The word mandala literally means “circle” in Sanskrit. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is a ritual symbol representing the universe. It is often used as an aid in meditation. Mandala has a more general meaning in art. It may be applied to any circular, repeating design. A rose window, the type found in churches, could be described as a type of mandala.
I like to teach how to draw a type of mandala design that hides a word within the circle. For those, who take the time to really see the design, the word will be revealed. And, isn’t that how we find out what our strengths are? It’s the process of life that reveals them. You have to pay attention to learn what they are.
For these examples, I’m using 7 X 10″ mix media stock paper. The finished designs are about greeting card size.
Process and Variations.
VARIATION #1 (non-mandala), (dash/splash)
Layout begins with 7 X10′, portrait layout.
Fold paper into a triptych card.
Divided design area for the number of letters in the chosen word.
Print letters inside each space.
Trace around the outside each letter to create a “bubble” around them.
Using tracing paper and pencil, trace the “bubble” letter lines.
Flip the tracing paper so the back side is up. Use the tracing paper like carbon paper to transfer the letters, reversed, to the other flap.
Trace over pencil lines with black (or colored) marker.
Fill in the negative space around the letters. For this example, I just filled in with black. There are many options for making these areas more visually interesting.
Shade in the letters with colored pencils, markers or other media.
This is the card free standing. It has plenty of blank, design area for further work, like collage.
Layout is 10 X 7″, landscape
Fold to make a triptych card.
Using a ruler and pencil divide the front of the card into 1/4. Then connect opposing corners. This creates 8 triangles rotating around a center point.
In one of the triangles and using pencil, write the chosen word.
As with Variation #1, outline the letters to create a “bubble” around them.
Erase the original letter lines, and develop overlap illusion. (Done in ink so the overlap can clearly be seen.)
Use the tracing paper transfer technique to repeat the design.
Because overall shape of the card is a rectangle, the pattern can’t be traced as is in the top and bottom triangles. the artist has to find a creative way to connect the left and right sides. Here is one solution.
Once the pattern in complete, the artist can add color and other design elements.
VARlATION #3 -No “Bubble” Letters, Cursive Script, A True Circle Mandala
VARIATION #3 – Printed Letters
Plenty of room for adding color.
Well, that’s it. Hope this clarifies my suggestion. As you know our “audience” best, I open to any suggestion or even, “This isn’t right for our group.”