My Mandala Tote Bag Project
Last year I was thinking it would be great to practice drawing more regularly, but there's never enough time for everything. Then when I was at the art supply shop, I saw something that gave me the necessary motivation to make the first step.
My niece loves tote bags. At first I thought it's just a passing thing, a trend among teenagers but she's not a teenager anymore and she still loves tote bags. She has quite a few from here and there, but I thought I'd surprise her with a hand drawn mandala tote bag.
At first I thought I would sew a bag myself, but it would have been a lot of trouble, finding canvas, making a design and all that, so I'd rather bought one from the art supply store. It's a 38x42cm bag, specially for this purpose. I bought it for 5€.
Bought a black marker specially for this purpose. This was 2.5€. If you have a close look, there's a T-shirt on it. This part was easy, what came after this was a huge challenge.
As you know, I'm not Picasso, have no talent in drawing or painting, so I had to think twice before doing anything, so I decided to create a design on paper first. It made a lot of sense as canvas is not like paper and if something goes wrong, I can be throwing the whole thing out of the window.
So I had to tape together two A4 size papers, plus some more, to get the size of the bag.
The reason I did that was because I wanted a drawing of the size of the bag. Creating a smaller one would have made no sense.
I draw a 3cm margin so I know how much space I have for drawing. Then the real challenge began. (Ok, it was more like a struggle, or fake it till you make it, as always 😂).
The thing is, I've checked a lot of mandala drawings online, to get some inspiration and actually choose a design I can replicate on paper. I'm going to post the reference images as well, at the bottom. Many of the drawings I've seen were made using a ruler and a compass, which i can understand, but I did not want that. So the only tool I used was a small glass, to draw the circle in the middle. Therefore my mandala is far from symmetrical, but in my humble opinion, this is the only way of learning to be better.
At the beginning I thought I would just replicate one I find simple enough to be able to copy it, so I chose the one below.
It's a wonderful design, but replicate it is a different matter. As you can see, I followed the design till one point, then I went rogue 😂 What a surprise, right?
I can't even remember how many times I erased some parts and redrawn it. This is a phase, but not the final one.
At this point it started to look horrible, so I needed change a lot, to make it look acceptable. My biggest problem was the size of the paper. I'm not used to drawing at such a large paper. The other problem was lack of experience and talent. I'm always having problems when baking for example. Creating symmetrical things is difficult for me.
At this point I thought going in with ink (0.4 Pelinkan fineliner) would help me correct the mistakes and inaccuracies and would give me a better image of my masterpiece. So I draw a lotus flower in the center of the empty circle to make it a bit more interesting. That circle seemed too big to stay empty.
After the use of fineliner, it started to look different. I truly needed this as I have to get used to using ink and be as precise in execution as possible. There's no room for errors on canvas, there's no eraser you can use, so you either do it right, or throw the whole thing away.
Right now this is where I am with the mandala. Looks nice from far and far from nice, so don't have a close look at it 😂 I'm a bit puzzled, don't know if it will be big enough or too small. I don't want the bag to look poorly designed so I'm thinking of adding another round but first need to figure out what element to use.
The hard part is yet to come as things won't be so easy on canvas, but I want to do it. I need to get better at this. It's a relaxing activity, it helps me think of the things I have to do, while drawing, so it's therapeutic as well. There are so many cool designs out there, it would be a shame not to try out a few.
But not like that. I'm not going to mark my paper like that. Maybe it would help at the beginning, to get used to proportions, but rather not.
So this is where I am with the mandala tote bag project and I'll be back to show you the bag itself, when it's done.
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I can't wait to see the tote bag finished, you have done your best with the picture, even if you imitate it, the result is very beautiful 😊, Good luck with the bag
Thank you! It may be ready in the weekend. I can't promise anything as I have no idea how much it will take to make the drawing on canvas, but will be ready shortly.
I'll wait for it with pleasure, maybe there will be some ideas I can pick up for my business later in your post😊, May this weekend be a wonderful weekend😇
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I think it's a great project and she'll love it because it comes from you. You did a great job with the trial and I think your rogue design is great. I've never been much good at drawing mandalas, but I really like this idea and I might just give it a go too for my niece (or myself). Can't wait to see yours when it's finished.
She will definitely appreciate it as she knows how much work goes into it. Thank you for the nice words. I'd love to see your design and I hope you'll find the time to do it and also post about it :)
If you could make me a Mandala tote hiking backpack I'd be grateful. Well actually, on second thoughts, I'd prefer camouflage.
You would look funny with it 😂
You would look camouflaged in Mandalaland 😏
I hear Maldalalalala land is quite nice.
Looking forward to seeing the final look on the bag.
With the picture, I think you did good with it because it looks very nice and accurate. I wouldn’t have been able to do half of that.😂
Thank you @nhaji01 but you know it is, nice from far and far from nice, when you have a closer look 😂 But it's my own, so it's ok. The journey is that matters.
I know it is nice. All that matters is that you did it from your heart.😅
I feel you. I need 3-4 more hours every day at least haha.
Are you going to paint it? Did you decide the color yet?
No coloring, this will be black and white. Colors would ruin it, not to mention the costs. I'll keep it simple for now.
I really like mandalas, you have been very beautiful!