My Mandala

mandala-1

I’m away from home this week, but I’m still blogging!  I’m in Cambria – along California’s central coast – and am in the middle of an art retreat for one.  Thus far my days have been filled with proofreading my novel draft, photography, paper arts, and other creative pursuits.  And though I only brought some basic art supplies (okay, a small carry-on suitcase full!) I decided I’d try to make at least two projects – in addition to taking many photos.

One project, incorporating the radio tubes in my Artful Ingredients post – will be shared in the next few weeks.  The second project I wanted to take on was the making of a mandala.  I was able to complete it and photograph it despite a somewhat limited setup, and I hope you like it.

Mandala = Circle

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle”, and though mandalas are often used religiously or spiritually, I was mostly interested in challenging myself with the design element and the meditative/slow process of creating one.

I’d only successfully made one mandala in the past, years ago, and an attempt I’d made a few months ago was a disaster, so I wasn’t sure how it would go.  Thankfully, I have plenty of time to create this week, so I wasn’t rushed or distracted when I worked.

mandala2

Making My Mandala

 

There is a lot of information about mandalas online, so I’m not going to detail the general how-to or the history.  Instead, I’m going to share a bit about what I did:

I started with watercolor paper, and traced the outline and center circle of a CD onto the smoother back side of the paper with a black ink pen.  I added some additional circles by tracing smaller circular objects within the largest circle’s frame.  This helped provide me – a mandala novice – with some structure.

I slowly built up the design in ink, and then started filling in some of the design with color and metallic gold.  The color – from Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayons – was added by pulling the color from the crayons with a wet paintbrush and then painting onto the paper.  The gold is metallic gouache with water added, and it was applied with a paintbrush as well.  Some mandala makers fill in all of their design with color, but I decided to go with a combination of color and the natural look of the paper.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet…

An art friend of mine, Doreen Grozinger, makes incredible mandalas!  Click here to see Doreen’s mandalas – you’ll see a range in style, coloration, etc. I aspire to be as good at mandala-making as Doreen is!

A Few Questions

Were you already familiar with mandalas before reading this post?  Have you ever made one?  Do you prefer multi-colored mandalas, or black and white?  If you’re new to mandalas, and decide to try making one yourself, I hope you enjoy the process!

Warm regards,
Melody

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