Hello, Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the tutorial on how to make a Mandala. Let’s start with what a Mandala is. A Mandala is a visual meditation tool; it is circular in nature and consists of patterns. The point is to ponder the point or the center of the circle, and the things that encompass it. Background and meditation aside, I think they are fun to make in Photoshop, and can easily be made into website patterns and the like if you leave it as a square.
Technically Speaking I have Photoshop Elements, and doubt you would need much more. Also I like to start with a 5×5 300ppi square.
Throw down some colors! Blend it up, add some highlights! Are you a filter junkie? Filter away, we are just looking for some interesting colors and textures at this point. Be original!
I went with a solid black background, and some red I used a standard spatter style brush with an opacity of 67, and started layering it up.
I then applied the fresco filter twice with the Brush Size, Brush Detail at Ten and Texture at 3.
Then I brought up the guides and used Free Transform to bring the two right hand corners to the center. Then I brought the center point to the middle of the document.
The I duplicated this layer four times and rotated them around the center point. I also took the Brightness down by 70 and took the contrast up by 100 to get a little more out of it.
Now we need a design. I’ve used everything from webdings, to pencil drawings, to overcontrasted pictures, to just pure photoshop design to get what I am looking for. What I have going in texture is pretty simple so something intricate and pointy will be fun. First I made another layer, and hid the first. I filled the layer with white and decided to work in reverse, I made all 45 degree angles using the selection tool and the shift key, I deleted this selection to work out my basic design.
An Upercase letter C in Webdings happens to be a nice little city scape that I think will go along with design quite well. After typing it size 200 I simplified the layer and positioned it on the design using Free Transform. I then selected it and deleted it from the design layer, I then deleted the text layer.
Next select the deleted area, all of it, then invert the selection and delete the white. Invert the selection again and fill it with a gradient. I used the silver one from metals set on 100%
Shrink it to 25% and duplicate it three times flip it each time
Repeat steps three and four on the design layer.
I then added a nice chrome effect (the gradient paid off)
Now I’ve Made the design a little larger, but I kept it centered. I liked the design more toward the middle and I also sphererized it 100% and bumped the brightness 60 and contrast 30.
Mandalas change as you go at this point I decided I wanted a darker background and my design brighter. Now I created a new layer I put it on the bottom and painted black. I then put the color and texture layer on Lighten for the layer setting and put the opacity at 50%.
The design layer needs to brighten up so I am going with a glowing edges filter with the Width set at one the Brightness set at 50 and the smoothness set at 15. Then I changed the layer to the Linear Dodge (Add) setting. We’re almost there!
Give that Layer some style! To make the design pop a little more I gave it a small drop shadow, size 2 distance 7 opacity 87%. To Brighten the design I gave it an inner glow in white size 10 (like my shoe) and opacity 100%. I also gave it an outer glow of red to add a little more color Size 3 and opacity 100 again. I gave it a bevel down of a pixel to give it a smidge of depth. That is it.
Now make it a circle, I like to leave my option for a circle or a square so I create one more later on top. I use the circle selection tool to make a perfect circle, then I select the inverse and paint it white, black, grey or a complimentary color. Try the square version out as tiled backgrounds or the pattern stamp.
Remember that Mandalas are personal. So using these basic techniques put your own spin on it. Use whatever textures or colors you feel are most appropriate at the time. I think it is great to keep a journal of them to examine how your mandalas reflect your thoughts and feelings each day. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I welcome your thoughts and comments.