Ink & Water

I have not done much of my Zentangle work since the massive wrapping paper project I undertook in the winter.  Today, though, after a run to the art supply store for fresh pens and paper, I sat down for a couple of hours to start getting the feel for it again.
Above is the result of my afternoon spent sitting at my desk.  It is not what you might call a traditional Zentangle.  I started out simply by trying a few new tangles just for the fun it, to get used to the feel of the pens again.  I cared not for balancing out the patterns or creating a flow of any sort.
When I was done with my overly large tile, I did minor shading in only a few parts of my inky tangle.  I began to look at it, and then over at my jar of water color pencils.  Because of how I simply tangled with out reason, the patterns seemed to have lost their definition and sort of blended together, giving my tile a bit of a dizzy look.  If that’s what I had been going for, then it would have been mission accomplished.  But I wished for it all to pop a bit more.
So I began to color, only a bit, just enough to make it easier to see the differences between the tangles and make it prettier.  With a bit of water in my tiny bee tea cup I smoothed out the pencil lines and sat back, very pleased with my result.  A bit rough around the edges, but a good tangle after such a long absence from the art, I think, especially considering I’ve only made 3 or 4 tiles altogether in my life.  I certainly have much to improve on, but I try not to be too hard on myself.
Here are the supplies that I used, most of them untraditional for the trade.
My ink pens, STAEDTLER pigment liner, not the traditional MICRON archival ink, and not the traditional sizes.  Most Zentangle books will tell you that you only need 2 sizes, 0.3 and 0.5.  I have here sizes smaller than those for drawing finer lines, and one much larger to faster fill in large areas.
Pencils, 2B and 2H, a softer and harder lead, respectively, for different degrees of shading.  These are the only 2 things of the traditional sort that I have for my Zentangle.  Next to them, a blender, to help my poor shading look a little less poor.
Water color pencils are most certainly not the normal thing to use in Zentangle.  Color is added to some Zentangle, but usually with the use of colored MICRON pens.  I prefer the softer look of the pencils though, and the water color pencils in particular because I can smooth out the harsh lines of the pencils to a clean, solid block of color.  I had to be careful to barely use any water at all in my brush, just enough to work into the pencil markings, but not so much as to soak through the paper or warp it when it dried.
The paper I used is both much thinner and larger than what a tile would normally be.  I preferred the larger size of the paper, and though I had to be more attentive to make sure nothing bled through to the sheet underneath it, I liked to work with it for it was smooth and took the ink of my pens well.
Untraditional resources to make an untraditional tile.  There is something beautiful about it though, how you don’t have to always stick to the ‘rules’ of the normal method to make something you enjoy.  Zentangle in particular seems to encourage you break out and find your own way to do it, to make your own style and mark.  For this reason, and for how much I enjoy to draw abstract doodles, Zentangle had become my favorite form of drawing for myself.
Em
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