Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Midoosa, Erin Koetz Olson

Erin Koetz Olson hosts the weekly Zendala Dare on her blog The Bright Owl and yesterday she posted a new tangle she created called Midoosa. I liked it so much that I turned off my computer *gasp* and started working in my sketchbook. What you see above is my first mostly successful shot at midoosa, but before this I did a good bit of practicing. Let's look at Erin's step-out for midoosa.
Pretty straight-forward, beautiful, graceful, and (for me) unpredictable. Erin even showed some variations.
As you can see on my sketchbook page, I started with some of the pointers Erin wanted us to remember. The most important points for me were: use an even number of points (not 'equal' as I wrote in my book), and complete one section before you move on to the next. As you can also see, I had trouble getting my barbell sections to be equal in size. No way in the world can I draw a six-pointed star and have it look like a six-pointed star, although I did get closer. Sort of. The flower idea just looks awful.
As much as I tried, I could not get the points to be even in size. And, yes, I do know that true zentanglers don't use rulers, or erasers, but, hey! What are you going to do? It is less stressful for me to pull out my tools, than to sit here and draw lines over and over and over and over that don't look right. So, I used my small ruler and pencil and drew the four overlapping shapes you see above.
Next, I went over the outline with a micron, then erased all the interior lines.
I picked two sections, drew the connecting lines, and auraed the inside of each end of what looks like boat oars to me. Then I moved on to the second oar.
And to the third, auraing as I went. (Is that a word?)
Finish up all the sections, aura around the outside of the whole thing, then add any black fill that you want. I filled the small interior spots - similar to fingerprints - as well as the underlying color behind the paddles.
Finish it off with some shading. I was happy with how this one turned out, so I moved on to the star. There had to be a way to make a star - not boat paddles - and I was determined to figure it out.
I started off with a circle drawn in pencil. . .
. . . which I split into six sections.
Then I put some pencil dots in the centers of each section to act as a base point for my star . . . . . . points,
which I drew with a micron.
I erased most of the inside lines,  but you don't really have to. Then just like in the first example, I started connecting the sections and auraed them.
Add the next section, notice that it falls underneath the first section ala-hollibaugh.
Then the last section.
All that's left is to blacken in the fills. I elected not to aura the entire piece, but to fill in that background with tipple. Shade. I was happy with the way this star turned out - very happy, actually. So I decided to move on to a project.
I know I have step by step photos somewhere, but it's late and I'm super tired. I layered three circles, which included the star, the snowflake, and a flower. That flower? I used my ruler idea, but turned the flatheads of the oars into rounds and called it a flower :). Notice in the snowflake that you do not have to connect points directly across from each other. I added some Derwent Inktense Pencils for color and splattered  various colors for some extra texture. For this one, I used Strathmore's new artist tiles - the vellum one. 

Erin's tangle midoosa has a lot of options and I know I have only scratched the surface. I think I'll be using this one a lot in the next couple weeks, trying to perfect it. Thanks, Erin, for such a fun pattern!

The Creator's Leaf


  1. Great tutorial Alice, I can't wait to try it.

  2. Great tutorial Alice, can't wait to try it.

  3. Super example of adapt & overcome - & being real about one's own limits. Brillaintly explained & I love the sense of excitement you create with your description & telling of the tale.
    Hope you slept well.
    Paula (PEP)


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