13 July 2015

Embroidered Mini Mandala Tutorial

Some of you here, in Facebook and Instagram have asked me for a tutorial to make an Embroidered Mandala.

I made this little mandala project specially for you, using basic stitching tools, few supplies and simple stitches. I hope you like it.


This is what I used but you can adapt it to what you have in hand. You can use almost any fabric or embroidered threads for this project.


5 x 5 cm piece of 100% Wool Felt in Violet
DMC Stranded Cotton 340, 3810 and 3819
Italian Seta Bozzolo 24wt Silk Thread #300
Opaque Lime Green 11/0 Japanese Glass Seed Beads


Crewel/Embroidery Needle Size 3 for all the stitches but the weaving.
Tapestry Needle Size 24 for weaving the Whipped Spider Web.
Straw/Milliners Needle Size 10 for beading.
Embroidery Scissors
Thread Heaven Conditioner & Protectant to protect and strengthen the beading thread.

Some Extras:
(not in the photo)

Helix Metric Circle Template
Bohin Extra Fine Chalk Pencil 3-in-1


Stem Stich
Fly Stitch
Whipped Spider Web Stitch / Backed Stitched Spider's Web
Chain Stitch


Using the circle template and the chalk pen, I divided my felt square in four to mark the centre, then I traced a 3.5 cm diameter circle.

Using three strands of DMC Stranded Cotton 3819 work a row of Stem Stitch over the circle.

Using the marked cross as a guide trace a concentric 2 cm diameter circle.

Using three strands of DMC Stranded Cotton 340 work side by side Fly Stitches, using the circle as starting point and working outwards.

Again, using the marked chalk cross trace a second concentric circle, this time about 1 cm diameter.

With three strands of DMC Stranded Cotton 3810 work a Whipped Sider Web using the circle as a guide.

Using the silk thread or any other beading thread, attach the beads in the area between the Stem Stitch and the Fly Stitch, one bead between two Fly Stitches.

Now with three strands of DMC Stranded Cotton 3819 and using the row of Fly Stitches as guide, make a second row of Fly Stitches this time working inwards.

Finally, with three strands of DMC Stranded Cotton 3810 work a row of Chain Stitch outside the Stem Stitch.

Your mandala is finished!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, please feel free to contact me with any question you may have.

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.

(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

 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)

(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.

(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

(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.

(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

(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.