In May, 2012, I was sitting in a hotel room in Maryland tangling. I was so new at it, just getting my feet wet. As I sat drawing a scripture page in my journal this pattern just came about. My very first one. Eventually I named it crete.

Fairly easy to put together, crete works so well when shaded. And even though I started with crete seven years ago I still bring it out from time to time for a little visit.

This was the first piece I drew with crete. Those flowers grew up to be sunz Hahaha! I enjoy Bible tangling and need to do more of it. It’s a great way to memorize scripture and meditate on the words.

A little harder to find but crete is here as well. Reminds me of the scripture Psalm 1:3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. KJV In this example I passed on shading but added dimension by adding color inside the tangle itself.

This is probably my favorite piece using crete. It was here that I realized the effect shading makes on our art. This was THE piece that sold me on shading even though I didn’t really understand how to shade across the board. But I knew it was something I needed to be doing.

A challenge in one group was mono tangling. Here I investigated several different ways to draw crete. And still I didn’t really ‘get’ shading but knew I needed to do something.

And slowly it started coming together the more I tangled. And the more I studied other artists’ work, other tanglers’ art. And crete continued to be more comfortable in my hand and the shading easier.

Even in color – which I use more and more often – shading with simple graphite is still the way I prefer to go. Crete has so many faces, it fits in with so many other patterns.

Does crete have to be perfect to look good? Not at all. Do you need a ruler and pencil to put down those starting lines? Not at all. Free-hand is the way to go. Do not be afraid to go with your gut when you place those lines. Crete can handle it. Have fun! I would love it if you sent me some tangled art using crete. I’d love to see what you do with it!

You can see more of my tangles by clicking here.

Working in Shades

Yeah, that feature photograph doesn’t really tell you much. At all. Hahaha! Recently I posted this photo in my Facebook group Tangle All Around as a lead-in to a giveaway. Zentangle HQ is now carrying a new journal called Shades. In it are heavy weight pages of white, tan, gray and black and I gave one away in my group. I also bought one for myself.

The first thing I did was to start tangling the front cover. Just using my technical pens from Zebra Pen. And they work great on this smooth cover.

Yesterday, I grabbed my copy of Tangle All Around the World and turned to the steampunk section and got busy. This is the first page in the book. I plan on working in this book some each week, trying the various toned pages with different pens. I began with the hanging tag for 2019 then realized this book would also take me into 2020, so I added a tag for that. All that was left was shading. I don’t always like to shade in a book but I did this time. Let me show you.

Shading makes a huge difference as far as depth and dimension goes. Every one of these patterns can be found in the new book – available worldwide on Amazon – Tangle All Around the World. Well, except for one. The two hanging tiles on the left hand side is a brand new pattern Randi Jameson designed for me and she named it Hendon. It will be in the next group book of patterns in about a year. It takes a long time to come up with all new patterns. Hahahaha!

The last thing I did was to pop it into a black frame in photoshop. Makes it more completed, more finished. Hahahaha! I had to try out Hendon for myself! And I love it! Thanks, Randi!!!!

New Opal Polish Colors!

It’s been awhile since I played with my Cosmic Shimmer Opal Polish colors and I was happy to hear they had come out with some new ones! So much fun in these little jars! I right away ordered five new ones. Yep!

I grabbed a tin of Tiles from Hahnemühle, all my new colors and some blending tools to get started! You will notice the color names contain two colors. These polishes actually interact with the color background they are applied to. That is a direct statement from Joggles. Hahaha! On a light background you will see the color of the polish. On a dark background you will see the mica in the product. Two different colors.

I began with lilac rose. When you open your jar of opal polish for the first time there will probably be a bunch of it stuck to the lid. Start there.

Each jar comes with a sponge applicator but I found them not that sturdy. In this post you will see me using my blending tools I use on everything. Just tap the blending tool into the color on the jar lid and swirl it around on your craft mat. That will keep you from putting too much color on your tile. Then pick the color up from the craft mat and swirl it onto the tile in circular motions. This will help you blend the colors better.

I made a white tile using each of the five colors. Back row is yellow limes and blue wisteria. Bottom row is summer sky, lilac rose and green lemons. Actually I made two summer sky tiles. Let me show how the same colors look on a black background.

I am working in my Black Book from Hahnemühle. Isn’t this crazy??? The same color in the square and the circle. Lilac rose – the light pink is the polish color. The purple is the mica color. And I did nothing different, just changed the color of paper.

Some pretty dramatic differences, some not too dramatic.

I have black tiles I can use these on but I really like the convenience of this page size so I can see them all together!

Remember my Taking Back the Studio project? Using all my stencils one by one until I’ve used them all at least once? I pulled out a total of four stencils to play with the opal polish. I’ll include links to the stencils at the end of the post.

This is the yellow limes tile and Tim’s lace stencil. Taping the stencil down with painter’s tape helps keep the tile from moving around when you apply the polish.

Blue wisteria is the color I chose to make some hopefully beautiful flowers.

I used the opal polish the same way I applied it to the tiles originally. With my blending tool, working off the craft mat and applying in circular motions. It was hard to get color down into all the small openings but I did the best I could. Imperfection is beautiful, too!

This is what it looked like once I had as much color coverage as I could get.

Then I lifted the stencil away. See those lines that look like I outlined each section with a darker color? Those are lines created by the stencil edges and the color collecting there as I swirled the color on. I hope to draw on these tiles and know that the raised-ish lines could cause my pens a problem. What to do? Not to worry, while this is still wet take a paper towel and place it over the tile. Then smooth it down with your hand. This will help push those lines down and even them out with the surrounding areas. Easy peasy. Then move it off to the side to finish drying. And grab another tile. Hahahaha!

Sorry this tile isn’t totally focused, but what I wanted you to see is the opal polish. See how it is all gunky and clumpy and disgusting? Yep. That may very well be what yours looks like if you buy a jar. And there is nothing wrong with it. This works just fine as you can tell from looking at this tile. I already added the summer sky color over the green lemons background. Stencil? Tim’s splatters.

This is part of the same stencil. Splatters. I used blue wisteria over the lilac rose background. The stencil edges of purple color were really big on this one. So I had an idea. What if I rolled the color down into place? So I grabbed my baby brayer and rolled it back and forth over this tile. Well, it worked. Smoothed those lines down. But it also smooshed color in other places, too. OK, so I’m calling this tile grunge rose-steria! And it’s a keeper.

Tim’s burlap stencil was next. I used the summer sky tile and swirled on lilac rose through the burlap stencil.

What do you think? And even though it looks like raised edges on every one of those blocks – I smoothed them down with the paper towel and it is all good.

Here we have the summer sky background with yellow limes for the butterflies. This stencil doesn’t have any identifiers on it. I will try to find it for you – if I can find it there will be a link below. If there is no link, that means no luck. Sorry.

Looks promising, right?

While I had that stencil out, I took the other tile I made using blue wisteria for the background and used golden flamingo – a color I already had – for the butterflies. After sitting all these to the side to dry – it doesn’t take long really – let me show them to you dry.

Yes, I know it looks like there are sharp lines on each tile. There are not. I can run my finger over the top of each of these and tangle them with no problems. I will be showing them to you tangled soon. And I am going to work some more on the black papers with these! Ready for some links? Here you go! Have a great week!

Black Book and other Hahnemühle product with purchase links
Opal Polish
Craft Mat
Blending Tools
Painters Tape
Tim’s Lace Stencil
Tim’s Splatters Stencil
Tim’s Burlap Stencil

Miya Arts Gouache

Just a quick post today to get the idea of these awesome gouache colors out there!

Miya Arts is an instagram account I follow. Beautiful art and fun supplies are featured in their posts. They generously sent me some supplies to try and to post about. This photo above was borrowed from online – in it you see the set of gouache paints they sent me. When they arrived I took the covers off the jelly cups and put the set on a shelf – away from Aurora – for the paints to start setting and hardening up.

This is my set – as they harden, they also crack and split. It’s the nature of the beast. Easy to use at this point, I just sprayed them with water and grabbed a water brush to get started.

The first thing I did was make a color chart. When I peeled the covers off originally, I rearranged the jelly cups into an order that I wished to have them in. Different order than the company sent them. I need it to make sense to me when I am using the colors. I’ll go into more detail about these gouache colors in a later post. Today I just wanted to play for a minute.

I really liked the purple and the last blue on the middle row. I sprayed a Zentangle® tile with water, then took my water brush and picked up some of the blue. I just dotted it down into the puddle of water on my tile, then used the brush to move the color around and fill the wet area.

Sprayed on more water and tilted the tile from side to side to move the blue around some more. I wanted a nice base of the blue before I added anything else to the tile.

Sorry this is blurry, it is the only photo I got at this stage. I cleaned off my water brush and used it to grab some of the beautiful purple and dash it into the water where the puddle was heaviest. Can you see where the purple is already starting to blend with the blue along the bottom?

Next I picked up some yellow and added it to the middle. I think I sprayed on more water, then added more yellow. I liked how the colors were working together and how the water was pulling the colors into combination.

I really didn’t want to disturb the color very much because I liked this configuration. I sat it to the side to dry while Mark and I had dinner. Fried rice with shrimp, pork and chicken. Yummy!!!

And this is how the gouache colors dried. Really different from when it was wet. I am thinking about going back in and wetting the center and adding more of the colors. And then when I am happy with it I will tangle on it. Something floral more than likely. Maybe I’ll grab my TWSBY pen and do some loosey gooseys. <3

Much more play with the Miya Art’s Gouache paints is up and coming. With just this one project I already know I am going to love them!

Miya Art’s Gouache Set