Irojiten Pencils

14 Comments

Today I want to share a project I made six years ago. And I think it’s about time to give this another go because it was that much fun!

I want to walk you through how I made this mandala using just a couple simple supplies.

I started out with the plan to make a mandala filled with tangles. For supplies I knew I wanted to use my Irojiten colored pencils from Tombow. And I had a plan for utilizing templates.

Specifically quilting templates. I purchased these at Joanne’s Fabrics back in the day. It dawned on me these templates would make great mandala templates. I started pulling them off the rack at the store and began layering them on top of each other. I was looking to see what would match up together and look like a mandala. I ended up using the two templates you see above.

I placed one quilt template onto my paper and traced within the lines. Then I played with the second template – moving it around until it lined up with the first one in a pleasing format. Then I traced those lines. I did not use all the lines from both templates – just the ones that looked like they went together.

Next I started filling in lines, connecting paths that seemed to go together. A flower began to appear. So I added small leaves and started outlining some larger ones.

A few more lines made the larger leaves more distinct and dramatic.

Looking over the lines brought to mind some tangle patterns that would work in the various areas. Purk became seed pods. Phicops made flower petals. Some simple linework finished off those larger leaves.

Once I had the flower mandala looking the way I wanted it to, I turned to my Japanese irojiten coloring pencils to start layering in some color.

These are some pretty incredible pencils. Not watercolor pencils just beautiful coloring pencils. The shading and color variations come from dropping in multiple layers of color.

This was just the second time I tried the irojiten pencils – so not perfection but pleasing at least.

I used five different colors to lay down a technique called scrumbling around the outside. Scrumbling gives a drop-shadow kind of cast to the mandala.

All in all I used 15 different pencils. I love the way this mandala turned out. Maybe I will make another once I start my use-up-all-the-stencils project. Hahahaha! If I can do this – you can do this!

Irojiten Pencils

14 thoughts on “Irojiten Pencils

  1. Very clever and so pretty❣️ Love using items for different things than what they were created for, you are very good at that.

  2. Wow that is nice. Thanks for reviewing it. you are so creative and such an artist.

  3. Especially love your use of those greens & the way the smaller leaves toward the centre echo the larger outer ones. I like the way you moved from mauve to blue to pink too.

    • this was fun and I really need to do it again. pull those pencils out. I almost gave them away – glad I did not

  4. Great post for two reasons – one, I’ve recently drawn a couple of roughly freehand (there was a basic grid but nothing more) Zendalas and really enjoyed the process. And secondly because I love my Irojiten pencils – the full sets of those were one of the few big investments I made. They are harder than other pencils, and are often overshadowed by the buttery big names but they have such great colours and the hardness allows more precision for me.

    • I should use mine more than I do. they are really incredibly good pencils.

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