Annual Mandala Collections

I did want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of you that have stayed loyal throughout the years. Although this site is only a year old, I have been working on bringing content to you for several years. I really do enjoy being creative every day, and I love even more to share it with all of you.

Each year, I have decided that I am going to create a Mandala Collection that can be sold as individual prints, or as a set of 3 or 5 mandala prints. I have done this for two years in a row and I am gearing up for my third year. But before I dive into that, I thought we would go take a look at the two previous years so that you can see what I am talking about first hand.

Mandala Collection I – 2017

Take a look at the posts for each one below, it will give you an insight into what was going through my head while creating them. This was my first year and I was not sure of how well I would do, or if this challenge would be too much for me. The theme of the first year was using black and white on gradient paper. These pictures do not show true justice for the design, but I promise you they look better in person.

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 5

Not too shabby for my first collection, if I do say so myself. I learned a lot of things throughout the year and was able to adapt the second collection into something a little different, and yet similar.

Mandala Collection II – 2018

The theme for the 2018 year was using mixed media and triangles. Each mandala has an organic feel to them and yet each one is adorned with sharp edges. This collection also looks better in person, and as soon as I can get a studio area set up with great light, I will take better pictures to share with you.

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

Mandala Collection III, 2019 – Coming Soon!

I would love to know what theme you would like to see in the new collection. Don’t be shy, I never throw an idea away. Comment in the section below! I look forward to hearing from you!

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Since the first flower of life sorta took a new turn, speaking about Mandala 2, I decided to try again. If you would like to see the first three mandala, You can see them by checking on the links below:

Mandala 1, Collection II

Mandala 2, Collection II

Mandala 3, Collection II

After you have taken a look at the previous three mandala, lets move forward to take a quick look at the fourth in this collection.

Now, that looks much better doesn’t it! I had to revisit some sacred geometry videos on YouTube to remind myself the correct way to actually draw the flower of life. After I completed the flower of life, I wanted to ad points all the way around to keep in with the theme of the collection, introducing the softer sides of triangles.

This is the point when I decided pink was most definitely the color of choice here. I do need to mention that I am using the Sepia Copic Collection for the lines. As you can tell, they are softer than my usual black. I was really trying NOT to use blick liners for this entire collection. The pink is a Tombow Dual Tip marker that filled the area perfectly!

I had two different shades of pink and they paired nicely. Since I had two shades of pink, I decided to do the same deal with the brown. The brown shading was done with a color pencil. I thought that it gave just a tiny little element that gave the whole thing dimension.  This is also where I decided to use some metallic paint pens I had. I wanted specific areas to pop out more than others, so I either outlined them or filled them in completely with the metallic pens. I used gold and rose gold throughout.

After seeing the finished project, I absolutely fell in love. it was my favorite. Maybe I chose these colors because I completed it in the month of February when love is in the air. Either way, I could not be happier with the results. What is your favorite part of this mandala? Do you have a favorite mandala in this collection so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Here is the original pencil grid for this piece. As you can see I had no clue what I was doing. HA! What I was trying to do and what I achieved were two different things all together. I wanted to do a large flower of life, but this is what came out. I decided to just move on with this design, at least the best way I could.

After I inked the first layer, I immediately liked it. I felt like it brought to life the sort of design I was looking for. Continuing on, I started to add more details and at least get this first smaller flower designed completely.

It was a big difference for me to NOT use black as an outline because that is sorta the color I lean on most. I used three colors here: orange, green and purple. Each of these colors nicely built on the last and the full design became clear. I saw movement and I knew that I wanted the outer flower to reflect this movement in contrast.

Once the outline was complete of the outer petals, I started to add more details within them to bring the colors all the way out to the end.  It was at this time that I also wanted to add my white gel pen details. As soon as I stepped back from this, I was shocked that it had made it this far, unplanned.

I finished it all off with fine details and erasing all the grid lines. I would love to know what you think about the finished project and what was your favorite part of its creation!

 

Mandala Collection II – Mandala 1

Okay, So I know that we are on our second collection of mandalas and I wanted to share them with you here first hand so that you can see the progress as it happened. I have been so busy with life lately that I have failed to update my blog as often as I should. Hopefully, with the arrival of my new bullet journal, I will get back on track.

So without further ado.

Are you excited yet? When I first started this mandala, it was very late and I was just trying to get something down on paper after having such an off year already. My original plan was way different from what it turned out to be. So like with every mandala, I drew my gridlines and basic line work for my idea. As I was doing this, however, I found that what was in my head was not coming out on my paper.

Looking at this shot, you can see the beginning of this creation. This is the point where I thought that using the circles as if they were a plant or organism was the key to getting this mandala off the ground. I quickly got stuck on what would go between the circles without it looking too busy. What goes better with weird orb-like flowers than tentacles?

After I played around with this look in pencil, I inked it in and added just a pop of color. Adding this color just blew my mind and gave me the inspiration I needed to continue on. What do you think so far?

The gradient was really cool and making the orbs a darker green was the best thing I could do to really make them noticeable. After I got all the orbs colors, and boy were there a lot of orbs, I moved on to the petals. I knew that I could not make this whole thing green because then certain features would wash out. So that’s what I opted for my second color to come into play! Orange!

That was it, I knew I was well on my way to completing one of my favorites to date! It was so unlike every other mandala I had seen and it was my own creation. Am I getting you excited yet?

After adding white gel pen and yellow color pencil, that was it, I knew that it was complete. The one thing I always do is sign my artwork on the lower right-hand side, but only if it is complete. I would love to know what you think about this first mandala. Once the collection is complete, I will get scans of them so you can see the true color in each one.

Christmas Presents!

I know I know! Christmas is already over, but now that all the gifts that I made have been well-received I thought I would share them with you. Each year I love to give gifts that I have created. I love to create something that makes them think of me and the memories we have together when  they see them. They are also personalized so that they meet the needs of the person and their tastes.

Ok, I want to start off with one of my favorite type pieces. A very dear friend of mine went through a tough time and didn’t believe that they would get through it. However, after they rose from the ashes of that destruction, we started to talk about how they were like the Phoenix. Every year, I give this friend something that goes along with the theme of rising above your circumstance and setbacks. Each year is a new beginning. You can check out last years here. And the one for this year was a beautiful staff, since we are both nerds, that is designed after the Phoenix.

 

This was drawn with my black .03 Staedtler Pigment Liners, and colored with red, orange, yellow, grey and brown Steadtler Color Pencils. I then decided that taking the grey color pencil and rubbing it lightly over the outer edge of the paper gave the whole thing a new look. Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out and have already started researching phoenix ideas for next Christmas. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Onto the second gift, I was gifted a smaller lazy susan. It was made from bamboo, but had some apples painted on the top of it.  I wanted to do something very personal for my sister-n-law and her new husband. I knew that they would appreciate a handmade gift. So, I had my fiance’ sand down the top and it left a beautiful finish. Then, I started working from the inside out. Starting with the first letter of her new last name, “S.”

After surrounding the monogram with a very detailed mandala, I then erased my guidelines (still in the picture above) and put two clear protective coats on it. On the night we gave this gift, It was immediately put to use under the salad bowl in the center of the table.

The last, but certainly NOT least, gift that I made personally, was for my fiance’s parents. They have been such a wonderful blessing in my life and I wanted to give them something that represented family and unity. So, like the last gift, I chose to do a monogram again, but with my fiance’s parents last name letter “L”. But unlike the last gift, I chose to paint this on a black square canvas that I had.

I decided that using my gold paint pen from my table project gave this piece the life it was searching for. I absolutely love how it turned out and they seemed to as well. I am truly blessed to be able to share my talents with those around me.

Although these were not the only gifts I gave for Christmas, they were the most personalized gifts and I wanted to share them with you. Please let me know in the comments below, which was your favorite and why. I would also love to know any ideas you may like to see in the future.

2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

I want to create a special post that sorta sums up my year for 2017. You know that although I had been blogging since 2016, I only got my own website in 2017. Boy have I been blessed with this outlet to share my creativity and inspire others to do something creative every day.  There are several things that I am going to discuss, to include my subscription to Sketchbox, My first Mandala Collection, Christmas Gifts I created and my favorite creations of the year. So grab your cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and lets get started!

SketchBox

For those of you that don’t know, Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for artists to try out different mediums. I have really been excited by everything that I have been able to create using the products I have received through these boxes. Some of my favorite products include a watercolor sketchbook, a full sepia Copic fineliner set, and last but not least watercolor pencils, this is only to name a few. If you would like to go back and review my unboxing posts you can visit them by clicking on the links below.

May  

June

JulyJuly Grab box  

August

September

October

 November

December

Mandala Collection I

For me, this was a huge accomplishment.  I wanted to start a collection of the mandala that was similar and yet different at the same time. For this collection, I chose to draw my mandala on gradient paper with black fineliners and a white gel pen. I was so happy how each one came out so different than the ones before.  Prints of these will be available in my shop once I get it all online. Stay tuned for this special collection. Each one of these mandalas are so special to me. I wrote a different post for each one, which you can visit below:

Mandala #1

Mandala #2

Mandala #3

Mandala #4

Mandala #5

Personalized Gifts

One of my favorite things to do is create something beautiful and personal for my friends, family, and co-workers. I truly enjoy the look on their face when they realize it is not only an original, but there are no others like it in the world. I want to share these few gifts with you.

Personalized Parties

Every birthday that happens in my house is a reason to celebrate. With the birthdays spread throughout the year, we are able to party all year long! Starting in February with my two from my previous marriage celebrating, then moving to my youngest two in June, oldest two in July and 3rd oldest in November. Mix that in with all the holidays and we rarely don’t have a reason to bust out some exciting party decorations. But also, because we have so many celebrations, It’s important that we get creative with them all, most of the decorations were homemade. Check out the following posts about my under the sea themed party for my youngest two.

Under the Sea

Octopus Guard

Sea Sponges

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

Furniture Painting

The absolute highlight of my year was creating a beautiful work of art for my mother. She brought this table to me and gave me no restrictions other than she wanted a Charity Original painted on top. Painted?! I’ve never painted anything detailed like the creations I have made.  Check out how this table progressed by clicking on the links below:

Scallopped Table #1

Scallopped Table #2

There are several other projects that I completed this year for Christmas Gifts to include a 12×12 personalized mandala painting on canvas, a monogrammed lazy susan and a phoenix staff for my best guy friend. All of these projects were special in their own ways and were hard to keep a secret for as long as I could since I love to share my progress pictures with the special people that received these gifts.

My Favorites of the Year

 

Final Thoughts

I do want to send out a special thank you for all of you that have supported me this year. I couldn’t have done this without you cheering me on. Special thanks to my fiance’ who has stuck by my side while I have spent the long hours trying to make something out of nothing. I love each and every one of you and I can only hope that in 2018, we will see a lot more growth from CraftyArtistKC. Help me make this year a good one by sharing my site with your friends family and social media accounts. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Let me know in the comments below, what was your favorite project or post from this year!

Bullet Journaling – Refresher

If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, it is a minimalists way to schedule your life. This is a system that combines several of your journals, schedulers, and calendars into one easy to keep track of book. Or so they say. Now before you get offended, hear me out. I tried this system back in November of last year, you can read that post here, and I failed.  My failure had nothing to do with the system and more to do with my perfectionism. I wanted beautiful spreads and amazing visuals on each page. Eventually, it became too much with the holidays and I never made it to December. To be honest, I don’t even know where that notebook is currently.

Now, lets discuss why this system failed for me. There are several reasons, some of them mental and some of them physical. These range from not having the right notebook, to not making the time, and not putting forth the effort. “Oh, I don’t need to write that down, surely I will remember it!” Famous last words. I never did remember it and I never did write it down.

Excuse #1: Not having the right tools.

Now, don’t think that you have to have the most famous bullet journal or the most expensive pens and products to do a bullet journal. You just have to be happy with what you do have. You can just use a composition notebook and a bic ballpoint. You don’t need the fancy supplies to get started, and honestly, I wouldn’t go out and buy them until you have created the habit.

However, in my mind, I didn’t have the right supplies. I didn’t want to use the inexpensive supplies I had on hand because I have to get excited about a new habit, or it won’t form. If I don’t have crisp, clean notebook and a pen just for it, I won’t be happy long enough to continue.  So, I bought the Leuchitturm 1917, which is like the official bullet journal. I did not buy pens for this, because I already have my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners that I love and work perfectly.

Excuse #2: I can’t make my spreads look like those on Pinterest

This is a very very common misconception. The spreads are beautiful, and one day, I will get there. But it is better for me to form the habit with the minimalist attitude. So, here is a picture of my year at a glance spread below. You will see that I just made it simple. I also added a thin piece of washi tape across the top, not even perfectly lined up *gasp*, so that i had a quick reference to jump back to. *personal information is blacked out*

I decided to only do 6 months because that would carry me to the end of the year. When the next 6 months arrive, if I am still doing bullet journaling, I will add it to it then another 6 month spread. Besides, who wants to get bogged down on trying to keep up with a full year at once. Guess what else? I only used black and white on this page. I want to get into the habit before I learn new ways to create the same spread. I highly recommend this way of thinking.

Excuse #3 – I don’t even know what I should track or that I want to track.

If you look online, especially Pinterest, you will find a huge list of trackers. But I say NAY! Don’t get bogged down with all the trackers available. Add trackers as you want to, and how you want to. Throughout the process you will find that you will come across things that are important to you specifically that you want to track. For me, I want to track my 100 mandala challenge! This challenge is important to me and something that I want to complete before the end of the year. Here is a look at how I am tracking this, in my 2-page tracker spread.

As you can tell, I drew  a simple mandala and also included the website where I got the challenge from. I then write a date on the number and color it in. This is my favorite spread so far. It appeals to my artistic side, as well as my need to track this challenge.

Excuse #4 – I’m too depressed/anxious about keeping up with something else.

Yes, depression and anxiety is something that we all have to deal with at one time or another. Some of us even struggle enough to be medicated. But that is what is so great about the bullet journal process, if you miss a day or a week, you can jump back in and there are no predetermined pages that you use up. You determine how and how much you use your bullet journal. I decided to try to list all the things that make me happy and put it at the beginning of my journal. This ensures that even on the days that are considered my lows, I have something to keep me from going under. Take a look at this below.

Excuse #5 – I’m too busy

Honestly, we are all too busy if we believe it, but the truth of the matter is, we can make time for anything! After planning out my first two weeks, I saw just how busy I wasn’t. I was too busy to add work, but not too busy to add fun. So I knew by looking at these two almost blank weeks, that I would see just how much time I really had to play with. Of course, I didn’t mark down all the ER visits and power outages and mom life with many many kids, but outside the home, I didn’t have much obligations. My next step is to track my hours, find out where everything goes. Check out these two weeks below. As you can tell, they are all really really simple.

So as you can tell, I didn’t want to do anything too crazy and I wanted to keep my trackers simple. At the beginning of each week, I also track my social medias. This shows me if I am doing a good job or if I need to work harder. Because I am just starting out, I feel like my numbers are embarrassing, BUT everyone has to start from the bottom.

I hope you enjoyed this walk through my bullet journal. Remember, you don’t have to wait until January 1st, to start. You can start in the middle of the month like I did. The objective is to start somewhere. Do you bullet journal? How successful are you with keeping it up. I would love to know your bullet journal experiences in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 15

I am using this page as a sampler of sorts. These are a few zentangle patterns that I have not used very much if at all. The outermost pattern is called Doozaly. The curtain pattern I have seen drawn so many times but this is the only time I have ever attempted it myself. I can’t find where I saw it before, but once I do find it I will update this post. Finally the one in the center is called Spoon Flowers. These are all my own ways of creating and modifying the patterns that I see. I wanted to create something that was just interesting.

Have you ever used these patterns before? If so, link your modifications below.

Can Color Change Perception?

Lets begin with my original drawing. Soak it in. What do you see? Really look at it. I was drawing this with one thing in mind but the more I looked at it, the more I decided that it had become something else altogether.

I had created something that was adaptable. In order to portray exactly what I wanted it to be, I knew I had to add color. Now I am usually very apprehensive about adding color because I don’t want to convince the viewer what the art is or about. I want my art to always reach into the heart and experiences of the viewer to help me see what they do.

So, The first thing I did, was see something underwater. Something beautiful. I saw life, birth, and happiness. I pulled out my color pencils and started. Jellyfish, Coral and waves in the back ground to fully capture the beauty and life underwater.

But as I was coloring this, I had set it aside to make dinner, as I have been known to do, and it was turned in a way that my emotional attachment had changed. I now saw destruction, fire and conflict. What had changed my mind? To capture this, I decided to make a copy of the original to color this in yet another way. I pulled out my color pencils and viciously started drawing the harsh lines and the difference in the two blew me away.

What once was life and beauty, had turned to death and destruction. So I pose this question to you, my viewers, What do you see? I would love to see what you come up with. Tell me in the comments below, and don’t be afraid to look at the world differently than someone else.

Beautiful Garden

Filling a full page of colorful flowers, testing out each petal was so much fun. I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners for this piece. Finishing the piece with the green swirls in the back brought everything to life. Everything about this tested my ability to create something out of nothing.

My challenge to you is to think outside your box. As you can tell, I worked across two pages on this and didn’t finish it off with a straight line. So, try something new. Think outside the box and create something without straight lines boxing it in. Link your art in the link below so I can take a look at what you can create!

Tree of Life

I had a friend of mine decide she wanted a tree of life tattoo. Well, although this isn’t her tattoo, it did start out that way. However, I decided to make this one colorful! As everyone knows, I hate coloring my own art, but this one wasn’t that bad. The orange didn’t show up as bright in the scan as it is in real life, but you get the general idea. I used Staedtler fineliners for the lines, which includes the colored lines, and Staedtler color pencils for the coloring in.

Enjoy!

Collaboration – Jeanne Burbage

I wanted to share this collaboration I did with Jeanne Burbage. She is an incredibly talented artist from Canada. She offered up this Valentine’s Day doodle for her fans on a Facebook group I belong to, Lines & Designs, to color. This is my coloring of her doodle, and although I rarely color my own doodles it was very fun coloring on hers. I used Staedtler Color Pencils found in the clearance section at Wal-mart of all places.

Please visit her website here and buy her coloring book. There is a wonderful flip through of her coloring book on YouTube, please check it out! She hopes to have a new book out in March. She also has a Facebook page here. Always remember to show your support for artists.

Adult Coloring Books – Cost

I absolutely love adult coloring books and I have so many I probably will never color them all, but I always see ones that I want so bad. I love coloring books of all skill levels. If you want to get into adult coloring books, there are some inexpensive ways you can do this.

  1. Dollar Stores: Almost all the dollar stores have a section with adult coloring books. You will look to spend $1-$5 on each book and the quality is very similar to children’s coloring books. The pages aren’t bright white, the images are printed on both sides of the paper and the paper weight isn’t very high. I recommend you use coloring pencils or crayons only.
  2. Hollar.com : This is my personal referral link, so if you use it, I do get the same amount that anyone does if they refer someone to the website.  I have been using this website for about a year now and they have just grown so much. I probably buy something monthly, at least, from this site. They have an adult coloring book section here too. If you buy the $2 coloring books, they are similar in quality to the dollar store ones, however, if you buy the $5 or more coloring books, they are of a heavier weighted paper and you can use pens and maybe even markers as long as the image isn’t printed on both sides of the paper. This collection is growing and ever-changing, so there is something new almost every time I look. I have a lot of these.
  3. Massive chain stores: (Target, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, etc.) These stores have a large variety when it comes to coloring books. I enjoy the differences in quality and I love that I can just pick something up when I’m in the mood for something different. The differences are so vast, you will just have to see what will work better for you.
  4. Internet: (Amazon, Overstock, Ebay, etc) These websites have a large variety as well. The price ranges are so vast. The only problem I see with this is if you don’t know much about the seller, there are chances for you to get a less quality item than was advertised. However, the prices can be better than the brick and mortar chain stores listed above.
  5. Straight from the artist!  This is my #1 way to get coloring books. Find some artists from all over the world that you can support. Follow them on Social Media and definitely buy their books over the mass-produced ones listed above. I am a huge supporter of the small business artists and I want to support as many as I can. If you know someone you could recommend, I would like to make a running list of these artists and their sites. Although this may not be the most cost-effective way to go, it is the most supportive way to go.

Now, with all that being said, I would love to have your input as to your favorite place to go and get the adult coloring books you love to color in.

Gift – Teal & Blue

I have a dear friend who is in love with teal and blues. She is also an artist friend of mine and I knew that she would appreciate and one of a kind art piece for her home. I had so much fun drawing this and perfecting it. it was worth all the time and energy when I watched her reaction when she opened it.

I am so blessed to have people in my life that not only appreciate my artistic abilities but encourage them as well. This special lady is just one of those mentioned.  Here is a close up so you can see the detail and shimmer in the finished product.

Gift – Dolphin Mandala

What do you get for someone who you know loves dolphins and the color blue, but a dolphin mandala.  I love being able to share these projects now that Christmas is over. I wanted to add some special details so I added a few metallic pens to just give a little life to the dolphin itself.

What do you think about the finished product? Let me know in the comments below.

Adding Color

As my readers know by now, adding color to my art is always stressful to me. I love leaving them black and white because I love seeing what other people see in the picture without me guiding them to one thing or another. This was no different.

I had created this drawing about a week ago. I was just sitting down and doodling and this is what happened. It just came to life on the page. I belong to a few groups on Facebook specifically geared towards art and Zentangle in nature, and they suggested that I color this one. The few friends I showed also suggested I color it.  Here is the before.

I have to admit, the outflow of compliments on my colored piece made me feel a little more confident. I wanted to drag the colors across the page instead of having one color on one side and one color on the other. So I made sure that I tried to balance the colors as I used them.

I am very interested in your constructive criticism or ideas on how I can improve. So, maybe I might try coloring more since this one was so well received. I would love to know what you think about this doodle in the comments below.

 

Art is my life!

When you find something that touches your soul, you can’t help but grab onto it and never let it go. For me that is art. I have found something that I love and I don’t want to stop. There are so many health positive aspects of creating art.

So create something, anything. Grab some markers, pens, coloring pencils or crayons and create! I love the fact that I can create something so vivid and pleasing. The piece below reminds me of the princess and the pea. What do you see?

Tell me in the comments how you like to be creative in your life.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Review

Here is a little doodle that I thought would be fun to try out my new Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens with. My boyfriend found these on eBay and they arrived tonight. The colors are very vibrant and I am excited about doing more with colors.

These are the pens that he got for me. They are vibrant, and the tips are all 0.3mm so the lines are very fine. I definitely recommend these for drawing, coloring, and writing in your journals. They do not bleed through easily and the ink itself doesn’t skip.

Let’s just say that I have a lot more to test out but I am excited, to say the least. Stay tuned for more fun stuff to come!

 

Stripes

This one was so much fun to do. One of the challenges on one of the pages I belong to was to do some stripes. LOVE this idea. I wanted to bring a little Dr. Seuss, if you will, to my art. This turned out better than I had hoped and I even came up with some designs you will likely see in the upcoming art.

I even got around to coloring this one. I used markers so there wasn’t much blending and shading and such, but it still came out very vibrant and colorful. I would love your input as to your feelings on this and as always CC is welcome!

Adding Color

I swear every time I sit down, I never know what I am going to come up with. In this design, I decided to test out BIC Marking, Permanent Markers. I bet if I used these on better paper, other than just everyday computer paper, they would look better. But even though I had no clue what was going to come out, I enjoyed just doing a little artistic coloring. Most of my drawings lately have been black and white and the thought of coloring those black and white drawings terrifies me.

I think it is important for all of us to jump out of our comfort zone sometimes though and just create something unique. Something that just comes to us as we draw. I love the flow of this drawing and I love that I used both marker and color pencil. I think it gave it real dimension.

Tell me what you think in the comments below. What would you like to see me color next?