Square Medallion

Mandala, Zendala, Spundalaz.... How about a "Square-dala"? I guess technically a mandala needs to have a circle, since the word "mandala" means circle in sanskrit (thank you Karen I. for correcting me!). How about a square medallion? I've seen these beautiful centered designs drawn over a grid background such as needlepoint canvas or graph paper. This is not a new idea, history is full of examples of square motifs in architecture, decoration and crafts. My earliest recollection of these ornate square designs is in needlepoint motifs, both my grandmothers were avid and dedicated crafters. 

Here are two that I created this week, adapting those exquisite needlepoint designs to a dotted grid pattern and trying to reach some blissful and much needed Zenflow:

Both drawings 4x4 inches over watercolor paper, inked with black pen and shaded with regular pencil and black colored pencil. As you can see, I followed an underlying grid measuring 1/4 of an inch. I used a gazillion different fragments from the Zentangle Primer (by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas), and also striping, pearls and even a few little mookas. 

I have to confess, these took forever and a day. Not the usual couple of hours of Zen-flow, it was more like working a little, stop, do something else, come back to it. 

Here's a short sequence of the first one: 

And a close-up of the first one:

I used tons of dark hatching too -- reminiscent of the Scrollwork lesson.

On this one I painted the negative space in black and use gold gel pen to add some Ibex tangle (Zentangle). 

This requires a LOT of patience, but the results were pretty neat, and I'm glad I was in the right frame of mind to create them. I got so many requests for a lesson that I bumped it up and a lesson is available at the Shop:


If you would like to get more inspiration on these square mandalas, visit my pinterest board: