Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black and Red

So many people create black and red tangles and they breathtaking. So I thought I'd give it a try.


Oh well... perhaps I'll be better at this when my Prismacolour Markers arrive. I'll definitely try again.

This one was done with red and black microns, Prismacolour pencil crayons and shading pencils. 8B, 4B, and 4H.



I wasn't fond of this so I took it out of my sketchbook and watercoloured it with red and silver ink mixed together so it has an overall sheen to it.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My first card

I made my first card (and envelope) the other day. I made it for my in-laws as a thank you card for a gift. I hope they like it.

I purchased brown card stock at Michaels. It was nice using the brown paper. I love how earthy it makes the image look.

Then I treated the images so the chalks and shading wouldn't smudge.


Tombow markers

Tombows are water-based markers that blend just like watercolours. It's a great way to add a touch of watercolour to a drawing that isn't on heavy enough paper to actually go through the process of watercolouring.

I picked up a small set of Landscape Tombows and I'd like to pick up a yellow and orange in these tones to complete this set for myself.

Here's my ZIA with Tombows....

I had a lot of fun stippling this piece.The entire "bees nest" is done with stippling. Alternating brown sepia tone with black.


Monday, February 23, 2015

My daughter's 16th birth day gift - Serving Tray

I created another serving tray - this one is for my daughter who's turning 16 this week.

I wanted to include lots of little things from her childhood, so it's full of words and symbols that have meaning for us. (((hugs)))

This was a lengthy process but totally worth it.

I started with watercolour paper from Canson XL - 140 lb - 12" x 18" (blue cover)

I trimmed the paper to fit in to the serving tray I had purchased from DeSerres (they were left over from their Christmas stock so they may or may not have them in stock now).

Then I began to tangle using many different black microns. I found that using 02 was better (for the most part) because this paper is very heavy and it is such a large piece that the usual 01 micron was too fine a line. I chose not to do a string because I could see what was going to appear on the page (more or less) and I wanted my creativity to flow without worrying about seeing the string left on the page when I was done.

(A string is a pale line drawn on a page to give you a starting point when you are doing a tangle or Zentangle.)

After I drew in all of the patterns, I grabbed my coloured microns and began to colour.

This process took a long time. I wanted to give it colour but I didn't want to overdo it. After all, I knew I was going to watercolour it after and I didn't want to limit the shades that would go in to any of the areas.

I let the piece dry for a day or two before I did the watercolouring on it - using inks. During this time I did some practice sheets to see how this effect would work on an already tangled piece.

The reason I didn't start with watercolouring is because I wanted to use the watercolouring to enhance the piece instead of drive it's direction. For example, I added bronze ink to all of the slugs and silver to one of the twisted ribbons. You can't tell in the pictures (although you can better in the video) but there is silver mixed in to all of the inks and bronze and copper added to the piece as well so it shimmers.

None of my practice sheets worked in the way I wanted them to, but I learned about what I didn't want to happen doing them.

I ended up mixing my inks in tiny little bowls - adding a lot of white to them. When I felt they were light enough I added another dropper of white. (A little thing I learned from graphic design - if you think that background to the website or ad is light enough... lighten it a bit more!) Then I added silver to each pot to create the shimmer.

Then I took a huge breath, centred myself and asked the Goddess to steady my hand I created this piece. I didn't want to screw it up!

I wet the page and began creating. I used a lot of paper towel to remove ink, add ink and add texture to the piece. Dropping one drop of ink on to a brush helped add the little touches to the slugs and ribbon.

Then I let it dry for a day and when it was dry I shaded it with an HB pencil. Normally I use a lot of different pencils when I shade but I wanted the tone of the pencil to match the piece and this one did perfectly! After it was fully shaded I grabbed my chalks. There's a post below on my chalks.

I used the chalks as more coloured, shading highlights.

After I was done with my chalks, I put it in to the serving tray and VOILA it was complete!

My daughter cried when she received her gift. I'm so glad she loves it. Every stroke was done with love. I'm extremely proud of the young woman she's become and look forward to the journey of continuing to watch her grow.

Happy Birth Day little one...

love and hugs,
(aka Aleesha)

Here's a video of the finished piece.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Serving tray

I've been working on some larger pieces so I haven't posted in awhile. This is one of the pieces that I've completed.

I made it for my son. It's a serving tray. The bottom comes off (like a picture frame opens on the back) and I put the images inside. There's a lovely glass top so the images are protected.

I watercoloured the background for this piece. Using black, white and silver ink.

I've very pleased with how it turned out and even happier with his response to it when I gifted it to him. XOXOXO

I purchased the tray at DeSerres.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Meditation in art

I watched the recording of our first Meditation Teacher Training Class and drew this while I watched.

I literally meditated my way through the entire process.

I love the result!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Colour with Microns

I think I've finally figured out how to colour with Microns. I'm very pleased with this.

Before and after colour.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Review of Bekah Krahula's "500 Tangled Artworks"

I received my copy of "500 Tangled Artworks" by Beckah Krahula a few days ago.

This is a showcase of inspired illustrated designs by some very talented artists.

This book covers everything from the meditative Zentangle tile to ZIA's in sculpture. There doesn't seem to be any form of tangling that is left out.

I purchased this book to inspire me. To give me ideas of what to do next if I felt stuck on an piece that I was working on - and it has given me this and so much more.

I would like to thank Beckah for putting this compilation of work together and also a huge thank you to all the artists who agreed to share their work with all of us who purchase this book. It really does show all of us that anything is possible!

in light,
Aleesha Sattva

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Really fun

These two are all new tangles for me.

I have been using Sandy Bartholomew's three decks of "Yoga for the Brain" tangle cards.  I keep them in a little pouch and for these two (below) I pulled randomly out of the pouch and then drew whatever I pulled.

Super fun to do. Really pushes me to do tangles that I find challenging or simply don't like the looks of. Always good, in my opinion, to push myself a little.

ps only 9 weeks until I go for my CZT training!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Collaboration with my talented daughter.

Today my daughter and I did a collaboration. She's turning 16 in a few weeks and has been creating art since she was old enough to hold a crayon!

Now she's heavily into Manga Animation.

We thought we'd start doing some collaborations so this is our first of many!

I am beyond blessed to have such a talented daughter.


Ms. Zia

I was goofing around with making a sorta-kinda-face with some tangles...

Introducing... Ms. Zia! LOL

9" x 12"

Saturday, February 7, 2015

One Zentangle A Day - White on Black and Stippling

I'm working through the book "One Zentangle A Day" and today's exercise was on a black tile. I don't have black tiles - so I made one with a sharpie!

The tangle isn't very nice looking because the gel pens do NOT create a fine line. But... the exercise - seeing the tangles as the opposite tonal values than with black on a white tile -  is learned.

Yesterday I did a ZIA with heaps of stippling. All of the colours are stippled. The shading is stippled. It was fun and relaxing and a real concrete way to practice patience. *om*

And... I finally received my last pen wrap from DeSerres. Now pretty much all my pens are organized. *Yes I have more coloured pens but alas, they do not all fit so they much live in a box*


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A little fun

This one was a lot of fun. I was a bit intimidated when my hubby drew the string for this one but it turned out great.

I tried to be mindful of making sure there was a balance of tones.

I do wish my pics were better.  These ZIA really do look better in my sketchbook.

9" x 12"


Lots of people ask what type of sketchbooks to use when they aren't using Zentangle tiles.

I love Canson Mixed-Media Sketchbooks of varying sizes. I find anything less than 98 pounds doesn't shade well. It feels like the paper will tear when I'm shading (and I love to shade). Also if the tooth is too light - then it smears instead of holding the shading where I want it. I stick with sketchbooks that closely mirror the weight and tooth of Zentangle tiles.

I love my Sakura Pigma Micron Pens:

And find that I use the 01 size the most (but I use all the sizes and love the brush).


Tonal Values

I'm working my way through the "One Zentangle A Day" by Beckah Krahula. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's such a great teaching/learning tool. The one thing I do recommend though is not to struggle to get one done a day. I am doing a lesson (one day) and then doing some tangles. Practising what I learned in the lesson. Then a few days later, I do another lesson (day). This way, rather than blasting through the book, I'm really bringing the lessons deep in to my sub-conscious so I can 'naturally' and 'instinctively' integrate them in to my art.

I spent about three days on this lesson - Tonal Values. First I needed to draw out each of these tangles and shade them. Then I played with them. Seeing the tones within each one. How they worked as a group - shown below - to move your eye from dark to light.

Notice how in the first image there is one value that is out of order. You notice it right away. In the second image the tangle has been moved to its correct position and now the tones flow from dark to light.

tonal values are not flowing

tonal values flow nicely. The eye doesn't get stuck. 

Now let's take a look at what a tangle with only dark tonal values looks like. In my opinion, it's dark, grounded and doesn't feel like it has any light or movement. It feels very static to me.

Now let's look at this next set of tangles. It's all light tones. It's very airy and gentle but it's not grounded. If this was my completed tangle I would add more dark shading to one or two of the tangles to balance it and bring the eye naturally from dark to light.

Notice how this one feels more balanced to the eye. We have a mix of tones. 

This one is also balanced. We have a dark tone, a light tone and a couple of mid-tones. 

This next one is all mid-tones. Notice how it feels blah. There's not the same movement of your eyes when you look at it. 

But when we add a dark tone and a light tone to the same group of tangles - now the eye moves with more grace from one tangle to another. If this was my tangle, I would definitely add less shading to one of these to create more contrast to the shades. It still feels very blah to me. But my style is a much more light and airy one. I love adding movement and organic character (which are light tones) to my tangles. 

This last one is the second Zentangle I made when I was first beginning this journey into Zentangle in Dec. 2014. You can see how the tonal values are balanced (although now I would have done a better job of shading). 

And in this ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) or Tangle (either term is correct) (below) you can see how, within the swirls - the tonal values change and bring the eye around the image. So even within a very airy, organic piece, there can be darker tones to help create the flow our eyes desire. 

If you want to learn more about how to create a more balanced piece of art, pick up Beckah Krahula's book or you can take a class with me. I'm taking my training in April 2015 to become a CZT and will be teaching in my area ((Burnaby Mountain, SFU) Vancouver BC Canada). If you want a private lesson with me, we can even do that via Skype but lessons in person are always better. To find an instructor in your area please check out the list here

Aleesha Sattva

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pencil Wrap

I love my pencil wraps. I really really love them. They keep everything so organized!

So I picked up another wrap for myself the other day for my micron pens.

And today I decorated it!