Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Diva Challenge #304, Made by Joey #153


More Waybop! It's a good thing I like this pattern so much. I've had a lot of fun with Waybop this week and though I could have posted any one of the other pieces I've done, I was happy to give it another go.

Finish My Tile Alphabet Series: H
featuring: Hollibaugh
additionally: Hypnotic and Hearts Divided

I'm creating a Bijou series with Joey's challenges. These are headers for my pattern library so I'm adapting her strings/starts by using the featured pattern as part of the letter in black and then using additional patterns in the background in brown. I could not not Hollibaugh the H;-)

I finished a couple of Travelling Tangles this week:

Anne Marks sent me this super cool watercolor start all the way from Australia

After a lengthy finish

This was a challenge because I don't have many colored pens. Anne's line work was done with a fine pink pen ( I'm guessing a .005, maybe a .01 Micron?). I decided to use a dip pen and red ink and just let-er-rip. After penciling in a string that followed the watercolor marks, I honestly did not know what each next stroke was going to be. After a little initial anxiety, I have to say this was one of the most fun pieces I've worked on because everything from the colors to the artwork was quite out of my comfort zone.

Heidi Whitney sent me this

My finish

This one challenged me because the paper is much darker than either photo implies, thus there was very little contrast between the paper and the line work. Maybe it's my old eyes but I could not see what I  was doing. I started by going in deep and dark. I love Niuroda so I kept going with it. I'm really pleased with how this evolved. Waaaay out of my comfort zone, but that's where the magic happens;-)

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It's a String Thing #184 and Other Artsy Stuff

IAST#184:  Waybop
Hearty Waybop

 I'm more than a little obsessed with Waybop. I was excited to see the step outs published on Monday at pretty much the exact moment I was looking for a way to complete a Travelling Tangle I was working on. I was able to explore it immediately.
I then went to work on this:
Waybop too!
dip pen and ink on a watercolor tile

Zentangle HQ also published a hearty version which I explored next, resulting in the featured tile above, so I was ahead of the game (yaaay!) when Adele's IAST challenge appeared;-)
I have to give myself props for not only doing hearts after Valentines day, but for doing hearts at all;-)

Exploring new patterns in my sketchbook

I've been setting up these pages in my journal so I can immediately introduce new patterns into my repertoire and then have them on hand when I'm out-and-about and needing inspiration.

This is my current working page

Neuron and Flowerly are currently featured on Square One: Purely Zentangle. I was inspired by the  tile Ragged Ray submitted, hence my interpretation of her Neuron in the left corner (it's cut off in the pic but I will note the source if I'm directly inspired by someone else's work).

A Travelling Tangle:

I finished this Back to Basics tile from Anne Marks

Anne's starter

Anne and I are both working through exercises from the Zentangle Primer, prompted by the Facebook group Tangled and Journaled Too! I don't have the book, so I just follow along with posts by others and see if I can figure it out. It's fun to get back to basics.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Diva Challenge #303, Joey Challenge #152 and Travelling Tangles


This weeks Diva challenge is to create a Zentangle valentine and then give it to someone. This was truly a challenge. I am one of those Valentine's Day curmudgeons. Always have been, whether in or out of a relationship. Just not a Hearts and Flowers kind of gal.
I somewhat dread this time of year when all of the challenges out there revolve around said hearts and flowers. So, shortly after reading the challenge, amidst heavy sighs and procrastination, I was checking out Sandra Strait's Monday links at Art Imitates Doodles and opened the link to "Sweetheart Slide". I was intrigued. It was elegant and simple and made me think of calligraphy (something I'm always working on).
It wasn't as simple as it looked, but after a few clumsy attempts, I pulled out a watercolor ATC and went for it. It made more sense as I kept going, but it's easy to get lost and does require focus. By this morning I'd completed 3 and then gave them away to a few of my cafe peeps. Challenge complete!
So many thanks to the Diva for chipping away at my cold, black heart;-)

Finish my Tile Alphabet series: G
featuring: "Gnarly"
additionally: "Geos"

Another Bijou alphabet header for my pattern binder. This one's my favorite so far;-)

Here's a recent collaboration for The Travelling Tangles Project:

My finish to Susanna Redaelli's fun start

Susanna sent me this

The extra room in a 4" apprentice tile is quite freeing.
I was in an adventurous mood choosing to try some new patterns. I started with "Vo", a new pattern by 6 year old Vincent Roller. How cool is that:-)
This morning, I saw Waybop featured on the Zentangle Newsletter just as I was pondering what to put in the middle. It was risky, going in after practicing it just once. Not too bad;-)

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me 😁

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Diva Challenge #302, Joey Challenge #151 and some Travelling Tangles

Use My Tangle: Hamadox by Diana Schreur

I had a leftover hand painted zendala from a swap I participated in last year, I rarely work with colored pen in my initial line work and now I know why;-P
I'm not too crazy about the actual Hamadox center but I love everything else about it.

A Travelling Tangle Project
Beth Bentz sent me the paint spattered tile a while back
Hamadox seemed to want another chance
Additionally: "Elle" and "Beadlines"

Beth's wonderful start

Finish my Tile Alphabet Series: F
featuring Festune
additionally: Flez and Fat X

I'm adapting Joey's prompts for this series into Bijoux for my pattern library, so I've tweaked the font for consistency.

I've got a few Travelling Tangles to share:

This is my finish to Heidi Whitney's start

Heidi introduced me to a new pattern of  hers called "Cypresses"
inspired by Van Gogh

My finish to another tile started by Heidi Whitney

This one had an interesting journey. The tonal paper is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I'm always up for a good challenge;-) After laying in the initial line work and adding a bit of shading with my new-ish brush pens, I felt done and took a picture of it:

I was not happy. It was lacking contrast, so I went in a little heavier on some lines and added more highlights...then the border...

...and it felt done. I took another picture and it still felt off. Funny how the distance of looking at something in a photograph changes ones perspective. So. To finish it off (finally) I shaded and highlighted the border and softened some edges with the lightest grey brushpen. Done? or Over done?

This was Heidi's start

This is what I sent to Heidi

I  love how she finished this one!

and this one!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Diva Challenge #301, Made by Joey #150, IAST #181...

Duotangle: Paradox and Diva Dance

Zentangle HQ just released a video demonstrating a super cool mash-up of Paradox and Diva Dance, or a duotangle, if you will. I started this last night and just finished the shading now. I had so much fun with this and now I'm inspired to explore this more in my journal. The beauty of the tile though is the ease and flow of turning the tile is far less cumbersome than my landscape format sketchbook.

Finish My Tile Alphabet Series: E
featuring El Prado
additionally: Emingle and Echo

Once again tweaked to Bijou size. I'm enjoying this series a lot an using it as a prompt to explore new patterns. El Prado is new and though I've seen Echo before, I don't think I've ever used it. It's so simple and I love the textile effect. It reminds me of something I've seen in tribal art.

a Zenbud string
Poser, Puf and Flukes

This one took a long time to take off. I seem to resist challenges where I'm to use grid patterns in small curvy spaces, but that's why they call them challenges.
I've been working a lot in my new sketchbook, prompted by a Facebook group challenge following along the lessons in HQ's Zentangle Primer. My self challenge is to keep it simple at first (if that's my inclination) and then get out of my comfort zone. I could have gone farther with this.

Travelling Tangles Project
tissue paper transfer background

I created this set of starter ATC's to accompany the set of tiles I created for a new swap. I spent a lovely morning last week making several new watercolor/tissue paper pages to cut down into tiles and ATC's. 
Check out my last post for my new watercolor tutorial,  I would love to hear feedback from you if anyone tries this or if there's any confusion or missing information when reading through it. 
I also did some art tissue paper backgrounds too. Here's the link to Sue Olsen's tutorial on this super fun technique (here's a link to the Amazon page if you are able to purchase this tissue online).  Inspired by a comment by Pat Mathes at Gramtangles, I'm going to try out a mash-up of the two techniques. Stay tuned;-)

This one's begging for an organic series

This was the first page using the art tissue
these colors were inspired by the same rooster I used in my tutorial

This was my next attempt, re-using the same strips of tissue.
I love this muted effect!

Finally, exploring some new patterns

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Watercolor Tutorial #2 Inspired by a Rooster

Travelling Tangles Project

I'm ready to send these to my tangle peeps who responded to my swap offer in my last post, though if any of you out there are ever up to swapping, but would rather not go through the Facebook group, leave me a comment and we can connect via email.

I just filled my first album. Crazy!

After a two month (unintentional, but the holidays totally threw me off my game) semi-hiatus from instigating any new Travelling Tangles swaps, I finally dug myself out of my backlog pile. I just signed up for the February group swap which will celebrate the year of the Rooster in honor of Chinese New Year (thank goodness no Valentines Day).
The parameters are to use either a pattern that is feather-like (Drawings was given as an example) or to use colors inspired by roosters.

He's pretty fab!

The tiles above are sort of a mash up of February's rooster theme and January's theme to use patterns you've never used before.
I needed to create a new set of tiles so I figured this would be a good opportunity to share my process now that I have a better cell phone camera;-)
I generally start with some type of color reference, but it's fun to just play around if you're using a  palette set of watercolors. Here's a link to my Color board for my collection of inspiring rust;-)

Here's what I use:

a Strathmore 11x14 watercolor pad
masking tape
a large masonite artist clipboard
a watercolor dry cake palette
a wide wash brush (about 1-2 inches)
a medium watercolor brush
saran wrap
a toothbrush (a soft brush with a flat bristle edge works best)
jar of water
a fine mister bottle of water
a blow dryer
cutting mat
Xacto knife
metal straight edge

Tape a sheet of paper down onto a hard, smooth surface.
Tape securely around the entire edge of the paper. It's kind of hard to see because my table is the same color as the masonite clip board, but I taped my paper to the back of the board.

Get your watercolors really wet by either spraying them with water or load up a large brush with water and release it into the palette. I used all of the colors along the left plus the teal.
Spray or brush clean water over the surface of the paper.
You don't have to cover the whole page. Leaving a few areas dry will give you more variation in saturation when you apply paint.

Starting with your lightest color, load the large brush and swipe color across the page. You can do blobs, blocks or arches of color too. I habitually lay in the color the same way all the time. It's my thang;-)

Do the same with the next lightest color.

and keep going until the page is covered,

Wrinkle up a sheet of saran wrap and lightly press it down onto the paint. Lift it up and move it to another area. If you want you can loosely ball the wrap up and blot it around, moving color from one area to another for more texture.

I apply the darkest colors like blues, purples, deep reds and browns with a toothbrush. Get your paint cake really wet, dip the bristles in the watery paint, then scape your thumb across the bristles aiming the spray onto the paper. You can go heavier in some areas lighter in others. This is my favorite part;-)
This step is the key to smoothing out the bulging paper:
As soon as you're done applying the paint, use a hot blow dryer to get rid of the buckling. Keep an eye on the taped edge and secure it down if its lifting away in spots.
Keep the dryer going until the paper is flat and dry. It won't flatten if you let it dry naturally.

Carefully remove the tape. The paper will still be a little wonky, but once you cut it down to tile size it won't really matter that much. I usually make several sheets at a time then keep them pressed back in the pad underneath a heavy pile of other pads until I'm ready to cut them.

I like to trim the corners into a curve.

I hope you find this helpful. If anyone tries this, please come back and leave comments or questions if there's anything confusing or missing.

Thanks so much for visiting!