Black Tile Zentangle

Today, I completed my first Zentangle on a black tile. Clearly, I have a lot to learn. Although using the recommended Sakura Jelly Roll white pen and the recommended white sketch pencil for string construction and shading, the results are not what I expected. It is not the patterns or arrangement I used; it’s the combination of the white pen and pencil that I clearly need to practice with. I expected the white pen to flow better, and the white pencil to work better with the pen. 

In this close-up of my work, it is evident that the pen was used to color in the white areas. Almost each stroke stands out individually. Instead of a smooth colored in area like I get when using the Micron pen, any area I go over with the Jelly Roll mars the strokes that preceded the new stroke. The result is that the filled areas appear blotchy. I need both advice and practice on fill-in work using the white gel pen.

On top of that, my white sketch pencil refuses to sharpen up properly. Maybe I need a different pencil sharpener; or maybe I need a different sort of white pencil. Either way, although this pencil makes a great string, I can’t get it to shade the way a graphite pencil would work on white paper. There is a lack of smoothness to the movement of this pencil so that I am having trouble working with it correctly. I am sure it is me and not the medium. But it won’t hurt to try a different white sketch pencil brand. 

Lastly, the combined use of this pencil with the thick-ink pen does not give me the same type of shading control that the graphite pencil on the thinner Micron ink, even after accounting for the drag on the white pencil. Because of the thickness of the gel pen’s ink, shading with the white pencil seems to leave a “skip” when graphite shading techniques are used. I suspect that I need to play with the combination of gel ink and white pencil to get a feel of how to work them properly as a team. 

This particular tile looked great before I started shading with the white pencil–well, much better, anyway. I wish I had left it unshaded. It may have lacked some depth, but it looked better to my eye before the shading was applied. 

Just another thing to learn and practice….

‘Till next time!


About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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