Infinity Card – Part 3

I’m really enjoying adding panels to this infinity card. Each panel is a quick project, with no pressure to be perfect or polished. I’m finding them a fun way to explore patterns that develop from one into another, that share common features in some way, or that spark off an idea for another. It’s always a bit of a mystery trip, never knowing what the destination is, only where the journey began.

Today’s journey started in the bottom right with the Zentangle pattern “TagH”. The plumptious, rounded shapes of each part of Tagh, led me to think of circles with flowers inside, like blooming discs or spheres. That led me to Moonberry by Debbie New CZT at the top right. I used some of my favourite leaves and more TagH to fill in the remaining space.

To add volume, I used some red-grey Ohuhu brush markers. Oh, and to draw the design, I used a black Uni Emott everfine pen.

Oh, you may have noticed the notch at the top left. That shows this is also a pocket!

If you’d like to watch this panel being drawn and some sample shading click on this link to watch on YouTube.

Medieval Inspired Botanical Bookmark

I have no idea why, but tall, thin drawings (bookmarks) just appeal to me. Indeed, they always have.

I enjoyed drawing this one, and I’m fairly pleased with the chosen colours. There’s a soft, muted, vintage palette along with the flowers, seed pods, berries and leaves mainly inspired by Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts and the work of the Arts and Crafts Movement artists.

If you’d like to follow a #comedrawwithme video for this design, just click on this link!

Inktober Tangles 2022 – Day 14 “Slidehat” by Karin Frank

Click on this link to view the accompanying drawing tutorial on YouTube

I had a lovely time drawing many variations of Slidehat by Karin Frank earlier today.

Although not all the ‘hats’ worked out well, they were still fun to explore as possibilities. As this is a sketchbook page, the permission to experiment, explore, and try things out is implicit. A sketchbook is a place to do all these things and more. You can finish a piece of art or not. You can show people or not.

A safe place to be artful, that’s how I think of my sketchbooks more and more. I put too much pressure on myself to always finish a drawing, to have it polished and “imperfectly perfect”. If I don’t finish something, I can beat myself up. But I’m learning that in a sketchbook, I can do all I need to learn, grow, and develop. And sometimes that includes knowing when enough has been done!

It may take me a long while to be able to set aside my perfectionism to fully embrace this, but like everything in life, it is a work in progress!

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.

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.

Zentangle Scena variations on vellum – Part 2

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

Today, I experimented with various things during this video. The first was putting a coloured background behind the drawing on vellum paper/parchment paper. Then, I coloured the back of a drawing with alcohol markers to show the difference. Alcohol markers work fine and well, but brush markers like Tombows, with water-based colours, work better. Coloured pencils will also work, as will most mediums.

The next experiment involved drawing on some vellum with a metallic gel pen and then a black fineliner and embossing from the back. These work really well. You could draw with any kind of gel pen, fineliner or just a pencil, graphite or white or another colour.

I also showed how you can add highlights to the drawing even when the colour has been added to the reverse. The embossed vellum will always look white on the front if you emboss it on the rear.

The final thing I did was to complete the drawing of scena variations, which you can see above. This will need a good while to flatten out under some heavy items before I can finish adding filler patterns and either colour or coloured background.

I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring vellum/parchment to create Zentangle-inspired art using not pens but ball styluses. It’s the same yet different to drawing on paper with a pen. But, I think it is worth continuing to explore and use from time to time.

#DrawWithMe – A #Zentangle Pattern Tile

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

Today, I spent more than two hours creating this tile. I like how it’s turned out, particularly the volume and dimension achieved by shadow and highlight.

I started with a 4½” (11.5 cm) square of Artway’s Flat White Enviro mixed media paper, which is sturdy and works well with alcohol markers. My first step was to colour the paper with some Distress inks – I used Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade, Saltwater Taffy, Seedless Preserves and a hint of Aged Mahogany around the edge.

In true Zentangle fashion, no pencil was used to set the grid. And I chose to use a square fragment from my explorations yesterday. Of course, the fragment had a bit of a twist, with some weaving done in the style of the Zentangle pattern ‘Hurry’. Oh, and I used an 0.3 Unipin fineliner pen to do all the line drawing. Apart from the tattered burlap pattern, which I used a rusty red Staedtler Triplus fineliner for

The next step was to start to add shadow and highlight to warp space. Not really, but the illusion of dimension! I chose to use a trio of red-brown Ohuhu Art Markers. They don’t blend as well on this paper as they would on marker paper, but I like the texture that results in this case.

The final steps included: adding some shadow to the overlying grid with alcohol markers, highlights with a white charcoal pencil and a white 08 Gelly roll pen, and finally, the gold outer of the ‘buttons’ or ‘beads’ that hold the grid together.

I wanted to complete a piece of art for today’s video to mark a YouTube achievement of getting 1000+ subscribers. If you are one of those subscribers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

#DrawWithMe – The start of a flowy, Zentangle patterned colouring page

Click on this link to watch the accompanying video tutorial on YouTube

I enjoyed losing myself in the intricate, flowing, Zentangle-inspired drawing done yesterday; I thought I’d use the idea as the basis of a colouring page.

Not quite so intricate, and everything drawn on a larger scale to make it suitable for colouring, it was still very much a lovely thing to do.

The page is now finished and ready for its release to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group tomorrow.

A Zentangle Cartouche using Tripoli and N’zeppl Variations

Click on this link to view the accompanying video.

Today, I am exhausted. I’ve had an incredibly busy three days, and as enjoyable as they all were, I managed to get over-stressed, over-anxious, over-wrought and exhausted. Oh, and an upset digestive system also always happens when I’m stressed.

All I need is a couple of stress-free and calm days to recover. Maybe more than a couple of days.

Earlier today, I wanted to draw, and I wanted to draw something that wouldn’t be too challenging – the focus being on calm and meditative. A Zentangle Cartouche seemed to fit the bill.

The central motif was a sticking point. Try as I might, it took me several attempts to get an assemblage of Tim Holtz Ephemera that was to my liking.

I knew I wanted to use a triangular fragment as part of the ‘cartouche’ to frame the focal point. I knew that black would most likely be too harsh. So, I went with a softer blue-grey. And that seemed to work out just fine. Apart from the fact I used a Zebra Sarasa 0.5 gel pen and the areas of dense ink are rather uneven. What is daft about this decision is that I have plenty of fine-liners that would do the job better!

Brain full of fluff and addlement today – told you so!

Anyhoo, I persevered and have got it to a point where I like the contrast between the ink-dense tripoli border and the more open N’zeppl. The next job is to decide how to add some contrast, colour, highlight or any combination of these! Oh, and what medium to use too, but that decision can wait until I’m less overwrought, brain-addled, and my head is less full of fluff to decide.

I have also managed to bake a cherry and coconut cake, which is remarkable, given I’m not too good at baking when I’m emotionally overwrought. It’s cooling down, so will try it later on for sure.

#DrawWithMe – exploration of some triangular Zentangle fragments

Although I didn’t tackle all of the triangular fragments in today’s video, I enjoyed sharing some explorations, along with the little bit of an overall pattern that came about almost accidentally!

I’d almost forgotten how much fun it is to use a basic shape and see how it can be turned into a fragment of a larger pattern. Then, create variations on this theme. Some of the fragments are from the Zentangle Primer Vol. 1, others are variations that resulted.