I started making mandalas last year when most of my art supplies were packed up for a move. I use a protractor and compass to draw a grid in pencil, ink in a design, and then color it with Tombow markers. Sometimes I use pastels to color the background or Inktense watercolor blocks to color the design.
The circle format is really interesting to me. A circle has a lot of meaning. A circle is self contained… it has no beginning and no end. A circle can be divided into four quadrants to represent the four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall.
I like to draw. I keep a small sketchbook and usually draw abstract shapes or mandalas in my sketchbook. Sometimes I add words to my sketches. I used to draw from nature and I am thinking about doing that again. I would like to combine writing/ my observations with nature or still life sketches. Recently I have seen some interesting artist’s journals that did that and I think it would be fun.
Drawing in the round is a centering activity. A circle is a balanced and complete geometric shape and it connects you with the feeling of having no beginning and no end. There are several excellent books out about mandalas and there are mandala communities online to provide inspiration. Anything contained in a circle can be considered a mandala.
I absolutely love how this mandala turned out. I drew an off center grid for a framework and then I drew curved, elongated shapes of varied lengths to represent the rays of the sun. I chose a warm color palette which is different than my tendency to choose colors in the magenta, blue, purple range.