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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Guest Contributor: Sandra Strait’s Shade, Shape, Blend Color & Add Texture

Guest Contributor Sandra Strait offers our Gentle Readers another great how-to tutorial. This one is a technique using squirkles to shade, shape, blend color and add texture to your drawings.

squirkles1 When you color with pens you get an overlapping section that is darker. Many people find this disturbing. There is more than one way to eliminate it, and a few ways to use it. And in using it, you can achieve other good things as well—shape, shading, color blending, and texture. And it’s easy!
squirkles2 This technique can be done with the straight lines shown above, but it’s easier and gives more texture if you use squirkling—random circling lines that you layer over and over to achieve different levels of light or dark.
Note: I’m using the tangle “Bales” for this tutorial. Corners and edges should usually be the darkest area in a shape.
The eye will assume darker areas are farther away. Color in these areas first and you’ve started to add shape and shading.Don’t press hard and, don’t try to color the areas solid. You want the paper to show through.
squirkles3 Take another color and squirkle over the squirkling you’ve just done. Then extend the color towards the center. Don’t completely cover the area. You want some white (or paper color) left for a highlight. Your highlight should not be dead center. I’ve chosen red and green because they are complementary colors that make a nice brown.  Notice how well the color blends.
squirkles4 Now go back to your original color and squirkle over all the squirkling you’ve already done. (I know—this can get a little boring when covering large areas. But covering large areas is always boring, lol!)
At this point, I make the corners solid. I ended each section a little differently to show some of the effects possible. The darker the corners and sides, the more shape you imply. You could continue squirkling, thus changing the texture. Adding a third color (I often use 4 or 5 on larger pieces) makes a difference. I like to add a third color to the corners.
Note:  You can do this with only one color. But you still have to squirkle over, just as though it was another color, to get the shaping and shading.

PS – Don’t miss Sandra’s recent tutorial on How to Draw a Ribbon. You can also find these tutorials by clicking TUTORIAL in the links on the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar.


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6 comments to Guest Contributor: Sandra Strait’s Shade, Shape, Blend Color & Add Texture

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