Let’s Make Some Easy Acrylic Tiles!

45 Comments

I had seven tiles left from my tin of Hahnemühle YouTangle.art Tiles and I felt like adding some color. It has been a stressful last couple days for me trying to figure out why so many of you are not getting the confirmation emails, or the automatic posts you should be getting in your inboxes. (Hopefully that will get fixed tomorrow.) So I thought some color might be in order!

Dina Wakley has some beautiful acrylic paints. They come in a couple different formats and I probably have them all. (Who am I kidding? I totally have them all! Just mostly not the blacks and browns because . . . you know, color!) These are the supplies I gathered up. That cute little collectible tin is from Hahnemühle and inside you get 25 of the YouTangle.art Tiles. I can not even begin to tell how happy they make me. For six years I’ve tangled on the official tiles from Zentangle HQ. They are not my friend. They ruin my pen tips and the bumps cause my penwork to do things that my old hands can’t control the way I want them to. Hahnemühle’s tiles are smooth surfaced and they handle all the different pens I use superbly. But this is not a product review. Hehehehe! So. You see those 7 tiles on the bottom, a few of the Dina Wakley acrylics and a teeny tiny brayer for brayering in little places. On the bottom is a craft mat to protect my desktop. 

I started out easy. Just a tiny drop of lemon and a drop of blushing. You can get a better idea of the size of “a tiny drop” by remembering these tiles are 3.5″ square. 

Then I used the brayer to push that acrylic paint all over the tile. I had to work hard to get that much coverage – but yes, those two little dots of color made all this wonderfulness. 

I was encouraged by those results so I moved to tile number 2! More like a squeeze and drag this time, I used lemon and lime for color. 

I made my initial roll with the brayer – you can see how much color I have extra . . . 

. . . so I rotated the tile and brayered some more. Interesting. Autocorrect has changed that word to ‘bartered,’ ‘brayed,’ ‘bantered’ and ‘booyah’ hahahahahaha! I guess I need to booyah my braid some more!

And here is my final result for this tile. I love these colors together and all the texture and layering you can get. (Why does autocorrect understand ‘layering’ but not ‘brayering?’ 

Well that technique worked great, so let’s move on to another. Same two drops of color. This time it is turquoise and white. You never know what white is going to actually do. Sometimes it is great and sometimes not so much. 


I keep a bottle of water on my desk all the time. One never knows when one is going to want to spray something. Hahahahaha! So I did! Sprayed a bunch of water right onto those drops. 

Then I turned a tile over (well, both sides are identical so who knows if I really turned it over?) and rubbed it right into the watery color pile. I actually turned the tile and smooshed it all around, hoping I would get good coverage with the acrylic paints. 

And I did! These tiles are not made for wet media. As a matter of fact, on the Hahnemühle website all the tiles shown in their ad are done in black and white. Their description says they are suitable for use with fine liners and pencils. I have used fine liners on them, possibly some colored pencils for shading, but I am big-time all about the bright and beautiful colors that come from acrylics, watercolors and inks. And these tiles have NEVER let me down. This tile will dry nice and flat and the surface will still be smooth. 

Criss-cross, applesauce. 

Actually I used fuchsia and white. Took me forever to learn how to spell that!  And I kept swiping color back and forth until the tile was covered. And . . .

. . . when I work with color and a brayer I always keep a pad of paper handy. I clean my brayer on it and at some later time will pull those pages out to do something like this:

Here is that tile completed. I can’t wait to draw on this one!

Love this tangerine and lemon one! Notice it picked some color up from the brayer where I didn’t get it completely cleaned off? I love it when that happens!

And there will be times when you get one that is just too dark. (Actually this isn’t too dark for me but it is a good one to show you this trick with!) For this piece I used evergreen and lime. 

Pull that white out and add a little.

And mix it right in. I used the brayer and just kept rolling, even when it seemed there wasn’t any color left on the roller. It helps to smooth and push and work that color into each other. And when the tones are just right – you will know it. Cause you will smile. Really big.

I did the same thing with this combination of fuchsia and blushing, then I added some white. I really love the texture and layers!

A little housekeeping thing or two before I go. Here is the rolled, brayered clean up sheet I used. I will probably keep adding to it before I decide it is ready to be the base of a piece of artwork. 

Speaking of housekeeping, I organized some of my brushes today. They are sitting right next to the edge of my desktop. It won’t take Aurora long to find them. She likes to rub her ears on them, so it also won’t be long until I am picking them up off the floor and reorganizing them. Hahahahaha! I hope you enjoyed this easy step-by-step approach to some beautiful tile bases. If you are new to my site and my art, there are plenty of tutorials. You can click on the Tutorial tab at the top of the page OR if you are on a phone, click those little parallel lines over to the right. 

You can purchase Hahnemühle’s YouTangle.art Tiles here
Need some Dina Wakley acrylic paints? Click here. Surprise! They are on sale! 
Hmmm, brayers? Right here
My Dr. Who Tardis? Right here.  

Don’t want to miss a thing? Super! Cause I don’t want you to miss anything here at Artangleology! Fill in these two little boxes and you can get every post I make – straight into your inbox. And please leave me a comment, I’d love to hear if you try these techniques out! 

45 thoughts on “Let’s Make Some Easy Acrylic Tiles!

  1. Your colored tiles are beautiful, like all of the work you share is! Wishing you much success with your new site.

  2. Recived this post in my Email just now. Your post is beautiful.
    I love the acrylic paint and brayer instructions.
    Glad to recieve my first post! Thank you!

  3. Took me until tile 3 or 4 to even know what a Brayer was, hehe never used one before so something new to look forward to. Thanks for all you share and do!!!!

    • haha! sorry! it is used a lot for gelli plate printing, but you can use it for other things, too

  4. Hooray! Your IT guy was successful. Your wonderful colourful post landed safely in my inbox this morning. Thank you for a very informative post. I love all your photos and your make everything very clear.

    • thanks for letting me know Wendy! glad it worked for you 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the post – I have a lot of tutorials under the Tutorial category at the top of the page

  5. These are beautifully done and walked through…i might give it a try…may I ask where you are based Alice? Would love to own those tiles and tin… once I finish university and start a proper job… I love your blog…thank you for everything…

    • thank you, hopefully this will inspire you to give it a try. I am based in the United States, way up north in snow country. I’ll have to find out if the tins and tiles are available in your country.

      • here is contact info in the UK and where you can purchase the tiles.
        United Kingdom
        Hahnemühle UK
        Hahnemühle UK
        Suite 5, St. Mary’s Court
        Carleton Forehoe
        Norwich
        NR9 4AL
        Phone +44 845 3300129
        Fax +44 1603 757915
        uksales@hahnemuehle.com

  6. Pleased to say this came through as an email notification. I had to chuckle over autocorrect & Aurora – every time I think of Aurora rubbing her ears along those brushes I cannot help but smile……. Anyhow I digress, back to the artwork – fascinating to see how you use the acrylic colours together in pairs, the elegance of limits comes to mind. Looking forward to your tangles on these, would Aurora oblige with some of her paw prints I wonder.

    • hahahahaha! she would definitely oblige. hahahahaha! love you! thanks for letting me know you got the post the way you are supposed to

    • same ones I use on everything else. I don’t use microns too often – except for the graphic 1 – I mostly use Zebra fine liners, a sharpie fine point (not the markers) or Tombow’s 01Mono Drawing Pen. they all work great. thanks for commenting, i hope that means you got an email notification of a new post

  7. Hi Alice, congrats on the web site and for getting it working! You always pique my interest in new ideas, and get the ideas going! Thanks you for this and so much more.💜💜💜

    • you are very welcome! and .. . you are one of the people I manually confirmed for subscriptions, so it is good to see that worked

  8. Awesome. I learned this technique when I took a class last December and had forgotten how much I like the backgrounds. I can’t wait to see what you make with these. And I got a wonderful email notification this morning that you had a new post. So your list seems to be working now.

    • yay!!!! for technology!!! I’ve heard from people now that got the email. these backgrounds are fun to do, I like to make them when I’m stressed. hahahaha! so last week was the perfect time 🙂

  9. These are lovely! I hope you will do an update when some of them have been tangled.

    Also may I ask what type of paper you use to clean the brayer on for larger works later?

    • thanks, I will for sure do an update. you can use any kind of paper you use for your art. this particular sheet is from Hahanemühle, it’s their Expressions cold pressed watercolor paper. I love the texture for brayered lines

  10. You’ve inspired me to get going on making more colored tiles. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Alice, thank you for opening my eyes to the possibility of trying something I never have before. This really looks like fun! My color journey is just beginning!

    • I am so glad to hear this, Jodi! I hope you will play and enjoy. that’s a lot of what I do, play and see what happens <3

  12. These are so neat! Glad to be getting your emails again! They are the highlight of my day (I can’t always be as artzy as I want) Blessings!

  13. Hi, Alice, I received the email telling me about this post. Yay!! Love these tiles, and as always I enjoy your love of color. Thanks for sharing your process with us.

  14. Very interesting article. I think you can guess what’s going on my shopping list for tomorrow. Not paints or paper…Yes, a brayer. Can hardly wait until after the 8th and a craft show I’m getting ready for every day, all day long. Good job, Alice. I’m looking forward to seeing more posts from you. ❤️

    • thanks, Sarah, I’m glad I can help inspire – and spend your $$$. haha! sorry! one lady in the group successfully used a glass jar today for a brayer.

  15. Love this post and I can’t wait to try these techniques! Thanks for sharing 🙂♥️

    • it was fun and easy to do. and quick! they took longer to dry than they did to make 🙂 I know you will make beautiful ones and make awesome art with them 🙂

  16. Alice –
    You are so incredibly talented! I love to doodle so I’m going to try some new things!

    Your site is awesome and certainly brings out your beautiful personality!

    Received your email today. Thank you! 😀

    I think I may have subscribed twice. Oops! 😬

    • haha! I’ll check and see if I need to remove one so you don’t get each mail twice. I know how annoying that can be. so glad you are here 🙂 hope I can keep you inspired!

  17. I love these tiles! I’m partial to all the bright cheery colors, too. I especially like the lighthouse scene. I will definitely be trying this technique. Thanks tons.

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