Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas cards 2013 (Doodle # 17-35)

Alrighty, been super busy but wanted to make some Christmas cards, since leading the zendoodle class a few months ago, and learning that at least one of the ladies in the class were going to be making cards, I felt like I really needed to make these cards... besides, it was so fun! Any excuse to get to doodle, right?

When I started I had no idea how many I would make, it ended up being 19 (plus one that didn't get scanned, I'll explain later), I just sat down several times over a few days and got them done. First I sketched them in pencil, then inked, then some got colored pencil, or colored marker, and/or shading with pencil. I used a gold pen, a silver pen, white pen and silver sharpie marker, on the scans the silver ink comes out looking grey, that's just the nature of the beast.

I did a combination of ZIA and cutesy bears, and one cutesy dog, the dog card went to my neighbor who gave us a rescue dog (Zoe). Turned out that I had almost exactly the number of cards I needed to give to everyone, I still need to make 2 more then I'll be done. The one I didn't scan went to a friend who just lost her husband, I made that card last (of this batch) and didn't have time to scan it.

All the cards with the exception of one are 100% hand done, including the lettering, the only one that I used Photoshop on was the Noel card (on the circles and letters only), I wanted to make the letters look like they were on a spherical surface, after doing the all the hand lettering on the other cards, I know I could have done that as well. All images can be clicked on if you wish to see it larger.

  This is the only dog, and it went to my neighbor up the road who gave us Zoe.
 The lettering was colored with silver Sharpie marker, the bears are shaded with pencil.
 The inside of this card says "A Very Beary Christmas".
 The circles of the balls and the letters were done in Photoshop, all the rest of this card is hand done. I used gold and silver ink on this one.
 I had a good time doing the lettering on this one, when it's first done, it looks so messy, then when I started adding the designs and color, it really came together.
 This one I thought I would be my least favorite, and it turned out to be one of my favorites once I added color.
 I incorporated a ZIA and a realistic leaf design.
 I tried something new by putting in the scrolls, wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but it turned out just fine.
 This was my most intricate design.
 I was running out of ideas, but this still turned out pretty good.
 PB didn't get this one until I colored in the black around the bear. The letters on this are colored with silver Sharpie marker.
 I began adding doves to my designs, I like it.
 I added more doves, I shaded around the doves to make them "pop".
 Some of the letters are done in silver Sharpie marker.
 Silver Sharpie marker...
 I had a good time drawing the bears :)
 Didn't like this one until I added color, then it looked just fine.
 This is the only one I did with colored pencil, it came out OK, it is actually brighter than the scan appears to be.
Another one with silver Sharpie marker.

Altogether, I used:
White cardstock 8.5x11 folded in half
Micron liner pens, black
colored markers
silver Sharpie marker
gold, silver and white ink pen
Ticonderoga pencil

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Doodle # 16

Click to enlarge the images.
This is a special doodle, it's a birthday present for a wonderful friend, she is a Halloween baby :) I was her caretaker for several years, her health is better now so she doesn't need me like she did, during the time I was her caretaker, we spent a lot of time together and we got very close, she considers me like her daughter and I consider her like a mother.

I worked on this for a couple of days, maybe 5-6 hours total, I didn't want it to get busy, I like the white space. I also debated about the shading, after deciding to do it, I am happy that I did it, it really sets off the piece.

I used something new and different (to me) to do this picture, I used tracing paper, it's almost like very thin vellum, it takes the ink very well, and it also takes graphite for shading very well. Being so thin and translucent, it does need a backing sheet of white paper in the frame to make the background look white. Even though it's thin and seems delicate, it is sturdy paper and holds up well to the ink, graphite, eraser, blending stump and all the handling it received before finally going into the frame.

I drew my design/line art in Photoshop, printed it off, then using the tracing paper for what it's best for, I traced the image in ink, then I began to add the doodles and details in ink. Once I was satisfied with the inking, I used a graphite pencil and a blending stump to add the shading.

I put this in a plain black frame, it's about 8x10, I did have to trim the tracing paper to fit.

01, 03, 08 Micron pens, black
black Ticonderoga graphite pencil
blending stump
Mead Academie tracing paper - medium weight - 9x12
black frame 8x10

I took it over to her house shortly after finishing it, she loved it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Doodle # 15

This is my first entry into The Bright Owl's Zendala Dare #73, I had quite the good time with this, since the line drawing is already done, it makes it easy to just fill in the spaces, of course I say that now, I'm sure there will be a challenging one in the future :)

Click on image to see full size...

When I first saw this, this screamed for the tangle called Leaflet, that's the ONLY thing I could even consider to put in this layout. I added the flower in the center and the bubbles around the outside. I shaded it with a graphite pencil. I look forward to the next challenge!

I used:
Micron black liner 01, 03
Ticonderoga black graphite pencil
standard white printer paper

Doodle # 14

This is from the Diva Weekly Challenge #136 
this one was a wide open challenge, the only requirements were to use color, we could use any design we chose...

I tried using color a bit in some of my earlier designs but I wasn't happy with them, so I had essentially put color on hold, this challenge made me rethink using color with doodles. This one has subtle color, I picked mostly greens and the yellow, with a hint of purples and pink. The dominant tangle design is called Leaflet,  the Zendala was from the Zendala dare #73 on The Bright Owl's page. I had a great time with this challenge.

I used:
Micron black liner 01, 03
CraZart colored pencils
standard printer paper

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Doodle # 12 and 13

This is from the Diva's Weekly Challenge #135: New Official Tangle "Well" I did 2 variations on the challenge, you will notice I didn't scan in the unshaded version, I decided I was doing that because I was a chicken, I was afraid of messing up my original so I would scan it unshaded, print it out and shade the printed copy... I will not do that again :) The only chicken around here is the kind we eat!
I just BARELY got this one done in time, fortunately I didn't have to go anywhere today (not that going places is a bad thing!), I have the whole day to myself... IT'S DOODLE TIME!

Click on image to see full size :)

This one has these designs:
Bulb Lantern
Sand Swirl

This was done with:
#1 and #2 Ticonderoga graphite pencil and 01 & 03 Micron Liner - Black

This one has these designs:
Scrolled Feather

This was done with:
#1 and #2 Ticonderoga graphite pencil and 01 & 03 Micron Liner - Black

I had quite the good time working with this challenge, I look forward to the next one!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


My first pattern, I enjoy playing piano, and wanted to incorporate my musical background into art, piano keys are very geometric in design and even someone who isn't musically inclined knows what piano keys look like. I did a search to see if anyone else had used piano keys in their tangles, and I found a few, but they were ALL flat, from the top down, not dimensional, so I made mine dimensional, it's really easy and I would love to see how you incorporate this into one your own tangles...

Music is very creative as well as mathematical,  it uses both side of our brain :)


I call this design P•Keyz (or P-Keys)
Stands for piano keys. It's really simple

1. you draw a curved line, it can be any length you wish
2. you draw a line on either end of the curved line, pointing in at an angle
3. you draw a parallel line, mirroring the first curves line, connecting the 2 lines at the top
4. you draw short vertical lines, coming down from the bottom curved line, these are the ends of the piano keys
5. you draw a line at the bottom of the vertical lines, mirroring the curved horizontal line
6. using perspective, you draw in the tops of the keys with lines going from the tops of the vertical lines, go at an angle toward the top line
7. this is the tricky part, you have to draw in the black keys, you start on the left, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in from the front, you draw a heavy black line, following the line vertical to the back. You do 2, skip one, do 3, skip one, do 2, skip one, do 3, skip one, do this until you have all the black keys drawn/colored in.
8. now add some shading.

You can reverse 4 and 5. After step 3, you skip to step 5, then do step 4, which ever is easier for you.

When you do step 6, I find it easiest to draw the 2 end ones then work my way toward the middle.

You can draw any curved line you wish, coming toward you, going away from you, or you can even make it straight...

You can do this across (horizontal) or up & down (vertical)

You can make one end large and the other end small

Here is my sketch sheet I played with to get this worked out. You can see another couple of designs I created but haven't perfected enough to create a step by step for them...

Enjoy this new design, if you use it, please post a copy if it online and send me the URL (web address) in the comments below so I can see what you have done with it. :)

If by some chance, this pattern already exists, please let me know so I can either remove this one or give proper credit.

Doodle # 10 and # 11

This is for the Diva Challenge #134 "Beamz - by Traci F"
WooHoo, I got this one in on time!

I did two of them, there will be 4 pictures here, 2 shaded and 2 unshaded (line art). I have been having so much fun with shading these doodles! Here they are, the first 2 are the ones I'm entering in the challenge, they are shaded:

These are the line art before shading of the two above...

The pattern called ensenter, I created that and I'll post a how to as soon as I can come up with it... it was the carved decoration on an antique piece of furniture I saw recently. It was the "in the center" of the decoration, thus the name ensenter.

These were done with Micron liner pens 005, 01, 02 and 03, a Ticonderoga pencil, other graphite pencils of varying softness.

Which do you like, the shaded or unshaded?

The patterns in these are
Ensenter (mine)
Chicken wire (haven't found a tutorial for this but know it's out there)

The strings came from here:
TanglePattern 027
TanglePattern 005

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Doodle # 9

This was supposed to be for last week's Diva challenge #133, "Tipple love it or hate it", I didn't get it finished in time to officially include it in the challenge, I will add it to the list on the Diva's site for that challenge after the fact... I hope to do this week's challenge, but I don't know if I'll get one done in time either.

You can see two examples of TIPPLE in this image, plus
a variation on
I included links to the site where I picked the doodles that would go within each section. The pattern in the middle that has the flowers and just below the flowers is my design.

This is my first Diva Challenge, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. :)

This is what it looked like before I shaded it.

The shading is what took me so long, I had the original line drawing done in plenty of time, but didn't know if I wanted to shade it or not, I also didn't want to upload it here until I was finished with it... so I scanned the line drawing, cleaned it up a bit digitally and printed out a copy, that's what I decided to shade before working on my original, which remains unshaded. I like the line art copy that I shaded. It took me a few days to get it shaded like I wanted it, I am glad I took my time on this, this is my first "big" doodle and I am quite happy with it. I did print out a second copy, that one I will color, though honestly I'm not as "in" to the colored ones, I really like the B&W shaded ones.

I did use an eraser to clean up some edges, places where I wanted to shade but not go over into another area, I didn't worry about going over, I just shaded, smudged, blended then used the eraser to remove the shading in the area of overlap. I used a white charcoal pencil, something that sounds like an oxymoron, I have noticed it really isn't WHITE, it has a bit of a yellow tinge, you can't tell until you lay it on some white paper, not sure if I will continue using it for this.

I'm pretty happy with it, PB says he likes the line art (without shading) better... oh well, each to their own.

I used a Micron 01 and 005 black liner, a Ticonderoga #2 pencil, some softer pencils and charcoal pencils, I blended with a blending stump and Q-tips, I added just a touch of white charcoal pencil.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ticonderoga pencil and ProArt charcoal & graphite pencil reviews

I went to town yesterday, going to town for me means a 3 hour drive (one way!), we do have closer towns but to go to one that has any real shopping, it means a day trip.

I went to Hobby Lobby, I love that they are a Christian organization, there is a Michaels in that town, but that store is almost always poorly stocked and very messy, the first time I went there I thought they were about to close the store (for good) in the following days or week... so it's Hobby Lobby for me from now on, sorry Michaels, you had my heart and my money when I lived in Fort Worth, but the town I shop in now, well that store leaves a lot to be desired...

I went straight to the drawing and paper section of the store, as usual. I was looking specifically for some Ticonderoga brand pencils. These came recommended by an artist I watch on YouTube. You can find Mark Crilley's art supply video here, it should start right at the point where he briefly mentioned the Ticonderoga pencil, then he quickly goes on to the (Heavenly chorus) Prismacolor black pencil... ;)

I have never been wowed by a regular graphite pencil before, but these are pretty good, they are smooth and lay down a good line of graphite, they blend well too. You should be able to pick up a box of Ticonderoga pencils at any decent art supply store, they are prices inexpensively enough, if you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, you can sign up for their email newsletter and they will send you a 40% off coupon each month.

The other thing I purchased there was a 10 piece pencil set by Pro Art. These have 7 graphite pencils from 2H to 6B in hardness, it also contains 3 charcoal pencils in 2B, 4B and 6B (hardness).  I played with all of my pencils today, I used to do pencil and charcoal drawings, in the charcoal I used the different hardness' of charcoal in stick form and in vine form, but I've never played with graphite pencils in the different hardness', I had a lot of fun today, sketching, doodling, and shading some of my tangles (see my previous article below with a review on a shading Zentangle book).

The one in the middle is the one I purchased at Hobby Lobby, after seeing the prices on Amazon, I wish I had seen the first one in the line up! Oh well, I did have a 40% off coupon so I didn't pay too much at HL...

Well, this is my review of pencils today, hope you enjoyed it and let me know if you plan on using any of these pencils for shading...

"Made in the Shade a Zentangle Workbook" book review

As promised (teased) last night, here is the review on the book Made in the Shade a Zentangle Workbook by Cris Letourneau.

I received this as a birthday gift last week, my friend M asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I quickly jumped on this book, I had been wanting it for a while now.

This is a fairly new book, it's 124 pages long so it's no lightweight when it comes to content. As the title suggests, this is all about shading your tangles and doodles. This book is both for the newby and the seasoned doodler, there is something for everyone in here.

Cris is a CZT, certified Zentangle Teacher which means attended a seminar given by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. She has been tangling since October 2010.

This book is chock full of demonstrations on the various ways you can shade, you can take one doodle and shade it in multiple different ways and come out with completly different works of art.

Shading takes an ordinary doodle and makes it pop off of the page, creates depth and complexity that wasn't there before. I have been tangling and doodling for a while now and wanted to take my work to the next level, this book showed me the way to do that.

There are many exercises in this book, and room on the pages to practice what she teaches, though she and I recommend that you photocopy the work pages and work from those instead of working directly in your book, that gives you the opportunity to practice more than once on a particular thing, you can also see yourself growing as you learn.

You can take an ordinary tangle or doodle and shade it in different ways and end up with different looks, I like to create a tangle then photocopy multiple copies of it so that I can play around with different ways of shading and coloring it.

There are lots of full page tangles that allow you to see details that you wouldn't see if it were small. This gave me a lot of ideas and inspiration, it will for you too :)
 This is one of my favorite pictures in the book, she teaches how she shades a seahorse tangle. The following page is a full page illustration of the unshaded seahorse tangle for you to practice on.

This is the page that sold me on this book, you can clearly see the difference between the unshaded tangle and the shaded one. It really does add depth to your work, making it pop off of the page!

  • This book shows you step by step instructions for shading artistically.
  • Tips and notes to help you develop your own style
  • 60 exercises to learn new techniques
  • 50 ideas for shading 20 official tangles
  • 4 complete projects to teach you to analyze a tile and use shading to create a focal point, improve contrast, add dimension and enhance the overall design
  • 12 new tangles
  • 36 tiles, 6 ATCs, 3 Zendalas,and 4 ZIAs from artists around the world
Cris' website is:

Made in the Shade: a Zentangle Workbook

I also reviewed this book on Bubblews

A Teaser, for now...

This is just a teaser! I know, not fair huh? Well it's just for tonight, tomorrow, well looking at the clock, it's tomorrow now, let me restate this, after I go to bed and wake up, I have a new book to play with, I'll give you a hint, it's about Zentangles, and it's about shading... :)

I also have a few new goodies purchased in town earlier that will hopefully help me create some new and fantastic Zentangles and doodles with flair!

See ya when I wake up :)

Oh and I added a new Zentangle blog to my line up, if you have a Zentangle or doodling blog, let me know and I'll add it here, I love this artform and I love spreading the love. My email address is:


I think you are smart enough to figure out how to make it work. Be sure to put doodle or Zentangle in the subject line.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Unfinished doodle...

Unfinished doodle, I wanted to try my hand at paisley, I like where this one is going and will probably re-do it with a little more thought... I don't like the circle that looks like a Christmas ornament, don't have anything against Christmas, just don't care for the look here...

I used a 005 and 01 Micron pen, for the color I used watercolor pencils, straight, no water, just as colored pencils.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Doodle #8

This may or may not be finished, not sure if I will add color or shading, for now I like it just as it is.  This is the second doodle I did at my friend's house the other day, I used a compass to make the circles within circles, then I filled the circles with patterns. Some would call this a mandala, but honestly I don't care for the spiritual implications of that word, I'm a Christian and not into Buddhism or Hinduism so I'll call it a doodle in the round :)

I especially like the outside ring with the squares and the squiggles. I'll definitely be doing more of these types of doodles. :)

This was done with a 005 and a 01 Micron pen.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Doodle #7

Lot's O color! I created 2 doodles while over at a friend's house, she is one of the 2 ladies I am a caretaker for, both of my ladies are very creative, one does poetry, the other is an artist. I had been over at the artist's house. We cleared off the table and laid out a bunch of art stuff, paper, pens, markers, colored pencils and such... this was one of two that I created that day. I drew a square, then a string. I used a 01 Micron pen and Crayola Crayon markers. I am not thrilled with how these markers work, they do not play well on the paper, but it was just a fun time, nothing serious so it didn't really matter, I was just playing with the colors... maybe someday I'll have some of the higher quality markers like Copics.

Patterns #1

I said I was going to work on training my eyes to see patterns in everyday things, well this is a page I worked on while at my neighbor's house. The top left 3 patterns are from an old school floor speaker grill. The 3 patterns on the right side (top to bottom) are designs on the bathroom wallpaper. There is a design from the shower curtain (the lines and diamonds), below that, the lower left viney thing comes from a tapestry wall, hanging in the guest room, the flower is from the bedspread, below the flower, the diagonal lines came from a piece of fabric that is supposed to look like bamboo... the connected circles and the triangular thing, those came from my brain...

I think I can tweak these patterns and work them into more of my doodles.

Doodle #6

Random doodling, this doodle happened while I was with a friend at the hospital, she was there for a routine procedure, this procedure takes the better part of 4 hours, she slept during much of it giving me the opportunity to work on a doodle.

I have been working on "seeing" patterns everywhere I go, believe it or not, there was so little to work with in that hospital room, not even the tiles on the floor had anything I could work with.

This one started out with a series of circles, then I began dividing up the spaces inside and between the circles. I like the idea of the lines from one element following and attaching to the lines of another element, gives it some flow, some continuity.

This doodle was done with Micron 005, 01 and 03, a grey marker along with graphite pencil for the shading, I'd like to get the shading more dramatic to give it more depth and dimension. The dark grey shape in the middle was done with a grey marker, but I decided I didn't care for how dark the marker ended up, it really covered up the design in that spot. I used a template to make the circles.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dropping the Ball....

OK, it's been just over a month since my last post... that's the thing with me, I start something, get very very excited about it, then fizzle.... I don't want to fizzle on doodling, actually I THINK about it most days, I often watch videos about other doodle artists on YouTube. It's time, oh yes each and everyone of us has the exact same 24 hours in a day, and we can do what we really want to do... so I really want to doodle more, so I'll have to MAKE the time, or rather, dedicate a chunk of time each day (or at least several X a week) to doodling, even if it's just a little doodle.

So the other day, I was thinking, something I do quite often :) I was thinking about how to "train" my eyes to see more patterns, patterns that can be translated to paper for doodling. As I was thinking this, while sitting in the truck waiting for my friend to get out of the doctor's office, I could see a couple of things that inspired me, unfortunately I didn't have pen or paper one... bummer.

I have no excuse though, I purchased a couple of small journal art pads, these are very portable, small enough to carry around... I just need to DO IT. So, I'm thinking (again) about looking for patterns in everyday things, and putting pen to paper at least once a day, whether I leave the sky castle or not, even if I have to look up things on the internet for inspiration, photos of architecture, plants and such. I see these great doodles posted online (I'm subscribed to several very good doodle sites) with step by step instructions on how to do them. As usual, I'm thinking several steps ahead of where I should be, of course there is nothing wrong with making plans, but I need to do the beginning and intermediate steps too, I can't just jump to the end... I have been wanting to make my own doodle patterns, but for now, I'll just work on getting something on paper, something, anything...

Perhaps I need to start carrying a bag, something I haven't done in years, and years, and years... I used to work in retail, all retail stores have some sort of security in place having to do with employees carrying purses or bags, they either rifle through your stuff as you leave, or they make you carry a clear purse/bag... when I worked for a store that forced their female staff to carry clear purses/bags, I pretty much quit carrying a purse, I wasn't going to always carry a clear purse and I wasn't going to switch out purses, so I pared down my stuff to one little wallet that I could carry in my back pocket. That's pretty liberating, not having to carry a huge purse/bag full of useless stuff that you think you can't live without... if I could only do that with my life... but that's another story :)

Anyhoo, a bag, boy that's a toughie, that's the easiest way I could always make sure I have pen and paper handy to doodle at large, but having not carried one for all these years...

OK, enough chattering, sorry I don't have any pictures to upload, I'll get something asap. I'll work on finding patterns to put to pen and paper and get those posted.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Doodle #5

This was a strange one for me, it's the eye in the middle, I used to draw eyes all the time, all different sorts of eyes, human, animal and other... I need to work on incorporating eyes into my doodles better, this one is just right there in your face...
The birds and the sun are whimsical and take some of the edginess away from the eye. I don't know why or how I ended up with the squiggle going out of the square on the bottom, but I like the effect.

I like this one, colorwise, better than the previous colored one. I did this with a 005 and a 01 Micron Liner pen and colored it with Crayola colored pencils.

Doodle #4

I played around with color on this one, I drew a string then did the large pineapple looking thing, I added the hills, the houses and the circles on the bottom. I used a 01 Micron pen to do the doodles and Crayola colored pencils to do the color. I didn't color the circles at the bottom, I might go back in and do that sometime, for now though, they will remain B&W.
The houses are supposed to represent a song called "Little Boxes", it's about all of us living in little boxes made of ticky tacky, all doing the same thing... I chose to make all the houses red instead of all the colors mentioned in the song...