|nuthin' but black pen on white paper... which is all ya really need|
(a bit wonky, as well, which doesn't bother me)
|on the other hand, I LOVE COLOR!!!|
(ps: using a gridded paper helps with symmetry, if you like that sorta thing)
|this is my very first stamped mandala, from icad, 2012|
(remember what i said about not drawing?)
tammy of daisy yellow art*** has done loads of unique, AMAZING and inspiring mandalas over the years, and it's thru her (during my first year of icad) that i got into them. she has doodled, collaged, even stamped tiny images or letters in circles!
|another non-drawn version... punches this time!|
(and arguably waaaaaay too much stitching but it's easy to get carried away, kwim?)
|a square mandala? ok, maybe it doesn't quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite work, but i still kinda love this one!|
having said all of the above, i want to tell you a secret: for me, mandalas turned out to be the thing that made me enjoy drawing for the first time since i was about seven. i feel like they're a great intermediate step between doodling and drawing. i suppose it's because there are enough standard shapes (circles, petals, scallops) to get you started, but you can also branch out any way you'd like. you don't have to worry about making them look "real" or dimensional, etc; and as you can see by my own "body of work", lol, a little wonkiness doesn't seem to do them too much harm! so if you find yourself with a little extra time, grab a pen and some scrap paper and maybe have a little go... you don't have to show anyone...
|my attempt at a triangular mandala came out more like "picasso's pizza" but it was FUN, so i defend it staunchly!!! :)|
|the peacock mandala got its own entire blog post, last fall|
(and is still quite a favorite of mine!)
need more mandala examples? (she asked, expecting the answer, "omg NO!!!!!!" lol) here's a clip art one i used on a card; here's one drawn with black and white pens on a bright background; here's one that i used a set of nestabilities flower dies to create mandala layers out of pretty papers; here's one that illustrates my "off page" stratagem to avoid symmetry.
*guess whose turn it was to pick the theme??! ;)
**there's a whole separate category of buddhist mandalas, which don't have rules as such, but tend to follow a certain structure and contain recognizable iconography; they're kind of the buddhist equivalent of stained glass windows in a church. here's a wikipedia article that gives a sort of overview of those, with some nice illustrations.