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Sharing a Zentangle Technique, Black Magic

Greetings! Here is the post I promised all you Zentangle enthusiasts. It was a very successful class at Tangle U 2014. The technique is very similar to María Pérez-Tovar’s ‘Dry Technique’ that was generously shared on the CZT Facebook group. I also have more information on the ‘impressed’ technique in my book, Pencil Magic, Design Originals Publications.


Black Zentangle® Tiles (this technique can also be done on white and tan tiles)

Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils – my favorites for this technique is the Very Pale Colors and the Fluorescent Colors.

Black Ink ballpoint Pen (For working on black tiles)

Or Embossing stylus (the photo shows a collection of different embossing tools and their marks)

*Tip: when working with embossing tools on the tiles, they tend to stick. Lubricate them by rubbing into a piece of wax, wax paper or old candle so the glide smoothly on the paper.

Full disclosure! I work for Tombow USA as their Signature Designer. I am financially compensated for this consulting job and receive Tombow Products on a regular basis to review and write about. The opinions here are completely my own based on my experience.

Impress the pattern into the paper

With a heavy hand, draw the strings and tangles with the black ink pen. Work with a strong light directly overhead to see the subtle black-on-black impressed lines on the paper. Press hard to create the deepest impressed line possible.

Coloring the impressed design

You are now ready to start shading and adding color to the design. It’s kind of magical to watch the lines appear even with the hardest shading pressure.

  • Start with a light shading of your chosen colors in the string areas. Use a light touch and each shading step should be as smooth as you can do. I go over and past the impressed outlines of the tangles to make the line show up.

  • As you shade; press harder with the colored pencil for a more intense color. Leave areas where you want a shadow uncolored to let the black tile show through.

Do not be afraid to add lots of layers of different colors and darker hues for the most interesting drawings. While solvents and the colorless blending pen are great for blending colored pencils, they do not work well with this technique. The color blends into the impressed lines and you would soon lose your design.

Be sure to share your black magic tiles here, tag me @mariebcreates or on the CZT Facebook page!

#Zentangle #Drawing #Tombow #drawing #ColoredPencils #Embossing

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