As you all know from earlier  blogposts, I love  tanglework on watercolor backgrounds. Usually I see in the flow of the colors some kind of “strings” and I find there always spaces  to  fill up with patterns.

Now I’ve done it in another way: simply apply watercolors with a thick brush on wet paper and then use a putty knife to smear the paint. You will get a completely different effect. The colors will become “smoother” and the “strings” are gone, but a special result will appear. Drawing on a watercolored background with a very thin pen is difficult. I usually use a 0.3, 0.5 or even a 0.8 mm and afterwards, I like to make te  colors a bit stronger with ordinary pencils. You can also make a photocopy of the watercolored paper, and of course you can easily work on it with much finer pens.

The watercolor paint is randomly applied in layers with a thick brush

With a putty knife, the colors are then “smoothly pulled”.

Now you see the difference before the use with a putty knife and after.


Below I used this technique with  typical autumn colors. I cut out 4″ Bijouxtiles” of an A4 format. (the rest will be used later).  Watercolor paper has a slightly thicker grain, this can be seen on the pictures below. Also the streaks caused by the knife are visible. However, I sometimes love this “rougher” texture. If you don’t like it, you can just use finer paper.

 Breach, Rain and Printemps

 Abundies, Rain and Trigue

 Sedgling, Rain, Tipple and Zinger

 Molygon, Rain and Box Spirals

The 4 “Bijouxtiles” in a small mosaïc

And another with only one tile

And one more with 4 tiles in a different sequence

In an earlier newsletter, Rick and Maria taught us a new technique under the item “Kitchen table Tangles”. They call it tranzending and many tanglers have already tried it out. Actually, it’s not that difficult at all and there are several possibilities to make parts of your tile transparent. Do you want to take a look again:

In the tiles below I have applied tranzending in two different ways. I also used 3 different “folds”, something I always like and it makes your tile  a bit more special. The 3 drawings were made on grey  paper.

 A double fold on which Kinggo is drawn in tranzending style next to Fassett.

2 small folds facing each other and a beautiful, original Diva Dance (by the way of Helen Williams) with a Dreamcatcher inside.

Here is tranzending  applied, on Kinggo and on the small frame (with fold).  It looks like there is a piece of mica on your tile, complemented by Verve, Jetties, Joki and Ovolution.

Everyone who regularly tangles, gets a favorite tile on which she/he loves to draw. I prefer  the Renaissance tiles and especially the Zendala’s. Drawing on these tan colored round pieces of paper gives me great satisfaction and I always enjoys the relaxing feeling. A lot of times, I even don’t use a string. I start somewhere in the middle and the rest will follow…

On this tan Zendalatile I started with Ukkepuk (looks almost equal as  Breath),  followed by G-Chi and Printemps. I found a small white aura to fit nicely. Then I chose for Pebble flowers and filled the gap with perfs. To get a bit more contrast, the outer open pieces were coloured black with a brushpen on which  white dots were applied. At the Renaissance tiles, colours always come out nicely and afterwards use white accents , gives extra shine on  your work.

For Belgium and the lower countries, it was not a nice summer and also September started wet and cold. However, there are always unexpectedly beautiful days in every season that invite you to go out and enjoy.

Wow, what an athlete!

 A bit slower but also fantastic:

And yes there they are again, the fairytale fly agaric where all the children are crazy about.

A simple but beautiful autumn palette

And a wonderful natural example of filigree

Wood chopping and piling do not have to be boring and you can even make real works of art as you can see below:

Tomorrow  is the day of vegetarianism and it is worthfull to think of all the benefits that a more vegetarian diet has to offer: for the environment, as well as for humans and animals. That’s why I could not fail to add a nice vegetarian recipe: Chili no carne

It has gradually became a habit to finish with a unique piece of music.

I am not a fan of Johnny Depp but I’m fond of this handsome young man who brings the title song of “Pirates of the Caribbean” in a fantastic way for you. Here is David Garrett:

You don’ t need to meditate in a certain position, just take time to relax in a way you feel the most comfortable!

Keep on tangling and till next time!


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  1. 9

    I’m back! I used the putty knife technique on an Opus tile that I started this week. I’m using the knife markings for my string. I’ll have it up on my blog in another couple weeks. (Top secret: it’s for my husband, for our anniversary!) Thank you for inspiring me!

    • 10
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you for letting me know Jennifer. I’m very curious to see your result but when I see your work, I’m sure it will be great! The tiles you showed in your last post look beautiful, especially the one with Knottibaugh is so original and I love your birthdaycard with the monogram, absolutely gorgeous.
      Have a nice and creative week and I wish you succes with your birthdaycard for your husband.

  2. 7
    Anja says:

    Dear Ria,
    WOW! You created so many GORGEOUS tiles and Zendalas.
    I love them all! And I love the wonderful warm and autumnaly colors!
    Your combination of colors is so harmonious!
    Have a great autumn! Big hug, Anja

  3. 4

    Wow, Ria. What a rich post. I’m bookmarking it to come back and spend more time, with your wonderful colors and the watercolor technique you explained. Your tangles are so special, so many new ones to enjoy. Thank you, as always, for the gift of your artwork and wisdom.

    • 6
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you Jennifer, every season has his own colors and I try to draw a bit in the colours of the season, my favorite season is autumn, especially when the sun is shining…
      I’m glad you discovered some new tangles on this blogpost. You know where to find them, only Kinggo is not already on a tanglebase but it is the new pattern of Susie Ng. and you can find it on her blog.
      I’m grateful that you like my post. Wish you a good health and pleasure while tangling!

  4. 3
    Lynn Jarrett says:

    Your work is outstanding!! I really like the zendala. The patterns complement each other so well.

    I always enjoy your posts. Thank you.

    • 5
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you very much Lynn, I’m glad you enjoy my blogposts, I do my best to show in every post a few different tangles, possible to draw for everyone.

  5. 1
    Duane CZT28 says:

    Ria, All these tiles you have done here are absolutely stunning. I am not a painter, only a drawer but this art form and the way you apply it are so beautiful. They make me want to go out and get some art supplies and try it. I always enjoy your work immensely. (and I love that you have taken up TranZending).

    Go back and look at the entry I made on my blog after you ladies got through with your comments there. You and your work are pretty special to me.


    • 2
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words Duane. I’m glad your operation was a succes! I’m not a painter neither but I love watercolours and followed just a few workshops. It is an easy technique to create wonderful backgrounds. You can also do that only with white and darker colours, the results are always nice and will invite you to tangle on. As you can see, I only use very simple tangles on these backgrounds. The mosaïcs are made with Photoshop by my husband, I can’t do that.
      About this Tranzending technique, I am a big fan but have to exercise more…
      Thank you for your sweet reply on the comments, and yes, I agree you are a lucky one, not everyone has had dinner with 120 women from all over the world.

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