Thursday, December 18, 2014

Overlaid tangles - a tutorial

Have you ever tried laying one tangle over another? I don't do it often, but it can have a wonderful effect, adding a textural element.

Here's a very simple example, Munchin over parts of Munchin. I've done it in the four corners here, but you could do this along one edge to increase the shading. It could also create a little variation if you end up with too many of Munchin's corners' gathered lines coming together.
I find that tangle patterns composed mainly of lines work best, although some small black areas are fine, and often a nice highlight.

This example is over-the-top, but it shows some ideas. Clockwise from the top: Dust Bunny over Dansk, Tri-dots over Printemps, Cheesecloth over Circfleur (center), and Tipple over Gneiss. For the sake of example, in this case I did the overlaid tangle using a 05 nib and the base tangle in 01.

Here's a piece that I hoped would look like a small creek or stream. I started with Tipple in ovals for the stones, then decided Roxi would be better for some of the larger ones. Then, a gray wash, and Tidings in white over top of the 'pebbles'. It doesn't have the effect I wanted; the water looks as if it's above the plants (I'll try again), but I learned some and it's a good example of overlaid tangles! :)

I've used this technique to lighten, or occasionally darken, an area in a piece of zentangle inspired art, usually in color. I seem often to use Printemps. It's simple lines, no large solid ink areas, but the lines are curved so the pattern isn't immediately obvious. Below is an example on a Renaissance (tan) tile of white Printemps over light blue Printemps.

Here's another example of Printemps over Printemps, this time using purple ink over blue and pink inks. The purple Printemps adds a little shading at the edge and in the blue spiral on the right.

In my experience, if you want the lower pattern to be recognized (sometimes it might not matter) the top pattern should have less to it than the pattern underneath. Here I used white Tri-dots - a very simple tangle - over pink Printemps, as I wanted Printemps to be recognizable.

I had done a tree on a tile and quite liked it, but it was too subdued (read: dark), even with some of the brighter colors I'd used. I added white ink, in simple lines, over each of the droplet shapes. In some cases it really disguises what was there originally, but that's alright. The color is still there, and it's much brighter. I did the same thing on the bands of the trunk. Not really a tangle over a tangle, but the same idea.

Finally, here's a piece where the sky is Printemps in medium blue, overlaid with Tidings in dark blue. I used little circles instead of ovals in Tidings and filled them with gold ink. Then I used Tidings again in the foreground to give the same texture as the sky, helping keep the buildings distinct.
Tangles: Flukes, Groovy, N'zeppl, Printemps, Romanancy, Tidings
If you'd like to try this, there is an abundance of tangles composed mainly of lines that could be used. My favorites seem to be Printemps, Tidings, Dansk, Sand Swirl, and Tri-dots for something very minimal. Tri-dots with a lot of Auras would work too.

Other possibilities could be: Florz, Tipple, Munchin, Cheesecloth, Groovy, N'zeppl, Tips, Zewm, Hibred, Indy-rella, Yincut... I'm sure you'll think of others!

With different colors it's easy enough to keep the two tangles separate as you're drawing. With black and white you might want to try two pen sizes, or change the scale between the tangles, or use tangles that are different in nature such as Florz and Sand Swirl.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The Diva's challenge this week is to try out a new tangle from Zentangle's Molly Hollibaugh, Arukas. Did you notice that Arukas is Sakura backwards? :)

I tried this tangle when it was first shared with the CZTs and wasn't terribly pleased with the Arukas parts. So I took another chance with it and I think I'm getting a handle on it. Here are my first two attempts, from a few weeks ago.
Tangles: Arukas, Lamar, Paradox, Tipple
In my next attempt I had fun trying a few other things with the basic Arukas.
Tangles: Arukas, Fohbraid, Tipple, a Black Pearl,
and a little hint of Aquafleur
My last attempt, and the one I like best so far. The string gave me a circle shape and one of the 'pods'. Being composed simply of lines, I think that Arukas needs some bold blacks (and whites) to set it off. Shading helps too. I realize that I always wanted to begin with a small central shape, but that it works better with a large one.
Tangles: Arukas, Pearlz, Sindoo

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Griddy or flowy?

(Griddy or flowy? Spell check doesn't like either!)

I'm back to doing a challenge again, finally! And we have an interesting one this week, from Sandy Hunter, CZT. As you know, some tangle patterns are based in a square grid while others are more organic and can grow in any direction. Sandy's challenge is to take one type of tangle and and do it the other way.

I've been playing with Cubine for another blog post so I thought I'd try that grid tangle in a random way.
Perhaps due to the string I used, it still was quite grid-y. I thought I'd better try again. I had a tile with a lot of pencil lines and a lot of tiny spaces. I thought, "If I can't get something random out of that, it's a lost cause." I think it's better this time.
I've been having a lot of fun with Aquafleur recently so that seemed a good organic tangle to try putting into a square grid. I used pencil shading only in the background.
Flux is a tangle that can grow to fit any space - another good candidate for a grid. The larger fluxes seemed too white so I alternated filling them with either a spiral or a droplet.
I found it easier to put a flowy tangle into a square grid rather than the other way. This is a terrific way to come up with some quite different looking patterns without busting your brain. Thanks Sandy!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A flurry of Aquafleur

If you love the classic, original Zentangle, and you're on Facebook, and you don't yet know about the group Square One, you'll probably want to join. Each week there is a focus tangle. You can participate or not. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't have time. Recently, Aquafleur was the focus tangle, and I went a little crazy.

I've done this tangle before and it's definitely one of my many favorites. Back in January, when Aquafleur was first shared, it was the Diva's challenge and I did both a black-and-white and a colored version. You can see them here.

Here's the first one I did for the Square One focus.

 Some bubbles and ribbons and spirals showed up here. This is one of my favorites.
 Here are four more that I did next.

 This one amazes me by how symmetrical it ended up. This is another of my favorites.
Tangles: Aquafleur, Black Pearlz
Recently I blotted some spilled pink wash onto a tan and a white tile. It turned out that there were Aquafleur hibiscus flowers there!
Tangles, besides Aquafleur: Seljuk, Printemps, Tipple
I tried some Aquafleurs on a zendala tile, and used Glaze ink in the background. I find the dark Glaze inks can add tremendous depth.
You can find the directions for drawing Aquafleur in the Zentangle newsletter here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hotel strings

Once you start tangling you notice that patterns are just darn EVERYWHERE! But so, too, are string ideas. I've been noticing that some hotel chain logos have interesting string possibilities.

There's Holiday Inn and it's 'H'.
It gives quite an angular, regular string rather than anything mysterious, but add tangles and you'll hardly recognize it.
Tangles: Festune, Jetties, Keenees, Roxi, Strircles, Tipple
You can also add that shadow under the crossbar.
Tangles: Bunzo, Knightsbridge, Romanancy, and stripes.
Here's the 'R' in the Radisson Hotels' name:
In the first tile, the R is right-side up. In the second, you'll have to tilt your head to the left to see the R.
Tangles: Bilt, Fohbraid, Marasu, Phuds, Snaylz Traylz
Tangles: Coaster, C-scape, Fife, Flux, Starburst, Tipple
The Delta logo is a stylized 'D'. It reaches far to the left so I leave the long extension off to make it more square.
Tilt your head to the right and you can probably see the 'D' string on this tile.
Tangles: Crescent Moon, Knase, Pearlz, Tipple, Yuma
In the last tile, you'll need to tilt your head left to see the D, although it's quite well disguised!
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Copada, Fracas, Starburst, Tipple, Trio
What logos can you find that offer an interesting string?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fabulous Fengle

Tangles: Fengle with baby Fengles, Aura, Beadlines, Crescent Moon
Fengle is one of my favorite tangles. Admittedly, I have many favorite tangles! It's an organic, flowy tangle that I feel comfortable with. It has implied movement. It has infinite possibilities. Scroll down in this newsletter from Zentangle to see how to draw Fengle as well as some variations.

Other tangles: Tipple, and the Rounding enhancement

I often use Fengle as a string and then expand and fill it willy-nilly. It has lots of possibilities, and with a lot of initially empty space, it can incorporate other tangles. Here's a round tile where I did just that, Fengle in ink and willy-nilly filing and expanding.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Crescent Moon, Knase, Pearlz, Perfs, Tipple,
plus spirals, a Knighstbridge aura, and Rounding

These Fengles are in disguise. Can you recognize them? In the first tile there's a small and a large Fengle.
They're also willy-nilly Fengles. :)
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Fengle, Pearlz, Tipple, Zewm, and stripes
Tangles: Fengle, plus stripes, dots and Aura-like lines

Here's Fengle on a pre-strung zendala tile, giving it a much more regular look.
Tangles: Black Pearlz, Fengle, Tipple, Tripoli, Wud, Rounding, and stripes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pink ribbons

Tangles: Black Pearlz, Pearlz, Wud (with ribbons variation)
The Diva's challenge this week is to use pink, in honor of her grandmother and everyone who's dealt with breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month.

I used a two-pencil string to get the main ribbon. (You can search the Labels in the sidebar for more posts about two-pencil strings.) I wanted a very pink ribbony look for the whole thing so I began with a pink wash over the entire paper, then pink, black and white ink, and shading in pink.