An Altered New Year

January 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

This is a continuation of my New Years post.  I made some more mandalas that are altered versions of my original New Years mandala.  These were done on Microsoft Image Editor. 

The last post was on starting where you are, with what you have.  The thought for this post is:  but you don’t have to stay there.  Where you are is only a starting point.  You can change it as much as you want.

paint it pink mandala

paint it pink mandala

 

Dark Garden Mandala

Dark Garden Mandala

Moon and Stars Mandala 4

Moon and Stars Mandala 4

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New Year Mandalas

January 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

It is the time of the year where many people think about new beginnings and fresh starts.   There are two sides to this – grand dreams and where you are currently.  For right now, I am setting aside the the wonderful things I will do when I have the resources, when I have the time, when I have built up my skills.  Today I focus on what I can do now with what I have.

In the spirit of right here, right now, I am using a photo I took from my window earlier today. 

New Years Day Mandala

New Years Day photo

 A bare tree, a parking lot and a rather plain building – not a lot to work with.  Generally I photograph things that look interesting or have interesting details.  Also I take hundreds of digital pictures and then try out many different ones to see what looks good for mandalas.  Today, I am just going with one of two pictures I took from the nearest window.

After a little fiddling I came up with this mandala.

New Years Mandala

New Years Mandala

Where I am now is only a starting point.  So it is with my mandalas.  Over the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with modifying my mandalas with photoshop elements and microsoft image editor.  From now on in my blog I will be putting in more modified mandalas.
One line of experimentation is to try on various filters to give my mandala a hnad painted or hand drawn look.  At the same time, the mandala needs to keep enough detail that the symetry is still recognizable, even if basic elements are not.
photoshop "painted" mandala

photoshop "painted" mandala

The second type of experimenting is concerned only with the look of the finished image.  Many of them are very obviously digital creations.  This next mandala was made using one of my favorite special effects filters – glowing edges.
Shiny New Year Mandala

Shiny New Year Mandala

Ilah

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For socks and pillows

November 26, 2008 at 6:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This is a really departure from the mandalas I have been doing.  Unlike my other mandalas they are very soft.  These are the first of my everyday objects mandalas I have posted here.

Over at mandala Oasis, our “mandala challange” is to come up with a mandala expressing thanksgiving or gratitude.  There is certainly a lot I have to be grateful for, but I won’t go intoa long list.  Many people focus on the big things – family, friends, good health, etc.  While I am grateful for all the big things, my thoughts kept coming back to all the little things that are often taken for granted.  I thought about my comfy couch, warm coat, my winter socks, soft pillows, a cup of hot tea.  For my mandala I picked two of my little things: long, warm winter socks and my fake fur IKEA pillow.

pillow and pink socks

pill and purple socks

pillow and purple socks

pillow and stripey socks

These mandalas are often very simple, especially compared to other mandalas I have done.  Sometimes the mandalas look like something that was created with fabric origami rather than a photo that was digitally manipulated.  The striped socks sometimes make for a more complex pattern.  Like the striped socks, the striped sock mandalas tend to look a bit fun and playful.

pink socks mandala 1

pink socks mandala 1

purple socks mandala 1

purple socks mandala 1

striped socks mandala 1

striped socks mandala 1

Check out more sock mandalas on my pictures only gallery at:  http://ilahsmandalagallery.wordpress.com

The sock mandalas will be uploaded later today, November 26 or tomorrow.

Ilah

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Coloring my Mandalas

November 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am coloring my mandalas.  Technically I am coloring in the photo I used for my mandalas.

I took the sidewalk crack from the last set of mandalas and colored it with gradient fill on Photoshop Elements.

sidewalk with gradient fill

sidewalk with gradient fill

 

And the same photo with gradient mapping on Photoshop Elements.

gradient mapping sidewalk

gradient mapping sidewalk

Both photos used the same gradient, deep sea.

gradient fill sidewalk mandala 1

gradient fill sidewalk mandala 1

gradient mapping sidewalk mandala

gradient mapping sidewalk mandala

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A crack in the sidewalk

November 18, 2008 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Clean unbroken sidewalks are kind of boring.  Old sidewalks with cracks and stray bits of things on them are interesting.  The banks of the Potomac River has sidewalks with character.  They have huge cracks and large chunks of the sidewalks have been washed away.  The river sometimes washes over them filling the cracks with water.  Small bits from the trees rest on the sidewalks as well.

 

a crack in the sidewalk

a crack in the sidewalk

From this image I get a set of beautiful, subdued mandalas.  Little bits of color from the trees stand out against the gray.

Sidewalk Crack Mandala #1

Sidewalk Crack Mandala #1

See more sidewalk crack mandalas on Ilah’s Mandala Gallery (in the links).

Ilah

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About my graffiti bridge mandalas

November 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Go to my Mandala Gallery to see more mandalas.  (See the links on the side.)

The mandalas were taken from this photo:

graffiti bridge

graffiti bridge

The bridge is located in Washington, DC between the tidal basin and east potomic park.

Photos with strong straight lines tend to make mandalas with star shapes, pentagons, hexagons and other polygons.   I generally play around a little bit with the image to make sure the points are not cut off my shapes.  The stars and polygons don’t always fill up the whole circle.  I tend to select mandala where they do.

Graffit Bridge Mandala #13

Graffit Bridge Mandala #13

Some photos generate the potential for more distinct mandalas than others.  If the picture does not have a lot of different elements, like the first set with the pipes, many of the mandalas start to look very similiar.  Other photos, like graffiti bridge, with the sky, the trees, the street, the car, and two distict sides to the bridge, generate more distinct possibilities.

Words in images:

Sometimes it is possible to make out an original word in the finished mandalas.  You can see “nick” in several of the mandalas.  You could probably make out more if the people creating the graffiti wrote their names more clearly.  Even when I capture a clear name in the mandala, every other slice is a mirror image, so out the most only half looks like recognizable words.  But interesting things happen to the words.  As letters are cut at odd places and mirrored to each other, the words become an abstract design.  Sometimes the words a bit like they may be part of a foreign language or strange mystic symbols.

Ilah

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Mandalas from two pipes

November 2, 2008 at 7:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

About the original picture:

two pipes

My first mandala series posted is from a photo of two large pipes.  It is one of many photos I have taken in the DC area on my lunch break at work.  The pipes are from the side of the “south building.”  This building was built for offices for the US Department of Agriculture to supplement the original building, which is called the Whitten Building.  The south building is right across the street (to the south) from the Whitten buidling.

About the mandala designs:

Using base images dominated by curves often gives a flower petal look to the images.  The more slices used in the mandala program the more petals are in the final image.  Every other slice is reversed so each petal is actually made up of two slices.  Because the main image shows two pipes side by side, it is possible to get two petals out of a pair of slices (like in image #1) but this is an exception.  

Starting with an image with strong curves lends a softness to the picture, even one with a very industrial theme.  The softness of the design and the hardness of the material make for an interesting combination.  Even with an image that is all curves, there are often still strong points where the slices meet. 

Just starting with lots of curves does not always mean soft flower petal shapes.  Sometimes you get stronger lines like this.

two pipes mandala #6

two pipes mandala #6

Patten Pie and Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 can both give very different looks for the same base image, even if the same size slice is used.  This is because Pattern Pie only uses a fairly small portion of the picture [it is cut just like you would cut a slice of pie from a rounded version of your image] where Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 tries to use as large a piece as it can out of the image.  This is another reason why I like to do images from both programs.

Go to my photo blog (see the links section) to see more mandalas.

Ilah

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My mandala programs

November 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

For my digital mandalas, I am currently using two programs:  The Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 and Pattern Pie.

Both are very easy to use and can create mandalas fairyly quickly.

Pattern Pie is the first mandala program I picked up.  It is fun and easy to use.  It creates a mandala from a “slice of pie” shaped wedge from your picture.  There is a large variety of slice sized to choose from for dramatically different looks.  You can also rotate the slice around your picture to create different mandalas.  Pattern Pie also has an auto rotate option where you can watch the mandalas change as the slice rotates around the picture.

A scribble options lets you create mandala made from lines you scribble on the canvas.  These pictures turn out suprisingly nice.  You can’t tell from looking that the pictures are made from scribbles.

The downside is that the mandalas are small and fairly low resolution.  It is good enough resolution to put online – if you don’t try to increase the size – but not good for printing.  The smaller mandalas on my gallery are from pattern pie.

Overall it is a good program if printing your mandalas is not important to you.  At only $12 it is well worth the price.

A scribble mandala from Pattern Pie.  These are generated from scribbles you make in the program.

little fire scribble mandala

little fire scribble mandala

This is the scribble the mandala was generated from:

little fire scribble

little fire scribble

 

 

The Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0’s major advantage over Pattern Pie is the ability to make mandalas of any size and at a high resolution.  You also have the option of making different shaped mandalas, such as square, sun shape, star shape, flower shape, etc.  However it does not have as wide a variety of slice sizes as pattern pie.  It also does not have the scribble mandala option or the auto rotate option.  The finished mandala is only displayed as thumbnail, but you can click it to make it larger.  You have more options about where to place the slice.  In pattern pie the tip of the slice is always at the center, but with the Kaleidoscope Kreator you can place it anywhere it your picture.

Ilah

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Beauty is where you find it.

November 2, 2008 at 3:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I tend to focus on things many people pass by, cracks in the sidewalk, manhole covers, brick wall, handrails.  I find beauty in the color and patterns of these ordinary things.  Lately I have been using some of these items to make mandalas.  Many of my mandalas feature parts of the urban landscape and every day items.  I use my mandalas to bring out the hidden beauty all around us.  I still do some mandalas of conventionally pretty things like flowers and leaves, but my main focus is urban mandalas and industrial mandalas.

One of my urban photos:

just a weed

just a weed

And a mandala I made from the photo:
just a weed mandala

just a weed mandala

Ilah

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