Monday, April 20, 2015

Exploring Mehndi

This tile features Mehndi-inspired Zentangle designs. Leaf motifs are common in Mehndi, as are the wagonwheels and small, tear-drop shaped buds.

It's easy to notice Meer and Crescent Moon and Fengle (or something like it) in these designs. Rick and Maria have never claimed that tangles are new. They have introduced these motifs from Mehndi and other traditions by breaking them down into drawing steps that most anyone can understand. That is what is special about Zentangle. As I continue to practice this approach to drawing, I enjoy recognizing the multicultural origins of the tangles.

This is the second Mehndi-esque tile I drew. I love drama tangles -- bold areas of black that catch the eye and lead it here and there through the micro landscape of the image. The two black wavy bands come directly from the Mehndi book I'm working with. The whole design is actually the black band, the thin line in the middle, and the band with horizontal lines. It's Meer with one side filled in. The upper and right areas are patchworks of typical tangles -- Pearls, Tipple, Crescent Moon, Hurry, and Shattuck. In this composition, the relatively open and simple area in the middle surrounded by smaller, busier forms create a nice balance overall.

Here's tile number 3 created while focusing on Mehndi, though there is not much of anything strictly Mehndi going on here. The band in the middle has a border I invented while drawing made up of alternating vertical lines and 'Nzepple. The middle combines Zander, Braze, and Mist. The bands to the left and right are my own design. There might be a tangle out there somewhere that looks like this, but I am unaware of it. It's a motif that comes up spontaneously for me. It looks like grapefruit sacs up close, or butterfly wings. The first tile I ever drew on cardboard featured this motif. The two bottom parts are like Sandswirl.