"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Symmetrical Radial Mandala Designs

This is a wonderful project for either the beginning of the school year or the end of the school year. It uses simple materials (printer paper, fine tip Sharpie and coloured pencils) and the kids really need to focus and take their time as it's quite a detailed process. I've been teaching this project for years but I think I originally found it HERE on the Incredible Art Dept website. I teach it to Grades 7-12.

You can start off by giving some art history context about Tibetan mandalas. I like to show a video which shows the process where the monks use coloured sand- it's fascinating! Then they are destroyed at the end. 

Start off by tracing a large circle (plate, bowl, etc) onto a sheet of printer paper (you decide which size). I pre-photocopy this for my students. They cut this out and then fold it in half carefully 3 - 4 times. The more times you fold it, the more complex the design with turn out.

On one section, students draw their design in pencil. 

Then, using a window, trace the design onto each section of the mandala- this 
takes time and usually 2-3 periods.

Simpler designs go faster obviously and some students start colouring.

Once the design is drawn, they outline everything with a fine tip Sharpie.
I encourage them to create gradations or value changes. 

This student used watercolours.

This one the  student cut out her design from red cardstock.

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