White on Black

This week’s challenge was to use a white pen on black paper or, for those who did not have black tiles, to create a tangled piece on a found object.

I cut a tile using Strathmore’s black Artagain paper.  Black tiles are not my favorite mainly due to the white gel pen.  I used both the Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen and the Uniball Signo white gel pen.  I like the whiteness of the Signo gel pen and the thinner line I get using the Sakura gel pen.  I used the Sakura to draw the tangle and the Uniball to create the dots of tangle: B’Dylan and then colored over them with colored pencils.   The tangleation of Paushalov is from the wonderful book, “Pattern Play” by Cris Letourneau and and Sonya Yencer.  Of course, I had a lot of fun adding color to the tile. 🙂

Here is my tile for this challenge:

Tangles: N'Zeppel, Paushalov, B'Dylan Colored with Prismacolor Pencils, General White Charcoal pencil and Zenstone

Tangles: N’Zeppel, Paushalov, B’Dylan
Colored with Prismacolor Pencils, General White Charcoal pencil and Zenstone


This is my first tile.  On my next tile I want to make the oval for Paushalov wider and more egg shaped.  Trying to do B’Dylan with the white gel pen is more of a challenge than using the Micron 01 pen.  I’ll have to work with that on another black tile.


Tile #2:  I decided to do another tile with Paushalov.  This time I used Florz as the background.

Tangles: Florz and Paushalov Colored with Prismacolor pencils and General White Charcoal pencil

Tangles: Florz and Paushalov
Colored with Prismacolor pencils and General White Charcoal pencil

Now that I have submitted my tile it is time to go to Laura’s blog to see how others interpreted the challenge.  Who knows, I might even decide to embrace black tiles.  I encourage you to look at the submissions too.  What can you learn from these tiles?

As always, I am so grateful to all who leave me comments.  They are a great source of encouragement and support.  To those who left comments last week, I want to say,  THANK YOU!

Until next time,
Sending smiles,

33 Responses to White on Black

  • I love the colors in your tile

  • I love your Paushalov! Very cool. And the way you shaded Florz, makes it look like tiles! Both are lovely!

    • Thank you Yukari. Paushalov is one of my favorite patterns and I use it a lot. There are so many wonderful tangleations for the pattern. Some are on the tanglepattern.com site and more in the Pattern Play book. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  • Hi Yukari, I like the patterns and the colours on these tiles. The colours are really vibrant and by using a limited palette, you enhance the patterns too. Nice work.

  • I’m sorry Maureen, I looked at the wrong name on the comments above. Doh! The work is still excellent, even if I can’t get the name right!

    • Hi Maggibee. No need to apologize about the name. I knew who you meant and I know how easy it is to do that – I spelled Margaret Bremner’s last name wrong when giving her credit in my Tao Of Tangling newsletter. Happy that you liked the tiles and the colors and thanks for both comments. 🙂

  • Both are beautiful! Wonderful Paushalov!

    • Thanks LonettA. Isn’t Paushalov a wonderful tangle? I have so much fun doing it. And I appreciate your comments. 🙂

  • I absolutely love your first tile! It has a vaguely 1962 Japanese look to it – don’t ask me why. Your second one is lovely too. It looks like stained glass. Great interpretation of this challenge!

    • Thanks Antonine. It is always like magic when a tile is be seen through the eyes of another and they see something I never thought about. It fills me with warmth to know that you had such a positive reaction to the tile. (And I remember 1962!) Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  • Both are beautiful 🙂

  • Gorgeous!! Both of them! Love the colors, as well.

  • Both of these tiles are beautiful…LOVE the color you added with the Prisma colored pencils. The shading was great…what a wonderful inspiration!

    • Thank you, Lynell. I am delighted that you were inspired. I’d love to see your colored tiles. 🙂

  • These are really wonderfully done!

  • Beautiful! I wish I could get comfortable using more colour.

    • Thanks Cat. I know what you mean about using color. For me, it was the fear of being judged. But the person judging me the harshest was…ME!

      I didn’t add color for almost two years. I am happy that I did that so that I was comfortable with the Micron Pens, the tiles and the tangles. Working in black ink on white tile (or even white ink on a black tile) eliminates the judgement of what colors to use next. I encourage my students to work in black and white until they are very comfortable with those tools.

      When I was ready to add color, I took a class on working to learn how to color with colored pencils (my favorite tools to add color). I build up a lot of layers, so it is not something that happens quickly. After you learn how to use colored pencils, then it is just a matter of playing with them. I have my favorite combinations and tend to stay with these combinations. At some point I will experiment with different color combinations. I haven’t used my watercolor pencils yet because I’m still playing with my regular colored pencils. I started with Prismacolor pencils and have since experimented with other brands. I found that although I enjoy the Irotijen pencils from Tombow, they need more layers than the Prismacolors. They are more subtle in nature and the colors don’t seem to scan accurately. At least on my scanner. So, play with the pencils you have and if possible, take a class with whatever tools you want to use. You might be more comfortable using a different tool. Maybe watercolor paints will work better for you, maybe markers. Whatever you choose, I encourage you to take a class from a qualified instructor. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Wow! Color on your tiles really add some interest! I love that Poushalov. I’ve never done it. TWO things I have never tried! A new tangle and color on black! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thank you Deb. I just need to warn you that Paushalov is an addictive tangle. In addition to the tangleations on the tanglepatterns.com site, there are more in the Pattern Play book. It is so much fun to shade it too. I am so pleased that you were introduced to two new things. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Gorgeous tiles!! I see you also wait until you finish before going off to look at what everyone else has done, I have too many squirrel moments when I look first, besides, if I looked first I don’t think I could bring myself to submit anything most weeks! It’s just so much fun to look through all the wonderful submissions, a real treat!

    • Thanks Becky. We think alike and I love the way you put it. It is exactly why I don’t look first…I’d have “squirrel moments” too. And, do you find that you learn so much by taking the time to look at other tiles? I see tangles next to each other that I would not have thought to put together. I see tangleations that I want to copy. I have a sketch book where I put ideas like the tangleations I see. It is SO inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • I really like both of your tiles; in fact, I liked them so much and wasn’t familiar with the tangles that I looked them up to see how to do them. I was not familiar with either Paushalov or B’Dylan. You used them to a good advantage on these tiles. I think I like the second tile probably the best. It is so stunning with the color against the stark black. Your colored pencil work is very well done. Prismacolor pencils are my favorites too, but I haven’t used them in a very long time. Great work and absolutely stunning!

    • Thank you for the comments Leslie! I hope you will pull out your colored pencils and have fun! When working on black, I lay down white pencil first so the colors show up. Then I do the same layering that I do on my white paper. And am so glad that I could introduce you to these two tangles! 🙂

  • Beautifully done! I haven’t used Paushalov in a very long time, and never tried B’Dylan, so thank you for those inspirations – must try them on the black as you’ve made them very effective here.

    • Thank you Sue. It is so humbling to learn that my tiles are an inspiration, so thanks for your comments. I chuckled that I have inspired you to use black tiles because I have such a resistance to using them myself. I guess we never know what “seeds of creativity” we sow when we submit our tiles. Thanks, again. 🙂

  • Love them both. The first is so light and spring like, and the second had such rich color. Nice job! Sarah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Learn Zentangle in Vernon, CT
Learn Zentangle in Vernon, CT

Sign up to get news, tips, and updates about Zentangle delivered to your inbox every two or three months.
Sign up for my newsletter