nzeppel

恭喜发财!

Thank you, Laura, for having everyone commemorate Chinese New Year this week! I’m Chinese, and while I’m not a very “Chinese” Chinese (I can speak the language only stutteringly, and the last time I wrote any of it was in school), Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration on the Chinese calendar here. So I was glad to see that the Diva’s Challenge #205 is to include Chinese New Year in our tiles.

Many children’s favourite Chinese New Year tradition is the giving of red packets. Juniors give their elders Mandarin oranges, and in exchange, elders give red packets, which are red envelopes with money in them, to their juniors. More accurately, married couples give them to non-married people. (In the old days the two were synonymous concepts, but not any more.) I decided to tangle on some red packets.

Here’s the red packets I used. The picture shows both the front and back of the packet. They were the perfect size – 3.5″ x 3.5″. Red packets are often given out by banks, hence the “Bank of America” on it.

IMG_3210

This was my first attempt. I used a black Micron 01, white and dark brown colour pencils for shading, and a white Uniball Signo Broad for the highlights.

Amaze, Floo, Flukes, Inapod, Kiss, Meer, Well

Amaze, Floo, Flukes, Inapod, Kiss, Meer, Well

However I found that the black didn’t show up well on the red paper, so I tangled another one with the white Uniball Signo, and shaded with a white colour pencil.

Nzeppel, Rixty, Sanibelle, Scoodle, Shattuck

Nzeppel, Rixty, Sanibelle, Scoodle, Shattuck

This was an interesting experiment. The broad 1.0mm nib of the pen meant that I had to draw with broader strokes and less detail, and the vertical grooves meant that I couldn’t shade finely or blend either. However the broader nib meant that I completed it quickly, and since I liked how it looked, I decided to tangle on a third red packet.

Chainging, Munchin, Tripoli

Chainging, Munchin, Tripoli

Today is Chinese New Year Eve, and it’s been a lousy one for me. I’m down with a sore throat and fever, so I slept through most of my reunion dinner (another tradition where extended families have dinner together, usually on the Eve). But tangling this way, without having to pay much attention to detail, was perfect for someone feeling ill.

By the way, the title of this post is a standard Chinese New year greeting wishing the other person prosperity.

mirror mirror on the wall

I’ve been learning the official Zentangle tangles one by one, so that I now know quite a few tangles, but haven’t used most of them in a tile. Thus I decided to draw a tile to practise some of them.

Unlike my previous tiles, I didn’t plot which tangles to use or where to put each tangle before starting. I just divided up the tile with a string and filled in each space with a random tangle. The only two tangles I knew I wanted to use were Munchkin, because I love it, and Cadent, because I hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet, but it’s a basic tangle and I wanted to be confident in using it.

Cadent, Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Munchin, Nzeppel, Sedgling

Cadent, Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh, Munchin, Nzeppel, Sedgling

I’m most surprised by Nzeppel. I’ve always thought of it as a black image on a white background. But here, I felt the white bubbles were popping towards me, and I shaded it as so. I made a little mistake with Munchkin where I put some lines in directions that I didn’t intend for them to go, but the overall effect is still fine. Also with Cadent, in the upper right, I accidentally shaded the wrong triangle in one of the squares. I then decided to shade the rest of the squares around it the same way, and it looks intentional now! Sedgling was the toughest for me.

I wasn’t intending to use this for a challenge, but just before I posted this, I saw Joey’s Weekly Tangle Challenge #43, where she asked us to draw 4 mirror images of the same design. I cheated, I just used Photoshop to flip the image four ways.

Same tile, mirror imaged

Same tile, mirror imaged

The effect is interesting. The middle with Crescent Moon reminds me of peacock feathers.