Hi and welcome back to another post on the Chrissie Murphy Designs blog. Today I’ll be filling you in on my latest tile, which I’ve called a Tangled Trio of Tissoooh Zentangle Tile. Towards the end of May Tomas Padros released a step out on his Instagram account where he deconstructed a pattern called Tissoooh. It looked challenging (to say the least!) and a challenge is exactly what I was looking for.
So let’s get in and unpack my Tangled Trio of Tissoooh Zentangle Tile
Tomas is a zentangle artist from Barcelona and I’ve fallen in love with the cleanness of his work. His lines are so crisp, and to me his tiles are bursting with excellence and order. Every time I see one, I’m captured, so when he released a step out deconstructing Tissoooh, I was excited. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn about his methodology and maybe get a glimpse into his processes. Needless to say, I dove into the step out and I’m just so grateful to Tomas for the deconstruction he provided.
To me Tissoooh looked a bit like a grid tile, and I have to be honest and say I’m not a big grid girl. I love organic fillers, patterns that grow every which way but loose! It just goes to show that after all these years, I still haven’t learnt to never judge a pattern by its looks. Yes, Tissoooh has some grid characteristics, but it is an organic filler in many ways too. It grows and spreads beautifully!
I wanted to create a tile that looked like it was growing, that every where you looked something was sprouting. Growth is something I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately, particularly spiritual growth because I believe we should all be growing. I want to spend my life contributing to the growth of others, and I miss the mark on this often. I’ve contributed to many things that I shouldn’t have in my life, and this tile is a physical reminder to be someone who contributes to the growth of others above all things.
Tangle Recipe Card
Next it was time to put together a Tangle Recipe Card. This is where I prepared a quick sketch of what I was thinking. I was also imagining the colours I would use, the composition and complimentary tangles I’d use to sprout alongside of Tissoooh.
Here’s what I decided to do. (I’ve added a link to the step-out for each pattern below as well. So if you’re not confident with drawing the pattern, the step-out from the artist who created it will really help you):
- Have three bits of Tissoooh by Tomas Padros interlocking with each other, but housed with borders.
- Have Mooka 3D by Eni Oken sprouting branches from the side of Tissoooh
- Use Caviar by Lori Howe, Jetties by Zentangle and Sandswirl by Kerry Heinz (my most favourite three patterns ever!!) to sprout randomly around the tile.
- Use dark rich colours to convey a sense of growth that’s established.
- Mute the background so the richness of the colours is emphasised further.
Linework and Rounding
My trusty Unipin Fineliner 0.3 in black was used for all the line work and rounding.
I pulled up after this to apply some Distress Ink to the spaces in between Tissoooh for my base colour. I love the rich opulence of the Distress Ink called “Aged Mahogany” and I thought it would be perfect for the space in Tissoooh.
I use my Distress Inks like watercolour paint. I explained my technique in last week’s post, so click on through to check it out if you missed it. I wanted randomness for the colours outside of Tissoooh, but they still needed to convey that richness, so my old fave “Peacock Feathers” fit the bill perfectly. I chose “Scattered Straw” purely to contrast the red and blue toned colours. And then it had to wait for it to dry.
Fortunately this week I remembered to shade when I was meant to. I used my trusty grey Copic Markers in Cool Tones C2, C4, C5 and Warm Tone W7 to apply shading. I always use the W7 for the areas that were going to be really dark, blending it out with the C5 and C4. Lastly the C2 was used to blend the marker (overall) into the water coloured backgrounds.
To colouring, I used the following Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils for this piece.
PC 1078 Black Cherry
PC 937 Tuscan Red
PC 1095 Black Rasberry
PC 943 Burnt Ochre
PC 942 Yellow Ochre
PC 940 Sand
PC 140 Eggshell
PC 938 White
PC 1061 30% Cool Grey
PC 992 Light Aqua
PC 1027 Peacock Blue
The spaces in between Tissoooh were deepened and enhanced with the Black Cherry, Tuscan Red and Black Rasberry. I wanted a real gradiant effect to the colour for my Mooka 3D’s so I chose Burnt Ochre (for the darker shades parts), a Yellow Ochre (for the mid tone), and Sand and Eggshell combined (for the lightest areas, those I imagine to be getting the most light).
And it was about here that I began to really doubt the tile. The colours weren’t working for me and I thought I’d made a real mess of things. I ended up completely re-inking, highlighting and embellishing a small area of the tile just to see what the finished tile would look like. I still wasn’t convinced it was going to be ok…. but I continued anyway regardless.
I think it’s really important to go back over your linework after colouring it, to bring back some sharpness to your piece. There’s no point adding line weight and rounding to your work at the beginning if you can’t see it when you’ve finished colouring.
Prismacolors are notoriously opaque (it’s one of the reasons why I love them for colouring) but that opaqueness covers ink like you wouldn’t believe. Re-inking is vital if you use Prismacolors. Here’s another tip, did you know I wrote a whole blog post on why I love a Prismacolors a while ago? Yes, I love how opaque they are, but I love them for lots of other reasons too. You can read all about it here.
If you do re-ink, remember to regularly clean your pen as you work over Prismacolor. You can clean your pen by running it over clean piece of paper until the Ink reintensifies. Nurse your pen through this stage, and take your time.
Highlights and Embellishment
As usual, I finished the tile by applying highlights and embellishments using my white Signo Uniball pen and Kaisercraft glitter gel pens in coordinating colours. I always apply some little dots and dashes as highlights and embellishments and it seems to finalise the tile, ground it and make it pop all at once.
Looking back, I think that the mess that I thought I’d made with the colours earlier, was due to working on a tan tile. I’m thinking the colours I originally chose didn’t contrast well with the tan…. Why? Because when I shaded over the tan with a white Prismacolor pencil the colours seemed to finally come together. I applied some flicking white lines with my white Uniball Signo gel pen over the top for some extra interest. And I was happy with the tile… at last.
My finished Zentangle tile
So here it is, my finished zentangle tile. I used a Zentangle brand Zendala Tile in tan for this piece.
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Bless you my friend