Exploring


Playing with Walnut Ink-Challenge #206 9

This week’s Diva Challenge was to explore Zentangle® through a different media. Yay!  What a great challenge as I have been exploring dip pen and ink this week.  Sketching with dip pen and even a stick – preparing for my upcoming trip and deciding which materials to take – those to leave behind (sadly).  My packing for trips usually focuses more on the art supplies, books and music than clothes, food and accommodation.  So a great opportunity to tangle with ink.

Walnut Ink & Dip pen with water to wash in the shading.

Walnut Ink & Dip pen with water to wash in the shading.

Such a fun way to work with tangles on the tile.  The beautiful paper with its subtle texture ensured slow mark making.  And timing the shading was an adventure in letting go of control.  Trying to time just the right moment while the ink was drying (but not too dry) to allow the wet brush and water puddles to melt the ink and create shading was very enjoyable.  I like the spontaneity of the finished piece.  I can see areas where I would like to go back and add more ink and play a little more but I want to maintain the freshness – so tools down!

Beautiful French Walnut Ink & Dip Pen

Beautiful French Walnut Ink & Dip Pen

I have been discussing with students the value of keeping a sketchbook and have been sharing pages from my own in class.  They offer the opportunity to practise with freedom.  It’s not the final piece, which can sometimes add a restrictive dimension to the art making process.  This is your private space and you only share should you feel comfortable.

I have so enjoyed peeking into other artist’s sketchbooks over the years and so in the spirit of sharing, I’m going to include pages from my sketchbooks at regular intervals.

Exploring walnut ink & dip pen... & a stick from a branch!

Exploring walnut ink & dip pen… & a stick from a branch!

Here’s a page where I had been exploring ink and the dip pen.  Holding the pen right at the far end and loosely pushing it around the paper.  Sometimes on its side or back.  Light and heavy strokes.  Not like holding a writing pen at all.  On the left you can just see a little where I used a stick (twig) from the garden – no shaping of the end.  Just dipped it straight into the ink bottle and pushed it around the page.

Exploring Zentangle with pen and ink

Exploring Zentangle with pen and ink

And then the challenge was announced.  So I played with some tangles.  Some worked with the pen easier than others.  And I particularly wanted some that I could shade with the ink and not graphite.  Just for fun.  In the top right you can see where I dripped ink and water onto the page and then pulled the ink out of the liquid pool.  Loved this.  I could get some very fine lines with this technique but wasn’t sure how it would work on the more textured surface of the tile.

More ink investigation!

More ink investigation!

Really enjoyed some of these effects.  Particularly the variation in the shading when water was applied to ink before it completely dried.  However, go in too early and it melts into a puddle.

Losing the freshness

Losing the freshness

And in keeping with we ‘Learn by our mistakes’, I’m including the first tile that I created.  While we all know that Zentangle® is all about the process not the results – I do enjoy a pleasing result!  And this was going so well until I added Nzepple under the Purk.  Too similar shapes and tones and I couldn’t see how to rescue it.  So abandoned this one.

So I hope that I’ve encouraged you to pick up a dip pen, or even a stick and dip it into some ink.  Lots of fun!  I’m voting to take the ink (love the effects) but not keen to open a bag and find that it’s spilt all through my belongings.  So the verdict is still out.

 


Tangling in the Convent Gardens

Renaissance Tile drawn in the Convent gardens.

Renaissance Tile drawn in the Convent gardens.

Black and white tile drawn in the Convent Gardens. Nov 9, 2104

Black and white tile drawn in the Convent Gardens. Nov 9, 2104

Thank you to everyone who came up to speak with me yesterday at the Open Day at Abbotsford Convent.  Including all those lovely children and their parents who thought I was part of the Treasure Hunt – so sorry to disappoint but appreciated your lovely comments on my work. :)

I found it interesting that I would never sit in a such a public place on my own to sketch or paint but had no hesitation sitting for nearly 5 hours doing Zentangle.  Even when occassionally being part of an outside painting group, I find it quite intimidating when people come up to watch me paint.  Just another example to me of how it really does create a relaxed state of mind.  And a number of you also mentioned how you found it very peaceful to just stand and watch.

I did leave a little early as the wind kept blowing all my tools and the sun became quite hot to work in.  So apologies if you came looking for me and couldn’t find me.

And many thanks to the other lovely artists who setup near the music area and came and moved me to join them.  So appreciated!

 


Exploring Renaissance Tiles 4

Renaissance Tile Sea Theme

I’ve been exploring the beautiful ‘Renaissance Tiles’. A lovely mid tone – Tan colour that allows us to explore the contrast of light and dark in a similar fashion to the old masters.  I was aiming for an ‘Ocean Garden’ theme.

I’ve used black and brown Micron pens and white charcoal pencil for highlights.  I love that you can use such simple tools to achieve some really great effects.

'Three Friends of Winter', Zhao Mengjian, 13th Century.

‘Three Friends of Winter’, Zhao Mengjian, 13th Century.

The beautiful image above is ‘Three Friends of Winter’, Ink on paper by Zhao Mengjian, from the Famous Album Leaves of the Sung Dynasty, 13th Century.  Used here as the cover of ‘Confucius’. This is my Folio Society edition that I saved and purchased because I so loved the cover.  And it almost looks like ‘Verdigogh’ growing on the branches.

Chiaroscuro is the Italian term used to describe the sense of volume and 3D qualities that can be achieved with this method. It even sounds beautiful!  Say it out loud and hear for yourself :)  The British Academy of Arts Newsletter has a very informative article that includes some beautiful images of this style.  You can read it here if you you’re interested – Out of the Shadows.

We are currently graced once again by another delightful Italian Exchange student – this time named Clara.  So there’s a lot of Italian influence surrounding our family at the moment.  Bellisimo!  I’ve still much to learn about Chiaroscuro but are loving the process.

The Renaissance Tiles are a beautiful soft 100% cotton French paper.  Slightly thinner than the white tiles but very soft and buttery to work with… delightful!