No need to buy art supplies – the world around you provides all the things you need to create beautiful mandalas!
A mandala is a geometric configuration of shapes. In some cultures, the designs have spiritual and political meanings. The word mandala is from a Sanskit word that means "circle." While they may be made of different materials and colors, they all have radial symmetry in common: the artwork radiates outward from the center.
If you're able, spend some time outside collecting natural materials. Leaves, pinecones, petals, rocks, are twigs are great items for your artist's palette. If you can't go out, search your home for items that come in multiples such as silverware, cups, bowls, toothbrushes, crayons, socks, coins, and raisins. Try to find objects of varying shapes, sizes, and colors.
Referring to the diagrams of underlying structures and our examples, lay out the items you've collected in an organized way on a flat surface in a non-windy area. Try different orientations and layers. Put on your designer hat and think about the fundamental principles of design: alignment, hierarchy, contrast, repetition, proximity, balance, color, and space.
Creating a mandala can be a quiet and reflective activity. Like arranging flowers, there are an infinite number of ways to make a mandala. Enjoy the process of finding balance in your composition. Part of the beauty and heightened appreciation of these creations is their temporary and fleeting presence. Artists who use natural materials are called environmental artists.
Download Mara Lea Brown's mandala coloring page: