Thursday, November 14, 2013


I love drawing bugs.  Always have.  I don't necessarily like most bugs on the loose in my immediate proximity, but I can't deny that these little arthropods are tiny jewels on this big blue & green earth.  This week's Diva Challenge #144 was to use or hide bugs within colored tangles.

If you haven't yet done this challenge & are looking for inspiration, you should check out the work done by Eugène Séguy here & here. Heck, even if you've done it already, you should have a look.  You'll never look at insects the same way again.

Here's 2 pieces I've done for the challenge; a ZIA & a zendala:
tangles used: decostar (modified), fiddler, diva dance
tangles used: tipple, fishnet, all about v's
These were super fun.  

The first one is done with Sakura Microns, Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils & Derwent Inktense Pencils on cold press wc paper.  When I was looking at some of the butterflies, I noticed that the support structure that runs through their wings looks a lot like Diva Dance...  I hadn't yet decided I was going to draw butterflies, but that sealed it for me.  I've got a couple other favorites in that one as well - my modified Decostar flower, & fiddler.  (Fiddle head ferns are one of my favorite plants ever... I'm pretty sure they are magical.)

The second one, my beetle zendala, sort of just threw itself together.  I had drawn a beetle on tracing paper, then made a copy of it.  I left it on my desk for a while, came back, & the one on the tracing paper was on top of the copy, slightly askew, & I realized that if I put 5 of these together they would make a perfect circle!  This one was done on white 90lb Strathmore mixed media paper with brush tip markers & microns.

Unfortunately, I only own one Sakura JellyRoll pen - a white one, so I couldn't use them for this challenge, but I really think that even though in pictures & scans the glittery or metallic finishes don't show well, both of these would look great with some shine.

That's all for now, folks!  Don't forget to go check out Seguy's work!  
Please critique the mess outta my work below!  Really give me some constructive criticism!  

Or just say "HI!" that's cool too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


If you can label days as either hit or miss; my last 2 days have certainly been misses... at least as far as my attempts at The Bright Owl's Zendala Dare # 80 have been concerned.

I'm just... not very happy with how anything turned out.  I forced myself to finish each of these because I have a tendency to want to just trash things once I feel the first inkling that they are starting to go wrong.  Everyone wants their visions to turn out perfectly on the page, I'm no different.  But there are bits & pieces of each of the following that I do like.  & we can't get any better if we can't accept our mistakes & either learn from them or just plain move forward.  I was going to keep going at Dare #80 until I had something I was satisfied with, but I'm fairly certain it's the template that I'm finding so challenging.  My head just isn't wrapping around it! 

so here goes nothin'!!!

tangles used: hollibaugh, kandy snake, poke leaf, poke root
tangles used: decomonds

tangles used: ona

I've also had an issue of just being messy... wobbly lines, not staying inside the lines when I applied color, and being super smudgy on everything!  I hate smudges!! 

In other news, I turned 33 on the 9th.  I'll be celebrating with my family on the 23rd - everyone has been super busy - but that's fine with me!  I'm blessed to be able to gather with all my loved ones whatever chance I get.  SO, I got to have this past weekend entirely for myself, & I gotta say, it was awesome.  I took a couple naps, went & had brunch both mornings with a book (most people think it's weird to go out to eat by themselves, but I enjoy it wholeheartedly,) but the BEST part was having tons of free time to PLAY!!!!

Here's a sampling of my experimenting: 
First - colored pencils.  I bought this 75th anniversary set of Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, & I've gotta say, I will never use another colored pencil AGAIN.
Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils - 75th Anniversary Set
     Here are 2 pages from my sketchbook from my colored pencil playtime
blending fun in greens & yellows
blending fun in blues & purples
The quality of these pencils is so amazing it's almost absurd.  The set came with both blending pencils & blending markers.  I could just sit around all day & fill page after page with just color & blender.

I've also been having quite the love affair with Derwent Inktense Pencils for quite some time now.  The intensity of color you can get with them is ridiculous!  Often, when I can't think of something specific to draw or paint, I'll just play with my initials.  
initial fun with Derwent Inktense Pencils
Well, that's all I've got for now.  This week's Diva's Challenge #144 is already floating around inside my head... & I LOVE DRAWING BUGS!, so this is going to be fun!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


This morning I had my first Root Canal.  The good news is, the Endodontist numbed me up 'real good,' worked quickly, & there were no complications.  He said I should have no pain - from the actual procedure.  The bad news is that the technician cut the bajeebers out of my gums, & now that I'm getting the feeling back in my face it is REALLY SORE.  Bummer.

Anywhoooooo... on to the important stuff...

First week of the month & that means not just a new challenge from the diva, but also a UMT prompt.  This weeks Diva Challenge #143 was to use the tangle "Cruze" by CZT Caren Mlot.  I've been playing with this one since it showed up on  It's really deceptive - on first glance I was kinda like... whoaaaaa... but just like a ton of other folks who have done this challenge, once I saw the step-outs I breezed right through it.  It's really a fantastic tangle, & I've had a lot of fun in my sketch journal with it.  I did, however, have a really hard time figuring out what to do with it - not because I didn't have an idea, but because I had a MILLION of them.

I've done two ZIA's, & here they are:

tangles used: cruze

tangles used: cruze, torchon lace
Two very different pieces.  I've been playing with the idea of drawing Christmas cards for my loved ones this year to match the ornaments I've been planning on tangling (glass ornaments tangled using refillable acrylic paint pens.)  Thus, my inspiration for the first piece.  Another thing I have been really drawn to lately is drawing lace patterns.  I had this tiny 3x5 piece of blue canson, & decided to go at it with a white jellyroll pen for the second piece.

Overall, this was a fun challenge for me!

On a final note, Saturday is my 33rd birthday.  Which is awesome.  Wanna know what I got myself for my birthday???  A $995 buck root canal.  Which is not very awesome.  Although, a little birdie has told me that I'm getting a ton of Tria Markers.  & that is awesomeness times a bajillion!

I hope everyone's having a great week!  As alllllways, comments - critiques, criticism, & maybe a compliment or 2 - are totally welcome.  Please leave a message after the beep.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


For some reason... (I mean, there has to be a reason for everything, right?)  For some reason, November has thus far been full of taking color to absolutely unreasonable distances.  By that I mean... I think I am channeling LISA FRANK!  Full on - I'm talking unicorn vomit & psychedelic tiger farts.   I managed to get it under control enough to finish The Bright Owl's Zendala Dare #79... well... that is... on my second try...

I think that a lot of people wouldn't put out for public viewing & ridicule a work that they themselves laugh at & consider a complete mess.  However, I enjoy being able to laugh at myself, as well as make others laugh with me / at me.  Now, this is all a matter of taste.  Some people, (such as my lovely 9 year old niece Hannah,) probably wouldn't look at the following zendala as an example of just how excellently carried away far beyond all reason one can get.  For me... I found myself taking a break from it, & when I came back & actually looked at it, cracked up & realized that it had been embellished by the 10 year old girl I sometimes pretend to be.

tangles used: cayke, co2, footlights, japan diamond, paradox
This started out really well... I began with Derwent Inktense pencils to create a wash around the center ovals.  It looked really cool.  Next I dove in with my brand spankin' new set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils for the outside.  Here's how it looked:

This is how it looked after the initial application of colored pencil

After blending with a wonderful Derwent Blending Pencil

Then things started to get really crazy once I busied it up with tangles & colored pens.  I can say it has grown on me.  The more I look at it, the better I like it.  I just seem to always move towards using an entire rainbow of colors when there are 6 or more elements to something.  It just happens.

I finished this first one just for the fun of it - because once you take something a bit over the line, it's kinda fun to push it even further - I pulled on my grown up pants, & sat down for a second go.

I'm pretty happy with this one, & I think I restrained myself appropriately:
tangles used: coil, hollibaugh, por-fin
The paper I used for this is Strathmore 400 series toned gray sketch.  It's my favorite for graphite work, & besides just being beautiful - it's excellent for shading.  You can get a deep scale of gray on it with a simple 2B pencil that can be gradually enhanced for greater dimension with white graphite.  The blue is from my new set of Prismacolors.

OH- I almost forgot - big up's to Mr. Rick & Miss Maria.  Thanks!

If you made your way through reading all this meaningless text - congratulations! you get a gold star!  Know that you're real swell & I appreciate your attention to my ramblings.  Comments & Criticism are always super, so if you are thus inclined, you know what to do.

I hope everyone is having a super-fantastic-awesome day!