I have been coloring mandalas from Michelle Normand. Her mandala coloring site is http://www.30minutemandalas.com/
There are four free mandalas to color and 2 coloring books for sale.
I first got my start in mandalas from coloring mandalas. Later I moved on to digital mandalas. If you are interested in making mandalas coloring mandalas is a good place to start.
The first mandalas I colored were with marker, but this time I wanted to try digital coloring. These mandalas work good with digital coloring because the large spaces leave room to show off special effects.
This first one is where I started. I am very drawn to the combination of black and dark greens with lighter green as an accent. I replaced the thick black outlines with dark brown to give it a dark forest feel.
I reversed one of my dark gothic crosses, played around for a little bit and got these two icy crosses.
I reversed icy blue cross, tweaked it a bit and came up with two fire theme crosses. Two themes seem to come up often for me. One is the dark forest, which I intentionally started with. The other is fire, where the series ended up.
I often use my mandalas as an intuitive device. They are a way to express what is in my inner self. I was surprised to discover that coloring in mandalas someone else has made works just as well.
Welcome to another episode of Pick up Trash! Make Art!
I love the bright colors of the Coca Cola bottle, especially in contrast to the dark brown cola color. In this case the bottle was empty and crushed, but I added the dark brown color in digital for one of my mandalas.
This was a fun set of mandalas to make. I love the idea of starting with such a common iconic image and potraying it in a new light.
A little more digital fun and the cola bottle becomes an abstract flower. I gave it two more flavors as well, grape and orange.
One of my new favorite things is to take photos of trash and turn them into mandalas.
I love the idea of transformation, turning junk into something beautiful. It is a sign for changing the planet and changing our lives as well. I pick up the trash after the photos too so it helps the environment in a more practical sense too.
I plan on making this an ongoing series called Pick up trash! Make art!
The first candidate is a wrapper from a nature valley granola bar.
I especially love the delicate pattern the lines and small debree in the mud make in contrast to the bold shape of the wrapper. I brought this out even more with the antique gold version.
For this next variation of the nature valley wrapper, I got rid of the details but left the color.
The more I play around with modify images the more intuitive the process becomes. The mandalas often take on a mystical feel and certain theme seem to repeat themselves. Fire is a theme that seems to come up repeatedly.
Next in the series: I have both Coke and Dr. Pepper. I have plastic bags, potato chips bags and scraps of paper.
I did a set of around 30 of ice mandalas. You can check them out at http://www.icemandalas.wordpress.com.
I love doing seasonal art. It helps me feel more connected to the earth’s natural rhythms. It also helps me feel more at peace with the weather.
I am not naturally a big fan of winter weather. I don’t care for the cold. I don’t like icy streets and sidewalks. This year I tried to focus on the positive side of winter. I took pictures of snow and ice and made winter themed art. It really did seem to help. Winter was more pleasant for me. I didn’t mind the cold as much. I looked forward to getting pictures of snow and ice.
Winter was colder than normal this year. I live in the DC area so winter is often pretty mild. A cold winter means more days bellow freezing than normal. We had two snowfalls that were more than flurries. Some years we don’t have any. Other areas had really harsh winters this year so it seemed really petty to grumble about our weather.
I got a lot of nice ice and snow pictures this winter. I also did a series of ice themed mandalas on my computer that were taken from digital abstracts. The digital abstracts made better mandala than the ice photos. My abstracts had vibrant shades of blue, pure white and pretty pale blue whites. The ice photo mandalas turned our rather dull with shades of dingy grays. I feel the vibrant colors of the abstracts are more fitting for a celebration of winter.
A mandala from an ice photo
A mandala from my digital abstracts
P.S. The only problem with doing art seasonally is that sometimes it isn’t finished till after the season.
I have started with something very ordinary, some chopped up peppers. I often admired the simple beauty of the green, red, yellow and orange peppers. This is the inspiration for my first kitchen mandala.
I play around and alter it a little bit.
It is only a minor change, but the whole feel changes. Instead of firey colors the mandala is cool and icy.
The really interesting changes happen when I play with it a lot. It becomes an intuitive process. Bits of my inner self start to appear. This next mandala feels very mystical to me.
The elements turn up often in my heavily altered mandala. It is hard to tell from looking at it, but this is still based on the original kitchen mandala. This next mandala has the feel of water, but also feels a bit mystical.
Altering it even more, it comes back to earth and fire. Earth and fire fit very well with the kitchen theme and chopped peppers theme. Except now the ordinary takes on a bit of the mystical.
I have added another batch of mini-manadalas to color on Lulu. See my Lulu link on the side. I have one more batch I will be adding later this week. I am now using categories to make it easier for people to find my coloring downloads.
So far I just have one document there with the two pages you see here. I have more mini mandalas I will be uploading in few days, about 5 more pages worth. I noticed there were lots of other mandalas for coloring on Lulu. If you like coloring mandalas, search (mandala, coloring) on Lulu and you will find a large selection.
Don’t stress the small spaces! Some of the spaces on some of the mandalas are a little too small to color unless you are using media with a fine point and have very good small moter skills. Just leave them white or color the same color as the spaces next to them.
The mandalas were made with the Pattern Pie software and shrank to 2 inches. Pattern Pie is a fun software, but only makes low ppi mandalas of around 4 inches. Even at 4 inches they look fuzzy printed out. Shrinking them to two inches makes them much less fuzzy on the edges.
Instead of putting all my pictures in one very large mandala gallery, I am making medium sized themed mandala galleries. I was going to make them all 30 pictures or less, but there were 32 pictures in my first theme gallery, so now I am saying 35 or less for my theme galleries.
My original mandala gallery
will stay up, but I am not adding any more to it.
I just finished my first one: Beauty from trash.
Here is a preview. Please click on the link for the full collection.
I am doing away with the “no duplicates” plan. The announcements of new galleries will have some pictures that are in my galleries. The blog will still contain some new mandalas that are not going into them galleries.
It is possible to create mandalas in Microsoft Image Editor. They are simple mandalas with less “slices” (identical sections) than my other mandalas. Also they are square.
1. Open a new document. It can be any size, but it must be square.
2. Insert shapes. Choose the triangle with the square corner.
3. Format, resize object to fit canvas. The corner of the triangle should be lined up with the corner of your document.
After the first three steps, save the document. This can be used as a template for all your mandalas.
4. Make sure that the triangle is selected. Seclect: Effects, Fill with texture or color, Picture.
5. Copy (the triangle with the picture), paste
6. Flip (not rotate, you want a mirror image). The icon is right under help.
7. Format, rotate, selected object. You should now have a square.
8. Edit, flatten all objects (this merges everything into one layer).
9. Distort, Kaleidoscope, 10 on the slider bar.
Here is my starting picture.
I love the idea of nature in the city. These are urban flowers, or at least they will be when they bloom. I like documenting all parts of the city: the gritty parts like pipes and cracked sidewalks, beautiful buildings and bits of archituecture, and also bits of nature in the middle of the city. These plants are starting to come up outside my work. I am not sure what they will be. I plan on taking photos of them as they grow and making more mandalas with them.
This is the first mandala:
Between steps 8 and 9 you can rotate the the square for a different look. The lower right corner of the square becomes the center of your mandala. This is an alternate mandala I made using the same photo but turning it before step 9.
This is a entry from my Digital Art Fun blog. I am combining the two blogs. There were only 4 posts in Digital Art Fun. I will be putting the other 3 in here later.
I am in the process of learning about digital art. My goal is not just to learn, but to make learning fun. This blog documents my experiments. It is part how to and part show and tell.
Some of this will be making things from scratch and some will be starting with other images. For the images I will be using mostly my own photos or digital mandalas I have made.
I will be working with both Photoshop Elements (I have Photoshop Elements 5) and Microscoft Image Editor 2006. Most post will just focus on one of the programs.
For my first experiments, I will be playing with mandalas I created on the Pattern Pie program. The mandalas are created with black, white, and three shades of gray.
This is what one of the uncolored madalas looks like:
For the first coloring:
Layer styles: photograhic effects: blue tone
The easiest way of coloring, but not the most fun.
Now for an option that gives more choices:
New fill layer: solid color
Change mode to color
You can now select any shade you want. I picked a bright purple with a little blue in it.
Next we do a new fill layer again, but choose gradient fill. It is important that you change mode to color. There are lots of options here. After you click on the arrow by gradient, click of the new arrow to the side to see more gradient options. The other options can make a big difference in the look of your picture. The first image is with a rainbow gradient and the default options.
This next image is the same gradient but choosing the radial style.
This mandala is the same as the one above, except I have clicked the reverse button.
As you move the angle around the colors change. This is the first radial rainbow mandala with the angle change to 45.
Changing the scale also changes the look of the mandala. This is the first radial rainbow mandala at a scale of 50.