Love to create zentangle/tangle art on colorful backgrounds? Are you a collage artist who loves to cut, tear, rip and glue to make fun collage elements? Love to build beautiful, colorful art journal pages? How about storing all your art in one location? Then this is the book for you! I have already created all the colorful backgrounds so all you have to do is grab your art tools and jump right in! Creating art has never been so easy or so much fun! Tangle Starts is just that – a start for your creative instincts to take center stage. Have fun!
Alice has meticulously created a book full of incredibly colorful backgrounds that can be used in so many ways. Her book can be used as a zentangle journal, just get out your pens and start. You can also tear out whole pages and use them as journal backgrounds (which is what I did). You can cut out shapes, tear sections, get creative and create a mixed media journal full of drawings, quotes and all the feelings you can pour onto a page.
The softcover book is 8″ x 10″ and has 57 color laden pages. The reverse side of each background page is blank. Alice has included a page of instructions and suggestions on how you can successfully use these backgrounds. She has also been smart and included three blank pages for you to test your art supplies on. This allows you to see how your media will perform on the backgrounds before you get started.
I used her backgrounds with three different pieces of art. My first piece just had to be a zentangle. I haven’t tangled for over seven years but I do remember loving the activity. It’s calming and lets you get into a zen kind of mindfulness. Since I’ve been feeling a little stressed I decided to use Zentangles to winnow out the word “BREATHE”. I used Microns in 01 and 03, they slid smoothly over the paper without a hitch. The black filled in nicely without leaving streaking at all. It was nice that the paper didn’t soak up ink like a sponge but did take it readily enough to show blackness without layering. The pen didn’t bleed through to the reverse side but held up to light I could see the shadow of the pattern I was creating.
By the way, if you don’t know what zentangling is, it’s a drawing method to help you create beautiful images from repetitive patterns. There are thousands of tangle patterns out there to learn and you, as the artist, can put them together to make a cohesive whole that is more than just the sum of it’s parts. Zentangling is also extremely meditative and relaxing, just pick up a fine liner pen like a Pigma Micron and start drawing.
I decided the next thing I wanted to do is try using watercolor pencils on the paper. The paper is quite smooth but I tested my watercolor pencils on the test pages provided and they worked well. I started tentatively. After reading Sandra Strait’s review of “Tangle Starts” I wasn’t sure I’d be able to achieve the color saturation I wanted. I had nothing to worry about. In fact, because I started with choosing an analogous background from Alice’s book, I found I needed to do a little less work to achieve the overall depth the subject called for.
Finally, I thought I’d test my Tombow dual brush markers and see if they worked. YAY, they did! I found the paper let the Tombows slide over the surface beautifully, leaving clean edges. The colors looked bright and they weren’t dulled by the printed colors beneath.
Overall, “Tangle Starts” is an excellent book for so many kinds of art. Even a silly old traditionalist like me found the backgrounds useful. With dozens and dozens of beautiful pages left there are endless ways I can get creative. Geez, in a pinch I could even wrap my small Christmas presents in a sheet! They’re that beautiful, like a present all by themselves. If you know a multi-media artist or you are one yourself, this book is a must have.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year all my lovely friends. Now go out, find some people you love, get a cuppa cheer and go do that the sign to the left says. BE MERRY & BRIGHT. Cheers. I’ll see you in 2018!
Learning: To take care of myself a little more
Anticipating: Reading half a dozen books, all with coffee and chocolate, in the next three weeks!
Planning: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!!!
Loving: EVERYBODY. :o)