Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Want to Play - Zentangle

I miss having time for art, and I have these new shoes (see yesterday's post) and I really want to decorate the toes on them. But I don't want something crappy, and I know that if I just dive in without thought, the shoes will look horrible. So I started doing some on-line research - into Zentangle.

This piece combines several different tangles into a lovely whole. 

Zentangle is a method of drawing that is often mistakenly referred to as doodling. Tangles (you don't 'zentangle', you 'tangle' when working on this art) begin with light penciled abstract open shapes called 'strings' and then switch to permanent black ink fine point markers like Sakura Micron pens. Color is rarely used in a tangle.

One of the keys of Zentangle is that no secondary
tools are used - no guides, no rulers. But because
of the way the patterns build, complex patterns like
this can be created free-hand. 

Tangles build from a center point, growing evenly from the center, turning and twisting. Instead of trying to hit odd angles, you turn your media so that you can draw easily, meditatively. Traditionally, tangles are drawn onto tiles - fine grade paper measuring 3.5 inches square. They can take as little as 15 minutes to draw, or become very complex, taking much more time.

The key to a successful tangle is the progression
of the pattern. Here, the dots lead to the chevrons which
lead to the diamonds which lead to the embellishments. 

I want to put some tangles on the tips of my shoes. And I want to play with tangles because, when you look at the world around us, patterns are everywhere. From the earliest days of art and crafts, makers used pattern. Continuing to work in that vein just seems right to me.

Tangles are combined. Each section of this lovely star and
the background is a separate tangle. When you break each
element down into how they are made, the complexity becomes
more attainable and understandable. 

So as we enter another scorching day, I'll pack my Micron pens, grab one of my moleskin sketch books and some references and instructions on how to do tangles, and I'll start playing a bit after I finish my workout. One less digital jigsaw puzzle and one more tangle seems like a good compromise to me. Have a weekend of joy.

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