Diamond Painting Mandalas

I mentioned in a previous post that I had discovered some new art forms for mandalas.  I’ve already posted about my experience with dot mandalas and making them in Procreate.  I loved creating the dot mandalas that way, and I will be making more of them in the future.

Diamond Painting

During one of my YouTube forays, I came across people who were ‘diamond painting.’  I had no idea what it was and I fell down a YouTube hole learning all about it.  Essentially, it is like cross-stitch, but instead of a needle and embroidery floss, you use small gems (diamonds) called drills and create a canvas using them.

I loved cross-stitching, but my eyes and my carpal tunnel keep me from it these days.  After looking at a LOT of videos about diamond painting, I decided I would try it and see if I liked it.  I hopped online and started looking.  I found some simple ones that were mandalas and ordered them, thinking that they would be a good way to find out if I wanted to stick with diamond painting and order more.

I ordered them in April, and thanks to the pandemic, it took until the middle of June for them to arrive.  There were 4 mandalas in the package and each canvas was 30 cm X 30 cm.  Not huge, but big enough for me to see if I liked it.

Diamond Painting Mandalas

I opened the first one and got started.  At first glance, there were a few surprises.  The size was fine, but I had expected the design to be ‘full drill’ – ie, every piece of the design would be filled in with a drill.  Not so.  And all of the mandalas had differently shaped gems, rather than all being round or square.

DP Mandala 1

This particular mandala was annoying, because as you can see, I was short two gems to finish the design.  Not the end of the world, but aggravating.  It did give me an introduction to diamond painting, though – and the was the point.  If I really cared, I could source some extra gems to finish, but I’m fine calling this an experiment.

After finishing the first one, I moved quickly on to the second one.  It went a bit quicker, now that I had an idea of what I was doing.  This one was a bit more fun, as there were more drills and the pattern matched up with the printed design, something that was lacking on the first mandala.

DP Mandala 2

Each canvas has a key on it that tells you which color/shape drills to use on the corresponding grid on the design.  The painting is covered with an adhesive which the drills stick to as you place them.

I was on a roll, so I moved on to the third mandala.  Thankfully, none of them were missing drills or had the designs offset like the first one.  This design looked more intimidating than the first two.

DP Mandala 3

After working on it, I realized it wasn’t really that much more complicated than the two I had already completed, which was a bit disappointing.  I wanted a challenge.  Some of the drills were very small and placing them often resulted in me dropping them on the floor, followed by lots of cursing. 😛

By the time I got to the fourth one, I knew I was hooked.  Diamond painting is a nice, relaxing craft that I can do while my husband and I watch TV of an evening.  The final mandala had a lot more drills, so it took a while longer to complete than the first three.

DP Mandala 4

Ready for More

After finishing up the fourth one, I decided I wanted to try a ‘full drill’ painting, and I also wanted to try using the square drills instead of the round.  I ordered one to make for my nephew, but when it arrived, it had round rather than square drills.  I must have not paid enough attention when I was ordering it.

So I ordered another painting, making sure that it was square drills.  I also ordered a storage kit for all the extra gems from the mandalas, thinking that I could store those and the extras from the next painting in it.

It was smaller than I realized, and after sorting and storing all the extras from the 4 mandala kits, it is now full. :/

I ordered another (larger) storage kit this time.  I’ve already started on the diamond painting for my nephew, so we’ll see how quickly I can get it done.  I’m trying really hard not to just go out and ‘buy ALL the things’ for diamond painting.  I still need to see what options are out there, and what I really NEED.  I am excited to have discovered a new (to me) crafting hobby!

Dot Mandalas in Procreate

I’ve been busy this week working at my job. Everything has to be pulled out, cleaned, and sanitized so that if/when school resumes this fall, all the toys are ready for the children. It’s a huge job, but the satisfaction of making progress on it has done wonders for my mood this week.

Even though I’ve spent nearly every day working, I’ve still managed to find time to explore more mandala art. I’m still drawing new ones for the Monday Mandala series, and I’m working on additional ones for my Etsy store (shameless plug). My diamond painting mandalas finally arrived and I’ve now finished all of those. I’ve been avidly watching YouTube videos on making dot mandalas. Using simple tools like a pencil, a Qtip, and a toothpick, I’ve seen people create some amazing art.

A few days ago, one of the planning YouTubers I follow demonstrated her newfound obsession with dot mandalas and she created one in Procreate. And I thought, Duh! Why haven’t I tried that? So I did. 😀

My first attempt was so awful I didn’t even save it. However, the next attempt was good enough to encourage me to keep going. I’ve mentioned before that I am not good at picking color palettes, so I used some palettes I had stored from previous projects.

I like the color palette and I’m happy with how it all came out. It did take some fussing with settings in Procreate to get the effect I wanted with the dots, but it worked.

The next attempt I got a little carried away. I didn’t realize until I was about halfway through the mandala that I had zoomed in WAY too much at the beginning, so the final mandala is too busy in the middle. But I’m learning from my mistakes.

The last attempt is my absolute favorite of the three, and a lot of that is because I love the color scheme of the design. It has a retro/vintage feel to it that I love. I’m going to keep experimenting with these and perhaps even put some of them up for sale in my Etsy shop as printable art downloads.

I’m debating whether to keep the backgrounds or offer just the mandalas themselves, so people can print them on whatever background they wish. In any case, I’m having a ton of fun drawing them and I can’t wait to make more.

Monday Mandala 45

Mandala_45After watching some mandala artists on YouTube, I’ve been experimenting with the symmetry options in Procreate.  This was my first attempt with the rotational symmetry turned on.  Still figuring it all out, but I like this one.  It reminds me of those paper lantern lights.