My latest sketchbook drawing: a dragon’s egg staying warm by a hot spring. Copic marker, black micron pens, white Sharpie water based paint pen, and a gold metallic crayola marker.
There’s something primal about this one. A new mandala in the colors of soil and love.
The mandala was laid out in black pigma micron pen over lightly-drawn pencil guidelines. If you’re interested in trying this, I’ve posted free step-by-step instructions showing one way to draw symmetrical mandalas.
After it was laid out I erased the guidelines and started coloring with Copic markers.
Finally, I touched it up and added details with black Sharpies and a white Sakura gelly roll pen. Why start with micron pens but finish with Sharpie? Because micron pens can be colored over with alcohol markers without bleeding. Sharpies are cheaper but are also alcohol based, so they can’t be added until the other alcohol markers have dried. I use them when I can, but only when I’m through with the other alcohol markers.
Drawing mandalas is relaxing and therapeutic, and the finished product can be extremely beautiful. From colorful to black-and-white, from simple to extraordinarily elaborate, there is infinite room for variety in this soothing art form. Sometimes it’s fun to simply doodle mandalas freehand, but when you’d like to be sure that your work is symmetrical there is an easy technique to help you do so.
This may look like a lot of steps, but once you get started you will find it almost intuitive. Personally, I find drawing the guidelines themselves to be very relaxing.
You will need:
- A compass that locks into position
- A ruler
- A pencil for drawing guidelines. If you have a hard drawing pencil, better yet.
- A good pencil eraser.
- A pen or marker for drawing the mandala. You might like black sharpies, black multiliner pens, or other bold inks with good staying power.
- Something for coloring your mandala, if desired.
IMPORTANT: Draw all of the pencil lines as lightly as possible as they will all be erased later. If you have a hard drawing pencil rather than a regular #2, it will make the erasing even easier.
1. Mark a point near the center of your paper. This will be the center point of your mandala. Use your compass to draw a circle about 1/3 the width of your paper.
I had a chance yesterday to try out some Derwent Inktense pencils and I have to say I am blown away. I used these mostly on a brush and found them to be extremely soluble, vivid, and simply a joy to use. Just a touch of the wet brush to the pencil tip was enough to cover it with rich, vibrant color. In fact, the color was so strong that in order to produce the lighter colors in this picture I had to dilute the pigment further by dipping the loaded brush in water again. I just loved these and plan to play with them again soon.
The dots on the dominoes show how dark the color can go by applying the pencil directly to a wet surface or by dipping the pencil tip in water and applying directly. The dominoes were colored with a marker, the rest of the color is from the Inktense pencils.
As for the subject matter? Some of my favorite times this winter break involved tea and Dominoes with my family. The tea was even more enjoyable than usual because we all had nasty colds, and if you drink tea you know how a hot cup of tea looks like a little hero coming to save your day when you’re sick. There are some pretty good memories from the end of 2015 in this picture!
I’ve uploaded some cool new repeating patterns to my RedBubble shop. These patterns are available as phone & laptop cases, duvet covers, scarves, bags, journals and more.
My Summer Whimsy illustration is now available as prints, notecards, and on many other products in my Red Bubble shop.