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Lesson Video: Mandalas

Mandalas

This lesson looks at mandalas from Native American, Buddhist, and Hindu cultures.  The patterns and designs are metaphors for the philosophical and religious beliefs of these cultures.  Their are striking parallels between the Asian and Native American designs.  You will compare and contrast the cultures by studying the mandala's meaning. Think about how you can create a mandala that expresses a theme of importance to you.

Practice

Traditional mandalas are based on distinct geometric patterns.  Finding the correct proportions often requires measurement for the perfectionists.  This lesson is excellent for those wanting to explore the complexity of geometric design.

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Sketches

These outlines show a starting point for a mandala design.

Sketches

Sketches for this assignment can be done with less or more precision.  If you want your mandala to come out with clean lines and perfect shapes, use drawing tools even in the sketching process.

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Artwork

This mandala combines the Native American style with Buddhist color symbolism.  Combining cultures can be a fun way to create original designs.

Final Artwork

Many students have done this assignment as painting and as tissue paper collage.  Mandalas are two-dimensional and lend themselves to many media options.  If you want to make a mandala similar to a dream catcher, then some flexible twigs and thread could also be an option.