A while back I experimented with making my own alcohol inks using dye and alcohol. I used the inks to saturate some heavy watercolor paper and really liked the resulting mottled appearance.
Here is one of my handmade visual journals using that paper to cover the bookboards.
If you use alcohol inks, be very careful and wear protective gloves as it is staining and permanent on your hands and everything else. All surfaces should be protected.
I am teaching my drawing students how to design mandalas and fill them with zentangle patterns. As usual, I enjoy making examples of the project too. Here are some that I have completed using pen and graphite.
With the exception of the circle, which is traced from a cut paper template, everything else is drawn freehand. The beauty of this method is that you learn to use spatial judgement as you map out the pattern areas, turning the paper and repeating elements as you develop the symmetrical design.
There are two things in my life that have been constant, no matter what: art and the need for unstructured time to play. I am a compulsive maker-of-things who believes that every day must have some time set aside to feed the creative spirit. This would include making art, looking at art, reading about art, experimenting/playing with materials, learning new skills, and general studio art-play. To support my habit and spread the joy, I have been an art educator for 38 years. I have recently retired from public education. I will try to share some of my adventures in both art and play here in this space.