Monday, May 13, 2013

Mandala Practice

This post is going to have lots of photos, walking you through how I made the above mandala.
I am taking an online class with Marie Browning and one of this past week's assignments was to make a mandala and color it with Irojiten pencils. I was in Maryland, 800 miles away from home, and didn't have my normal supplies with me. As I was walking around a fabric store, I came across these quilting templates hanging on a rack.
It dawned on me that these templates would make pretty good mandala templates. I started pulling them off the rack and layering them on top of each other, trying to see what would match up together and look like a mandala. I ended up buying four templates and used these two for this project.
I placed one quilt template onto my paper and used a micron 01 to trace within the lines. Then I played with the second template, moving it around until it lined up in a pleasing format. Then I traced those lines. I didn't use all the lines, on both templates, just the ones that looked like they went together.
Next I started filling in lines, connecting paths that seemed to go together. A flower started appearing, so I added some small leaves and started outlining some larger ones.
A few more lines made those larger leaves start standing out more dramatically.
I filled in some seed pods with some purk, finished the larger leaves, then used the tangle phicops to start turning the rest of the design into flower petals. A little fescu soon became stamen.
Once I got my flower mandala looking the way I wanted it to, I used my Japanese irojiten coloring pencils from Tombow to start laying in some color.
These are some pretty incredible pencils. Not watercolor pencils, just coloring pencils. The shading and color variation comes from dropping in layer after layer of color.
I think this was the second time I used these pencils, so I still have a way to go with them before I feel competent.
I used five different colors to lay down a technique called scrumbling around the outside. The scrumbling gives an almost drop-shadow kind of cast to the mandala.
All in all, I think I used 15 different pencils. Here is the finished product and I love the way it turned out! If I can do it - anyone can do it!
The Creator's Leaf


  1. Looks Fantastic Alice..... I'd say you have the colouring down pat......great job!


  2. oh wow, that took my breath away! The colors the details - everything is absolutely beautiful. You are truly talented :)

    1. thank you! i'm learning, and having fun :)

  3. I love all your creativity, your drawings and the techniques you share with us. You inspire me so much. Thanks a lot.

    1. thank you so much :) that's why i share here, i learn from you - maybe you can learn something from me :)

  4. This is beautiful and so clever that it started life from 2 quilting stencils. I love your 'scrumbling' technique - can you explain how you do it?

    1. i can. actually i will do a little walk through and show you how with photos :)


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