California Mandalas & Index Cards

A few weeks ago I shared a list of the art materials I brought along on our California vacation, The {not.so.complex} Logistics of Art on the Road. So these mandalas and doodles were drawn with a very small subset of my materials. I had painted the backgrounds of a bunch of index cards with gouache the day before we flew to California. These are 3x5" index cards, Sakura Gellyrolls.

Took advantage of the smudge capabilities of the gellyroll.

Drew the mandala to give the illusion that it was "behind" the paint. 

This mandala was drawn outside-in. So I drew the outer triangles first and then worked inward. 98% of my mandalas are drawn from the center or close to the center outward. I stained the card {and the reverse, below} with tea before we left for the trip... another option for prepping backgrounds.

These beaded curtain doodles were drawn with a white Uniball UM-153 marker that I purchased on the road.

I worked on this bloom for a few days! I drew the mandala in black first. Most definitely not symmetrical! Then I colorized it with Sakura Gellyrolls and Uniball 153 pens. This one is definitely over the edge.

Free-hand mandalas are my favorite shape to draw. I work in pen {never pencil} without measuring {never a ruler or compass or any perfectionistic tool}. They are a mental challenge as much as a drawing challenge. With a free-hand, free-form, no-holds-barred doodle you can do whatever you want. No tentative - then erased - then redrawn - then erased - pencil marks. You've just got to go with the marks your pen makes! Just get out a pen and draw. If you draw something you did not intend {like you meant to draw a curvy line but you drew a straight line} just put your brain into problem-solving mode and develop a way to incorporate the un-intended line or shape or mark in the mandala. 

News Flash: Index-Card-a-Day Rocks!

Today I turn the tables, linking to a bunch of wonderful, vibrant blog posts by index-card-a-day challengers. You know that my enthusiasm for this concept is without bounds... but it's not just me!!!

  1. Sleepyhead Design Studios
  2. Agnes Stirrito
  3. Denyse Whelan
  4. Creativity in Motion
  5. Sue's Craft Cupboard
  6. Creative Lenna
  7. Walking Life's Path Again

I believe that bringing creativity into each day makes a difference. I believe that life is better WITH art than without. Facilitating ICAD requires an intense level of behind-the-scenes effort, and it makes it worthwhile to know that it is making a difference.