Monday, October 28, 2013

Paisley Par-Tay

(from top-left to bottom-right) floo, flux, opus, and ennies.
plain Jane
I didn't have school today (teacher workday), so I was able to complete my submission to the Diva's Weekly Challenge #142: "Comfort/Danger Zone" early in the week. The goal was to push our boundaries by doing something that we usually shy away from. I don't usually feel comfortable using organic shapespaisleys, teardrops, curlicuesso I used tangles with those elements and now feel much less intimidated by them. I found it interesting that each of the tangles has the same basic motif and format as another. Opus and flux branch from a stem while floo and ennies branch from a border; opus and floo use a spiral while flux and ennies use teardrops.

For shading I gravitated towards watercolor pencils to amp-up the volume. Not having a paintbrush handy, I actually used bobby pins to add the water and smooth out the color! After I had finished the adding pigment, I followed my mom's advice and weighted the rounded end of the flux-bulbs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fengle and Quandary

I am excited to share my submission to the Diva's Weekly Challenge #141: DuoTangle - Fengle/Quandry. Having never attempted quandary, I felt a bit lost initially. However, using it made me want to practice it even more. I like the combination of tangles because they fall in different genres. Fengle is large-scale and more naturally serves as a string or monotangle, while quandary is one of the tangles that serves to fill in areas. The latter is like groundcover, only more exciting and versatile.
I got carried away with shadow on my first tile.

I decided to work on a larger tile early on because I was craving more surface area. I used a 4.5 inch paper tile that my mom cut as Apprentice™ tile backup. I definitely took advantage of the extra space here. I only used a touch of quandary, but I think that it pops more than any other fengle design. I just wish that I had used a little less shading because having the gray everywhere makes the tile muddy.
my graphic second tile

I love the case they come in.
The top folds back into a stand.
I took a different approach on tile #2, opting for vibrant colors and high contrast. (By the time I started, I had found the stash of official Zentangle Apprentice™ tiles and used one.) I was more comfortable with quandary when I was completing this piece, and I am much more satisfied with the results. The kaleidoscope-ish fengle units remind me of a jester. Speaking of color, I used a new kind of pen to fill in the shapes: Straedtler triplus® fineliners. (I like them, though they have a lighter, more casual feel than the Sakura Microns.)This tile was so graphic, I felt that pencil shading would be out of place. To me, this tile is joyous and  cheerful and doesn't want to be weighed down by graphite.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dot Fever

I feel like time is flying by much too fast, that precious resource slipping through my fingers. I have lost my focus on what I enjoy and prioritized the wrong things. Television, the Internet, and milk chocolate (which isn’t even as good as dark chocolate) have distracted me from my art and education. I don’t know how I skated through the first quarter without any disappointing grades. I didn’t apply myself the way I wanted to, and I hope I can put forth a more sincere effort.

Tuesday, my family hosted my grandparents’ birthday party. Both Nana and Day (the sobriquet I gave my dad’s dad when I could not pronounce “grandpa”) were born on October 5th. It was a funky karaoke party with plenty of pizza and sugar to go round. My dad even hung up our disco ball for the occasion. I had a blast hosting the “dance show” with my darling cousin Charlotte.

I believe the song was "Dancing Queen".
It really spins! Wouldn't it be cool to have it running nonstop?
My activity opportunities for fall break have been slashed by the flu. It all started Wednesday morning after the birthday bash: I woke up lethargic and headachy. My head wasn’t hot though, so I poured myself a cup o’ joe and went to school anyway to take the PSAT, which went smoothly. We were dismissed before noon and went outside. It was 68ยบ and only slightly windy, but I was freezing. My teeth were chattering so violently that I struggled speaking. Later that day I was again chilled fell asleep on the couch under a blanket. I woke up an hour later covered in sweat. It was a long, uncomfortable day. Thursday, I was drowsy and it hurt to swallow, though my fever was reduced. Ever since, my fever has stayed normal and my energy has returned, but my hands and feet have been killing me, thanks to a weird viral symptom. I hate being sick because I wanted to spend my fall break riding my bike, playing with the dog, and going to a school football game. I just hope that I feel fine tomorrow when classes resume.
Completed Friday, October 18.
I should have posted sooner.

Here is my submission to Laura Harm’s Weekly Challenge #140! "Monotangle, Pointillism style!". I am satisfied with what I have done. I used three pens (the Sakura Micron 005, 01, and 05) to have a variety of different dot sizes. It was also nice to use the 05 to move more quickly in darker areas and to avoid damage to the finer tips. I like the ambiguity between what is foreground and what is background and the drama that comes from the dense areas. I only wish I had been able to complete it in less than three hours. Was your patience also tested by this-consuming technique?