As an Aries, I was quite excited when Ben Kwok posted a ram as the weekly template in Ornation Creation. With a zodiac themed greeting card in mind, I initially tried colouring it in shades of reds and orange but for some reason, it just did not look right. I started again. It was a dull day and the light was poor. I was half way through patterning on the head when I noticed I was using a sepia coloured fineliner instead of the black that I had intended. I decide to go with the flow and use a brown colour scheme.
I wanted the ram to look woolly and organic and chose tangle patterns that reminded me of wool and curls. ‘Knyt’, ‘Sand Swirls’ an ‘Hypnotic’ were all new to me but I found some very useful video tutorials on Youtube.
I 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.
It is said that there are no mistakes in Zentangle – a comforting assertion but one that I found to not exactly be true when last week I attempted the weekly template from Ben Kwok’s OrnationCreation. The maneki neko (lucky cat) refused to be lucky for me and I kept making mistakes – glaringly obvious ones (block patterns out of sequence being the most frequent). I eventually completed on my fifth attempt, but am still not sure whether I like it or not. I think my judgement may be somewhat soured by the battle I had just to complete it. Hoping for greater success this week.
Meanwhile, with Ben’s kind permission, I have sent up a new card store at Greeting Card Universe, where you can find all of these designs. I will be splitting any proceeds between a number of different Stroke charities in recognition of how Zentangle has helped me on my long road to relative recovery.
Last week, when googling “Zentangle templates”, I was fortunate to come across the wonderful illustrator, Ben Kwok, and from there found his Facebook page Ornation Creation
Each Monday, Ben posts a new template for members to tangle ornately. Last week, it was a butterfly. This piece took me two days to complete and I chose a colour palette of healing watery blues and greens. I was overwhelmed by the response – over 150 likes on Facebook! I’ve never had so many before, not even learning to walk again after my stroke.
Having greatly enjoyed this project, I’ve started working my way through the back catalogue of Ben’s templates, starting with this perky little flycatcher in ink and graphite. I drew this on Monday whilst at Paint Box art club in Reddish. It is attended mostly by pensioners who like what I’m doing but can’t quite understand why. Zentangle means nothing to them and I struggle to find ways to explain it to them.
I started Zentangling this Chinese dragon at Chinese New Year and it has taken me almost a month to complete, working on it a little each day. The shape was taken from a Dreamscape stencil. The main tangle used is Knightsbridge.
This week my ill health resulting from my Stroke has forced me to give up my job. I will now be concentrating on being a full-time artist and from July will be teaching arts and crafts to children. Working on this picture really helped me to relax this week at a time when I was pretty ill from the preparation for a colonoscopy. It gave me something else to focus upon rather than the griping pains in my stomach and helped me to de-stress.
Zentangle inspired dragon
Although traditional Zentangle is black and white, there is no reason why you shouldn’t add colour to your art if that is what you want to do. It is also okay to break away from the 3.5inch square tile and to tangle within shapes. I downloaded these Zentangle templates from Pinterest, added my own patterned tangles and added colour with felt-tip pens.