Draw With Me…Tangle Pattern Marley by Christine King

I spend a lot of time doing large, intricate drawings, often A4 in size. I really enjoy working in this abstract and intuitive way. You can view today’s YouTube video where I draw this design by clicking on this link!

However, I’m realising that sometimes a fairly small, relatively quick project is needed. Yesterday, it was a pair of monotangle square Zentangle designs. Today, I woke up thinking that I’m not really making much use of my journal/commonplace book/zibaldone. The idea I had to encourage me to do this is to decorate the pages with a border!

So, that is exactly what I did. I had a quick look on tanglepatterns.com for a tangle pattern that is new to me that I’d like to use. Christine King’s lovely ‘Marley’ caught my attention, and so I went with it. I had to add a little plant pot, patterned with a variation of the tangle pattern ‘Well’ for Marley to grow from.

I only wanted to add one side border, or sidebar I suppose. I still wanted most of the page to write on.

I’m so glad I decided to do this. The border both gives a special feeling to the page and breaks the blankness. It’s encouraging me to write, not to leave it all lonely. So, I’m sure I will. Quotes, thoughts, ideas or other things will find their way onto this page, and others.

I hope you’ll take a look at today’s video and have a go at drawing this lovely pattern with me.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today marks the Lunar New Year celebrated in China and other Asian nations. It is the year of the Tiger.

I thought I’d draw a design based on some of the symbols associated with the New Year celebrations held by Chinese and Asian communities worldwide.

To start, I used various Distress Inks – fossilised amber, ripe persimmon, spiced marmalade and aged mahogany – to colour a 14cm x 14cm (5.5″ x 5.5″) piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper. Tigery colours!

After marking my border guides in pencil, I drew in the outer border of stylised plum blossoms.

Next, a layer of coins, all with the square hole characteristic of Chinese coinage, but many with imaginative patterns within.

I then realised I hadn’t put a tiger anywhere! So, I popped a cute and whimsical tiger head at the centre, all smiling and happy.

Finally, as far as drawing was concerned, I put some bamboo overlapping in a Zentangle Hollibaugh manner to fill the space.

Then it was time to tackle adding colour. The part that always vexes me. I used watercolour pencils in this instance. I discovered I liked working in a loose, just let the paint and water do what they will, kind of way. I got some interesting textures and patterns, particularly in the spaces between the bamboo.

I’m not entirely sure this was all a good idea, mind you. Part of me really wishes I’d drawn this on plain paper, or maybe coloured paper, but left the colour at that. Some shading.

And I’ve just realised that I haven’t really done any shading in this design! It would be awkward now as I’ve added gold and white gel pens to the design. Oh well.

I’m not all that happy with this drawing. I may spend some time doing a version of it, but on plain white paper. Just to see the difference.

There’s always something to learn from each drawing that is done. Always. However, I don’t always learn those lessons, such as how I feel I struggle with colour when it’s traditional media or the importance of contrast/shadow to bring depth and dimension to a design.

I definitely need to make a list of things to consider when drawing in my commonplace book.