Artist Focus: Carlos Cano

Welcome back to thetirelesstangler.com! This week I’m bringing another incredibly talented artist, Carlos Cano, from Spain! I’ve had plans to feature Carlos for weeks and I’m so glad I can now showcase his amazing art! Carlos’ story is a fascinating tale of artistic progression. Personally, I am a big fan of the first picture below! Let’s get to know Carlos Cano!


“Hi, I’m Carlos Cano, and  live in Madrid, Spain. Since I was young I liked art in general, and drawing in particular. My initial attempts were drawings with ballpoint pen, first only in black and white, and little by little I introduced some color. I have to say that I have always been a simple amateur, I have never received any kind of art (except zentangle, I will get to that). My drawings were always abstract, in somewhat twisted ways, so much so that some friend always said that what I drew was “guts.” Sometimes I relied on something from my surroundings, but I always experimented with it: I was looking for shapes to attract me.
One of the things I always tried to achieve was color gradients, which took me for hours with the ballpoint pen. I also started to test gradients with stippling, but with this technique I did less drawings
I have always enjoyed experimenting with shapes and techniques, and always tried to go to all the art exhibitions that I have been able to. After each exhibition, when I got home, I came back loaded with inspiration, and I turned in blocks of drawing trying to do something similar to what I had seen (which I never got, but that really amused me).

 

Let me show you some of my old drawings, with ball point pens, and one stippled: 


This is an amazing example of stipple (using tiny dots to shade or make pictures). I’ve done these and they are incredibly time consuming but the effect is very cool!
 

 

In 1988 I left up drawing and began to try many other unfinished activities (including learning Japanese, or play rock guitar)

Three years ago, I took again a pen thinking on try some idea. In this case I used fountain pens, also drawing with dots. I did four drawings. The next is the one I prefer:


 

 

But it’s not good idea stippling with fountain pens: the ink always dries, and it changes color. And the nibs, well, they oxidize and also change the ink color.

Then, I discovered zentangleand before I learned the technique, I made the next attempt, also with stippling and fountain pens:



 



This astounded me! All small dots! I can’t imagine the time this took! Stunning!  

 

Since 2005 I have been attending Zentangle classes with María Pérez-Tovar, and I have always tried to experiment with the different tangles, modifying them and trying different ways to use them. For example, these are some personal versions of three tangles. Tri-BeeInapodNiuroda


 

 

I’ve used also some sense of humor in my drawings (the first is a version of the tangle Drawings, the second was for Halloween:

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I’ve mixed different media in a drawing, as in this hand I’ve used micron, alcohol markers, color pencils and stippling:

 

 

Spend a minute looking at this. There is so much subtext and the attention to detail is to be appreciated! I think my favorite element is the single Printemps on the index finger. A perfect example of the line weighting we’ve been working on in in various groups! Perfection!

 

Recently I have recovered the desire to experiment with other techniques, and I have redrawn with colored ballpoint pens. This has been my first attempt for more than 30 years.

 

Ballpoint pens are what’s really amazing about this and all of them. With a pen like Pigma Micron or other technical pens there is a nib with ink flow like a felt tip pen. Stipple takes a light touch down for each dot. Ballpoint requires pressure with a circle movement each time. No big deal. Until you work on this scale. Incredible!

 

In this drawing I’ve used Copic markers as color background, and ballpoint pens:

 

 

 

 

One technique I discovered recently is that of shaving cream. With it you get backgrounds of random colors very interesting. I use it with liquid watercolor, although you can also use food coloring, even acrylic paint. My way of drawing on these backgrounds is not very orthodox: I try to draw shapes following the colors of the background and then modifying and adding figures as they occur to me. I must say that my way of drawing is formed by 90% of improvisation, and some previous idea that I quickly modify as I discover possibilities in what is coming out.

The following sequence shows more or less of what I’m talking about:
 
 

 

The next example correspond to a version of StaubKorn’s Pico:



 

With patience and imagination, you can transform any background in what you want. For example, I transformed a partial blue tile in a “tree of life”:



I’m still in awe of Carlos’ techniques both old and new! I’m going to try the shaving cream trick for sure! I’m so excited and blessed to have the opportunity to get to know these artists from across the world! You are a fascinating bunch and I cant wait to show you who is next!