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.

Monday Mandala 11

Mandala_11I’m actually pretty pleased with the way this mandala turned out.  The Monday mandalas give me a way to try different things without worrying about whether it’s sellable (that’s not a word, but you get what I mean).  I like the play of all the circles and arcs in this one.

I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out what platforms I want to use to try and sell some of my designs.  I’m actually thinking of trying to put them together in a book to sell on Amazon.  Which seems kind of crazy, but what have I got to lose?

I’m looking at a few other platforms as well, including Etsy and some print-on-demand sites.

What are your preferred platforms for selling?

Mandala Monday 10

Mandala_10I’ve hit double digits! This mandala was a lot of fun to draw.  I keep saying that, I know, but being able to produce something creative like this feeds my soul in a way I’ve been missing.

I’m a bit OCD and the symmetry of the mandalas satisfies my need for organization and order.  Which is funny to say, because as I look at some of the mandalas I’ve drawn, some of them seem kind of chaotic.

But – there is order underneath the apparent chaos.

And that makes me happy. 😀

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?

Mandala Monday 9

Mandala_9I can’t believe I’ve already done 9 mandalas for Mandala Mondays!  I mean, I’ve drawn way more than that, but it seems like the weeks have flown by lately.

The older I get, the faster time seems to go.  Which is ironic, since in my experience older people tend to move slower.  Maybe they think they’re going fast, since time is relative? 😛

This mandala is kind of a mish-mash of things.  I was trying out different elements and seeing what I liked, what I didn’t, what I was good at drawing, and what I wasn’t.  The ones I create for Mandala Monday tend to be simpler and not as ornate as the ones I’m drawing for coloring pages (for obvious reasons).

I can sit down in front of the TV while my husband watches football and draw.  It’s actually relaxing and I can usually get at least 2 done in the course of one game.  I’m looking forward to challenging myself to keep this up as long as I can.

Consistency is key!

Mandala Monday 8

Mandala_8This mandala is a little different than the ones I’ve been drawing before.  I’m trying to experiment with various motifs and elements.  Some I like better than others.

I like the interior pieces of this design, but I’m not as happy with the elements towards the outer edge.  Ah, well, that’s why I’m doing this – experiment, experiment, experiment!

You’ve heard that old adage about needing to practice something for 10,000 hours before you’re good at it?  I’m not anywhere close to 10,000 hours yet, so it’s okay if it’s not exactly the way I want it to be.  It gives me something to strive for, and that’s something we all need, I think.

Happy Monday!

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.

iColorama App

One of the blogs I read uses the iColorama app for digital art.  It looked intriguing and it wasn’t expensive ($3.99 if I remember correctly), so I bought it.  It’s not exactly what I thought it would be and it’s gonna take some time to learn it, but I can’t wait to play around with it.

My Procreate app is more like a scaled-down version of Photoshop for my iPad.  It uses layers like PS, it has a lot of the same filters and options as PS, and it works really well on my iPad, so it’s easy to take my drawing on the go with me.

iColorama doesn’t use layers, but it does have a lot of options for textures, filters, and the like.  I’m still figuring out how it works (hello, YouTube tutorials), but I’ve had fun just experimenting with some of the easy stuff.

(Side note – the iColorama app is the one you want for the iPad.  There is an iColorama S version out there that appears to be for your iPhone – make sure you’re getting the correct one for what you want!)

I tried out coloring one of my mandalas digitally with Procreate, but I wanted to see what I could do with the iColorama app.  Granted, I haven’t had much time at all to play with it, so I really just played with a couple of filters and textures, but it looks like a tool I will definitely use more once I understand how it works. 😀

So I took my Mandala 6 over into iColorama.  Here’s what I ended up with:

IColorama Paper MandalaIt’s the colored mandala I made in Procreate, but I added a texture filter in iColorama to make it look like this was colored/inked/painted on paper.  Pretty cool! Like I said, I still need to spend some time learning how to use iColorama, but I’m excited to have another tool in my box to use when I create.