First, I've really enjoyed looking at pictures of Zen Gems online--drawings of gems made using colored pencils or watercolor or sometimes Copic markers, and generally surrounded with a tangle (see Zentangle (R).) I've also had fun trying them out myself. There are various sources of instruction online, some free, some for a price.
Here's one of the Youtube videos available. There are many.
Vitruvian Art--Gemstone Basics with Colored Pencils
If you want something other than a video:
Tombow (this one involves markers and marker-blender, but gives a general idea you can use with other media)
Here I tried to draw something opal-like ("opalescent", in fact). Note to self--do not use colored pencil on the slick side of the cardstock dividers from Red Rose tea. Use the rough side, or use some other kind of cardstock.
The idea was good, but the execution--not so much. Next time, pencil guidelines for the scroll-y framework, and review basketweave style tangles before attempting to fill in the background.
The second thing I've been having fun with is pencil calligraphy, which I discovered at the website The Postman's Knock. There's a free printable for it, though what I have in this photo is a much simpler version.
I wasn't excited about it when I first tried it, but since then I've gotten more interested. It's very convenient--all you need is a soft-ish pencil and paper. But be careful about the surface you work on as you do end up pressing down a bit harder than usual.
So that's all for this week. Till next post.