Monday, 16 April 2012

Venetian Mask Zentangle

A couple of weeks ago, when I visited Spyder’s blog for our WOYWW blog hop (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday), I saw the photo she posted of the beautiful Venetian mask she has. As soon as I saw it, I thought “Zentangle!!” Have a look at it in her blog post and you’ll see what I mean. I immediately contacted her and asked her permission to download the photo so I could do a drawing of it, and she went the extra mile and emailed me all the photos she’d taken of it. I was able to do a drawing from one of them.

This is the biggest piece of zentangle art I have done to date. The initial drawing was the most time-consuming, as I wanted it to be as close as possible to the original, and getting the shape and proportions exactly right took a lot of measuring and marking key points.

Filling it in with tangles was where the fun began! I think the result is striking and original – I love these masks – and I hope she is pleased with it. Thank you Spyder!

02 Venetian Carnival Mask

I designed the text based on Italian Renaissance handwriting for this drawing, and deliberately made it look worn.

Before I started the drawing, I did a Google image search for the Carnival of Venice and there are lots of pictures of all the beautiful costumes and masks. Lots of artistic inspiration here! It must be wonderful to be there in person, seeing all the exotic costumes and soaking up the unique atmosphere.

A note about paper. When I first started zentangling, I was putting all my drawings in an Art Journal. I am now only using this for sketching new ideas and noting down step-outs for patterns, because the paper is cream-coloured and I have been having some problems photographing the drawings. A while back, I bought a large pack of cheap white card from our local copy shop, thinking it would be good for all sorts of projects, but it doesn’t fold well repeatedly, so is no good for pop-ups and other construction work, and Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine, has turned up her nose at it and won’t cut it well, so it was relegated to making card bases with – it’s great for matting and layering onto, and it seems to take distress inks quite well. I decided to try drawing on it and it’s a positive dream – it’s a gorgeous bright white with a silky smooth finish, and the pens just glide over it with no bleeding and I love the results! It also feels nice and substantial.

Eventually I shall probably create an album (or maybe several albums of different sizes) with pages made from this card, and bound with my Cinch binder. The paper looks great matted onto black, or with a narrow black mat onto more white, as in this card that I made from my “Here’s Lookin’ at You” zentangle.

02 Here's Looking Zentangle Thank You Card


  1. Your fabulous zentangled drawing of my mask is a -a-a-amazingly brilliant!!! You've put in sooo much detail into every part of it.
    It really must have taken you ages! It's just gorgeous! (Ohoo and the card is too!!) I must have a go at doing this. It's quite a lot more complicated than just doodling! Well done you. Show it on woyww too!! Every one would love to see it!!

  2. This is amazing! think you should turn them into a book with instructions! I am in awe!

  3. Wow, your Venetian mask is stunning.

  4. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG You're way out of my league now, damn woman I cant keep up with you lol.
    But you are amazing is all I can say

  5. There are not enough adjectives to describe your beautiful work.

    Did you draw all of the zentangles or are they "patterns"?

    Love it, love it, etc.

  6. Totally amazing, Shoshi! So fun to admire it.

  7. Shoshi...this is truly amazing! You have now added another thing to my list of "This I Must Learn"!! What an inspiration...

  8. Your Zentangle-Inspired Venetian Mask is SO BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED! What size is it?

    1. Thank you Jan. Hope you come back here to read this because I can't find any way to reply to your comment. The drawing is about 7 inches high.


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