Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daniel's Verdigogh challenge and Suzy's L challenge

A few weeks ago I ran into a novel challenge by way of *someone's* challenge entry *somewhere*... each challenge features a tangle, and our challenge is to create tangleations on that pattern. Neat, eh?

It can be found at The Tangle Corner, by Daniel and it is called the Tangleation Vocation...again, neat! A calling, in fact.

Verdigoh is such a cool pattern, one I've played with quite a bit, and it was lots of fun to try variations on the theme.The basic shapes of Verdigoh are triangular and circular, so I decided to play with those.

I puttered around on a page in my sketchbook:

 The original is upper left. I did a few different styles. there's a strircle element in the black one. The bottom center is all fine lines, with dots not circles.

I tried my hand at a Byerly style (bottom right) and then decided to try a version with the circular element hugely enhanced.

And that is the tangleation I decided to go with.

This is on a tan ATC tile, in sepia 01 pen. I shaded it with stippling, and added some highlights with a white gelly roller pen.

Yes. I like it. Fun challenge! thanks, Daniel.

For the second entry in this double post, I present the piece I created for Suzy Mosh's New to Me challenge.

This week, we have L and because L has popped up before, Suzy added CZT artist JJ LaBarbera. She has home really nice patterns, and many of hers are on

I chose Arc Flower and Allium by JJ, and for L patterns, I used Lealad by Lily Moon and Liberty 100 by Neil Burley. I also threw in a pile of leaflet because it's a huge favorite of mine, and it starts with L and yes I've used it.

Arc Flower was so much fun to play with. I've used mumzy before, but not this one, which is similar. I enjoyed adding some variety here and there amongst the "petals" and shading it was SO much fun.

Arc Flower is in the upper left and lower right corners; lealad is the vertical wallpaper; leaflet on the right side of the lealad, allium snugged in there, and Liberty100 is around the background at the bottom and right of lealad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Double Post: hollibaugh and organic challenges

I'm out of words. My creativity isn't flowing too well. I am not creating art, just practicing and developing patterns. And making lines on paper. Hm.

So, sorry but this time there is not much of a blog entry. Just a couple of tiles.

First of all, Joey has been going through the alphabet. We are up to the letter H, and the pattern chosen is Hollibaugh. yay! I love that pattern! It's very cool.

And this is the tile I made for Joey's Weekly Challenge:

I stole it from another sketchbook, and the idea is right out of a web page I visited who knows when. Stippling is always good for adding character. I like how it turned out. A LOT!

The organic challenge at Diva's page, by guest CZT Cari Sultanik...where to begin? nearly all of my pieces are organic, because I prefer the lush feel of curvy and shady zentangle art. So I could have chosen one of MANY pieces I already have around.

For instance, this is a favorite that I  made this week.
The pattern in the upper left is my tangleation of Neil Burley's "Pineapple 1" I also did an adaptation of Cabana (the shiny split leaf looking things) and you also have Dave Hunter's putki, oolo, hollibaugh, and N'zeppel. Isn't it cool, making the N'zeppel rise off the page with shading? also, a few cute little shiny black pearls here and there.

So yes, a lot of my work is already organic, but I decided to create a tile using organic shapes that also created an outdoor scene. And this is what I did:

I used one of my pre-colored tiles that I made a couple of weeks ago with my Derwent pencils. Patterns are: niuroda, pines, leaflet/pholantern/pineapple curves, mooka, and festune. With tipples all over the place. oh...b'tweed in amongst the pines.

Shaded minimally with French gray 50% prismacolor pencil.

Okay so i wasn't out of words. Who am I kidding...I'll never run out of words. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

String #102

Adele's String Thing Challenge this week was to use string #102 and our choice of three tangles: Frost Flower, Sez, and Graancirkel. This time around, I played and played, with the tangles and the string and all kinds of combinations.

Freezing Over
This was the first tile, the only piece with all three patterns in it. It reminds me of the beginnings of ice on the edges of a pond. Graancirkel made it into this tile, but none of the others. It needs to be bigger and I want to play with it more.

Here is a tile with just Frost Flower and sez.

There is just the faintest hint of powder blue in a few places here. I like how shading makes Sez look layered. I tried to make the frost flowers more edgy around the fringes, but for some reason, I stopped at the string and then "added" the more fringey ends, but that made it look so choppy.

And the third piece was a tile, traced into my sketchbook. It is a monotangle of Frost Flower and I really like how it turned out, though it reminds me of some other tangle that I can't put my finger on for some reason.

what other tangle does this remind me of? 

Shading wherever the string is adds a lot to this piece. You see the couple of places where I put fanned lines instead of Frost Flowers? And this is the one I like the best, mostly because you can really see the string...and what else is it about? It IS  "A String Thing", after all.

Dicso is New to Me!

so is sweet 101, for that matter...which are the tangles I used for Suzy's Challenge.

We were to find a tangle starting with D, that we've never used before, and also have fun with Sandy Hunter's patterns. Sandy's pattern Cruffle is already one of my favorites, and I had fun with her Unbatz when it was a UMT a while back on the Diva page.

Well, long story short, I found Dicso on and loved it. It is very leafy looking, and the explanation that goes with it is pretty neat. The creator of dicso created a tangle that utilizes all of the basic elements of zentangle: Dot, Straight Line (I), Curve, S curve, and Circle (or o) D I C S O and all in a motif you make without lifting your pen. VERY cool.

So I made a bunch of dicso. It's fun and easy, and makes into a lovely border. And Sandy's Sweet 101 is so cool looking, once it's aura'ed...Well, anyway, this is what I did, pre-shading:

It is in sepia 01. There's a few printemps in there, too. You can see, i had started the shading with dark brown prismacolor.

Eddy in the current
And here it is, fully shaded. I used dark brown, tuscan red, and dahlia purple, then blended with that amazing blending pencil. I love how it pulled the reddish hues down into the negative spaces behind the Dicso leaves.

I also threw some random pieces of sweet 101 in there just for fun.

Also, thickening the lines on the edges of all the "sweets" made them pretty dimensional, without colored pencil shading and blending.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three Ring circus

This week's Diva Challenge is to put three tangles together: Tropicana and Cack, and choose a third tangle, either fescu, florz, or linq.

Cack is a tough one for me. It is difficult for me to see it as elegant or pretty. It does have some potential for festive-ness, but it's just an awkward pattern for me. So that is the tangle that I focused on for this challenge. I played around with it quite a bit

 I was trying anything I could to make it unique.

It looks better with a 3-D effect, in my opinion. You can see where I had tropicana and fescu in there. Just playing around, trying to see what looked good.

Thick stripes and thin strings
I like this version. Sort of sideways

The pattern reminds me of two peppermints, biting each other, Pacman style. I mean, really. How silly.

Here I threw in some linq

Well, with all this playing around, I just couldn't find a way to put the rather goofy cack with the more elegant tropicana (one of my favorite tangles). No matter what I did, cack looked out of place with the other patterns. I couldn't make it fit in. Even looking at other work using this pattern, cack just seems to stick out like a sore thumb.

Then, on a whim, I tried adding another dot to the circumference of the center circle.
I followed the same steps as the original cack, using a dot about a third of the way around the circle, and another dot, two thirds the way. And looky there! I REALLY like the look of this version. I played with it some more, and decided on a simple solution: One piece of cack, one motif of tropicana, and a floor of flord.  And some shading.

Like a shrine

So yeah. This piece is like a logo Earthlings might create, once the aliens land, bringing us the technology to reach the stars and teaching us about peaceful coexistence. Because the cack thingy looks like an interstellar traveling pod, resting on the earth. And Tropicana, as always, looks monumental.

In the end, I like this. And I'm glad to have come to a peace of sorts, with cack.In fact, I've got it in another piece I started last night, along with cruffle and some meringue. Widgets. etc.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

mosh triple play boomerang

This will be my first entry in  Suzy Mosh's new challenge, to play with a pattern, a monotangle using one pattern, three ways. Including the original pattern.  Tangle me 3 looks like a real good challenge to take up, because we'll have to play and experiment and really get to know a pattern.

This week's pattern is Boomerang and I did have fun playing with it. 

But first I want to show a pattern from the Neil Burley book of patterns, that I won in a random drawing from Suzy's New to Me Challenge a couple of weeks ago.

This is Victorian Flake, and it is SO elegant.

 As with all of Neil's patterns, there are individual elements in Victorian Flake that easily take the spotlight.
On the left, you can see where I put them in a grid,

this charming little tidbit in shiny black

 I've explored MANY other patterns in the book, and have developed something that *may* be a new pattern. At any rate, I am having so much fun with it. Thanks, Suzy! Thanks, Neil!

So, the Mosh challenge: To create a monotangle piece using Boomerang. And play with it, so that you have three different "looks" to the tangle.

After practicing a little while, I traced a regular sized tile into my skcetcbook, then a bijou tile gave me a hint of what a border would look like. But I decided to do the border only on two sides.

The original tangle can be seen across the middle, with weighted lines and some tipple. The border has two variations, where I actually goofed. I was making the second variation per the boomerang step outs page, where the boomerangs sort of alternate one leg over, one leg under, but when I went around the corner, and started down the right side...what the hay?

Turns out, that side is just the tips of the boomerangs crossing over each other, without the arcing center. Right?

And then some active dancing boomerangs filling the bottom section.

And I colored it in:

The ombre across the top!

Kept the color palette simple, using prismacolor pencils and micron pens in blue, green, and yellow. It doesn't show that well in the photo, but that layer of blue is actually two shades of blue in prismacolor. I wonder if burnishing it with my blending pencil will make a difference. Hmmm.

I can see where boomerang has potential to add a lot of action and movement to a piece, or in a grid, it can be very bold and stark.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

W's and Erin Olson at SuzyMosh

I've been wanting a regular bound sketchbook for some time now, having finished the one I dedicated to One Zentangle a Day practice and play. It was only about $7.00 at Michael's, soft bound with a firm not spiral spine. It has creamy paper, smooth yet with a pretty good tooth. I like that it is soft bound, too. Hard bound usually are more expensive.

So, I went to Michael's to shop. NOTHING. Not. One. Softbound. Sketchbook. There were plenty of good hardbound books, in the $30.00 range (snork) and lots of spiral bound sketchbooks, but nothing of quality in the softbound. (I take that back. They do have softbound books with blank paper inside, inexpensive. 40 pages of 10# right? stapled in the middle. Ugh)
And I walked out of Michael's with nothing. They didn't have the notebook I went in to get, and for once I didn't browse. Just left. 

On my way home from Michael's I swung into Walmart just to see (because by this time I was beginning to wonder if I hadn't found that first softbound sketchbook somewhere besides Michael's) Walmart did have sketchbooks, hardbound, about $5.00 and I grabbed two. When I got home I opened one and tried it. Sigh. Wimpy paper with  WAY too much tooth, and a lot of bleed thru. So I'll take the other one back. I'll probably use this one off and on. It's kinda purse sized, I guess.

Anyway, one of the things I have done in that book was the current SuzyMosh challenge :
W patterns that we have never used before, plus the patterns of Erin Olson. I love Erin's pattern Pystyl (Erin has a charming blog...quite a way with words, that one. I encourage you to check it out

So, the pattern from Erin's collection that really caught my eye was Pystyl. And I love Widgets from I started out practicing pystyl in that Walmart sketchbook...and it grew on me. Some color, and my attempt at ombre inside the "buds" of pystyl...add some widget floating about, and then I added a little nest or ground cover of widget near the base of my Pystyl tree. 

And this is what I have:

My  Little Ombre Pystyl Tree

 Coloring this one was especially fun. I love my new blending pencil, though even with it, the ombre effect worked best with yellow as the main color. I think it's also fun to look at.

As for softbound sketchbooks, they have some at Blick, and I'll be buying there next paycheck.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

F for fun!

We are up to the letter F at Joey's blog. (I didn't finish an entry for last week's SUPER DUPER CHALLENGING AND DIFFICULT Entwined challenge...but I'm practicing and will post something, late)

So, the pattern this week is Florez, a very enjoyable cool looking tangle.

The Diva challenge from last week was to use color and I ended up enjoying the process of making colored tiles using Derwent watercolor pencils and water, that I made several more, in varying palettes.

 I'm a little bit afraid of that dark one with the blues and black, but I plan on filling these up with tangles over the next few weeks or days or whatever. The cool thing is, I am no longer afraid to use color. It's enjoyable to see the contrasts, or feel the delight of viewing a nice blend of colors.

Well, I chose my favorite for this challenge. Yellow is my favorite color, and I love the yellow center of this one. So I chose it for florez.

I started with a bijou sized tile centered in the regular tile, which gave me my border, and a center space.

viva la' Bistro! Ole!

This pattern is so pleasing to me, I think because of the weighted lines. That's why n'zeppel is a favorite, too.

There are a couple of places in the tile where the color provides a bit of natural shading, but I also used some prismacolor pencils: Dahlia purple, French gray 50%, and Henna. AND! my new blending pencil. It truly does move the pigment around on the paper. Yummy!

This would make a very pleasant border along a booth in a Mexican bistro. Or in my kitchen, a backsplash behind the stove. Niiiice...


This week's guest on Laura Harms's blog is Katie Crommett, CZT. She offers wise words about reducing, simplifying, and letting enough be enough. With a reminder of the principles of zentangle: to breathe, and be aware of every movement, Katie challenges us to create a simple tile. Only two or three patterns, and let white space be part of it.

So, to start, I chose the simplest pattern and possibly the easiest: knightsbridge and followed the advice Katie gives, to be conscious of every stroke. This piece was very calming for that reason...being mindful, and keeping everything as simple as possible really helped me enjoy the process one stroke at a time.

slow dancing

On a pale grey tile, I started with Knightsbridge in a couple of different incarnations, and then the dots in the vertical section wanted to launch into full blown circles, which led to the flowy stricles across the top. Circles! So I drew a circle in the middle, and gave it a globe look by drawing fishnet on it, and added several random dots at the intersections. And to finish, the floor of knightsbridge around the globe.

I don't usually choose blocky, bold, or angular patterns, preferring a leafy, curly, organic look with weighted lines and lots of stipple. But this pleased me when I was done. The contrast of the elements was enough, so I did no shading, and in the end I really do like this piece. I call it


Friday, July 10, 2015

Two for the Price of One

This post will cover two challenges: The Diva Challenge  which is offered to us by guest CZT Jen Crutchfield. And the New to Me Challenge by Suzy Mosh.

Jen offers us the opportunity to explore color, but not a whole rainbow. Instead, we were to choose just two or three colors and create.

At Suzy's place we are doing H patterns that we've never before used, and a delightful artist is also highlighted: Michelle Beauchamp.

This week, inspiration has been distant. None of the pieces I've worked on for any challenge has pleased me or brought me peace to work on them (though I did have some fun with Neil Burley's pattern Nabu, making a few tiles and coloring them in

Nabu is one I tried out for Suzy's challenge last week. It is complex and intricate and (clearly) difficult to center. But in the end, I did have fun with that.

(BTW, I am the recipient of Neil's book of patterns, via a random drawing at Suzy's challenge last week. Excited! Neil's patterns lend themselves to lots of variations, and I often end up exploring them for long periods of time. It's gonna be FUN having that book!)
(Thank you Suzy!)

So I fiddled around with a few things that weren't making me the doing, nor in the end result. And finally it occurred to me: choose a pleasing color palette. After several days of feeling adrift and empty of inspiration, that idea codified things for me. It gave me a starting point.

The Derwent watercolor pencils came out, and I selected Imperial Purple, Crimson Lake, Prussian Blue and Spectrum Blue. How to apply to the paper? I wanted a blend, with that wicking action that watercolor does on paper, but i was using pencils...hmmm.

Eventually closing my eyes and scribbling on the tile was my method. One color at a time, and after a bit of scribbling, I filled some spaces in. Then the next color, scribble and fill in...until I had enough. Then I wetted it with a paintbrush and VIOLA! :D (yes, I spelled a string instrument)...

...and VIOLA! the blending and wicking action I was after

Kinda fuzzy and soft, isn't it?

Clicking around in Shelly's site, I found Oke, a pattern I practiced one time very early in this journey...but doing it in 05 purple and rose pens absolutely delighted me! Then, an H pattern I haven't used...Hako, by Lara Williams. A little bit of white gelly roller for highlights (which isn't as striking as toned paper or bright card stock, but still very lovely)...and DANG!
Not bad, for an uninspired week.

I am calling it Tropical Heat (even though it is a cool palette, the oke turned out so luxurious and voluptuous, and the gridwork Haku behind it like a privacy screen for lovers on a romantic holiday...yes, heat is what it reminds me of)

One tile, two challenges! and a piece I do like.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Joey Alphabet Monotangles: D is for Dugwud

Joey has been giving us one monotangle a week, running through the alphabet. We are up to D, and our pattern is Dugwud.

It's a nice pattern, easy to make and relaxing to draw, but I had a hard time making a monotangle tile with it. There are quite a few pages in my sketchbook, and one abandoned tile...until I decided to do a purple tile.

This one turned out pretty cool, I think. Purple cardstock 3.5x3.5 tile, black micron pen and a neon purple gel pen. Some prismacolor pencils in lavender and blue violet, a touch of white gelly roller. 

I really like the depth of the circles in the foreground, and in the mid ground, I made them sort of orblike. The gel pen neon purple is so red looking in this picture. Dugwud will be fun to break out of the grid.

Suzy Mosh Challenge Number N ...

...and artist Neil Burley

Neil's blog is so interesting, especially his word art. So I linked to the whole site, not just the patterns page, which can be found on the galleries tag at his place.

Suzy Mosh always adds an artist to a challenge when we have a repeat letter, and this week it was Neil. So, N patterns and Neil Burley patterns. GO!

This was a fun challenge for me. I found a couple of N patterns on tanglepatterns. com AND on Neil's site, and have a piece that is 100% N patterns.

For the Neil patterns I chose Nimrud and Noodlz. The N patterns are Nvelope and Nipa (which I love and have used in many pieces) Noodlz will make a delightful filler. New to me are all the tangles except Nipa.

Dance of the Bees
Nimrud started the piece, in the upper left corner, sort of solid and shiny. Then I did some detached Nvelope, also solid. But then it was time to make Nvelope simpler, two-dimensional.

I threw a dot in the center, and one at each junction, then aura'ed around it, and did several of those here and there. This gave me the idea to try a Nimrud in more simple, single lines, and put a handful of those in the bottom left corner. A few dots at the ends of each one.

They began to look like bees to me.

Another solid Nimrud in the opposite corner, connected kitty corner with Nipa. Noodlz all around were fun. Then it hit me: a very simplified, stylized Nimrud!

Which I did, and put in a corner or two.

This is the development of Nimrud, from solid and three dimensional, to simple lines that are almost like a character in Asian script.

Solid to simplified to stylized
I really like the look of the stylized Nimrud. 

Some finishing touches, with red here and there, and shading, and at the end, it is a busy, active piece which I call Dance of the Bees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

More Tipple

The idea hit me, that I had done some cool stuff with Tipple in an old sketchbook, where I filled in all the spaces darkly, and colored the tipples with highly saturated colors. I based that older idea on a pattern I saw behind a speaker on a TED talk, and really liked it.

So I decided to do something along those lines for a second entry in this challenge! I like it as much as my first entry.

A Spectrum Spiral

Some thoughts on Tipple. Even though it is almost the simplest tangle out there (stippling is simpler, being "just" dots) and is a very repetitive pattern, this tangle looks much better with precision. Because I am drawing one little circle after another, it's possible...and likely...that I will end up with a bunch of fast circles that have ends that don't quite meet...and there are probably some of those in this one, and my first entry. But I think it compromises the look of the piece if there are too many that are drawn carelessly. As I worked on this piece I found it more relaxing to really go slow and careful forming my circles. I breathed more evenly as I focused, and enjoyed the process a lot.

This was also true when I was playing with Umble for last week's  Diva challenge. Because we are drawing "under", the placement of lines is really important. The pieces where I was sloppy with it were less enjoyable to me, and looking through my sketchbooks, this is true of any work that I finish. If I was careful and relaxed in the process, placing lines carefully and taking my time, I enjoy the finished work quite a bit better. But here's the cool thing: weighting lines makes a huge difference in how finished a piece looks AND it hides those little careless boo boos.

And that's why I weighted my lines in tipple to begin with (back before this challenge, the TED talk background)...because I was being sloppy and wanted to hide my uneven circle joinings.

Zentangle has given me a lot of confidence in my ability to make some pretty cool looking things with randomly selected patterns...what could happen if I thought out what I wanted to achieve, and used care and meditative energy in something that I am aiming to sketch, to look like something, to look realistic? Hm. Now I have some ideas about my large sketchbook that has been sitting aside for many weeks. 

EDIT: I just had to share this...Found on pinterest

Someone gathers plastic bottle caps on the beach, and created this amazing spectrum of colored circles! hmmm