Friday, October 14, 2011

Learning to Tattoo

So I was cruising the stacks at my local library (and found myself in the craft section of course) where a book title jumped out at me.

Zen Tangle

I just loved the opposition suggested by those words...

"Zen" implying a smooth sort of flowing ease (which I would love to achieve) and "Tangle" implying utter 4 year-old chaos (hair, shoelaces, etc. which I have achieved on any number of occasions).

Turns out the concept is a catchy term for doodling...primarily with black ink.

Think of it as a sort of tattoo for inanimate objects (minus the pain, butterflies, declarations of love for mom, country or some barmaid named Bernice).
I decided my old bamboo lazy-Susan would be my first

First I painted a base coat of flesh color to simulate actual skin...
Okay, not really - I only had three jars of craft paint handy - flesh, red, and brown and since flesh was the won the draw for base coat...still I had you going on the whole tattoo theme didn't I? 

Then I added in the red and brown.
Side note - Dave hated it at this stage - he said it looked "blotchy".
Explaining "zen", "tangle" or even "shading" required far too much effort so I stuck my tongue out at him instead.
I will tell YOU, however, the idea is to divide up a large space into smaller spaces and then start "tangling" with a Sharpie. It is hugely time consuming and yet totally fun.
I kept coming back to it over a few days - each time picking a new area and then tangling up a new design.
It's officially ZEN-TANGLED!


  1. Gorgeous! Though that is the first time I have seen a Zen Tangle done like that. I came across it searching something to do with meditation awhile back on a website about it. And usually are created on small pieces of paper. I have made them in my sketchbook before. I really like the idea of using it this way though it looks awesome. You are such a talented artist. :)