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:

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!

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.

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?


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:


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:


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.


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:



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:

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.


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. 🙂


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.


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.



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:


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..?


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:



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

Bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

Another bijou with a Molygon-monotangle

ATC with a Molygon-monotangle

Tangles used: Molygon, Shattuck

Living in the Shades: One Zentangle a Day – Day #4

Completely ignoring how the book is split up – working on one chapter each day – I tangled the tile for day 4 right after tangling the second tile for day three. I think that if you’re in a flow, you should use that momentum to charge ahead!

Day 4 was all about the tangle enhancer shading and how it can totally change the look of a single tangle or even of a whole tile. This is a very important thing to aknowledge, I’d go as far as to say that shading is at least as important as tangling. I’m not joking here! I think every tangler has experienced this before that you tangled a tile and you not quite liked it a lot – something was kind of.. “missing2 or wobbly or… something else that disturbs you but on which you cannot put your finger at. But once you shaded the whole thing, the picture has a whole different look and even feel to it. Only because you shaded the tangles. And even if you were happy with your drawing before tangling, you usually will be amazed at how shading can give your drawing the perfect final touch.

New tangles for day 4 were Jonqual, Nipa and Shattuck. I was really happy to finally get another tangle with some darker values to use. The reason for this, as you can read in my post on day 3, is that I kind of have the problem with the tangles up to now that the tonal value is too similar resulting in a big greyish mass without any “attractions”. So I was hoping that Jonqual would help me here. Let’s see what happened:

One Zentangle a Day: Day #4
Tangles used: Fescu, Festune, Jonqual, Knightsbridge, Nipa, Pokeroot, Shattuck, Tipple

Well.. I think I partially succeeded here. I like the different look of Jonqual (edgy) and Knightsbridge (roundish) here, which is a result from shading it. Before shading, they looked very similar, but now I think the difference is very obvious. Festune and its shading is another thing I like on this tile. What I’m not so thrilled about is how the strong contrast (Jonqual and Knightsbridge) stand kind of… isolated again compared to the rest of the tile. That’s also a reason why I decided against shading the “waves” of Nipa, it would only result in another greyish mass again.. I think I already got a little bit better at combining and transferring from one tangle to another (Fescu + Nipa or Jonqual + Knightsbridge here), but it isn’t enough just yet to create a harmonic tile all over (achieving that on day 3 was pure chance I guess XD). But I’ll be working on that!

A fresh Start: One Zentangle a Day – Day #1

“One Zentangle a Day” by Beckah Krahula was my first Zentangle book and I already own it for quite a few years. However, I’m embarrassed to admit that I never came to really work through the book because the rhythm of 1 tile per day is just way too fast for me. This makes me a little sad, since it is a great book (I’ll write a review as I go along or after I finish this project). Now that I have this blog I decided to give it another try.

I set three rules for this project:

  1. I definitely will NOT be able to tangle or post a tile every day, but I’ll try to squeeze in two tiles per week. If it is just one, that’s fine, too, as long as I make progress.
  2. I’ll only use the tangles introduced in the book up to that point for a tile. To be able to stick to this rule, I’ll keep a list (not on the blog) I can refer to without having to flick through the book all the time.
  3. No day shall be skipped (even though I already know that the “white on black”-challenge will be very hard vor me..) and no excuses are allowed here.

Without further ado, here is my tile for the first day:


Tangles used: Static, Tipple and Crescent Moon

There was no string given so I made my own which resembles the letter “p”.

Recently I discovered that tiles and Zentangle-inspired artwork where one tangle transits into another appeal more to me and that the reason why I didn’t like my own work sometimes was that I totally lacked this aspect. There was no flow between the tangles, just stop&go, if you know what I mean. That’s why I want to try to incorporate the technique of tangle transitions into this project and learn more about it. I didn’t have much choice for the tangles of this first tile, but with the next ones coming up I’m sure I’ll have more chances to explore them. Here I like the transition between Crescent Moon and Static. Although now that it’s finished the border I made with Tipple is a little disturbing, I still like the tile!

* This is no cooperation with anybody, I haven’t been paid or asked to do this and the book I use was bought by me.