Irojiten Pencils

Today I want to share a project I made six years ago. And I think it’s about time to give this another go because it was that much fun!

I want to walk you through how I made this mandala using just a couple simple supplies.

I started out with the plan to make a mandala filled with tangles. For supplies I knew I wanted to use my Irojiten colored pencils from Tombow. And I had a plan for utilizing templates.

Specifically quilting templates. I purchased these at Joanne’s Fabrics back in the day. It dawned on me these templates would make great mandala templates. I started pulling them off the rack at the store and began layering them on top of each other. I was looking to see what would match up together and look like a mandala. I ended up using the two templates you see above.

I placed one quilt template onto my paper and traced within the lines. Then I played with the second template – moving it around until it lined up with the first one in a pleasing format. Then I traced those lines. I did not use all the lines from both templates – just the ones that looked like they went together.

Next I started filling in lines, connecting paths that seemed to go together. A flower began to appear. So I added small leaves and started outlining some larger ones.

A few more lines made the larger leaves more distinct and dramatic.

Looking over the lines brought to mind some tangle patterns that would work in the various areas. Purk became seed pods. Phicops made flower petals. Some simple linework finished off those larger leaves.

Once I had the flower mandala looking the way I wanted it to, I turned to my Japanese irojiten coloring pencils to start layering in some color.

These are some pretty incredible pencils. Not watercolor pencils just beautiful coloring pencils. The shading and color variations come from dropping in multiple layers of color.

This was just the second time I tried the irojiten pencils – so not perfection but pleasing at least.

I used five different colors to lay down a technique called scrumbling around the outside. Scrumbling gives a drop-shadow kind of cast to the mandala.

All in all I used 15 different pencils. I love the way this mandala turned out. Maybe I will make another once I start my use-up-all-the-stencils project. Hahahaha! If I can do this – you can do this!

Irojiten Pencils

On an Opus

A couple years ago Zentangle® came out with a 10.5″ square tile they named the Opus. Tangling on a larger scale – many of us serious tanglers at the time already worked large scale so it was nice to have this format available.

At $4.40 apiece I try to make the Opus tiles I have last. Beautiful and fun to tangle but not economical. What you see above is the back side of the tile. The front is plain with no writing, just waiting for you to tangle. And that is the side most people use. But no one said you couldn’t tangle on the back. I began with my Dylusions Ink Sprays that I love so much! Then I added the tangles and I really got into the auras on this one. Hahahaha! It was so much fun I just kept adding lines. For patterns I used supplize, all boxed up, cee-a-mosa, O, mooka and fiore. Those are the main ones. All the writing comes on the tile already. If I tried to do that it would look a whole lot different. Hahahahaha!! And no one would be able to read it.

The 100 Day Project really took a tole on my drawing desire. I haven’t started my stencil project yet either. I am in serious photo editing mode for a new book. I have been working on this new book since Christmas and maybe even before. I am so ready to have it out there for you and it will be. Soon. Hopefully. I am closing in on having all the edits complete and will start putting it together. And it is a book you are going to need! And want! I promise. Big news is forthcoming about it!

New Tangle from Zentangle HQ

Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the founders of Zentangle®, released a new tangle pattern this weekend through their newsletter. I am sharing the step out with you so you can give DooDah a try of your own. Fairly straight forward. I look forward to seeing what you do. I may even get a chance to play with this one myself. After The 100 Day Project I just haven’t felt like tangling much but you never know. It could happen.

Making Color Art!

I like making colorful, bright, beautiful backgrounds probably more than anything else in art. Yes, I enjoy tangling on them as well but the making of the color just makes me extremely happy. In this short post I am going to show you five backgrounds I made using four different products.

All five pieces were created on a cold pressed watercolor postcard from Hahnemühle and were featured in a review last week. I do not have any photos of making this particular piece of art. The makers of Dylusions Ink Sprays also have a line of paint pens available. The biggest factor with these paint pens is to remember to activate the roller ball inside by shaking the pen. The color gets mixed and blended this way and the pens work better. To make this card, I scribbled small 2″ areas of several different colors on my craft mat, then spritzed the whole thing with water. By working in small areas I was able to get a bigger selection of colors on one small piece of paper. I placed the postcard face down in the color to lift colors, then I rotated the card and placed it down again. This technique created the overlap of colors and the different layers you see. This one is going to be fun to tangle on!

For this next card, I brought out these two colors of Sharpie Marker. You probably have a few of these laying around your home already.

I first scribbled the color on my craft mat, then sprayed water on the color. That causes the beading up. Don’t have a craft mat? Any non-porous surface should work. Even a plastic sheet protector would work.

When I placed my postcard down into the color I did not get the bright pretty colors I expected. Sharpies usually work well so I was surprised. But not to be deterred, I grabbed a couple Neon Markers from Letraset and added them to my mat. You can see the color lift went better this time.

In this photo you can see the original purple scribbles from the Sharpie marker. The pink Sharpie? Not so much. Hahahaha! But the green and pink neon Letrasets worked great! Much of my art is an experiment to see what happens.

I held the card upright and sprayed water along the top, allowing it to run down the card. Then sat it aside to dry.

Didn’t it turn out super? That pink washed down and lightened up as the postcard dried, creating some orange and peach colors. I used the purple Sharpie and pink and green Letrasets and got all these colors. Pretty amazing!

You have seen me work with Kelly Creates Aqua Brushes before. For this particular card, I painted the color straight onto the postcard. You can see the colors didn’t work all that well for coverage. I had lots of almost dry brushing going on here.

So I blasted the whole thing with water and just let the colors and water run and mix and mingle and work. And it is like magic!

From that photo to this one – you can see how the color continues to migrate all by itself. You don’t need to help it. And you can also get an idea of how little these Hahnemühle postcards flex when soaked.

Here is the postcard once everything dried. I have no idea why that teal bloom happened on the upper left side. I am guessing the water ran into that area as I moved the postcard to my drying rack. I do love that crackly teal ring around that section. And the colors on this card are brighter and bolder in person than this photo shows you. Definitely one of my favorite pieces with Kelly Creates.

Here I went back to my most used technique – scribbling the color directly onto the mat, then spritzing with water. Kelly Creates Aqua Brushes again. Just two colors this time. By spraying the water into one area – at an angle across the paper – you can force these splatters of water which turns into really cool looking splatters of color.

I still had color on the mat, so I did another lift of color then stood the postcard on its side and allowed the orange colors to run down into the yellow. Beautiful edge along that lower section.

I added a little more water to what was on the mat and did a third lift.

You can see here that the right hand side of the postcard is dry already, but the left side still has a good bit of wet to it. I took my pink pen and touched it into the wet areas in several places – depositing plenty of pink color. I had no idea if this would make a difference or not, but look . . .

. . . it absolutely made a difference. I was able to change up almost all the orange that was still wet. And still had a little migration of color as well.

Let me show you one last card with the Kelly Creates Aqua brushes. Two colors. This is what happens when you spritz water onto the scribbled color. This is the look you should get.

And here is the postcard after I lifted color a couple times. Beautiful!

Isn’t it fun once it is dry? These five postcards didn’t take any time at all to make. And now I have five wonderful backgrounds to tangle.

Clean up? Yeah, that can be pretty cool, too! Hahahaha! When the paper towels look this good I put them in a drawer and save them for collage art.

Watercolor Postcards and other Hahnemühle products with purchase links