Saturday, 31 May 2014

More Celtic Mandalas

Have got the hang of this Celtic thing now. These two are variations on a theme. They both started with the same pattern but one has been done in a free hand style (though not free hand - still done on paint.net) with gaps between the knot work and the second has been done more formally with no gaps. The centre of the first one is actually my tattoo.

Celtic mandala in orange on yellow background with central cross

Celtic mandala in red, green, blue and yellow with central design surrounded by bands of celtic knotwork

Friday, 30 May 2014

Tree of Life or Octopus mandala?

I spent some time on mandalas again this week and this one was inspired by the tree of life design although I can't help thinking it looks more like an octopus.


I based it loosely on the window below which is very, very beautiful. It is in the Sidi Saiyyad Mosque, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Absolutely remarkable craftsmanship.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Zentangle - String Circles

This is my tile for the weekly challenge run by 'I am the Diva'. This is number #169 and the challenge was to use circles for the string.

Since this is my first entry using this blog I'm hoping I manage to attach it right. I've been trying to add her challenge button but with no success - will have to look up how to do it. In the mean time, the link to her blog is here. Edit - sorted it - button should be there now.

Zentangle design featuring overlapping rings


Monday, 26 May 2014

Celtic inspired mandala designs

I love Celtic patterns. In fact my one and only tattoo is a Celtic cross. I have often drawn Celtic patterns in a square or line, but persuading one to go in a circle took me literally hours and hours of trial and error. Anyway, I was quite pleased with the result.

Celtic mandala in red, blue and yellow

Struggles with colour - mandalas

Time after time I design a mandala which I'm really pleased with, then I colour it in and hate it. I just don't seem to have an eye for colour the way some people do. As an example, here are three colour variations of the same Mandala. I think the last one is my favourite but I'm not particularly happy with any of them.






Incidentally, the above design is based on an early seventh Anglo Saxon brooch found at Kingston Down and held at Liverpool museum.


I am the Diva zentangle challenges

Every week Laura Harms at I am the Diva  publishes a zentangle challenge. It's a lovely way to stretch yourself a bit as it makes you use tangles you might not use otherwise. I had given up on Punzel as being too difficult until Laura put it into one of her challenges and now it's one of my favourites. It's also great to look at other people's entries as it gives you loads of ideas (and inevitable makes you wish you were better at it!)

The three designs below are all responses to the Diva's challenges. They are all scans and have not been digitally altered apart from a tiny bit of brightening where the image was a bit dark at times.

This one was a response to the theme 'earth day'. It include Mooka, Sandswirl and Sanibelle. I particularly like the fact that I managed to leave some white space though I wish I'd curved the top right hand side of it. Never happy!

Zentangle featuring Mooka, Sandswirl and Sanibelle

This was a challenge to use Punzel and Well. It took me about a week of practising Punzel before I was happy with it. House was a total mess by the end. (Nothing new there then.) 

Zentangle featuring punzel and well

The last one is for the challenge to use Somnee, which is a tangle designed by Laura Harms (the Diva). I've teamed it with Vigne and something else which may well have a name but I'm not sure. Just to give you an idea of size, the sketch book is about 21cm x 15cm. I attempted some shading in this one - verdict - successful in places. 

Zentangle using somnee and vigne



Art Deco mandala and Ivy mandala

I was quite keen to use some art nouveau style ideas to create a mandala, and then I realised that I didn't know the difference between art nouveau and art deco. I'm still not entirely sure but the mandala below is definitely more deco than nouveau!

Art deco inspired mandala in blues and purples

It's not based on any one source. I started out with the triangular wedge shaped sections and went from there. 

In the same way, but completely different style, the design below started out with one ivy leaf, and then grew. 

Mandala featuring blue and red roses and green ivy trail

This is one of the few pieces I've done where I actually quite like the colour. 

Islamic inspired mandalas

When I began designing mandalas I tended to just make it up as I went along, but I soon found that I had better luck if I used source materials. I came across some pictures of beautiful Islamic tiles and had a go at translating the designs into mandalas. This is the first one I did.


Mandala inspired by Islamic tile

As you can see, it's more or less a copy of the tile I found, which is a 15th Century Islamic tile in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Blue, brown and cream Islamic tile

I did a couple of other similar ones, and then I found a picture of a beautiful carved wall tile from the Alhambra Palace in Spain. This is the tile:

Intricate carved design in Islamic style

And this is the mandala I designed based on it. I tried to keep the colours neutral as I didn't feel the intricate design needed much colour.

Brown and fawn mandala


Friday, 23 May 2014

Christian inspired mandala

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is my favourite museum. On a recent trip there with my daughter I took some photos of some stained glass and also of a silver alter cross. I can't for the life of me find the pictures now but here is the mandala I designed based on the alter cross.

mandala inspired by Christian cross

I'm not really happy with the colours I've used - but then I never am.