/edge that I don’t like much, at the moment. I much prefer the dotty embellishments! Having said that, the white lines that turn areas of the design into shell-like fragments work rather nicely. The more I play around with Morrisseau, the more it’s becoming one of my favourite tangle patterns. I have a lot more exploring to do with it, no doubt too.
On the right is a page of explorations of today’s tangle, Zenith, by Zentangle Inc. This was kind of fun to play around with, some ideas more successful than others. less colour on this page, but plenty of dots and white highlights!
As these are pages in my sketchbook, I feel no need to finish them completely. They’re there as a reference for ideas growing forward. Also, they’re a record showing how I’m working at developing both patterns and addition of colour, shadow and highlight.
For colour, I’ve used Graphitint pencils with a damp brush to activate the colour and gently spread it out. I like the earthier tones much more than the bright and intense colours of the Ecoline pens at the moment.
For shadow and highlight on the Zenith page, I used charcoal pencils. Now, these I like far more than graphite pencils. They don’t add any shine at all. Hurrah!
For white highlights, a white Sakura Soufflé pen was used, both before and after adding colour/shadow/highlight. With the charcoal pencils it really needs to be added afterwards as the charcoal is abrasive enough to stick to the dry pen. With graphitint it doesn’t matter. Indeed, the way colour pools around the white dots/lines adds depth and interest to the colour.
I’ve also used some metallic paints that are fairly opaque in some of the drawings. I enjoyed doing this, especially as I could add different shades of gold to add a highlight. I think I’ll be using these more going forward; they give a much smoother finish in large-ish areas than a metallic gel pen would. I like smooth finishes with metallics. The uneven colour that results from spreading the graphitint pencils pleases me too.
Taking part in Inktober Tangles 2021 is spilling over into this week’s coloring page for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The result is a rather geometric design which has a very tiled floor or stained glass feel to it. The quadrants could be coloured in separate colour schemes to, say, represent the four seasons, four favourite colours … well anything really. I’ve just completed one quadrant as an example.
The tangle pattern for today is ‘Morisseau’ by Cheryl Moore CZT. I’ve included it, and a couple of other tangle patterns, in my typically entangled artwork to the right. I’ve started to add colour in rusty browns and oranges with blues. The brighter colours are Ecoline Brush pens. The more muted areas are Graphitint pencils with a damp brush. I think I prefer the Graphitint areas. They have a much more aged, vintage, weathered feel to them.
Oh, I enjoyed creating this page so much! I absolutely love botanical patterns, but I also have great affection for grid-based, repeating, symmetrical patterns.
Brrst, by Kelly Barone CZT, is one of those grid-based patterns. It’s based on a square ‘fragment’ that is rotated around a central point. The final pattern has so many possibilities for adding shadow and highlight.
I used the original Brrst in a ‘crazy’, assymetrical grid, which was a lot of fun to do.
However, what I loved the most was playing with the basic idea and modifying, exploring the possibilities. The ones I like best are where I’ve added spirals in the ‘tucked under’ circular area.
I think the triangular variations could be interesting to work with, but I’m not at all fussed on the circular ones.
My internal debate is whether I go back to sleep, or whether I work on this week’s coloring template. I’ve been awake since before 4am (it is Wednesday, so my grocery delivery arrives around 5am most weeks!), so it won’t be long before I can’t keep my eyes open.
I do know that this sketchbook page is all I’ll do today for the Inktober Tangles 2021 challenge. I think I’ll be putting aside the official Inktober challenge for now. I find I’m enjoy the Tangle challenge far more. Also, I do need to turn my attention soon to the templates for the Adorable Dogs book for Creative Haven, due out April 2022.
I took one ‘petal’ from the Ayame tangle, designed by Emiko Kaneko CZT, and used it for the outside border. In the inner section, I’ve used a variation of Naaki by Nadine Roller CZT, Lunar Flux by Debbie New CZT, and Printemps and Mooka by Zentangle Inc.
Ack to my ravens. I really do need to spend some time working out how I’d like to draw a cute, funny, cuddly kind of raven. Perhaps I need to use my cuddly toy ravens (yes, I have more than one!) as models, maybe.
Anyway, the ravens are just quick drawings/sketches. I may spend more time today drawing more iterations. Maybe.
Ayame, a tangle pattern by Eniko Kaneko CZT, is an interesting and troublesome one for me to draw. I’ve tried several times to follow the step out by Eniko, but always ended up with weird, lopsided, overly wonky versions.
So, I started by working out how one petal would work for me, then took it from there, and have some variations I’m kind of happy with.
I’ve yet to work it into a whole drawing. Maybe I’ll spend some time today doing that. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do, other than to get all this social media stuff done and then get some breakfast!