Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stylized Greek Mandala and sketches


Above is my latest finished mandala. Like all the others it is done with colored pencils and some ink work. I haven't quite settled on a name for this one yet, Slightly Greek, Stylized Greek, Not Quite Greek, any of the 3 would work, but I am also open to suggestions. The reason for the Greek reference is because most of the designs are based on Greek band or border designs I found in the Dover Handbook of Ornament. I have owned this book for more years then I want to admit to, having purchased it in NYC on one of my trips to the city when I lived in CT. The price at the time was 4.50, (it still has the sticker) which I felt was a lot of money and made me think twice about purchasing the book. Now it is less then a paperback novel. Anyway it is one of those classic design reference books that has been around since 1888 when it was first published. Dover first printed it in 1957 but I am not sure when my book was actually printed, probably sometime in the 60's. I have been consulting this book for years for design and pattern ideas. I was originally thinking I wanted to use Art Nouveau designs for this mandala, and even pulled out and reviewed my Dover books that have Nouveau designs, but in the end I went with the older Greek concepts finding them more attractive.

There were times when I was working on this piece that I wasn't very happy with it. But after finishing the two outer rings I decided that I really do like it. The center is a bit busy but since the outer bands aren't I think they counter the visual business of the inner ones successfully. The colors, esp. in the outer bands seem a bit oriental to me, which wasn't really my aim when I selected them. It is part of my design process to pre-select the colors/pencils that I will use in one of my mandalas, I may add or subtract a couple of pencils as I work on the designs but I try to limit the colors being used. Not sure that someone looking at the above image would think I had done that though. It appears that I included half the color wheel in this one. Still I think all the colors are working together, and I don't see how I could have left one out.  Good thing it isn't a fabric design though, the manufacturers would have a fit at the number of plates that would be needed to print this.

I have already started to think about the next mandala which I think will be smaller then the last two I have finished, probably the size of the Spring Mandala I completed in January.

I have 2 more images for you, yesterday being Monday I went out to the Monday long pose life modeling session. I finished 2 drawings during this session. The first one is pencil only, and not as finished as last weeks pencil drawing. Last night I decided to spend more time on the color pencil version and to that end I took along some pastel paper that I had purchased for my Illustration class but never used. The pastel paper has a bit more tooth then I usually use for my pencil work so I am not sure how I like it, but I think I need to use it again so that I can get used to how it works, and what I need to do to make it work for me.  Anyway here is the pencil drawing:


I am not sure how successful this is, the model was back lit so her back was in bright light while her front was in shadows. I was semi pleased with it when I was working on it, but now I am not so sure. Oh well, there is always next week. On to the colored pencil sketch:


The model is in a slightly different pose, as this was done after a break and she had repositioned herself. I didn't try for a lot of details so her face is a bit vauge, I probably should have darkened the background to make the profile stand out a bit more. That is something I can still do if I think the drawing worth the time and effort. which I am not sure about at this point. My fellow artists at the session were all painting with oils this week, some quite successfully. 

That is it for today. Per usual comments and suggestions are welcome.