My Art I students started their unit on Color and have been busy making color wheel mandalas. When I asked my students if they knew what a mandala was, most of them looked at me like I was crazy. When I showed them this picture though.. they were like.. "Oh! Yeah, of course! We've seen those!"
We looked at traditional Mandalas and how they have been picked up by different religions and cultures all over the world. Mandala is a Sanskrit word for "circle." The circle represents the universe, wholeness, or the continual feed from man to God and from God to man. We looked at pictures of Tibetan monks and women from Nepal. We saw the use of Mandalas in churches (the rose window in the National Cathedral is my favorite!), in Native American medicine wheels and dreamcatchers, in Aztec artifacts and our everyday designs. I love how Art can tie all of these cultures and peoples together!
Students first used a ruler and marked off nine and 18 inches on each of their papers. They then drew straight lines to form a "t" on their paper. Using a compass, students drew a circle as large as they could. Then, they used protractors to mark 30 and 60 degrees in each quarter of their circle. This made 12 nice little "slices" of their mandala.
I had them label their sections in the order of the color wheel, and in each of the sections they had to use the regular hue, a tint, and a shade of each color. Thankfully, they had spent a day practicing making their colors in their sketchbook.
Painting in their mandalas was a tedious process, but the end results are amazing!