Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dream Catcher

I love making gifts for people that are special to me.  This ZIA (zentangle inspired art) piece is one I made for my sister, Priscilla .  She has always loved Native American Art and has some wonderful pieces in her home....painting, pottery, plates, you name it.  So I thought she would love a tangled dream catcher.  I tried some new techniques for me...a watercolor wash on the paper for the background and some watercolor pencils for color and shading, and I was really pleased with how they came out.  The rest is standard tangling with a couple of different color pens and white charcoal pencil for some of the highlights. I framed it in a beautiful frame that complemented the colors.  I made this several months ago and really wanted to tell her about it, but kept it a surprise until earlier this month when we drove to Wisconsin and was able to give it to her.  I know she loved it because she took down one of her beautiful pictures and replaced it with mine in her family room

P.S.  It looks so much better in person then the photo I took!  Stay tuned for my brother, Steve's gift coming soon. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIVA Challenge #133 Tipple

This week's challenge from the DIVA is to use the tangle Tipple in your tile.  I love Tipple and I teach it in every beginning Zentangle class.  Tipple is a really versatile tangle that fits in so many places.  I decided to do my tile using Flux & Betweed because they are two of my favorite tangles to put Tipple around

Friday, August 23, 2013

Zentangle Lesson With My Nephews & Sister-In-Law

On our recent trip to Wisconsin I had the opportunity to have a Zentangle lesson with my sister-in-law, Rhonda and three nephews, Owen (age 8), Evan (age 7), and Ian (age 5).  I gave them the book, "Zentangle For Kidz" by Sandy Steen Bartholomew, some apprentice tiles, pencils, blending stumps, and two pens...the Apprentice pen and the Sensei pen.  I love both of these pens, but I wanted to see which one they liked.  They all liked the Sensei pen the best because it is just a little bigger and easier for them to hold.  It was so much fun to share the art of Zentangle with them!






Aren't they just the cutest little guys, and their zentangle tiles were awesome!  They also ran and got the tiles I made for them last year with each of their initials on them that they keep in their rooms. :)

This week, after we were home, I got a surprise email from Rhonda & Evan (my godchild). They sent me pictures of the tiles they made for me with my initial!  How sweet is that!!!  Once again, they did awesome work!

Thank you for such a great surprise! Love you all & miss you so much!!! Aunt Sue

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIVA challnege #132 Non Dominant Hand/Bales

This week the DIVA challenge is to do a monotangle of Bales, but the catch is to do it with our non-dominant hand.  For me, that's my left hand.  I learn something new each time I try tangling with my non-dominant hand.  The first and most important thing is to go really, really, really slow.  It takes a long time to complete what would be a simple tile with my right hand, but with the left that's another story.  I also discovered that if I hold my hand on the pen down close to the nip, I have a lot better control.  The size of the nib made a difference too.  The dark color was done with a Micron 05 and was easier to work with than the 01 pens for my left hand.  If you look close you will see all the shaky lines and the shading did help hide them, but the shading with my left hand leaves a lot to be desired too.  All in all, it's a fun exercise in learning to slow down and concentrate on making one line at a time


DIVA challenge #131 DEX Monotangle

Another DIVA challenge that I am catching up on!  This one is to do a monotangle of DEX. 

Diva Challenge #130 UMT: Henna Drum

I have been gone for a couple of weeks visiting my family in Wisconsin.  We attended a wonderful family reunion with about 70 people (aunts, uncles, & cousins) that I haven't seen in years, a 60th jubilee celebration for my Aunt Agnes (60 years of service as a catholic nun), and lots of great times with my brothers, sisters, nieces & nephews.  Now that I am back home, it's time to catch up on the DIVA challenges that I missed!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


When I teach zentangle classes, I always encourage my students to shade their tiles.  I also let them know that shading does take practice and the more you do the more confident you get.  It makes such a difference to the finished tile and adds so much contrast and interest.  I remember Maria Thomas telling us in  CZT class that some tangles will literally jump of the page with just a little shading, and that is so true!  The one thing I see beginner's doing (and I was guilty of this too) is not putting enough graphite on the tile.  In other words, when you look at the tile, you can barely see that it is shaded at all.  It's good to start out lightly, but when you like the look, try adding more graphite for a darker shaded area and see what a difference it makes.  The one think you want to be careful of is covering your whole tile in gray, because you still want to have the contrast between the light and darker areas.  One other way to tell if shading makes a difference in your work is to take a picture of your tile or ZIA prior to shading and then one after and you should see a noticeable difference.  I am not an expert in shading, but I think I am improving all the time with practice.  Here is a 5x7 ZIA before and after shading pictures.  Notice how much more dimension the shaded piece has.

photos unavailable

In my classes I also recommend the book Made in the Shade, by  CZT, Cris Letourneau.  This is a great workbook that is full of wonderful information on everything to do with shading zentangles.  Cris covers in depth, getting to know your tools, shading simple shapes, shading tangles, shading ZIA, and shares some new tangle patterns.  The workbook is set up for you to practice what you learn every step of the way with examples to fill in right in the book.  At the end there are a lot of samples for you to practice shading from a lot of CZT's and artists.  So if you want to get more in depth practice with shading check out Cris Letourneau's book at this link to her blog.
As Rick & Maria from Zentangle Inc. say, "Not everything in life is black and white, but all shades in between". 
(Note:  If you made it to the bottom of this post and know how to show pictures side by side in Blogger, let me know.  They are side by side when I am writing my post, but not when it is published????  Thanks)