Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Zentangle Untangled

One of my local libraries has an impressive collection of books about drawing Zentangles, and I am working my way through their inspiration this summer.

Most recently, I poured over Kass Hall's Zentangle Untangled to get new ideas for my sketchbook.  I thought I would share some of the designs I learned from her:
She presented some tangles she had created, as well as some tangles from other Certified Zentangle Teachers.  She also had some other random designs and doodles, which she named.  When I imitated them in my sketchbook, I noted the title she gave to her design.
I really like the design above called Twing, but my very favorite here is Huggins, in the lower left corner.
My sketchbook is Strathmore medium surface drawing paper (400 series), and I am using a combination of Micron pens [in all different tip sizes from .2 mm (005) to .45 mm (05)] and a Faber-Castell PITT pen S.
I like all the designs on the page above.  The one called Meer in the upper right corner would made a great border for a journal or diary page.
I usually don't like how loopy designs like "Nouveau" turn out, but in this case, I like the result:
"You Are My Sunshine" is not a tangle, but a doodle, and would look great in my planner on a particularly hot summer day!
"Gizmo" is another example of a drawing that isn't a specific tangle, but uses ideas from other tangles to make a picture.  Mine looks a little different from Kass's, but the idea is there:
Here is another page of designs I made using ideas and inspiration from Kass's book.  This is actually the first page I created:
Some of these, like Diamonte and Haze, would look even better with color, I think.
I didn't think I would like Mysteria very much, but I did like it once I drew it!
In my opinion, my greatest triumph was Honeycomb.  I don't usually use a ruler for Zentangles, though I had it out for the tangles from this book, and it was obviously indispensable for this design.  My daughter looked at it and said, "That doesn't look that hard."  Well, let me tell you...it took one false start, and a TINY Micron pen, but I love how it looks:
Finally, lest you think every page is a winner and that I'm happy with everything that makes it into my sketchbook:
Frippery, Mooka, and the design Kass called "Echoing Munch" came out pretty well, but the middle row was a total fail.  My pen ran out on the design on the left, and I lost interest in finishing it, and I should have used a ruler to try the design on the right.  I'll give it another shot, and maybe glue it over top of this fail!

I am on to the next Zentangle book I borrowed from the library: Let's Tangle! by Kathleen Murray.  It is a great introductory book if you are new to Zentangle; I recommend it highly, and will share some of what I have been learning from it in a future post.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dendritic Exchange

The title of this post makes it sound as though I have participated in some sort of medical procedure or scientific partnership.

In fact, I've just done a fun mail art exchange!

Awhile back, I shared with you the process of creating decorative papers using the dendritic painting method I watched at Atomic Shrimp.

Jewels, of Just Tickety-Boo, who first shared the video with me, initiated a mail art swap using the results of our dendritic painting experiments.

From the beginning, I imagined the shape of a person's head made out of the dendritic papers, since they look like neurons or nerve endings.  Then, I wanted to use inspiration from the wonderful collage and mail artist, Lenore Tawney, so I flipped through the book Signs on the Wind, and came away with this postcard to send to Jewels:
In return, Jewels sent me this postcard (tucked inside a fireworks-emblazoned envelope!):
Her use of the dendritic painting is much more subtle than mine, and you can definitely see how it adds to the layers of her background:
I love the vintage woman image--I have been scouring books and magazines for these kinds of vintage images, as I'm finding images of women and their roles from the 1930s to the 1950s very inspiring right now.

As an added compliment, Jewels told me that she chose the dictionary definition of the word "cheery" because she imagines it to be a word that describes me.  I certainly try to hang on to my cheeriness, so this is much appreciated!

I definitely feel some pressure when it comes to doing a mail art exchange, especially when there is an "assignment," such as using the dendritic papers.  But it is so very satisfying once the project is completed, and I have another piece of mail art from an online friend to add to my collection!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Attack of the Scrap Monsters!

Scrap monsters have taken over our home!

When I saw Courtney's video for scrap monsters, I had every intention of creating them on my own, and once my kids got a look at them, there was no stopping them from trying their hand at them, too.
First, I created body shapes and face features following Courtney's lead in her YouTube video.
In this totally un-staged photo, you can see the impromptu mess created by the whole process:
My daughters and I chose our favorite body shapes and covered them in decorative tapes, cutting around the edges when we were finished to get a clean edge:
I then followed Courtney's lead and outlined my monster with thick black Sharpie, though my girls declined this step (which was probably for the best, since we're talking about permanent ink here!).
The final step involves finding the face we want to match with our monster's body, and using pencils to add a little color:
Last night, we each created two monsters, for a total of six.  This morning, my girls took over, creating their own body shapes and face features, and creating even more.
They've named each monster, and created a kind of "profile" of their special talents and back stories.  They are most interested in laminating them to create "backpack buddies" (little toys and such that connect to the zippers of their backpacks), but I'm thinking they have a real future in Scrap Monster Trading Cards!  Don't you think?
I think they will make absolutely adorable stickers and journal embellishments.
The Scrap Monsters have taken over, 
and just might need their own room soon!

For more paper projects, check out my Collage and Assemblage and Paper Crafting boards on Pinterest!