“How do your mandalas grow”

hdymg-1This layout marks my final layout for the month of July. While I didn’t do a layout every single day as I did in June, I’m still proud of myself that I managed 15 for the entire month. That’s around an average of three layouts a week.

As I described in my previous post, I did this layout as primarily Zentangles because I wanted the mental, meditative break it afforded. No figuring out what special color to add, or if I should add down a layer of acrylics and then stencil on something with modeling paste. Just. Draw. Tangles. Or more specifically in this case, my tangles were primarily mandalas.

At one point I was intending to fill every inch of the layout with a tangle design, but by the time I got close to finishing the layout as you see it currently, I decided I liked the breathing room some of the white space in the upper portion of the design created, so I left it that way. In all I tried to sort of make it look like the design progressed from open space down into the filled portions at the bottom of the layout, perhaps like it was snowing mandalas.

The rough tooth of the gesso tore up the nib of my Sharpie pen. It’s difficult to tell, but you can see how the ink skipped on the page – the fine lines are not solid – and that is a result of the tooth of the gesso interfering with the nib of the pen. The nib on that pen should be three times as large as what you see in the photo.

There’s not a whole lot of special techniques to share with this layout. I will say one thing I learned painfully with this layout: Sharpie pens and gesso do not mix. In fact the gesso tore up and destroyed one of my Sharpie pens. I was so mad at the gesso I was flipping the page off, yelling “F-you, gesso!” I wizened up, fortunately, towards the beginning of layout and smeared the entire thing with a generous layer of gel medium to give my Sharpie pen a smooth surface to work on. The only challenge I ran into, then, is that the non-porous surface increased the time it took the Sharpie ink to dry so I just had to be mindful while working around the page to put down a paper shield between my hand and freshly drawn areas to avoid smudging the ink (and getting it all over the side of my hand.)

Start of the layout with spray inks and lines drawn at random across the page to mark tangling areas.

Initial steps with his page were: gesso it. Spray it with spray inks in pinkish-red, yellow, and gold to sort of match the colors on the opposing page (the Butterflies layout,) dry it, draw some initial lines across the page to mark tangling areas, curse the gesso vehemently as it chewed up and destroyed my Sharpie, coat the whole page with gel medium, then just get meditative and draw pretty mandalas all over the page.


Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!


List of materials:

Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Mod Podge
Liquitex clear gesso
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Distress ink
Sharpie Pen

One thought on ““How do your mandalas grow”

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