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Mandala Weekend

I had completed two separate mandalas this weekend. Although I had a lot going on, somehow I still finished them. Each one took more than 5 hours to complete. I used Staedtler Pigment liners to complete them.


As you can tell, this first one took the most time because there are a LOT of dots. But I really like the way that it came out and how the dots helped with the contrast.


This second one was more free-handed. Its amazing how I can work on two mandalas within hours of each other and they look so different.

Mandala progression

Step 1: Create your grid.

I enjoy having my mandala in the center of the page so the first thing I do is draw an X by drawing a line from each corner to the opposite. This is the lightest of lines because it’s literally used just to center my graphic.

I then take my 360° protractor and grid out every 10°. I then draw a line from one degree  to the opposite degree. {ex. 0° – 180°} I continue to do this all around. I then take my compass and make random sized circles moving from the center out to show just how big I want the mandala.

Step 2: Line your center.

This part is always the most difficult for me because the center, determines the look of the whole mandala. If you look through the mandalas that I have posted, you will see that the different options are truly infinite. Nothing is right or wrong. With this one I chose a pinwheel of sorts that I built flowers on top of. This set the tone for an organic mandala.

Step 3: Start building outward.

You will see that I used the grid lines in two different ways. the larger flower petals run between the grid lines, where as the triangular petals use the grid line as a center point. I tried to put more detail in the triangles because they were so large. Some options here are to use your protractor and grid out every 5° to make the get ails smaller, or just do like what I did and follow the gridlines making each layer larger than the layer before it. I have used both methods and both are fun to do.

Step 4: Final and Largest Layer

In this picture you will see that I have leaves that are lining my mandala and bringing the entire organic piece to life! I love how this is turning out and although I say that about almost every one of my pieces, its simply because I am as shocked as everyone else about the end result! I try really hard not to plan too much because I want to be able to adapt to kids bumping the table, pens running out on ink and even surprise sneezes.

Step 5: Putting in little details

Now is the time that you go back and add more details. These can be anything you want. Go wild.

Step 6: Finishing touches!

This is the point where you start from the center and erase all your pencil grid lines and start focusing in on every little detail. This can be as elaborate or simple as you want. That is the wonderful thing about mandalas. They truly change drastically, even with one detail. I will sugest that if you do something to one side, make sure you are consistent if you want it to look uniform. If your mandala is NOT symmetrical than disregard and have fun!

So, Now that you’ve seen the final product, let me know what you think! What would you have done differently? What do you like the most? Do you have any questions, comments, concerns or constructive criticism? Post them below and I will respond as quick as I can.

Joey’s weekly challenge #135

I’m always amazed at what Joey comes up with for the challenges and I absolutely love doing anything with circles. In this challenge, found here, you can see that part of the challenge was also doing three tangle patterns. Disco, Drogon, and Msst. None of  these have I attempted before, so the whole thing was challenging.

Joeys - 135

Flower circles

So, this piece started out very weird. I had no clue what was going to form from it. As with all my pieces, I let my mood take flight, adapting the piece in many ways. What I drew in pencil isn’t even close to what the final product came to be.

I am pleased with this piece and very excited to share. It’s in my journal so it’s fairly small, about 5×7, and the details were done with a .01 micron pen.

Doodle 4


Sacred Geometry -Seeds of Life

Sacred Geometry. This is something I just recently came across. I thought it would be something I could use to give me some awesome shapes for my mandalas. 

This one is called Flower of Life. It is created using a sequence of circles, branching out from a center point. It is also know as “seed of life”. Starting on the center designs was interesting. I put a lot of though into how I wanted each flower to be intertwined, but I also wanted the center flower to be slightly different from the outer ones. 

Branching out from the flowers forced me to use some designs I haven’t ever used. It also allowed me to tweak designs I have used in the past.  Choosing the right designs was something I didn’t take lightly. I wanted to keep the flower petals around the outer circle. I wanted to bring the name to life. 

The final probject is so visually stimulating that I was, maybe more proud than I’ve been with a project. It was relaxing and easy to complete once I figured out exactly which designs I was going to use. 

This is a closer look at some of the details that you might miss by looking at the picture as a whole. 

Overall, I am very pleased with how this turned out. I used Staedtler triplus fineliner for the whole project. The completed Mandala is about 14″×14″. 

New tools

I am excited to show you some new tools that I have purchased to make my drawings better. Drawing things by hand are amazing and I love that the images I create are not digitized. However, creating Mandalas are way easier if you have a template helper.

First off, the ruler at the top. It has many circles on the inside as well as small holes to make circles. I find this very difficult to make circles with because the center doesn’t stay put. So I usually use this as just a ruler or a template for the smaller circles to the left in the picture above. I am pretty sure I must be using this wrong, but if you use a spiral sketchbook, like the one pictured, You will find that the ends catch on those spirals and moves your center point. So this ruler is probably better for an individual sheet rather than a notebook. This ruler was a gift so I’m unsure of the price.

Secondly, You’ll find the two green templates. One for circles and one for squares. I have yet to use these, but I see them in a lot of videos I watch on YouTube so I know they are great tools for me to utilize in the future. They were $6 USD for the circle template and $8 USD for the square one at Hobby Lobby. The material they are made out of is pretty sturdy and I think it is well worth the money, especially because it offers such a wide arrangement of options.

Last, but definitely not least, my 360 protractor. This one I found for $5 USD at Hobby Lobby.  If you are creating Mandalas, I would highly recommend this, specific 360 protractor. Let me tell you why. The white outer rim stays put, while the center clear area spins. It works like a charm. It also offers some circle templates on the inside. I’ve used this on my latest creating and immediately fell in love with it. The numbers on the outer rim are easily read so that I can make sure all my angles are correct.  This is a staple in my drawings and I will always run to find one like this.

I love new tools to make my art even better and I love to share my experiences with you. If you know of any tools you’d like me to review, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to research it.