So I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you all have, that the adult coloring books are really making a break through.. It’s quite cute to see grown ups using a little bit of creativity and releasing a lot of stress through art. I won’t be the first to tell you, or maybe I am, that zoning out and doodling, coloring, sketching, or anything of that matter is extremely healthy for the mind. So this post is dedicated to shedding some light on the novice (or expert) artist that lives within you.
A disclaimer, please don’t think that I am dissing the coloring books, if you enjoy coloring between the lines without having to draw the lines, that is fine by me; furthermore, I believe the coloring books are a great trend because it’s causing grown-ups to realize that it’s okay to spend some time doing things that give you peace of mind, whatever that may be. Now, I am personally in love with creating mandala artwork.. When you look at mandala’s the first thing that usually comes to mind is the amount of detail & precision, while that is an accurate observation, mandala’s are actually incredibly easy to create. As with anything, of course there are some great artists out there creating geometric artwork that is far from easy, appreciate that, and also toss that expectation to the way side when you consider trying this for yourself.
So the foundation of a mandala is a circle, if you don’t have a geometry compass, don’t worry, you can actually use things around the house such as tin cans, lids, ect… Generally you’ll want more than one size. Like I said, it’s not a big deal if you don’t have a compass but it does really help, you can use the same center point and continue making larger/smaller circles. I picked mine up at a local art store for about $6. Alright, so choose a center point on your paper and start drawing circles, resembling a target, one circle inside the other and so one. Once you have your desired quantity of circles, use some kind of straight edge to draw “pie slices” over your circle (use a pencil and draw lightly, you will probably want to erase these lines later). Your pie slices will be your reference points, and if you want to take it one step further you can even go so far as finding the quadrants/nodes so that your “pie” will be perfectly split. If you have no idea what nodes & quadrants are, just keep moving along, draw your pie slices as symmetrical as possible. You choose how many slices you want 🙂 Sweet, so if you’ve completed this phase, you officially have the foundation for your masterpiece. I’m so nice that I even designed a printable mandala base, for those of you that want to try this but ease in slowly, like jumping into a cold pool. You can find the image at the bottom, if you click it, you will see a full size image, feel free to download and print as many times as you’d like. I have attached the image down at the bottom.
Typically the way mandala’s are created is from inside to outside, which is truly a very metaphorical art form if you consider the essence of self-improvement that we experience as humans. Change occurs first on the inside and then works it’s way to the exterior to affect the environment that surrounds the one undergoing change. Alright, that’s my philosophical view on mandala’s. Basically the next phase is where your own artistic view comes into play. A great place to start would be finding some patterns that you like… Pinterest is great for that. This picture shows some basic patterns and doodles, if you click it you will be redirected to Pinterest where you can see a larger view. Once you have an idea of what sort of patterns appeal to you, start drawing them in your circles, repeat, repeat, repeat… This is why creating mandalas is known to be a very meditative art form. It can easily become delightfully mindless once you establish the reference lines and circles, it’s easy to just zone out and draw- not the same case for everyone of course because we are ruled by different hemispheres of the brain. This can make artistic endeavors much more challenging for some individuals- shouting out and acknowledging those who have this struggle but are still trying! It’s healthy to stretch the mind 🙂