Monday Mandala 15

Mandala_15When I was drawing this mandala, I thought I made it too simple.  There weren’t enough layers and the design elements weren’t busy enough to make it a good coloring mandala.

But looking at it now, I think it turned out really well.  I like how pieces of each layer layover into the next.  And there are a lot of different pieces to color, which I didn’t see at first glance.

The first layer is a bit busy, with all the lines crowding to an almost black ring, but overall I’m happy with the design.

Digital Creativity

My brain has been getting quite the workout the last few weeks.  I’ve been trying to research sales tax laws.  The most boring subject. Ever.

I’m planning to do a long post about what I’ve found – maybe all my research will help someone.  All I wanted was to open a simple online store and make a few dollars doing something creative.  I think the days of doing that are long gone.

In any event, I needed something to take my mind off the depressing subject of taxes.  So, I decided to play around again in Procreate and iColorama.  I still need to find time to sit down and watch some videos on using iColorama – I know I could be doing so much more with it.

I decided to take Mandala 12 and color it in Procreate.  I fiddled around with color choices, but finally ended up with this:

Digitally Colored Mandala 12When I drew the mandala, I thought the design was too simple, but I actually like the way it turned out once it was colored in.  I wanted a fall color scheme (though in my neck of the woods we’ve apparently skipped fall and gone straight into winter – brr!), so I chose some darker reds and greens and browns.

Although I liked the colors, I decided I wanted more depth – it just looked too flat for me.  So I headed over to iColorama and played around with several of the options in the program.  After several attempts, here is the final image:

iColorama Mandala 12I added a texture and another filter (I don’t remember which one), but I am happy with the result.  Now the image looks like an old rug design and it’s got some ‘feel’ to it.  The filter actually muted some of the colors, but I think that makes it look better.

After I get a chance to watch some tutorials on iColorama, I can’t wait to try it out using some of the mandalas I’ve drawn for my coloring pages.  Adding texture and ‘feel’ like this makes it seem like my designs are coming to life – so exciting!

Monday Mandala 14

Mandala_14I’m happy with the way this mandala turned out.  I wanted a leaf/floral/nature pattern and I think I incorporated some of those design elements nicely.

This mandala also looks complete, in contrast to some of my other recent mandalas.  I might even color this one to see what it looks like.  I think some of the design elements get lost in the black and white line version.

Monday Mandala 13

Mandala_13This mandala suffers a bit from my short attention span.  I did well with the inner layers, but couldn’t decide what to do for the outer layers of the design, so I think it ends up looking incomplete.

I was trying for a Southwest/Nazca/Native American feel, and I think I accomplished that with some of the layers.  Even though I don’t love every element of the design, I do feel my skills are getting better.

Monday Mandala 12

Mandala_12A lot of lines in this mandala – I’m still experimenting with elements and motifs.  I call it experimenting, but really it’s getting lost in the zone when I’m drawing.

This isn’t one of my favorite designs, but looking at it closely, I might feel differently if I colored it in.  It does have a lot of nooks and crannies for coloring.

The pattern feels too repetitive to me, even though I did that on purpose.  Maybe that’s why it doesn’t appeal – too many similarities.

iColorama Experiment

I wrote before about buying the iColorama app for my iPad.  I haven’t had much time to learn its features, but I have spent a few moments here and there mucking about in it.

I know that many people color digitally, so I want to make my coloring mandala designs digitally friendly to appeal to as many customers as possible.

I took one of my Mandala Monday designs and colored it in with my Procreate app.

Mandala 10 Colored ProcreateHere’s what it looks like straight out of Procreate.  I just used the color bucket drag-n-drop feature to color in the various pieces.  I like the way it turned out, but I wanted to see if I could add to it using the iColorama app.

So I opened the colored mandala in iColorama and then started playing around with various options.  I had tried the paper texture previously and liked it, so I started with that.

Mandala 10 Paper Texture iColoramaI really like the paper texture – I can almost feel the ridges of the paper under my fingertips when I look at this image.  It still seemed kind of flat, though, so I kept trying other filters and options.

This is what I ended up with:

Mandala 10 Final iColoramaI wanted to share what filter I used, but I didn’t note it before I saved the image, and now I can’t remember. 😦  Getting older has its downsides. 😛

Even though I can’t remember what filter I used, I’m happy with the final result.  The image now pops and the paper texture I used makes it look like a photo of a physical art piece, which is pretty cool.

I’m definitely going to have to carve out some time to watch some tutorials on iColorama, because I think it will be an amazing tool to use with my designs.

A Different Shade of Blue

When I set out to color one of my Mandala Monday designs, I decided that I wanted it to be all shades of one color.

Blue seemed fun, so I chose that.  I colored the same mandala in a blue color scheme in both traditional colored pencils and digitally using my Procreate app.  You can see the Procreate digitally colored version here.

Of course, it takes a lot longer to color with traditional pencils than it does with a digital program where you can drag and drop large blocks of color.  But I’ve always enjoyed coloring, even in my teens and 20’s.  I loved it so much that my parents bought me a set of Prismacolor Art Pencils as a Christmas present one year while I was still in high school.

I have no idea how much my parents paid for those pencils, but they are still with me after all these years.  Some have gotten a lot of use and are now short, stubby pencils, and some still haven’t even been used.  I’ve thought about buying a new set, but dang,  those suckers are expensive!

I can’t even find a 120 pencil set, which is what I have.  But a set with 150 Prismacolor pencils is $100 or more on Amazon, and I’ve seen them for even more than that in brick and mortar stores.

Pencils aside, I had a lot of fun coloring.  I like the colored pencil version more than the digital version.  I think because you can see the variations in color and texture in the pencil version.

IMG_0462

What do you think?  Which version do you prefer?

Photo Fail

I’ve been working on drawing and coloring mandalas, experimenting with all the different ways to use them so that I can get an idea of what people who purchase them might want to do with them.

I printed out a couple of my Monday Mandalas from this blog and colored them in with my favorite colored pencils.  I wanted to take a photo of them and show you how they turned out.

Unfortunately for me, my photo skills aren’t up to par and apparently neither are my photo editing skills.  I’ve taken a million photos and I can’t seem to get the paper to look white – there’s always a weird yellow cast.  I’ve tried editing the photo, but whatever I do also affects the colors I used on the mandala, which I don’t want.

So, after much frustration and face-palming, I’ve decided that this is a fail that I need to accept and move on from.  The photo itself wasn’t the point, the experience of coloring it in was.

The failed photo:

Colored Mandala MeSee how it’s dark on the right side?  So, clearly, one of the things I need to work on is how to take better digital photos, especially if I’m going to be posting some of my designs for sale on Etsy.

Ignoring the lighting fail, actually coloring in the mandala went well.  This one is a fairly simple design, but that meant that I could color it in quickly, which is nice.  I like how it turned out, even if my photo skills don’t do it justice.

Maybe I’ll try taking some of the photos with my digital camera rather than my phone and see if that works better.  In the meantime, I’m also experimenting with layering some of my designs and turning those into coloring pages.  Hopefully I’ll have something to post about that here soon.

Mandala Monday 7

Mandala_7Again, more experimentation with variations of shapes, rather than the more traditional circular mandalas.  I think I started off thinking about a feather motif and then it morphed into more leaves and flowers.

That’s all part of the process, I think.  Getting into the feel and flow of creating the mandala, rather than being focused on forcing into something preconceived.

I haven’t actually drawn one just for fun in a while, as I’ve been concentrating on producing ones for a coloring book.  I think I need to draw a couple that are just for fun – find my mandala mojo again!