Mandalas Everywhere

When I started my mandala YouTube channel, I wasn’t sure how it would work and how I would feel about it. Drawing is often one of those things where I do a lot all at once because I’m inspired, but then it might be several days or a week before I feel like drawing again.

Before I started the channel, I decided that I would begin with a fairly light publishing schedule – just twice a week, because more than that seemed daunting. And for the first few weeks, it seemed like a good choice, because it was taking me about 20-30 minutes to draw something. Normally, the time it takes me to draw something is mostly irrelevant, since I only posted here for the most part. Occasionally I’ll remember to add them to my Pinterest, but that’s not a given.

However, I wanted my videos to be shorter than that, so I was spending a lot of time editing them down to make them around 10-15 minutes. Last week, I challenged myself to do some speed drawing. How fast could I draw some mandalas? Could I spend less time drawing so that I could then spend less time editing?

So I sat down and started filming. The first mandala took about the same amount of time as usual. However, I was using a reference photo and was getting frustrated when things weren’t going the way I wanted. I decided to ditch the reference photos and just draw.

It helped that I was home alone, so I could really focus on what I was doing, and not worry about being interrupted while I was filming. The next mandala took about 9 minutes, so a little better, but not great. I tried a few more and eventually got down to just 5 minutes. Now, I don’t want to draw that fast all the time, because I often want more details than I can get in that time, but it was nice to know that if I need to draw quickly, I can.

Plus, the quicker I can draw, the more videos I can put out – which seems to be how you succeed at the YouTubing – more content, more content, more content. 😀 So now that I know I can get more done, I am going to try and post a bit more often than twice a week on YouTube. I don’t think I’m ready for posting a video every day yet, but I might get there eventually.

More Dots!

In addition to the regular Monday Mandalas I draw, I also like to play around with dotted mandalas.

I first saw this technique on a YouTube channel, and she uses physical paints rather than making digital designs. However, the concepts are the same, and I’ve had a lot of fun playing around in Procreate with them.

I like the color palette of this one, though the middle of it does remind me of an old rotary phone dial. 😀 Using Procreate for these makes it really easy to make the dots all a uniform size – I’m sure there’s much more of a learning curve when doing these with paint.

It is relaxing to just play around with the colors and sizes and patterns when making these. Now that I think about it, it’s kind of reminiscent of diamond painting. Or maybe I just have diamond painting on the brain. 😛

It’s always amazing to me how differently these all turn out. This color palette reminds me of Dippin’ Dots – you know, that ice cream treat that’s made out of various flavors of dots mixed together? Not sure what flavor this would be – Neopolitan, maybe? In any case, it’s fun and relaxing to sit down and just doodle some of these into existence.

Finding Time

I’m still struggling to find time to do everything I want to. We did finally start on the paperwork for our move to Canada, so that’s good. I’m hoping it’s less work than getting my husband’s permanent residency here. It’s less expensive, at least. 😀

I’m still plugging away on lesson planning. I enjoy it, but I’m getting a little burnt out. I have 3 more weeks to do to get through the end of the year. I think I’m finally starting to figure out how to make the process as quick as possible, even with all our COVID restrictions. I’d like to be further ahead than I am, so I don’t feel guilty working on other projects.

I’d love to get back to my mini painting, especially since I’m so close to finishing off my pile of forgotten minis. Then I could open up my CR minis and get those done. We’ve been playing online, so I haven’t needed to purchase any new ones.

I also have lots of other projects I want to get done, but it’s hard to justify the time when it means putting off work I’m actually getting paid for. 🤨

In the meantime, I am still drawing and playing around with dot mandalas.

I like the color palette of this one. It reminds me of ice cream cones for some reason. I enjoy drawing these a lot. I wish I had time to do more.

Also, I splurged and bought myself a new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to go with it. I can’t wait til it gets here!

Abandoning Amaziograph

Amaziograph 3I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with the Amaziograph app – especially since it’s made for making mandalas.  It has a lot more options than Procreate in its radial symmetry, but I just can’t get over the shakiness of the lines.

That’s not Amaziograph’s fault – it’s mine, because I have shaky hands.  And, unfortunately, the older I get, the worse the tremors get.  With Procreate, I can adjust the line smoothing to account for that – with Amaziograph, I can’t.

So for making my mandalas, I’m going to stick with Procreate.  I’ll still use Amaziograph now and then, but it won’t be the go-to tool that I thought it would be when I got it.

I do have my eye on another program I discovered the other day, called iOrnament.  I haven’t purchased it yet, but I will in the next week or so.  After I’ve had a chance to play around in it, I’ll post something here.  It looks a lot like Amaziograph, with the options to do tessellations and such.

I saw a coloring book at the grocery store today titled ‘Kaleidoscope Coloring.’  It was a bunch of animals with zentangle doodles for coloring.  Guess I’ll add ‘kaleidoscope’ to my Etsy tags, lol.

Digital Coloring – Mandala 27

As I continue to draw mandalas, I’m still learning what elements lend themselves to coloring and how many details I should put in to make the final product more pleasing to the eye.

I’ve stated before that I suck at picking out color palettes, so I’ve saved lots of them to my iPad.  When I get ready to color, I can just swatch the colors from the color palette and everything hangs together.

Mandala_27_ColoredColoring in Procreate (and coloring in general) is very calming for me.  I can find my zen and just let everything else be while I work.  I had fun coloring this mandala, although I wish I had picked a color palette with one or two additional colors.  There are enough details that making it all work with my limited palette was a challenge.

I think it turned out well, though.  😛

Shaky

I wanted to try working on mandalas in Amaziograph again.  It has a lot of options that I just can’t easily replicate in Procreate.  So I spent some time fiddling around.

Amaziograph 2

Ok, weird.  Not sure why it’s cut off in the image, since it wasn’t that way in the program.  But I’ve already deleted the original, so – here it is.  😛

The inner parts are good, if kind of plain.  I was playing around with line weights, as you can see.  Unfortunately, Amaziograph doesn’t have the line smoothing like Procreate does.  So my occasional shakiness is more apparent than I’d like.

Maybe I’ll do some initial designs/drawings in Amaziograph and then push them over into Procreate and make the final images there.  That could work.

Mandala Fresco

More experimentation with digitally coloring the mandalas.  Anne over at Anne’s Immaterium had asked about using one of my designs in a D&D game, which I thought sounded fun.

I started thinking about how I might use them myself, and then I decided to see what they might look like.  So I colored in one of the designs in Procreate.

Mandala 30 Colored

Nice, but not exactly what I had in mind.  So, I opened iColorama and played around with various filters and things there until I had something I liked.

After a few false starts, here is what I ended up with:

Mandala 30 Frescoed

I like how it looks like a fresco or something you’d find painted on an old wall.  It looks like some of the paint has been worn off – by time, people touching it, who knows?

Mandala 21 – Colored

The last few weeks I’ve spent some time playing around in Procreate and iColorama to digitally color some of my mandalas.  Experimenting with the different color palettes in Coolors has been fun, too.

Mandala_21_Colored

I really like the color palette of this mandala, though I think I should have made the gradient a bit more subtle.  The coloring does highlight the design elements of the mandala, which is nice.  The technique here is good, but I think I prefer actually coloring in pieces of the design, rather than coloring the lines.

Progress

Download Success
Credit: Pixabay

During the holidays, I tried to take advantage of my free time to create and be productive.  I made some progress.  I wanted to have 10 products ready to go, and so far I’ve gotten 4 of them done.  They all have some things I want to tweak, but I’m forcing myself to move on to another item.  If I don’t, I’ll spend all my time tweaking instead of working on new things.  I can always go back and tweak them later, once I’ve got some spare time.

I’ve also spent time learning.  I’ve been playing around with digitally coloring my mandalas, I’ve done some more exploring in iColorama, and this weekend I taught myself how to make my own SVG files to use in my Silhouette Design software.

I’ve added in social media for the business (find me on Pinterest, Ello, Twitter and Ko-Fi) and it is keeping me busy.  Not too busy to experiment, though. 😛

I decided to take Mandala 25 and color it digitally.  Here’s how it turned out:

Mandala 25 Colored

Once I was done coloring it, I decided to try out iColorama again.  I’ve watched a few videos on how to use and discovered all the amazing presets – something I somehow missed the first few times I used it.

I wanted to add some texture and depth to the image.  I shifted the colors a bit, using one of those presets, and I added some texture using a couple of different filters.  I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out:

Mandala 25 colored

It looks like a piece of printed fabric, or perhaps a needlepoint someone stitched. I’ve still got a list of things I want to try out, including using some overlays and filters in Procreate to color in some of the mandalas.  But I’m making progress, which is the important thing!