My First Go at Creating a Mandala

The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages.  It signifies the wholeness of the Self.  This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground, or to put it in mythic terms, the divinity of incarnate in man.

~ Carl Jung

Much of my arting is all about the process…not so much the end result.  The process is what settles my mind and my spirit.  I usually have projects going that are more meditative than anything else.

I learned years ago all about the value of the meditative process, and finding it in unexpected endeavors.  I have filled that need through all kinds of activity…making jewelry (especially hemp jewelry), quilting (really, sewing together all of the pieces for the quilt tops), working a job as a wire and cable maker (I know, seems a bit weird, but it WAS meditative), making dream catchers…so a lot of the meditative things are a bit outside of my regular arting activities.

I’ve also played with a lot of mandala coloring pages over the years…I even use to try and draw out mandalas that I saw in my mind’s eye during meditations.  I studied the archetypal meanings behind mandalas during my college years.  But I’ve never sat down and really tried to make my own.  I didn’t really understand the actual symmetry and math behind them.  Somehow way back then I missed the ease of the patterns, the whole thing seemed to magical and mystical to me.  I let the fear of trying to get what was in my head and out onto the paper keep me from realizing that mandalas are just repeating shapes, all made up of other little shapes.  Duh.  Too much thinking, my own brain got in my way…

I know you can find all kinds of tutorials and zentagles and other cool tips to draw mandalas, so I won’t bore you with how I got mine mapped out.  Instead, I’ll just give you this link to the basic map of how to get the feel for getting one started: How to Draw a Mandala.

It’s a pretty good basic map.  

I’ve been working on some others, I’ll share those at a later time as I get more details done, but here’s my first go at a mandala.  By the way, this is on a 12″ x 12″ cardboard, cut out of an old box, gesso’d, and then drawn on with pencil and Faber-Castell black brush artist pen.

Prompt: Where do you go to look at cool mandalas and how-to’s?  Do you draw mandalas? 


4 thoughts on “My First Go at Creating a Mandala

  1. I love mandalas. I pored over Judith Cornell’s books, Drawing on the Light Within, and Mandala and would spend hours in the 90’s with white or colour pencil, and had the pleasure of meeting her at her w’shop at Omega.

  2. Love this mandala. It reminds me of a zentangle–kind of–except without the tangle part:-) I’ve done some but in a different way. My first was in an art therapy class and we just put a large circle on paper and started in the center free-hand drawing working our way to the outside. Others I’ve done are not necessarily symmetrical–drawing almost anything inside the circle like you would do with free writing–not giving it much thought just putting down what comes to your mind. After letting what you’ve done for a while steep you can go back and write about your reaction. Carl Jung was quite an advocate of mandalas. You’ve inspired me. I think I’ll do one in my journal and see what I come up with.

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