I used to draw a lot but pretty much stopped in my mid to late 20’s when I was having problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. Then I guess I just got lazy. I have been drawing more lately and found myself wandering back to a very “doodle-y” style that was the norm for me years ago.
A while back, I discovered that there is now a name for this style: Zentangle. It is weird to know there is a whole “movement” or subculture of art that is based on something that I (and I’m sure many others) did for years…it’s basically making patterns. Now it’s all trademarked and incorporated – oh well, make a buck, people – I ain’t hatin’.
I bought a couple of books on zentangling out of curiosity, but I got busy and never cracked them. The funny thing is, my husband (who proclaims that he is NOT an artist) checked the books out and then asked for pens and paper and got busy creating some awesome, intricate patterns and drawings. I was enthused and very impressed with his work, but I stuck with alcohol ink painting and didn’t venture (back?) into the phenomenon…until recently.
I was asked to participate in a floating sketchbook project, where books are being passed from artist to artist. I thought about doing an alcohol ink painting on Yupo and gluing that into the book, but I really had the itch to draw and doodle, so after months of having these books, I finally pilfered through them.
One of the suggested projects was to do an aquarium, which seemed like a good idea to me. The result of my attempt at that is pictured here. I actually had a blast doing this and decided that, as time permits, I want to work on a much bigger aquarium scene, with more fish and more plant-like goodies, maybe even a mermaid. I don’t know when I’ll get to that, but it’s on “the list”. (Ugh, there is sooooo much on “the list”!)
The next project I decided to tackle was to create a 2D version of a large owl figure (found at the awesome Dolly Python) who guards my living room. I’ve been wanting to do an owl painting for a while, but I knew that a detailed drawing/zentangle of an owl would take longer and would be much more challenging – oh, how I love to make things difficult for myself! I’ll blog about Mr. Owl soon in a separate post.
I am no expert on any of this, but I feel like what I am doing with this stuff is a mix of illustration and Zentangle. I have always loved illustration, especially black & white: there is no stronger contrast (well, except for black and yellow, but I reserve that color combo for graphic design work and signage).
I can’t mention illustration without noting some of my favorites, like the lovely and incomparable Jody Pham and rock-star-awesome Brad Albright! If you are a fan of illustration, check out their work! And if you’re not a fan, check them out anyway…and become a fan. I know you will. 😉
Here are the books I mentioned above: