My next step was to do it on a black Apprentice tile with white ink from the dreamy new Sakura Gelly Roll #10 pen. It flows the way the tangle flows in my mind. And I love the ethereal glow you get when you shade with a white pencil and blend it with a tourtillion.
A little backstory: months ago I purchased a small pack of Opus tiles. Opus tiles are a Zentangle.com creation, and they are big,10.5" square! They sat on the shelf in their brown wrapper, giving me dirty looks because I was avoiding them. They were right, I just wasn't ready for my first Opus tile. I didn't want to "mess it up." It was expensive and it was gorgeous. It needed an idea worthy of such a fine material. But art starts in the back of the brain, and while doing the above Zentangles, the idea began to form that MySwing would be great on an Opus Tile. I was so happy on the day I finally took out the Opus tile out of its wrapper and covered it my MySwings. Here is Opus Tile Number 1.
What to use to add color? I decided to sacrifice one precious Opus tile to try out all the different coloring media that I own, so I could really see with my own two eyes what worked best. I didn't want to guess. I colored all over the Opus test tile. I tried different types of colored pencils. The waxy, Prismacolor pencils and the fluffy Stabilo CarbOthello that are more dusty and soft, like pastels. (I love these!). I tried my small set of Inktense Pencils that you draw with and then brush with water for all kinds of bleeding effects. I drew some MySwings and filled in areas from my small set of Copic markers. These professional quality markers are apparently used by cartoonists worldwide and are just great for filling in color areas with smooth consistent color. But watercolors won. Only watercolor produced the flowing color that went with the flowing tangle pattern. I tested plain watercolor, watercolor mixed with salt, mixed with alcohol, with saran wrap pressed into it while it was wet which makes wonderful strange pale streaks all over. But the salted watercolors were the smoothest and the most peaceful. They were a bit more intense than the plain ones, and they won.
I decided to leave my first Opus tile alone and I set out to create a new one with color. The color came first. This is a great way to add color to the whole Zentangle process. Put the color down first, and then let it be your string, let it show you the composition, and everything will harmonize and look great. We hope. I used a wet-into-wet technique with my good Winsor and Newton tube paints and a big fat fine #12 sable brush. I put the color down first and let it dry completely, for a couple of days in fact. Then I lay the MySwing pattern over it, honoring the color fields with the pattern. A little shading and at the end, I was happy!
I have had a hard time giving away my creations since i started doing Zentangle. I wanted a "record" of what i was doing. I was surprised that the act of giving away the MySwing tile to my brother-in-law created an emptiness in me that I could actually feel. That emptiness was soon filled by the succession of creative projects as reported here. Things evolved. Good lesson for me: let go. The little words letting go mean exactly the same as that big word liberation. When you liberate something, you let it go free. Enough hanging on. Come on over and choose a Zentangle that you would like to take home. Maybe we can even find you a frame.
What better thing to do with ones life than to litter the world with beautiful objects?