Sunday, February 28, 2016

like a flipagram... but slower! :)

if you visit me on instagram you already know that a month or so ago, when i had just finished the big canvas project, i discovered a free app called flipagram which lets you turn a series of static photographs into a little video. which is perfect for posting a project that has a lot of steps, or a series of related projects you want to showcase together, or even to create a sort of time-lapse effect of say... the same tree... (or kid, lol!) photographed every week or month. i made a couple flipagrams of the canvas project, and one of a crocheted garland i made for my niece which was difficult to really get a sense of in just one picture. (click the links to see them; you don't need the app or an iphone, any computer will work!)

the other night, though, i went from using the app on existing photos, to deliberately creating content for it. i actually sat and photographed each step as i was drawing a mandala, then assembled them at the end. i'm pretty sure that's a sign i'm obsessed, lol. the only problem with this method --and possibly there's a workaround i don't know-- is that you cannot stop the animation and look at each photo slowly. so here's a blog sequence, just in case anyone wants to see all the steps in a mandala:

step 1: 
this is the grid i devised for teaching my mandala class, it consists of using a ruler to find the center of the paper on each side, making a cross, dividing each of the four segments, then using 3 punched circle templates (sm, med, lg) to make the "target" looking rings. this is the ONLY measuring and the only pencil drawing we do! it takes approximately one minute. i can do it faster than it took me to type this. it does seem to be the difference between confidence and fear when drawing one's first few mandalas, though, because you have specific segments to fill, and it's very easy to keep things tidy.

step 2:
from here on out, we're wingin' it, baby!
(ok, yeah, i cheated very slightly and added an even smaller circle to the very center of the design... but after this, we're wingin' it, honest!)
can you see how the 8 pencil lines show me exactly where each petal goes? and the concentric circles allow me to effortlessly make them the same length. well... sameISH...

step 3:
half circles between each petal

step 4:
balloony tear-drop thingies between each half circle
(and again... i know where each one wants to start and end... 'cause i have another penciled circle mark to guide me)

step 5:
more petals!
(of course you can do ANY shape in any order; you can make some of your concentric "rings" only contain four petals and some have sixteen; you needn't even attempt curves... a design with all straight lines give you a sort of starburst effect that's also cool!)

step 6:
more half circles!!
(at this point i've decided that the "macro" shape of my mandala is more or less done, i'm not planning to make it any bigger, so i can add detail. thus i'll go back into the center again, and work outwards)

step 7:
adding "inner" outlines with the little hatch marks is quite traditional. also the radiating lines. dots, swirls and scrolls often make an appearance as well; you can be as simple or as complex as you'd like!

step 8:
more detail. someone asked me how i choose which bits to highlight. actually, i almost always use the embellishments to hide my mistakes, lol! heavier lines are the ones i thought needed to be straightened; dots cover up stray pen or pencil marks; i color in the wonky shapes to make them more symmetrical. so now ya know!!! :)

the finished mandala! it's your turn...

ps: if you don't believe that you can get AWESOME results with no experience necessary, you should know that the photo at the top contains the very first mandalas drawn by some of my paper anthology students!!!


  1. Oh my goodness this is AWESOME, What a fabulous tutorial almost makes me believe I could make one.

  2. Very groovy, baby! (say like Austin Powers). These are so cool. I'll have to look into the app. soon.

    But the process itself is something my older daughter would like! Thanks!

  3. Thank you sooo much for this Lauren, I saw your flipagram on IG but wonderful to see all the steps laid out. I didn't have a clue where to start with a mandala but this makes it look so easy (although I am sure I will discover how totally wrong that supposition is when I give it a go LOL!) Deb xo

  4. I’ve been trying rock painting mandalas & they’re a bit messy & uneven. This is the tutorial I desperately need! Thank you!!!


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