African Artist Explained

Learn how to create beautiful Zentangle® •

The focus tangle of the week at the Shading and Exploring Zentangle® Facebook group is African Artist, a tangle deconstructed by Tina Hunziker here. This is a lovely tangle built over an OGEE grid, which is nothing more than a grid made of wavy lines. Here is a tile I created back in January 2016. Notice how I created two grids, each going on a different direction. 

Learn how to create beautiful Zentangle® •

Although it looks simple, this tangle is a bit difficult to get a flow, and in this little explanation, I hope to clarify why. The difficulty lies when creating the tiny "eye-shape" that makes this tangle so distinct and unique. Here are some tips:

1) Avoid creating an ogee grid that is too deep, that is, that is too dramatic (third picture below). Although the final shapes look very bulbous and seem to require a very wavy grid, a very shallow OGEE grid with some shading will create equally dramatic effects. 

2) Here's the biggest issue: when creating the smaller "eye-shape", the tendency is to start with an UPWARD curve. Avoid that, instead go DOWNWARD even though it seems unnatural (second picture, steps 1 and 2) 

3) Also when creating the eye-shape, create the BOTTOM one first. Then, when creating the top one, go SIDEWAYS and slightly upward (but not too much) to form the eye (second picture, steps 3 and 4). 

Learn to create Zentangle® •

And finally, try to create CONTRAST between the larger shapes and the smaller ones. I start with a STRAIGHT LINE running from one tip of the shape to the bottom. Same thing with the smaller eye-shape, start with a straight line down the center. 

As for Shading, just add some shading at the tips of the larger and smaller shapes. This will naturally create more bulbous shapes and give it more drama. 

Learn how to create beautiful Zentangle® •

I hope this helps! You can find more fun tips and tricks on how to create Zentangle at my LESSON SHOP. 


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Copyright 2017 Eni Oken