Diva Challenge #284: Tripoli

Autumn is coming at us and what brings autumn with it: wasps, colds, the flu and all their little friends! (yes, autumn is okay.. but not exactly my favourite season 😉 ) My doctor said that I have a summer flu but I cannot agree, there are signs of autumn everywhere: conkers, the very low temperature in the morning of wonderful warm summer(-ish) days and of course the “autumn pastries” in the shops (that’s what they call gingerbread, spicy Christmas cookies and all the other Christmas pastries nowadays to justify bombarding us with them as soon as it turns September. And when their time has finally REALLY come, it’s sold out. I hate it. But that’s another story).

The upside of being sick (although “upside” might not be right word.. is there an upside to being sick?) is that I can finally write this short post for the Diva Challenge #284. In this challenge the Diva asked us to do a monotangle with Tripoli. What I like about Tripoli is its transformation after shading. Before it already looks nice, but after you shaded it, it gets this whole new look. And it looks like it shimmers.. That is an effect that not many tangles have!
I clearly remember how I struggled with this tangle 2 or 3 years ago and how a tip on a blog somewhere really helped me out (unfortunately I don’t remember where I read it). Until then, I had noticed that a Tripoly circle had 6 elements but I had not looked closely enough how the were spaced and I really strugled with this. Then I read that 3 of the 6 Tripoly triangles form a semicircle and that there is a straight line (kind of) from the edge of the first triangle down the other edge of the last triangle (I do hope this makes sense to you). This really helped me a lot and now I’m pretty confident with this tangle now. Although I rarely use it. I guess there are too many tangles and not enough time avalable to use a large number of tangles a lot.

This is what I came up with for the challenge:

DC-284
Tangles used: Tripoli (and also some other tangles for filling – I do hope that it still counts as a monotangle? It definitely was an interesting challenge! I used Fassetts, Hypnotic and Pepper)

If you like it, I’d love to read about it! And be sure to check out the other great contributions for this week’s challenge!

See you next time!

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Playground: MOLYGON, the New Official Tangle

If you already know the blog of Margaret Bremner, then you also know she has a few posts on tangles called “… and then some” where she looks at one specific tangle and plays around with it: tangleations, combinations with other tangles, different fillings, you name it. I love those posts: you find out so many new and interesting techniques and other things and they have plenty of eye candy. My new category Playground is supposed to be similar: It’s a post in which I show you what my results of playing around with a tangle are. I don’t think I’m nearly as good or creative as Margaret Bremner is, but I had lots of fun playing and I do hope you enjoy this new category! I’ll start off with the latest official tangle, Molygon, which was officially presented here. If you already did some research on Molygon yourself, too, and want to share your results, please feel free to add the direct link to your post/picture in the comments.

TIPPS for Tangling Molygon

1. At the Zentangle meeting in Berlin earlier this month, CZT Sabrina gave us the clue to pay attention to the gaps between the “croissants” or “bananas” oder “half-moons” or whatever you want to call the shape. And the circles and “snakes” does look somewhat nicer with even gaps, don’t you think? Don’t forget to turn your tile when you’re going around in a circle! It makes everything much easier.

molygon-1
I think uneven gaps may also give interesting results, but for now, even gaps give it a smoother look.

 

2. However, why always so stiff an orderly? What about a space without circles or snakes filled irregularly with bananas gone wild?

molygon-2

I do like this wild side of Molygon, too.

EDIT: Annette from CREA(R)TIVES let me know that this is actually another tangle released in 2014 by Hsin-ya Hsu. It goes by the name of Rocco and you can find it here.

 

3. In the newsletter, Zentangle HQ gave a hint about the best lenght of the next adjacent “banana”. This was an eye opener for me because that is what I had most trouble figuring out. According to Zentangle HQ (as well es tested and verified by me) the ideal length for a new banana is about half the length of the one before. Ok, that’s kind of hard to explain (and maybe understand), but I hope the picture will illustrate this better:

molygon-3a

After a few rounds you do get the feeling that you cannot go all the way around, but about half is a good way to decide how far to go. Also try to keep the upper curve of your banana about the same shape all the time when you’re going around in a circle. That way, it gets a very harmonic look and the last banana will fit perfectly.

4. If you increase the length, though, you end up with growing shapes while a shorter length will resul in smaller shapes. Also drawing “thin” and “fat” bananas will give it a different look:

molygon-3

5. Up to you is also if you prefere Molygon to have sharp or soft cone ends (is that the right name..?). I prefer sharp ones for drawing but both look good.

molygon-4

6. The last hint is about the circles. Did you notice that the circles seem to turn around a specific centre point? If you mark it down with a dot or simply visualise it for yourself, those circles will be really nice. You can either choose a round center point or an oval one. An oval center will result in a somewhat “flat” circle. And together with Molygon‘s curved shapes, some nice filling or shading, Molygon will become very 3D indeed. If it helps you, you can use your pencil to draw a circle or an oval where all the tips meet. I marked the circles in the next picture with a red pen so you can see it better:

molygon-5a

 

These are the clues that I learned from other sources or found out while practising Molygon. Now let’s have some more fun with it!

 

PLAYING with Molygon

1. Vary the size of the bananas. Ok this will happen almost automatically, but you can use this consciously to achieve some really cool 3D effects:

molygon-6
When you’re going over and under, I wouldn’t draw in the bananas that are going under – it looks quite confusing. It might work if you fill all the bananas black but..

2. Use large bananas to connect two circles. Doesn’ it look almost like a bicycle? You might also like to let a “snake” branch out.

molygon-7

3. When you’re going round in circles, try to turn right & left. Even more than with Diva Dance, changing the direction of your circle or turning your snakes this way adds interest to your piece. What’s your go-to direction? I’m a leftie and I automatically tend to go clockwise. 🙂

molygon-8

4. Use Molygon as a border. Molygon makes a nice, dynamic border, too. Changing the direction of every second banana, maybe adding an aura all around, makes a very fancy border, too.

molygon-9

5. Modify the shape of the bananas. The basic idea is still the same, of course, but adding a circle or making the shape (partially) more angular, or anything else you might think of, will give Molygon an interesting new look, too.

molygon-10-1

molygon-10-2

6. Then, of course, the most obvious thing: fillings! Molygon is one of those tangles that really lends itself to filling it with patterns and and other tangles:

molygon-11

Of course, you might also want to fill in the gaps between the bananas – it now looks a liiiittle bit like Narwal, don’t you think..?

molygon-12

And while you’re at it: you might shade Molygon or shade below it to create a floating, 3D-effect. Shading below the bananas works especially well when you go for the wild Molygon:

molygon-5

 

Last but not least I have some tiles I did with Molygon:

2016_0131_Molygon-bijou-1
Bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-bijou-2
Another bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-KaKAO
ATC with a Molygon-monotangle

2016_0131_Molygon-tile
Tangles used: Molygon, Shattuck

Zentangle-Meeting in Berlin

As you may know by now, I’m an ATC addict and a regular on the German ATC site kakao-karten.de. When I became an active member there, I came to love the regular meetings where people from the same city (sometimes plus a few artists coming from near and far) would gather, draw together, get to know the face behind the nickname and of course EAT (eating is a very important part in every KaKAO (=German abbreviation of ATC) meeting). I was always a little sad that there were no such meetings among tanglers, only (paid) courses with CZTs. Well, the biggest problem probably is that there is no place like forums etc. to meet digitally and organise such events. That’s why I was really happy to read the invitation for a Zentangle meeting organized by Berlin’s CZT Sabrina Stein and registered a friend (and tangler) and myself immediately for this event, which took place last Sunday.

We had lots of fun talking to and tangling with all the artists who came along – some as far as Würzburg (which, if you’re not familiar with German cities, is in the very south of Germany, while Berlin is in the north-east). Sabrina and her familiy and friends had prepared lots of food and drinks as well as a few surprises: a really big “tile” for everyone to tangle on and a brand-new official tangle called Molygon, which everyone was encouraged to try out. At first I wasn’t really impressed, but then I tried it and… oh my gosh, it’s great! Here is my very first try of Molygon on an Apprentice tile:

2016_0110_Apprentice

My friend tried it out, too, and included some colour and extra patterns (my “bananas” were too small for that):

2016_0110_Neujahrsempfang_von Franzi

Molygon is so much fun and I’ll definitely try out some more stuff with this tangle and post it here as soon (or a little after) the tangle was officially presented.

I had so much fun tangling that I forgot to take pictures until half the people had already gone home… sorry! Here are a few:

2016_0110_Zentangle-Neujahrsempfang
Our unfinished work

2016_0110_Zentangle-Neujahrsempfang-2
Some of the courses that our host offers

You can find more pictures in Sabrina’s blog post.

When we left, Sabrina even had a little gift for everyone: A little paperbag with some candy and one of each of the official tiles (minus the Apprentice tile) there is: a “classic” white tiles in 3,5″, a black tile of the same size, a Bijou tile, a 3,5″ Renaissance tile and a Zendala tile. Althoug I love all the tiles, the Renaissance tile was the highlight for me because I never had one to tangle before. I’m really looking forward to it!

I want to say thank you, Sabrina as well as your family and friends who made this meeting possible, it was a lovely afternoon! Just like everybody says you can’t do a CZT certification course online and online courses aren’t as good as offline courses, Facebook, blogs and the like are just not the same as gathering physically in one place to talk an’ tangle.