Friday, January 20, 2017

Drawings and C time

The Diva's challenge this week is to use the new official zentangle pattern, Drawings. For some reason I've had the hardest time with Drawings. I love how it looks, and I've done other similar patterns with no problem. But Drawings just never looks good to me when I draw it. I've practiced it a lot, too...

Here are some pages of my practice with Drawings...Hmmm. I really want to get comfortable with this one. It's so pretty, but I've never been satisfied with how I draw it.

Different "feathers", different "spokes"...with glimmers, shading, different shapes, .... ah well. I'll probably play with it some more.

 Centered and encircling is cool looking....copied some ideas straight out of other artists' samples...

Well, this is the one I am entering in the challenge. It is part of a Traveling Tangles project. Kirsten Kostelnik sent me several 3Z tiles with starts. In this case, the start was that gilded Cat Kin along the edge. I added the Drawings and bead lines, with some gold gelly pen as highlights.

And, a weekly challenge I haven't done for a while, Joey's. There's been traveling tile style challenges over there since before Xmas, and after the new year, she started putting letters of the alphabet on the tile starts with one tangle starting with that letter.
This week the string is a C and the starter tangle was Cat Kin. I added Capell on the C, and Caught in the background. It was on a dawn pink tile made of Canson paper, from the open stock at Blick. Because of the pink tile, I went with pink for my patterns. Fun :)

At Blick I also bought some Bristol paper to make my tiles with for the next little while. See what a smoother finish is like, rather than the rough tooth of the Tiepolo paper I've been using. Oooh, and also bought some Faber Castell oil based pencils...going to build a collection of them, to go with my prismacolors. Wow, do they ever blend nicely!

In other art challenges, I continue with the "memory lane" challenge from a FB friend, and here are three of the pictures I rendered:

I had fun doing EVERY single one of these...I didn't get to this challenge the last two days, but I'll pick a photo soon and do it. It is so enjoyable! I've not done much realism, but never really felt good at Zentangle has got me out of my "can't do art" shell and I find it to be lots of fun.

One other thing....I really love Van Gogh's art. He did terrific landscapes and night scapes. And frankly one of the greatest things about Vincent's art is the strokes of paint themselves. There is one called Starry Night over the Rhone...WOW! the little blue strokes around the stars! they really do add to the overall greatness of his art.

Well, when he painted Cypress trees, his strokes were spirals and swirls. So...I developed a pattern based on Vincent's cypress tree strokes.

this one works amazingly with a dark green and dark blue/indigo blend...and I JUST love it! Going to put it in something that I work on, this very day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Yay! Laura is back! Our Diva...and her adorable boys, and cute/hot hubby. Good stuff! and UMT this time is Orbsladee, a super cool looking pattern that I've played with off and on for a while. In fact, my entry this time comes from a sketchbook I have had for a while, that I put aside. When I started in on a new challenge...which I'll share about....I needed a sketchbook and grabbed this one. And this piece is in there...if I do say so myself, I was impressed.

I don't remember doing this, but when I stopped and looked at it, I found myself quite delighted, and isn't it cool that orbsladee is in there? I'm going to play around with that pattern, because every piece I've ever done using it, turns out so cool looking!

Now...why did I need a sketchbook? What made me haul this one off the shelf? Well, a friend on Facebook is presenting a drawing challenge: choose a photo from your stash at random, and then draw what is in it. Believe me, this kind of thing is right outside my comfort zone.
I've done three days and here they are...

This first one, of my youngest child Katie, grooving along in her new shiny black boots.
My youngest, Katie when she was six
the drawing
Me and my friend Nancy
the drawing

This is the second photo I pulled...I wasn't expecting it, and saw only the roundness of my face hahahaha. I really flubbed the drawing, but the memory is nice. A good friend, getting packed up to move far away, her and her kids. And I and my kids and hubby, were helping. We paused for this pic. My drawing of it though...argh! To be utterly fair to myself, I have never done a self portrait (not since a third grade art project in school) and I was using my micron 01 pen for the job. How ridiculous I look!

This morning's random photo was of me...again?!! but that's part of the challenge...drawing the first photo your hand falls on, so I took a breath, and decided on pencil this time.

With pencil, and the freedom to erase and re-do my lines, I feel like I was able to get a sort of likeness of the face...the hands, though! yikes! So...I'll be doing this every day for a 30 day challenge (and I'm five days behind, so 25 eh?) and let's see what my drawings look like at the end of it. :) I plan on doing it several different ways, including one line (not lifting the pen/pencil) and blind drawing (Not looking at the paper, only at the model)... and I may just begin adding more detail to the backgrounds.

Other zentangle stuff...I didn't participate in any challenges at the end of December, partly due to holidays, but mostly because I was finishing up the massive tome about Vincent Van Gogh....a 900 page behemoth, that I read diligently for 30 minutes every day because, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I was able to put it down after 30 minutes, no problem, for most of it, but at the end, when he started "coming into" his style, using color and strokes, taking his huge pack of art supplies out for plein air work, when he was descending into his final madness, and struggling to do well, when he went into the insane asylum, and the amazing art that came of that...well, I simply couldn't put it down, there at the end. I fell in love with his work, and spent time online finding images to put on my desktop wallpaper, and selecting some good quality prints/stretched canvas pieces to hang on my own walls. Is there a prettier green than the one he used in his painting of irises in a white jug?