Well, I said I was going to make some prints and possibly a journal from my recent “Moon and Stars” mandala drawing, and so I’ve done exactly that. Getting the prints done wasn’t much of a fuss but the journal…that’s a different story. Trying to come up with a decent placement of the design on the cover took a lot of trial and error. At first I went with the whole mandala design on the front cover but I really didn’t like how it appeared, it looked too small and uninteresting. So I went with this idea of spanning the design across the front and back cover, which it turned out, to be far more appealing to me, so I stuck with it. Going into this I figured I would probably have to make this particular journal a little bigger than my pocket journals due to the cover design. It’s 5 x 6.75 where my pocket journals are 3.5 x 5.5, so you can squeeze in a bit more writing with this one. Also with this journal I did something a little different, instead of using blank paper for the inside pages, I went with lined pages. To achieve this I had to dig into some of my old graphic design skills and create a lined page template in Adobe Illustrator. Like my pocket journals, this one also has 32 pages, my little saddle stapler can’t staple more than 20 pages at a time and with cardstock added into that, I have to take out four pages, otherwise the staples get all jammed. So 32 pages is the most I can put in for now. In all the prints and journals came out really well, I even made of few journals for myself. 🙂
I’m finally finished with my Moon and Stars mandala, which is the first of two mandala drawings I plan on completing. Although I’ve finished the drawing I’m not completely done with it. This drawing is going to be available as a print and possibly as cover art for one of my handmade journals, so I got some scanning and printing to do which may take me a week or so work out. So be on the look out for my upcoming prints that will be available soon. On another note, congratulations, we’ve made it to June. The world is on one heck of a roller coaster ride. Lets continue to hang in there and try to bring something positive to each others lives.
My little pocket journal line is gradually growing. Over the past week I made my second set of the three journal items I’ve made so far which I started back in January. This latest one is called the “Maybe Unfold” blank pocket journal set. It’s a two journal set with illustrated cover art reproduced from two drawings I did back in 2018 titled “Maybe” and “Unfold”, hence the title “Maybe Unfold”. I really couldn’t come up with a more snazzy name than that and truthfully, I just like to stick to the titles that I used for the original works. My other journals are the “Buddha Tao” blank pocket journal set and the “Koi” blank pocket journal. I’m striving to see if I can get a line of 10 before the end of the year. If you got any wonderful suggests for cover art ideas feel free to share them in the comments.
On another note, I’m still inking away on my “Moon and Stars” mandala. Actually I’m getting close to finishing. Once I’m finished I plan on making prints and possibly some journals, but that’s if the test runs turn out good. I’ve been a little slow on getting this done partly because it’s really been my stress reliever through these past two months so I haven’t been in much of a hurry to complete it too soon. But I have another mandala to get started on, so I need to go ahead and finish this one up. I don’t like to linger on one piece for too long other wise it just gets harder for me to finish and I don’t like leaving things unfinished.
Here’s a little progress on my “Moon and Stars” mandala. The subtle shading is proving to be a bit tricky. It’s much more noticable in person than on camera so frequently I take pictures of the drawing as I go along just to see if the shading comes through and then make corrections where they need to be made. It can be a bit frustrating when something looks great in person but turns out lack luster on camera. So I take this added step to try and avoid.
Anyhoo, while working on my mandala I had the idea, if people are interested, of offering downloadable coloring sheets created from the line drawings that I do before I start inking them. I was thinking of creating packs of five coloring sheets based off of my own drawings, putting them into a pdf format that could be purchased, downloaded and print off at home from your own computer and then you can color it yourself or if you have children or grandchildren that are into coloring, you could give it to them. It’s an idea for something in the works for the future but I’m interested in your thoughts on it so if you like the idea or don’t like the idea feel free to let me know in the comment section below. 🙂
It’s a good sign when you enjoy a drawing the moment you start laying down the first bits of ink. I’ve barely gotten started on this and I’m all giddy. I have to admit that some of that giddiness comes from this drawing being a break from doing realistic drawings. One of the underlining stressors of trying to create realistic art is making sure it actually looks realistic and that can take a lot of time and focus. A horror of mine is churning out something that looks more cartoonish when that isn’t the style I’m striving for. With this drawing the focus is more on design which is more flat and straight forward rather than realism which requires making objects look three dimensional. In other words, my brain gets to relax and not think so much. And honestly I could use the respite of something simple and relaxing. The hardest part to this was doing the line drawing which required some deal of measuring and a compass. Mandalas are beautiful but you really have to take the time to get the measurements right or you might end up with a lopsided mess.
I’m using two different nibs on this drawing, a 0.15mm nib for mid-tones and a 0.20mm nib for dark tones, the slightly larger nib allows me to achieve a darker quality since it puts out a little more ink while the smaller is better a mid-tones. The one thing I’ve learned and always keep in mine when it comes to creating a good pen and ink drawing is that there must be some contrast between light and dark. There should be some elements that are dark and some parts that are white or highlights with some mid-tones or grays in between, otherwise the drawing will look muted and lifeless. It’s an unfortunate yet common mistake that’s made when getting started with pen and ink drawing. So keep that in mind if you try your hand at pen and ink drawing. 🙂