Let’s Build a Mandala From Scratch


I was looking at an old cell phone and found this set of photos that I never posted. From back in December, 2014 – they are almost five years old. This is still one of my favorite pieces – mostly because of the sparkly color, hahaha! – but also because of how simply this mandala came together. Let’s look at it step by step.

My dear friend Sandy Hunter had mailed me some round mandala blanks and I really wanted to work on one. Fairly certain the color is Color Bloom Sprays from Prima because I was using those a lot back then. And, if you didn’t already know – I am totally about making life easier. My circle drawing skills just never really developed, so I cheat and use items around my house. I am fairly certain I used a roll of washi tape and traced the outer and inner circle for template lines here. That is a good starting point, then I tangled Zander inside that washi tape shape.

Around that I added two more pencil circles – most likely tracing small cups. Then added a simple band of flying geese without the lines.

Staying with the shape of the flying geese, I added a row of half moons. Super simple tangling. I didn’t know many patterns back then. And that is part of the point in this post – you do not need to know a lot of patterns to make a piece of art. Not even to make a mandala.

From there I just added some flux shapes extending outward from between the moons. This entire piece is about six inches in diameter.

Added auras inside the flux and a blackened orb between each of the flux. Nothing hard here at all.

Look at the difference between this photo and the one before. All of a sudden it looks busier and like it was more difficult to tangle. When all I did really was to add auras between the bottoms of each set of flux and a line and dot inside the flux itself. And boom! it looks harder! Just like magic!

From there I added a thick line of color around the entire outside, keeping to the shapes made by the orbs.

Finally you can see the shape of the mandala round tile. I have no idea why I took the photos the way I did cutting out the sides of the paper. Hahaha! I have learned a lot since then. Ok, flux and fescue added – those are easy to draw.

And little stacks of printemps. Even five years ago I was drawing printemps in my art. Hahaha! Who knew!

I liked how it looked at that point, but something was missing. I added some msst around the outer edges and connected the floating Zander piece to the rest of the mandala with some lines and called it done. Love, love , love! And it was so easy to put together. If you are a new tangler – you can totally do what I just showed you. I challenge you to make your own mandala. And if you are a more advanced tangler, you already know what I didn’t back then. Shading. Hahahaha! I don’t think I knew anything about shading five years ago. Today I would shade this piece but that doesn’t change how much I love it! Building a mandala from scratch? Not so scary when you take it one step at a time.

Prima Color Bloom Spray

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Build a Mandala From Scratch

  1. Lovely. I will have to attempt another mandala. They are interesting. Thank you for all you do❣️?

    • you are welcome! and thank you for leaving me comments every day. I look forward to reading them

  2. A great post Alice – and it reminded me – I think it was in your group – years ago – after the Stacked group it was about tangling circles and I my first freehand zendala in response. I just looked them up in my images folder and they are so simple and naive compared to what I do now. Love seeing how we all grow in confidence and skill. Haven’t done one in a long time since – I think that needs to change!

    • I did do a free-hand mandala post way back when and I started it in this group so yes, that was probably it. it is fun to go back and look at past work and think about how we’d change it up now that we know more.

  3. Even then you were drawing Printemps in your signature style!!! I know you’ve done a video tutorial which I shall search out – when/if you get back to doing those could you do Indyrella as well – yours are all all so well behaved, I’m having finding them swimming in all directions & not in an orderly fashion at all.
    Love the orange with the black & I know you’d be adding some white these days too………. It’s great keeping things like this for then you really can see how far you’ve come. When/if you have time (middle of night??) you could do another with the shading & white??? Sorry – running away with ideas here & I don’t even manage tangling time, sorry been absent a bit – doing extra in shop with Bible Camp season plus staff holidays.

    • I have missed you 🙂 thought about that yesterday that we haven’t been talking much lately. the book is with the publisher – yayayay!!! – and I am lost. I don’t know what to do to fill in my time. maybe make some color and I should go back and do this again. it was a lot of fun

    • thank you, kris, now that the book is with the publisher I almost feel lost. I don’t know what to do today.

  4. These piece works well without adding shading becasue the tangles you chose around the edge of each ring give the same feeling! Terrific mandala!s

  5. So glad you posted this Alice. Beautiful and creative, but the part that caught my attention was the name Zander.
    I have an 8 yr old adorable great grandson by the name of Zander. Will be sure to share this with him!
    Blessings, Marilyn

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