Friday, May 29, 2015

The Big "Z" or My Tangle Teaching Tree

Finished at last! I have been remiss about posting on my blog because it seems that my every waking minute outside of my full-time job was spent on completing this wall mural. I call it my Big Z, being the biggest Zentangle I've created to date.  It's also my Tangle Teaching Tree and trademark of my new home studio/classroom. Now classes can commence, and I want to share with you the progress of this 4-month project with a few photos. Read the whole post and see my challenge question that could win you a prize!
I finished the mural on Memorial Day 2015.

In February, after surface prep, I had a blank slate to work on. Kind of terrifying!

This is the "string" or sketch based on my favorite cottonwood tree located in Hygiene, Colorado at Pella Crossing. The sprinkling of nine birds are imaginary.

The focal point of my wall includes some of my favorite tangles, Betweed, Mooka, Poke Root, Nzeppel, and an owl whose contour was totally inspired by Ben Kwok's artwork.

Proof that I labored evenings after work until I was just too exhausted to continue. Good thing that I always had my rescue dog, Bellina at the ready!

The four-bird branch on the long wall. I was pleased with my use of "Organza" to symbolize birdsong.

Detail of the main tree trunk. Notice the little surprise; the polymer clay beetle I made last summer at a workshop I attended during the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual conference in Boulder, CO.

I love this undulating texture of this portion of the tree trunk. It illustrates the importance of shading your Zentangles. More of that topic to follow in a later blog. Watch for the video of my shading demo.

Here another example of the depth shading brings. NOW MY CHALLENGE TO YOU. I will send a prize to whomever is first at guessing my shading technique (obviously not done with a pencil or I would be there another year working).  HINT: some of my botanical illustrator students may be familiar with the technique. Send me an email to my with your guess. I will reveal the answer and winner in a new post. The prize: my favorite Zentangle book, "The Book of Zentangle" by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, founders of the drawing technique and worldwide movement.

I look forward to many hours of rewarding classes in this space.