Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cherrywood's Lion King Challenge Part 2: The Mandala Design

Time to Create My Mandala Design
Now that I had my palette of abstract animal prints prepared, I needed to tackle a mandala design to house them all!

In additional to researching animal print designs, I was also busy researching African culture, symbols and art via Pinterest and my local library.  As I uncovered a cool design or motif, I would add it to my sketchbook with a few notes for future reference.  I found a lot of inspiration within the Adinkra symbols that are used with African textiles!  Many of them would translate nicely into shapes and/or free motion quilting designs within my mandala!


Two full journal pages worth of inspiration was exciting but also a bit overwhelming!  Moreoever, there was little hope of fitting them all into a 20"x20" quilt as required by the challenge rules.  To help with organization, I created flash cards that I pinned to a small design board.  My favorites were typically pinned along the top/center.
Design Inspiration & Organization!




















Whenever I started sketching a new draft, I would gather a few cards containing my favorite motifs and once they were incorporated into my design, I would remove them from the design board.  When it was time to start a new mandala design, all cards were returned to the design board and the process recommenced.

As you can see, I went through several reiterations of my mandala designs.  You will likely recognize which motifs were my favorites, as they reappear over and over.  As I kept hitting a design dilemma, I opted to take a little break and return with fresh eyes and a fresh start!
Mandala Drafts & Duds
After all these dead end designs, I needed to find a way to simplify my mandala design process.  Initially I would sketch out the entire mandala and all 4-8 repetitions.  And when I encountered a mistake, I would then need to erase all 4-8 repetitions and draw 4-8 new repetitions.  This proved to be both very wasteful as well as frustrating!!  And here is when I had my a-ha moment...why not use a set of hinged mirrors and simply draw one quadrant only!?!?
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall--Who's the Smart One Now?!?
After 4-5 mandala designs, I was narrowing down on which designs, order and flow worked and which needed to be scrapped entirely!  Thanks to my brief break, I was able to sit down and start anew and watch my mandala emerge...alleluiah!  I was so excited about my newest mandala design that I got ahead of myself and started to add color (which turned out to be too soon and all wrong!).  But it was easy enough to create a black and white master copy.  I used a black marker to indicate outline of shapes and a finer black pen to depict free motion quilting designs.
Master Mandala Complete!!
My next post will cover how I incorporate my abstract animal prints, accent Cherrywood colors and free motion quilted texture into the final design!!
Ready to Transform My Master Mandala into Color, Texture and Pattern!!

4 comments:

  1. Oh, Mel, love where you are going with this!

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    1. Thanks Paige...I had a lot of fun working on this challenge. I am working on the final reveal post, which I hope to make available later today!!

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  2. So interesting to see your design process!

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    1. Thanks Jill--I am glad you are enjoying the process part. It is a fairly small piece (20"square) which required considerable planning/design to make a visual impact. Hoping do the final post with the big reveal later today...stay tuned!!

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