Tag Archives: tangles

It doesn’t always work first time


It took me two attempts before I was satisfied with this dragonfly ZIA.   The first time round I chose a much too ornate and involved background which meant that the dragonfly pretty much got lost.  I started again and this time kept the background simpler.  I already visualised a monochrome background and a bright insect that would ‘pop’ from the page.  I shaded with graphite and then I began to colour the dragonfly with alcohol markers.

I bought a set of Spectrum Noir markers earlier this year as so many people on Ornation Creation seemed to recommend them.  I have to say that although I love how eaily they blend with each other, I’m disappointed with many of the colours which are not as vivid as I hoped for.  Also some colours are lacking from the range – there is no bright sunshine yellow, no Christmas red, no emerald green.  I coloured my dragonfly with shades of turquoise, lime green and lavender and waited for the ‘pop’.  There was none.  I wanted vibrancy and irridescence and wasn’t getting it.

So, I turned to my Japanese watercolour brush pens and finally got satisfaction.



Recent ZIAs


Shame on me – five months since my last post.  I’ve not been idle though.  I’ve been learning a lot of new tangle patterns, largely by following boards on Pinterest and I’ve worked on a number of Ben Kwok’s templates.  I wish there was a tool that enabled you to submit the shape that you wish to fill and then it would suggest a suitable tangle.  I always struggle with long thin areas and also narrow rectangular shapes. Here are a few of my recent works.

vajra72 lantern72 carousel72

Zentangle on a larger scale


Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been tangling on a larger scale than the traditional 3.5 inch square tile, and I’ve been working on A4 sheets of card.  I’ve learnt a number of new patterns, including Ragz, Kemble, Pubfleur and Trellis and have experimented with tangellations (variations).  The finished pieces will be cut into 10 strips  and fitted with a tassle to form bookmarks which I hope to sell at next month’s Reddish art festival.090515   May15

December’s Mandala challenge


Having done a couple of mandalas using Ben Kwok’s templates, I wanted to learn how to do one from scratch.

I started with a square and divided it in half horizontally, vertically and diagonally before dividing each of those segments into half again.

With a compass, I drew a series of circles from the mid-point, making the largest circle as big as the square.  From the centre point, I then began to construct my mandala, mirroring each element that I added.  This is the result.  You could divide your square into more or less segments for different effects (although less than 8 would probably be pretty dull).

Mandala1 72dpiOver the holiday, I returned to Ben Kwok‘s templates and tangled this violin.


Alive and kicking – just about! And playing with Japanese brush pens.


It has been almost two months since I posted to this blog, for a good reason.  In the middle of last month, almost 3 years since my major stroke, I had a mini stroke.  It absolutely knocked me for six and for several days I couldn’t draw at all because my right hand was shaking so much.  It really scared me, thinking that I may never be able to draw again.

At the beginning of the month, before this occurred, I tangled this macaw, using Staedler fine-liners  and some new Japanese watercolour brushpens that I treated myself to from Amazon.

macaw72The pens are wonderful, they hold a fine point so are good for detail, yet you can also cover large areas quickly.  They can be dipped into water to create lighter shades and blend beautifully.  As the packaging was in Japanese, I had to learn to use them by trial and error, but found it quite instinctive.

I had started this owl just before my mini stroke and finished it a few weeks later, once my right hand had resumed almost normal service.  Some of my lines are a little wobbly but I am satisfied with the result – again the brush pens came into play.

owl72And once I started drawing again, I could not stop!  So a few days later and again with the assistance of the brush pens, along came this festive bauble!

bauble72(2)I would recommend these pens by Acacia to anyone, so put them on your list to Santa or head over to Amazon and treat yourself now.


Quite a Challenge!


elephan72tI chose this elephant template this week to tangle as a birthday gift for my mother as they have long been one of her favourite animals.  I had seen a number of very impressive attempts at it on Ornation Creation, but did my best not to be influenced by them.  It’s fair to say that it proved quite a challenge and I made a few false starts, especially with the ears.  The tangle that I used is called ‘Cayla’ and is new to me.    The plait around the border also proved quite difficult.  In the end though, I am pleased with the image I created and think it well represents these majestic and strong animals.

More Tangling with Templates


I’m totally hooked!  Every Monday I can’t wait for Ben Kwok to post a new template in his Facebook group, ‘Ornation Creation‘.  I also love viewing everyone else’s work and it is incredible how different the same template becomes in other people’s hands.  Here are a few of the templates that I have completed recently.  hummingbird72 MANDARIN72 peacock72 pumpkins72All of these images are available as greeting cards from my new store, Tabby Tangles.

One Zentangle a Day: days 16, 17 and 18


I’ve given myself a good kicking and now it is time to catch up on my blog and my Zentangle  – the sun is shining so once this is written, I’m out into the garden with my sketchbook and Beckah Krahula’s fabulous book to discover what day 19 has in store.  As you may have noticed, somewhere along the  line, I got the numbering of the days mixed up.  My Stroke has left me notoriously bad with dates and numbers.

Day 16 introduced me to the tangle ‘Pepper’ which looks a lot like ‘Festune’ and was very simple to draw.  I also learned ‘Ynix’ and ‘Squid’ (which reminded me of a chrysanthemum).  I chose to do my Zentangle on blue paper which combined with the black ink and grey pencil shading, gives a cold feeling.  I chose mostly organic tangle patterns and think the overall effect looks like plants growing on a sea bed.

day16Day 17 and I was not impressed!  I found all three tangles quite ugly – ‘Viruvius’, ‘Courant’ and ‘Sedgling’ so I doubt if I’ll be using them very often.

day 17Day 18 and back on more comfortable ground with ‘Gneiss’ (goodness knows how that is pronounced – who thinks up these names?), ‘Cadent’,  and ‘Huggins’.  I had to study the latter two quite closely to understand how the lines moved around the circles and dots.

day 18

One Zentangle a Day: day 13


day 13It has been a while since I last Zentangled or dipped in to Beckah Kahula’s excellent book, but this week I got back to it and picked up from where I left off – so day 13, ironically created on Friday 13th.  I learnt three new tangles, ‘Yincut’, ‘Locar’ and ‘Verdigôgh’.  The latter two are easier that they look and both remind me of that persistent horse-tail weed that forces its way up through my decking each summer.  I then used them and previously learnt tangles to complete the final tile.

One Zentangle a Day: Day 12


day12I admit I’ve been neglecting my Zentangle studies recently in order to pursue a 5 week online art course and to get my classes up and running.  It has also been a busy summer of markets and festivals.  But yesterday with the rain hammering on the studio roof.  I once again picked up Beckah Kahlua’s book, my micropen and a tile.  Day 12 introduces us to three new tangles, Beelight, Chillon and Bales.  Although quite different in appearance, they start from the same gently curved grid.  Iused all three, plus a tangellation of beelight in my completed Zentangle.