Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zentangle Inspired

Since I enjoyed making the zentangle inspired creation yesterday so much I made another one today. I used the same tangles with a few omitted. This time I made the pattern elements and surfaces be larger. 

I really like how it turned out. I think I'll make another one tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Exploring Totally Tangled

As I mentioned several times before I have recently bought Totally Tangled by Sandi Steen Bartholomew. Pages 6 and 7 offer an example and invite the reader to make a creation in a similar fashion. I did just that. I used all the tangles from the example in the book, plus the cool boss tangle (the pattern that resembles a bunch of sunflower seeds) I learned recently.

This is the result before shading:

and after shading:

Even though  think I overdid the shades, especially on pearls, I am happy with the final result. Having the book to guide me makes a huge difference. Even though I am not new to drawing and painting I am learning a  great deal of new things from Totally Tangled.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Naked Gardener

Splotch monster #3 has arrived. It's a gardener and he's naked, but hey he is wearing a cool hat. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


A splotch monster #2. This one is actually loaded with different splotch monsters. This is not only fun but also a great exercise in releasing our creative side.

Did I scan the initial splotch. Nope, again. I was so eager to start, I forgot. I'll be making more of these, so lets hope I remember the next time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Splotch Monster

I am a big fan of Steve's splotch monsters. A long time ago I tried my hand at making one of those, but without much success. After viewing many of Steve's creations over the last few days I decided to give it another go. What a fun, fun creative exercise. Here's what I got in the end:

 I loved it and already have a couple more splotches drying out for future monsters. I forgot to scan the initial splotch. Will do the next time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Diva's Challenge #64 - Fortuneteller

This week Diva's Challenge is to work with a given string which is basically the work surface divided into 8 equal triangles all touching in the center. It's easy to get this, just draw horizontal line through the center, vertical line through the center and both diagonals and there you go.

I had a long day so I didn't have the energy to think of and do anything fancy, so I grabbed my copy of Totally Tangled and decided to just practice a few different tangles from the book. I made a few mistakes, but I just went on. As always, point is not to do perfectly, but to enjoy the process of creating something. It turned out like this:

Looking at this I had an idea for a similar but simpler and possibly more effective take on the challenge. So I made this:

The tangle in the background is called buttercup. I really like it. It's from the book. Oh and did I mention that the book is awesome. It really is.

Thanks, Diva, for another wonderful challenge.

The Fields

In honor of the spring here are two more floral postcards.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Swamp - Part 2

After making the watercolor pencil drawing of an egret for the Illustration Friday I had an idea to do a similar, almost the same image but using a pen and patterns. Since the original image was quite simple the conversion turned out to be quite easy. 

It's a swamp all right, a swamp of patterns. Adding the shades really helped add order to this image. Before the shades it was hard to distinguish where one surface ended and another started. Shading made the surfaces pop out.

I can't decide which version I like better, the watercolor pencil or this one. Here they are side by side.

Which one do you like better?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Illustration Friday - Swamp

The topic of this weeks's Illustration Friday is Swap. I went with an obvious association - a swamp animal, Egret bird to be exact. It's a watercolor pencil on a 6x4 piece of watercolor paper.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On the Edge Of Abstract

I am still playing with the wax watercolor pencils.

Used without water:

Pulsing Hearts
Watered down:
Ready For Beach

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Floral ATCs

Since I enjoyed making the floral with my new favorite toy: the wax aquarelle pencils so much I decided to go for it and do more of the same today. The result:

They are ATCs (artist trading cards), so only 2.5x3.5 inches. I used pages of an old poetry book as the background. The book has been falling apart for a long time now. It's really hard to read. I am not much of a poetry person, anyway. Still, I would hate to throw any book away, so I am up-cycling it this way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anne's Bookmark Givaway

Anne is giving away a beautiful bookmark. Check it out on her blog:


Florals are not my strong point. I usually get frustrated with them, add to much details and it goes downhill easily and fast. Doesn't stop me from going back to them often. What can I say, I am stubborn. 

This is my latest shot at it:

To paint this I used wax aquarelle pencils and a pen on watercolor paper. The dimensions are 4x6 inches. 

The wax watercolors are totally new to me. I bought them without knowing anything about them. I searched the net and couldn't find much info. When used dry on dry surface they work pretty much like regular wax crayons. Once the water is used over them, they melt and the look turns into something much like watercolor paints. They are very easy to use and great for backgrounds. It was very interesting playing with them and I have no doubt that I will be using them again and exploring their possibilities.

Have you used wax watercolors? Do you have any tips and tricks on how to get the best out of them? If you do, share please. I am all ears.

Monday, March 19, 2012


OK, I just accidentally hit publish on an unfinished post about Diva's Challenge. Ugh. OK, doesn't matter here we go again.

This week the challenge is to use tangle called fengle. It looked like a fun one, so I gave it a shot. Soon it stopped being fun. Lets just say that it didn't go the way I hoped it would. I made numerous versions and it always looked crowded and kind of meshed up without real contrast anywhere. I must have drawn at least thirty of those and nothing. Making zentangles and zentangle inspired creations should be relaxing, but for me it turned frustrating. At that point I decided to give it just one single last shot. Something super simple. Do it and be done with it. This is what I got:

You can just see by it that I ran out of patience. One thing I can tell you right now is - I won't be trying fengle again. Plenty of other fun tangles to play with. I don't need to go back to that one.

Speaking of tangles to play with, here's what I got in the mail today:

Totally Tangled by Sandi Steen Bartholomew

Yaaaay! I am super excited. I leafed through the book and already can see that I am going to have so much fun with it. I'll tell you more after I give it a more detailed look and start trying out stuff that's in it.

Along with Totally Tangled two other art related books arrived, but I'll write about those in another post.


Quick and simple atc card made with watercolor pencils and pen.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going Cutesy For a Day

I am still playing with patterns. My latest creations are a bit more cutesy cute than I usually go for, but it's fun to try something different from time to time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time For Peace

More ATCs, all centered around peace signs.

Flower Power


Peace Is Happiness

Shades Of Grey

Illustration Friday topic this week is "shades." For my entry I played with shades of grey using just a black watercolor pencil and drew a nude. This one:

The right edge didn't scan well, so it looks edge-less and lighter than it really is. I can't be bothered to scan it again, sorry. The main part of the image is still there and true to the original.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I am working on creating a few ATCs and still learning and practicing tangles. The latest creations are below.

I Will Catch You:

Learning the Ropes:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Abstract Landscapes

Continuing to play with tangles I ended up with two new atcs.


 & The Bridge:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Struggling With Yincut

Yincut is one of tangle patterns. I love how it looks when it's done well. Reminds me of a nice, fluffy pillow. Today I set out to learn how to do it. I am not the best person for following instructions. I am not patient enough, so I rush through the process of learning. Not surprisingly, I messed up the pattern just moments into starting. Then I messed up again, but I just kept going. It started going better as I went on, but the end result did not look much like what I set out to create. I didn't want to give up on the creation, so I added some colors and in the end I think it works fine as an abstract. I call it Pillow Fight:

For the second attempt I used a different set of instructions. I did much better following the instructions and what I got was what I expected to get. I made a curtain out of it. The whole image looks like this:

This one I named Behind the Curtain.

It will take a lot more work to master that first variation of Yincut, but that's OK, it just means more drawing time for me.


Today I took a break from tangling and did this cat drawing:

It's a mix of watercolor pencils and gouache on a 6x4 paper. Not my best work, but much better than I expected it would be considering it's been years since I last did this sort of drawing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spiral Vs. Paradox

This week's challenge at I Am the Diva is named Spiral vs. Paradox. Yet again two tangles that I haven't tried before. 

The paradox looked scary, so I started with a spiral. Then I added spirals within the main spiral and of I went. Add this, add that. More spirals, many paradoxes. Try new patterns. Shade and the final result turned out like this:

It looks a bit surreal to me, not that I am going to become the next Dali any time soon. I am happy with it. I think this one is my best Zentangle inspired creation yet.


Theme for this week's Illustration Friday is yield. I mixed the idea of creating something for this challenge with my desire to continue learning to make new patterns and here's the result:

I think it fits the challenge theme well with all the products of nature that I fit into the picture. I tried a lot of new patterns with this one. Some I really liked, some not so much. Overall I am happy with the result, although I do think the butterfly is too busy. What do you think?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Diva's Weekly Challenge

This morning while exploring the world of tangles I ran into I Am the Diva blog and it's Weekly Challenge. The idea behind the challenge is to create something using a given tangle. This was perfect for me as I've been doing exactly what the challenge is made for - exploring and learning to draw various tangles.

The inspiration tangle this time is golven. I incorporated it into a postcard sized abstract. There is no special theme to it. The whole point was for me to try out different patterns and learn. Here it is:

See where it is? Up, the first horizontal thread. I like golven. It's easy to do and relaxing. I'll definitely use it again.

Overall I am happy with this card. I messed up some of the patterns, but managed to transform most of the mistakes into different patterns. The Celtic knot went wrong towards the right side. I didn't find a way to fix it, but I don't mind, it's not that noticeable, and even if it is, meh, I wasn't going for perfect anyway.

Learning To Tangle

Last week I was looking through crafts books in an online bookstore hoping to find something interesting to order. One of the covers that grabbed my attention was Zentangle Basics. I've seen that sort of drawings before, but I had no idea there was a whole concept behind it. I did a search for other books on the subject and finally decided to order Totally Tangled. I couldn't wait to receive the book before I started, so I searched the net for some info. I didn't go far before I just had to try it out. I grabbed my old little journal and a red pen and made this:

I did some more reading and looking around before I went back to the journal. When I did it turned out like this:

I like the first one better because the second one is just too busy. I didn't have much idea what I was doing, I just went for it. 

The next day when I passed by an art supply store I decided to go in and bought a bunch of goodies including a few sheets of card stock in different colors. I cut one of those into postcard sized bits and started drawing on one by making a letter B shape. I kept adding shapes and patterns and here's the result:

While I was not too happy with the image overall I really liked that mushroom like structure on the right, so I took that as an inspiration for the next postcard I made. This one:

This is so much fun. I can't wait to get the book and learn the techniques and tricks. In the meantime I am exploring Tangle Patterns and trying out new stuff, but more about that in my next post.