Zentangle Patterns Aquafleur, Pepper and Dra-wings

View the accompanying YouTube video by clicking on this link.

Today seems to have disappeared. I have been lost in arty pursuits since around 10:30. It’s now 14:49. The video that goes with the drawings has finally uploaded. The three drawings I started in the video are now all completed and shown here.

It’s actually been a lovely way to spend a Saturday. It’s beautifully sunny out, but there’s a coolness in the air that is absolutely delightful and so reminiscent of many early Septembers in the past. All I want to do is curl up in bed and listen to the sounds of the world outside; a car every now and then, the varied sounds of a rugby match, the twitter of birds and the clattering of jackdaws.

All of this has been a lovely soundtrack to do my art to! And I suppose I should talk about that.

Yesterday, I took a look at the tangle pattern Aquafleur. As I was drawing it, the way I made pen strokes reminded me of two other tangle patterns – Pepper and Dra-wings (or Drawings). So, I decided to look at them in today’s video.

One of my YouTube subscribers had left a comment saying they weren’t sure how to get their Aquafleur to spiral inwards like mine did. So, I started the video by showing how to do that.

And it was rather fortuitous that I was asked about that as it meant I had an example of Aquafleur to compare to Pepper and Drawings! The similarity is in how the various segments are shaped. But by some simple adjustments, you end up with three different end results.

Although I left each drawing incomplete at the end of the video, I did show in the Pepper and Drawings tiles how I was planning to add shade and light to them. I wasn’t even sure I would complete the Aquafleur, but I am glad I did.

I’m not sure whether I have a favourite out of the trio of tiles. Each has its own charm and allure.

Zentangle Tangle Pattern “Aquafleur”

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

Aquafleur is a lovely, organic tangle pattern that creates layers as you draw. The result is reminiscent of a flower, coral, seashell or sea plant. It’s also a bold, high-contrast tangle with a lot of dimension. It’s not a tangle pattern I can remember tackling, and the version you see above is actually my second attempt! I misunderstood the Aquafleur deconstruction by Zentangle Inc.

Like most tangle patterns, Aquafleur is quite easy to construct once you’ve made sense of the pattern’s step out (deconstruction).

I used a graphite pencil and a paper stump to add shadow to the purks (nestled orbs). Highlights I added using white charcoal on the purks and a white Gellyroll on the black sections.

But this design needed something a bit more. So, I got a dip pen and a bottle of gold acrylic ink and added stripes of gold to the Aquafleur. Then, I added a few sprigs of golden leafy loveliness to the design and called it done.

I rather like how this has turned out. I particularly like the opulence of the gold against the very graphic black and white. I decided to leave this motif and the sprigs as they were, nothing else added to fill the piece of paper. I could add a drop shadow around the Aquafleur to lift it up. However, I like it just as it is!

Template Thursyay!

Thursday is Template Thursyay! Most weeks, it’s the day I release a new colouring page exclusively to the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group.

This week, I’ve designed a mandala full of layers and patterns. I’ve chosen a limited colour palette of soft greens, pinks, reds, oranges and browns; a softer, calmer selection of colours that have that late summer, early autumn feel.

I love drawing mandalas. Seeing the repeating pattern building up is both fascinating and relaxing. Adding colour to bring out the layers and breathe life into the design is a magical process. I’ve not done much with high contrast to bring out the dimension today. Gentleness is the approach needed today both to my art and to myself.

I find it fascinating how my colour choices are often softer, more muted and in limited palettes nowadays. It does make a change from the riotous colours that I so often used not all that long ago, and still do when it comes to the more whimsical and cute colouring books that I create for Creative Haven.

Seeing how others choose to add colour to the colouring page designs I create is also endlessly fascinating and varied.

Exploring Triangular Zentangle Fragments

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

This morning I just wanted to mess around with some fragments, and triangular ones seemed the way to go! ‘Fragments’ is the Zentangle term for the cells that make up a repeating pattern.

I started with a simple fragment of a circle (orb in Zentangle-speak) inside a triangle. All of these fragments have orbs as part of them, and I’m not sure if I’ve done many of them before.

I’ve written it before, and no doubt will again, that exploring both fragments and tangle patterns is an absorbing activity. No matter how often I look at one particular fragment, there are endless variations that can result. Some may be of use in a ‘reticulum’ (Zentangle-ese for the grid upon which a pattern is formed), others may just be for the experience of being curious and seeing what happens if I do x, y or z…

This is also a great warm-up activity. It gets my hand-eye coordination and fine motor control working well. My creative brain gets flexed and exercised too. It is also an opportunity to try out new drawing tools and media.

Another big benefit of this practice is that there is no pressure to complete a finished artwork. There’s the implied permission to make mistakes, for things to not work out. Indeed, I learn more from those that don’t work out or where a mistake is made than anything that works out well.

I’m always amazed by how many fragments can be made from a simple start. In this case a circle within a triangle.

My A3 Drawing Board, side 1.

Over the past two or three weeks, I’ve been gradually decorating my A3 drawing board. The board is made from compressed wood chips and has a dull, pale brown colour. That means I chose colours that would work well on this brown.

I drew the black lines with a Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen, which is now almost empty of ink! The brush tip is a tad worn but functioning well all the same.

I added colour with Arteza EverBlend marker pens. The white highlights were added with a white Posca pen.

There are only two things left for me to do. Firstly, use a spray varnish on this side to protect the drawing. The second is to decorate the other side too!

It has taken me many hours of work, some of them when I wake in the middle of the night with my mind whirring. Eventually, my mind calms down, and I can get back to sleep. Lying in bed, tossing and turning, is useless to me. I much prefer to do some intuitive art like this. Something I don’t need to think about, just let it happen, and that in itself quietens my mind down.

Narfello – A Zentangle Tangle Pattern Exploration.

Carrying on with the flowy pattern theme, I explore the Zentangle tangle pattern “Narfello” today.

This pattern is based on wavy lines and is easy to construct. The fun lies in all the variations that are possible. The first three steps in setting the tangle pattern up give an unusual grid that can be filled in so very, very many ways.

I always enjoy exploring patterns. It is, for me, a way of practising creativity, giving myself permission to draw without the end product being as nearly perfect as possible. It’s about trying things out to see what happens; if I don’t like what I’ve done, it’s no biggie! I can learn from it or, even better, work on how to change what I’ve done to make it something I like.

It doesn’t matter how many times I explore a pattern or fragment (the basic cell of a repeating pattern); there are always more things to discover and to use. It is quite addictive at times, that’s for sure!

A flowy, abstract pen drawing.

Click on this link to view the accompanying YouTube Draw With Me tutorial video.

I was asked to look at the absolutely beautiful work by Angel_Draws on Instagram, use the work as inspiration, and explain how to create similar texture and volume.

I chose to use an extra fine Twisbi Eco fountain pen. The paper is Moss toned paper by Fabriano, which measures approximately 12.5cm square (approx 5″). For the shade, I used a Prismacolour Ebony graphite pencil. A General’s white charcoal pencil was my choice for the highlights.

I’ve had a go and done it my way, that’s for sure. I enjoyed creating lines that give the illusion of volume in the drawing. Adding shade and light really brought the appearance of folded space out.

It’s also complex, intricate, convoluted, and maelstrom-like, reminding me of roiling, billowing clouds. The textures of clouds are fascinating to me at this time. I’ve seen some amazing ones recently.

I’m not sure if this drawing is finished or whether I’ll add more of the frilly stuff around it. Only time and a good night’s sleep, or several, will tell!

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!

Zentangle Inspired Monogram WIP

Click on this link to watch the Draw With Me tutorial video on YouTube

This morning, I thought I’d share how I’m exploring creating some Entangled art, particularly monograms, via YouTube.

This little drawing is 11cm by 11cm, which is approximately 3.5″ square – took about an hour or so to get to this point. I wasn’t sure of the green, but I think it’ll work out just fine. There’s quite a way to go yet, but that will have to wait for another time.

The materials I used are:
* 03 black Sakura Pigma Micron
* Various Arteza Everblend marker pens
* Various fineliners in grey and green
* A white Sakura Gellyroll pen
* A metallic gold Uniball Signo pen

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.