One Zentangle Page a Day

One Zentangle Page a Day

I spent the entirety of this weekend working on my website. Things went well until I broke a couple of pages, including my How to Draw Zentangles: One Zentangle a Day page.

Luckily (or not) I had a single small cup of coffee yesterday morning and was awake all freaking night anyway. So I fixed it.

And by fixed it, I mean I started over from scratch. I’m slow and inefficient, but I didn’t want the page to be down longer than necessary. I’m trying to pay bills, and I need search engines to send traffic my way.

Hopefully How to Draw Zentangles: One Zentangle a Day (yes, that’s a clunky sentence but I need the keyword and my brain is mush) is slightly better now. It was really getting bogged down while trying to load far too many embedded Zentangle videos from YouTube.

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Plus, it was probably just time for a refresh. No one needs all 42 series videos on my site. It is literally YouTube’s job to host them.

I’m doing all these refreshes and tweaks and updates from my phone because I am still struggling to use my right (dominant hand) to control and click a computer mouse. Yes, my muscles are that weak.

It’s not ideal, but it’s possible. So I’m rolling with it.

I hope to revamp some more Zentangle webpages here soon, but some of the ideas I have are too big to implement without help, and I don’t think I can explain what I want or how to do it without utterly exhausting myself. And, at that point, why not just do it myself?

That’s the story of my life. The inability to delegate. So I’ll take it slow and maybe try to update One Zentangle page a day. Wish me luck or something.

Zentangle Pattern Bronx Cherry: Day 42

Zentangle Pattern Bronx Cherry: Day 42

It may (or may not) go without saying, but when you have brain cancer, sometimes finishing something small is a great big deal. And so I’m writing this post–the final lesson in the One Zentangle a Day series–with a great big smile on face. Day 42 begins with learning the Zentangle pattern Bronx Cherry and concludes with a notebook flip-through of all the tangles I created for the video series.

It was supposed to be a 42-day course in learning how to Zentangle. It ended up being a 380-day long struggle to finish a thing in the face of serious illness, financial setback, and the inevitable associated depressions that come along for the ride.

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About Zentangle Pattern Bronx Cherry

The author said the Zentangle pattern Bronx Cherry is a good one for covering mistakes, and because of that she saved it for last, as she didn’t want everyone using the book One Zentangle a Day to overuse the pattern. If I’m just being completely honest, I don’t like the pattern as it’s taught. While it might cover up a mistake, it just looks like scribbles to me in its most basic form.

That’s why I kept fiddling around with the pattern until I found something I could live with. The result is pulling way back on the weight of the lines and suggesting roundness within the overall shape rather than forcing in down the viewer’s throat. What I used in the practice piece has a slightly cartoonish look to it. But I like it, and that’s what matters.

This is not the end of my Zentangle videos, it’s just the end of this particular course. I now have a very solid foundation for continuing my Zentangle art and am eager to improve my tangles AND my videos in the future. Thanks for following along with me!

Materials Used

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Zentangle Folk Art: Day 41

Zentangle Folk Art: Day 41

About Zentangle Folk Art

The penultimate lesson for One Zentangle a Day is now complete! The lesson for Day 41 was to create Zentangle folk art using folk patterns. You can see those patterns in the art I created for the video. It includes wolf’s tooth, primrose, and pussy willow patterns plus a couple of others. All of them have symbolic meaning in traditional folk art.

I finally got my hands on a Helix circle and angle maker this week. My intent was to use them on Zendala art, but I was so excited to see how it worked that I just had to use it on this video. I can tell it is going to be my go-to tool for making Zendala (Zentangle mandala) tangles, and it only cost $5.

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But back to this Zentangle.

I also tried using my artist’s pencils for shading instead of the stubby little pencil that came with my original Zentangle kit. In the interest of time, I didn’t go all-out trying to make gradients for the Zentangle folk art piece, but I did enjoy working with a full-sized pencil. The brain tumor has impaired my fine motor skills enough that I really do benefit from have something substantial to hold on to. My hand cramps less and doesn’t fatigue as quickly — both good things for video making!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this tangle. Let me know what you’re creating these days.

Check out other posts in this series.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Day 40: Letters as Zentangle Strings

Day 40: Letters as Zentangle Strings

Sometimes when you have a chronic illness seemingly small things mean a LOT. That’s why I’m so proud of myself for publishing another Zentangle video. Today is One Zentangle a Day – Day 40. Freaking wow.

Day 40 of One Zentangle a Day focuses on using letters as strings to create Zentangle inspired art. For this exercise, I’ve chosen to tangle the letter A.

About Zentangle Strings

Last week I met with my new primary doctor. (It turns out she is wonderful, and I am so relieved. I will write more about the visit in a future post.) One of the things she asked me: was I willing to try was taking nortriptyline for chronic pain?

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I said yes, but I’ll be honest. It didn’t go well. And I remembered why I stopped taking it back in 2016 before my brain tumor diagnosis: it takes my illness-related chronic fatigue from a from a 4 to about a 28 on a scale of 1 to 10. And that’s on a good day!

So I worked on this Zentangle trying to push really hard through a drug-induced haze. And, honestly, I think it shows in the final product. It was still a valuable exercise to create this tangle, but it was more of a “learn what you don’t want to repeat next time” kind of experience for me. I think the lesson here is that cancer or no cancer, we’re all going to have off days. Part of learning how to Zentangle is learning how to be okay with imperfection.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video for what it is, and I hope you see in it something you like or would like to change and you just run with. If you Instagram your art, leave me a comment with your username so I can be sure to follow you there.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Day 39: Adding Texture to Zentangle Patterns

Day 39: Adding Texture to Zentangle Patterns

Did you think I wasn’t going to finish the One Zentangle a Day thing? Yeah, me too. Surprise! With Day 39 complete, I only have three days left in the course. I’m going to finish the thing! Let’s explore adding texture to Zentangle patterns.

It’s been a week, though. If you have seen my Twitter feed, you know we are currently sans dishwasher at casa Suess. We bought one back in December from Lowe’s that was promised in-stock when I handed over the credit card and then mysteriously wasn’t in stock on the day it was scheduled to be installed. We found out from the contractor Lowe’s hired to do the installation.

Pissed, we went to a different store. We had to pay more money for the dang thing, but we figured that because it was a local store, we wouldn’t have any issues with service. They delivered and installed our new dishwasher as promised. It was brand new, and it was pretty. Unfortunately, it was also defective. We are scheduled to have it swapped out with a new unit on Thursday.

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Until then, though, we are two disabled people trying to get through life without a dishwasher. I can’t even begin to tell you what a nightmare that is. I also can’t explain why it seems to have complicated every other part of our daily life, but boy has it.

The reason I mention all that is because putting together this video for the One Zentangle a Day series on my YouTube channel was an absolute nightmare. And I guess I’m attributing my struggles to the overwhelming chaos that seems to be connected to us not having a dishwasher. I hope you like this video, but if you don’t it’s the dishwasher’s fault.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Zentangle Pattern Warmth: Day 37

Zentangle Pattern Warmth: Day 37

I’m no Bob Ross, but I like to think that posting these doodle art videos will be relaxing and maybe even inspiring for some of you. This One Zentangle a Day practice has helped me clear my head and distract myself from all the yucky things I torture myself by thinking about during the day. Let’s look at Zentangle pattern Warmth.

Day 37 of One Zentangle a Day includes the Zentangle pattern Warmth. The Zentangle inspired art created today once again uses an official Zentangle tile and the same alcohol-based markers I used for day 36.

Even though it’s not the most complicated or intricate of Zentangle patterns, I’m very happy with how this turned out. I have a feeling that the pattern combinations I used on today’s tile might find their way into some other larger projects I take on down the road.

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I’ve been reading up a little on Zentangling and the creators of the practice. I learned that they actually have training seminars so enthusiasts can become certified teachers. Even if I could, I don’t think I’d want to teach Zentangle, but I’m a little interested in going through the workshops just for the sake of learning if they’re ever offered near me.

Materials Used

Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Zentangle Mosaic: Day 36

Zentangle Mosaic: Day 36

Here we go, folks. It’s time for the next video in my One Zentangle a Day series. Is it just me, or have my Zentangle skills improved already? I hope you guys like this one as much as I do. It is a three-tile Zentangle mosaic.

I think the warm gray (You call that gray, Bianyo?? Really??) tones on these ivory tiles are so pretty. I’d kind of like to set this grouping in a frame, that is, if I can find something that works. 

(UPDATE: I split these tiles up and ending up giving them as swag to my Patrons. But I’m still intrigued by the idea of framing a series of tiles that create a larger work when placed side by side. I’m making a mental note.)

I’ve added a set of sepia colored Micron pens to my YouTube channel wishlist too. Even though I love how this ensemble turned out, I think the line art would be AMAZING in a brown ink instead of black. What do you think?

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Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube if you’d like to see more videos like this in the future. I’m getting close to the end of Beckah Krahula’s book, and am trying to figure out if you guys are interested in seeing more.

I also want to see your work. Whether your creating videos or blogging your art or posting to Instagram (there is a huge community of Zentanglers on Instagram!) drop me a link so I can check out your creations.

Zentangle-Inspired Mandala Art: Day 35

Zentangle-Inspired Mandala Art: Day 35

For Day 35, we’re practicing our third and final Zendala, which is Zentangle-inspired mandala art. The outline for this Zentangle was taken straight from Beckah Krahula’s book One Zentangle a Day: a 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun, in case you were wondering why how I got it to look so symmetrical. The answer is — I traced it.

I highly recommend the book, by the way, if you are wanting to learn to Zentangle or if even you’re a Zentangle master just looking for inspiration to get back into a daily practice. You can just look at the pictures and tear through the exercises with abandon, or you read each carefully constructed lesson and really dig into the whats and whys and hows of the art.

I’ve been trying to post each of my videos here on the blog, so check out the Zentangles topic if you’d like to have a glance at what else I’ve created during this series. As always, I hope you’ll like and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re enjoying these videos. That lets YouTube know you like my channel and it helps other people find it through search and related content suggestions.

Zentangle Zendala Tile: Day 34

Zentangle Zendala Tile: Day 34

For Day 34, we’re practicing another Zentangle Zendala tile. A Zendala is a combination of Zentangle- and mandala-inspired art. What I like about them is the symmetry you can achieve by outlining a basic 360-degree pattern and then filling it in.

The Zendala I created for today’s lesson has a very geometric look to it, but you could just as easily use more organic, flowing patterns to give the art a softer more flower-like appearance.

In fact, I’d suggest making several copies of the basic outline in a sketchbook and then trying several different approaches to filling them in. The ‘Tangler in me really wants to fill every page of a notebook with the same basic outline and see how many different Zendalas I can create. Because some days, when my hands are too cramped or my pain is off the charts, I like to just flip through the library of art I’ve created. I promise it’s every bit as relaxing as actually drawing the art. Maybe even more so.

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Anyway, I wanted to add color to today’s piece, so I went for a more simplified design this time around and used my Bianyo alcohol-based markers. I’m still learning how to select a good color palette, so I’m not crazy about the end result here, but I don’t hate it either.

Want to try your hand at creating your own Zentangles? I recommend Beckah Krahula’s book One Zentangle a Day: A 6 Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun. For pattern ideas, check out my post Zentangle Inspired Doodles.

Zentangle Zendala: Day 33

Zentangle Zendala: Day 33

For Day 33, we’re practicing a Zentangle Zendala, which is Zentangle inspired mandala art. At the request of one of my patrons, I’m slowing things down a bit and offering you what I hope to be a super relaxing and satisfying Zentangle video.

Because this video is real time, it’s a several minutes longer than other other videos I’ve created in this series. But hopefully you’ll find it’s well worth the watch time. If you like it, you can thank my friend Becky for her support and the video suggestion! And remember, if you’re pressed for time, you can always speed up any video by manually changing the playback rate through the YouTube interface. (Click the ‘Settings’ wheel on the bottom of the video and choose the playback speed you prefer.)

I’ve been enjoying creating this series for you guys. Putting these videos online is giving me an opportunity to pick up some new skills in addition to practicing art. For one, I’m learning some very basic video editing skills with Shotcut, but I’m learning the basics of growing a YouTube channel. Starting a channel from scratch helps me appreciate how truly effortless my favorite art YouTubers make this stuff look. There is so much that goes into creating video content, but so much more that goes into marketing, sharing, and optimizing those videos for search. Because if your videos don’t come up in a search, new people can’t find the stuff you worked so hard to create.

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So, having said all that, I hope you’ll consider giving my videos a like on YouTube and subscribing to my channel. Every time you interact with my content, it lets the YouTube algorithms know that people are engaged. And that means they’ll suggest my videos to other people interested in Zentangle art. And *that* means I’ll be able to connect with other fans of the practice.

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