28 May 2015

How to Draw a Mandala: Tips and Tricks

Some of you have asked me how do I get my mandalas to be so 'perfect' and 'symmetrical',  if I trace them in pencil first or if I use any template.

The answers:

They are not perfect or perfectly symmetrical.
I don't draw them with pencil first, I trace them directly with ink, freehand.
 I don't use any template or compass, unless I'm working on a geometric pattern rosette.

How do I do it?

I start in the center and work outwards, 
I try to compensate uneven areas by slightly varying the size of the elements.
 I try not to leave big empty spaces so I fill them with little details... 
When tracing the circles I pay attention to the distance between the curved line I'm drawing and what's already drawn. 

The most important thing to get almost 'perfect' and 'symmetrical' mandalas is  PRACTICE!
Lots of practice!


This is not symmetric and is not a true circle.

The petal / leaves are all different!

This is one looks more like a circle ;)

As I fill in with little details it starts to look more even.

Getting better...

...And he finished mandala looks almost 'perfect'
 

If you want to try this tips and tricks but you don't know where to start have a look at this tutorial.

Watch me drawing a mandala on a pebble on this video.

Last words, I encourage you to make your own personal mandalas not just copy, it's more fun to create your own designs, trust me!

30 April 2015

My Favorite Tools and Supplies: Colored Pencil Work

Lately I've been asked a lot about my favorite tools and supplies for my colored pencil work.
When I started drawing and painting, I was looking for the 'perfect' pencil or sharpener or eraser, I've found I need more than one, each of them for a specific purpose... I use all what I've listed here!

You'll find here some photos and a list with all my favorites, their names and brands.


PAPER: 
(top left)
Fabriano Classico 5 HP 300gsm/140lb
This is watercolor paper, 50% cotton rag and 50% wood pulp, acid free.
For colored pencils should be used on the 'wrong' side

COLORED PENCILS: 
 Faber-Castell Polychromos are my absolute favorites!
I buy them in open stock the colors I like or I need rather than sets. (top right and bottom left)
Prismacolor Verithin in Black, Grey and Brown (top right)
Prismacolor Premier just five or six colors I can't find in other brands. (not pictured)

BOOKS:
(bottom right)
Botanical Drawing In Color by Wendy Hollender
Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils by Ann Swan 
There are other books about colored pencils out there but my interest is Botanical Art.



GRAPHITE PENCILS AND DRAFTING PENCILS: 
(top left)
Staedtler Mars Lumograph 2B and H
Tombow Homo-graph Mono H
Pentel GraphGear 1000 0.3 mm HB
Pentel P203 0.3 mm H
Pentel P205 0.5mm H

PENCIL SHARPENERS:
(top right)
Q-Connect Desktop Pencil Sharpener for a long sharp point
Alvin DUX Glass Inkwell Sharpener for regular sharp point 
Mobius & Ruppert Wedge Brass Pencil Sharpener for regular sharp point
Refer to the pencils picture with the sharpeners to see the type of point you get with each one.

ERASERS:
(bottom left) 
Sakura SE2000 Electric Eraser
Faber-Castell Grey Kneadable Art Eraser 
Pilot Foam Eraser
Tombow Mono Knock 3.8 Eraser 
Tombow Mono Zero 2.3 mm Eraser

OTHER EQUIPMENT:
(bottom right)
Pencil Extenders Creative Mark and Lyra
Alvin 450 7.5 in. Proportional Dividers
15cm/6in Steel Ruler
5X Handheld Magnifying Glass
Faber-Castell Erasing Shield

These are just my most used and favorite tools and supplies. For others there would be other preferences. If you have any suggestion they are most welcome!

If you have any particular question please contact me through the comments or using the contact form on the right hand side.

01 March 2015

Mandala Tutorial Well Used

Some weeks ago, a very lovely and polite lady wrote me via the contact form on this blog, to ask if she could use my Mehndi Inspired Mandala Tutorial.

She was planing a class mainly for kids at a shop near were she lives. She said she always wanted to draw a mandala but didn't know how to do it and my tutorial had helped her getting started.

I immediately reply saying yes, first of all because she asked for my permission and second because I like to share what I do. I feel extremely sad when people use thing I've made just because "I found it on internet", with total disregard of what Copyright means.

Yesterday I got another email from Rebecca, the lovely and polite lady, telling me about the crafty afternoon mandala workshop she had done. This is what she wrote:

"We had the crafty afternoon today. I had mostly kids come by and I gave them a print-out of your different elements/shapes.
I told them all to look your website up and watch your rock-painting tutorial! 

I was amazed at the mandala results these children could achieve very quickly (see pic attached - the blue mandala is mine).
In that first pic - the orange and red mandala was done by quite a young girl - she really got it! Even a boy had a go.

I personally benefit from drawing the mandalas using your tutorial in a number of ways.
It took me a few goes to get the hang of balancing white space, not being too busy & fussy, making good colour choices! etc.

This is a really clear and easy to use tutorial. Thanks again for letting us use it."
 
Foto by Rebecca M.
Foto by Rebecca M.

She also says: "The tutorial really empowers people to have a go at Mandalas." "Me and my daughter have literally continued doing them tonight (see pic below)."
 
Foto by Rebecca M.

Rebecca and her workshop had made me extremely happy!!!
Thank you Rebecca from the bottom of my heart, you've made my day!

By the way, she has a beautiful business with her husband making reusable greeting cards, make sure you visit her at www.merrygoround.com.au
 
This blog post was written with Rebecca's permission to share her story and use her photos.