Thursday, 10 February 2011

Shading - try it, you'll like it!

There has been a bit of chat lately about using a tortillon for shading.   Personally, I like to use a blending stump which is a denser roll of paper.

You can really use anything - a tissue, a piece of paper folded or rolled like the tortillon, a piece of chamoise or fabric.

To see which method you like, get a piece of your favourite drawing paper...lay down some graphite and experiment with the different methods to see what you like.   You may like different methods for different effects.  Try different grades of pencil as well.

I sharpen my blending stump on a piece of fine grade sandpaper.  Although I do have one stump that I keep dirty (with graphite) so I can just add a smidge of shading without putting the pencil on the paper.  I also use the edge or side rather than the pointed end.

Heather P (on a Zentangle group) found this link with Google - how to make your own tortillon  - try it with different weights of paper for even more different effects.  By the way (for those of you who want to pick me up on spelling - smiling at Kit here!) you can spell it tortillion or tortillon, either way it is a stick of paper.

In my two day workshops, I go into depth with shading techniques - so if you are interested in attending a workshop, or organising a group of your own, let me know.  (minimum of 5 people in Tasmania - and other States can be organised.  I am currently in NSW in March and VIC in April/May) 
And remember I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher ... one of three in Australia and currently the only one in Tasmania.  You can see more on my web site

Happy Tangling for now ... Jane x


  1. Thanks for this post in shading, Jane. I use both paper stump and tortillon for shading. I never got the hang of using sandpaper (even though I have the 'right' equipment from my Visual Arts days). I actually looked up 'tortillon' which is the correct spelling according to most dictionaries and you've used it in this post. However, it seems to be spelled 'tortillion' on the web quite a bit. I'm going to add this to my blog (as a writer I appreciate this spelling addition as I've spelt it the web way. I'll also be able to say it correctly now in my pencasts *blush*.

  2. I use cotton buds Jane (Q-tips for our American friends)

  3. That is a fantastic idea Jo ... I will have to try them too! Thanks for sharing.