Tips & Tricks

The Aura of an aura

“The distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing or place”.

One of the main enhancement techniques is adding an ‘Aura’ and what a powerful technique it is. It gives a bridge, a gap, a space, a pause between a line or section or tangle.
Here’s some techniques/ prompts to try:
– drawn slowly so it’s tidy and exact,
– has big flare with a wide or wobbly line
– added sparkle as you minimise the ink and instead of a continuous line make some dashes or dots.
– boldly exaggerate it, add some weighting or rounding to the line.

Using an aura enhancement gives a deliberate decoration around a section, tangle or tile. It gives your tangling a special atmosphere. There are many tangles which are built with the aura, Diva Dance, Hurry, AuraKnot and Arukas, to name a few – they all thrive on using aura to make up the tangle, and add a repetitive ‘space’ to the tangle.

So when you’re next tangling – appreciate the aura and use it once in a while on a tile.
Tips & Tricks

Grid based tangles – ways to play

Dragonfly wing – what a beautiful piece of inspiration for a ‘grid’

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir

One of nature’s grid which influenced a thought or two about grid based tangles. You can have a grid which looks like it’s straight out of a maths exercise book (and has been drawn exact, parallel and even) or alternatively you go a little ‘crazy’ with curved and loopy lines all over the place to mix up your matrix.

With Zentangle it doesn’t matter which you do – there are no mistakes, just whatever works for you to gain pen flow. These beautiful dragonfly wings, clearly weren’t using a ruler or any type of maths, but they enable the insect to fly, If for only for a rather unfair short lifecycle.
When starting a tile using a grid based tangle is a nice warm up, where using a grid is a simple tool, (a extra simple string if you like), to ease into a tile. So next time you want a little grid play if you are feeling organised, then do a regular even grid. Or once you’ve warmed up, perhaps try just something a little different with the grid lines. Maybe they are organic – with irregular shapes and directions, curves and sways of the line. Or use perspective – with the lines growing outwards from narrow to wide or in concentric circles. Perhaps they are cracked – have some irregular straight lines in a multitude of directions. Or optical – using a circular 3-D shape to wrap the grid lines through the space so they give the illusion of a 3-D object on the paper.

When you apply the philosophy of no mistakes with Zentangle, you can make your own ‘grid’ to tangle. Here’s a play with Florz and some wayward “grid” lines, inspired by the dragonfly, gone from living nature but still attached.