#100TinyBugs – the first 20 bugs

I just posted bug #53 on Instagram this morning but I want to focus these posts on smaller groups so here are the first 20 bugs I did for my 100 Day Project – #100TinyBugs – all in order.  I feel I started to hit my stride around the 8th bug.

#100TinyBugs 1-20

The majority of the bugs ended up being butterflies.  There may be one moth in there but I’m finding that a lot of the insects I think are moths are actually butterflies.

Mostly butterflies…

I did six other bugs because I really do want to draw all sorts of insects and not just butterflies.  Honestly I find the beetles a lot more interesting to draw and paint.

The other bugs


I’m still totally embarrassed by that first ladybug but that’s part of the learning process I suppose.  At this point though I’m pleased with the progress I’m making and I’m certainly more confident in my drawing and watercolor skills.  If  you’d like to see all of my little bugs you can check them out on my Instagram.

The difference a month makes

When I started The 100 Day Project I had a couple of goals in mind.  I wanted to improve my technical drawing skills and I mainly wanted to improve my watercolor painting skill.  One thing I hadn’t expected was to see so much improvement in just a month of daily practice.  I mean, I know daily practice is a good thing, I just didn’t think I would notice that big of a change.  I’ve been noticing subtle improvements and they’ve made me happy but with my latest bug I noticed a huge difference.

Early on I drew a ladybug because I didn’t want to just do butterflies and I thought a ladybug would be “easy”.  I was not happy with the results but the point of the project is to post your failures along with the successes.  Yesterday I did another ladybug and well, the progress is pretty obvious even to me.

Now I have to say I’m extremely happy that I joined this project and I’m excited to see what I’m doing at the end of 100 days.

If you want to follow my progress you can check out all of my tiny bug posts at http://www.instagram.com/tinytrollstudios/.


#100tinybugs – My 100 Day Project

I have joined the 100 Day Project this year.  The 100 Day Project is a challenge to do 100 of something.  It could be art or writing or photography or quilting or fingernails.  I chose little drawings of tiny bugs.  Tiny because it allows me to actually complete at least 1 a day and bugs because they are kind of cool and it was different.



I’m hoping to improve my pen sketching skills and I intend to color the majority of them using watercolor and/or colored pencils so I’ll get more practice with those mediums as well.



All of my tiny drawings will be on 2 inch square pieces of watercolor paper.  Also known as Twinchies.  If you are interested in following along with my progress check out my Tiny Troll Studios Instagram.  I’m using the hashtag #100tinybugs on all of my project drawings.



So far on my bug list I have:

  • butterflies
  • dragonflies
  • bees
  • moths

What bugs am I missing that you’d like to see me draw and paint?


Some Fun with PaintsChainer

My husband recently sent me a link to a site called PaintsChainer that will colorize sketches for you.  While it seems to be primarily intended for anime type sketches I thought I’d have a little fun with it.  I wanted to see what it would do with some of my mandalas and Zentangles.  The program worked better on the mandalas and while I would never color them this way myself the results are very pretty.  They definitely have a watercolor or marker feel to them.  Scroll down to see all the images and let me know what you think.  I won’t deny I’m inspired by some of the color choices the program made.

Most of my Zentangles did not look so pretty but this one with the leaves turned out nicely.


The Zentangle Tiles of June 2017

June ended up being a good month for drawing some Zentangle tiles.  We had house guests for a week – my mother and brother – but they didn’t seem to mind if I had the occasional doodle session while we were hanging out.  I feel like I was all over the place last month but I was trying a lot of new patterns so it was fun.  I started a Pinterest board just for patterns and I have been saving patterns I’ve tried in the past so I can find them again as well as new patterns I want to try.  I drew 16 Zentangle tiles in total in June.  Technically I posted the 16th tile on Instagram in July but I drew it in June so I’m keeping it here.

June 2017 - All Zentangle Tiles
All of the Zentangle tiles drawn in June 2017

Continue reading “The Zentangle Tiles of June 2017”

The Zentangle Tiles of May 2017

13 Zentangle Tiles

Last month when I wrote about the Zentangle tiles I drew in April I wasn’t sure I’d have time to draw as many in May.  At the end of the month I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had drawn 13 new tiles.  I tried some new patterns and revisited some old patterns this month.

The 13 Zentangle tiles of May
The 13 Zentangle tiles of May

The Favorites

One of the core tenets of Zentangle is that there are no mistakes.  It’s true.  I have often made “mistakes” only to continue on and find them beautiful in their own right.  I guess in these cases the mistake truly becomes a feature.

My favorite tile I created this month is based on a pattern called ING.  The pattern has a 3rd line added to each section going from tip to tip, but I messed up and only drew the two initial lines.  By the time I realized my mistake I had drawn too much and had no way to “fix” it so I just kept going.  In addition to my mistake I was going to add something in the background but when I got to that point I decided that I loved it so much the way it was that adding anything more would actually lessen it.  Definitely a case of less is more.  What I loved most was how it took on a sort of comic book art feel to it.

My favorite of May
My favorite of May – mistakes and all

Instagram had different ideas about what Zentangle tiles were it’s favorites.  While I do love both of the tiles that were Instagram favorites I sometimes see no rhyme or reason as to why one tile will get so many more likes than another.  Both of these tiles garnered over 150 likes in May.

Instagram's favorite Zentangle tiles of May
Instagram’s favorite Zentangle tiles of May

Something New

I did try something new in May.  Inspired by all of the art I see on places like Instagram and Pinterest I decided to try some color.  I’ve had a set of colored Micron Pens for ages now but was always afraid to use them.  I know it is absolutely silly to be afraid to use pens but it was one of those irrational things.

The first one is done in blue and green because they are my favorite colors and I liked how it turned out.  Using the colors to accent each other.  The second one was supposed to be purple and pink but my pink pen disappeared so I added blue and green to it as well.  I’m getting the hang of it but in the end I’m glad I finally took that little leap.  I still prefer black ink – there is a simple elegance to it – but the color is a fun break.

I tried some colored pens this month
I tried some colored pens this month

You can see all of these tiles and more on my personal Instagram account.  For my Tiny Troll Studios Instagram go here.

The Zentangle Tiles of April 2017

I realized a couple of months ago that I had stopped doing any Zentangle tiles and all of my drawing was focused on coloring pages or other items for my Etsy shop.  I enjoy drawing for coloring pages but they have a different vibe to them, so I decided to get back to what I love most about pen drawing.  April turned out to be a very productive month for drawing Zentangles on little tiles so I wanted to share them all with you.

In total I drew 15 tiles.  Some of them are pretty diverse.

All 15 Zentangle tiles for April 2017
15 Zentangle tiles!

I just go with the flow when I’m drawing and I was clearly feeling spring because several of my tiles throughout the month had a floral thing going on.  Something about drawing all the little flowers just makes me feel good.

Flower Tiles of April 2017
Feeling floral


I had a few favorites during the month…

Favorite Zentangle Tiles for April
Four of my favorite tiles

but at the end of the month it came down to these two.

Top two tiles
My top two favorites

Ultimately though, I just love the Borbz tile.  I decided to try doing Borbz in a spiral – I’d never seen it done that way before – and at first I thought I’d made a big mistake because I struggled with it but in the end I just loved how it turned out.

Borbz Zentangle pattern
My ultimate favorite tile of April

I’m guessing my Instagram followers loved it too because it tied for first place with these two tiles for number of likes.

Instagram picks
Top liked Zentangle tiles on my Instagram.

I’m not sure I’ll get another 15 tiles done this month because we have company coming but I’m sure going to try.  It feels good to separate my “fun” drawing from my “work” drawing.  I enjoy drawing in general but drawing Zentangles is much more relaxing then drawing for an end goal.  I guess that’s why they call it Zentangle.

You can see all of these tiles and more on my personal Instagram account.  For my Tiny Troll Studios Instagram go here.