Thursday, 28 August 2014

circus of horrors

For this week's It's A String Thing challenge, Adele invites us to use the beautifully loopy String 055 - and just one official tangle - Striping.  And also the Tangle enhancer known as Sparkle!  Sounds simple enough.  Which it is.  But it's also as complex as you want it to be.

For a start Striping is essentially just multiple parallel lines, with every other filled in black.  But it only really works, truly comes alive (at least to me), if the lines travel in different directions in each adjacent string section.  These junctions allow for great shading, and suddenly a stripey patch starts to bulge and curve to the eye. 

It takes patience and lots of ink to fill those bands.  Usually I practice for any challenge in my sketchbook, trying out tangles, ideas etc.  But this week I thought, why not make a little Bijou sized tile to see how it might look?  So I did.  The first with straight forward Striping.  And then I did another with fine line stripes - but that essentially turns it into Isochor right?

Time to make the full sized tile.  I drew the string, then coloured part of it using Inktense and water.  Once dry I started placing my Striping.  I used a few fills, which perhaps lessen the impact of the straight black and white, but ramp up the fun too?  I also introduce a bit of Sparkle - first by just leaving a dash of white on the curved parts, and later adding a bit more with the white Inktense pencil (I don't feel this technique worked that well - it just looks grubby!).  Sparkle is always hit and miss for me - sometimes it makes a band look like light bouncing off an old LP, at other times like a little creature has been scratching at my tile.  But that's part of the joy of Zentangle - it has a life of its own, and you never know quite what you'll end up with each time!

We watched Stephen King's IT on DVD this week.  I'd read it as a teenager but wanted to see if it was as scary as I recalled.  It wasn't.  Although Pennywise the clown was still deliciously insane.  And I think him and his blood-filled balloons influenced this tile.  That and the thought of those red and white stripped barber-shop poles.  I love the gruesome history behind a simple striped pattern.

1 comment:

  1. I like your walk through of what you did. I think the Bijou black and white is really good. The second Bijou does look more like Isochor.