The Craft Project

A World of Zentangles


In my third installment delving into the work and inspiration behind some recent art I want to share my new piece “Bring the Colour”.  For the last couple of years I’ve been very interested in zentangles.  A Zentangle is an abstract drawing created using repetitive patterns. The technique is designed to be intuitive and relaxing, resulting in unexpected results and beautifully complex patterns and details.  I liked the idea of a character breathing life into the world, and came up with the idea of creating that world on my canvas using traditional black and white zentangles, with a portion coming to life through colour injected by a character.


I started the piece by laying out basic outlines of a scene – trees, a sun, and the outline of the area where colour was going to spread to.  And then I sat down with a black pen and turned the entire piece into one giant zentangle (destroying the brush tip on a lovely Faber-Castell Pitt Pen in the process).  You’ll have to look closely at the piece to find the original landscape elements – especially those that exist in black and white instead of colour in the final product.


I then added colour to the segment of the piece I had earlier outlined, being careful to remember exactly where that zone was (something that proved more a challenge then I originally anticipated).  Although the ink is completely permanent, I then sealed the entire piece in a coating a matte medium to protect the it before I built any layers on top of it.


Finally I created a girl in cut paper, acrylic and ink to add to the piece and went over the words I had built into the original zentangle in acrylic to allow them to stand out from the background enough to be properly seen.


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