Sisters Mandala: 3/13-3/14, 2009

From 3/10-3/15 I had the pleasure of going to visit a friend who lives on the Oregon coast; and for a few days I had time to myself…what a treat!  While I was there I created and painted a new asymmetry mandala called “Sisters.”  My friend Diane is like a sister to me and this design reflects how we go in and out of each other’s lives.  We’re lucky to see each other about 2-3 times a year and when we do get together it’s as if we see each all the time.

In Oregon, “Sisters” has another meaning…the name of a town and it’s the name of the three mountains that are right outside of Sisters.  View photo of Sisters. It’s a beautiful area.  While the downtown is quaint and there’s plenty of outdoor activities to do, to me it’s the trek out to the lava fields that’s the most amazing site to see.  

I was able to complete this painting in two days. It’s about 7 inches in diameter and it was painted with watercolor pencils.  I won a new set of derwent inktense watercolor pencils and decided to try them out on this painting.  The colors are quite nice and the pencils were easy to use.

I did the whole painting in three sessions.

SESSION 1: 3/13


Sisters Mandala: Session 1
Sisters Mandala: Session 1

I first drew out the mandala with a light grey pencil and painted my first layer/wash of color in each section.  With each section, I used the watercolor pencil dry to fill in the area and then used a wet brush to spread the color.   For anyone who is nervous about doing watercolor paintings, play with watercolor pencils first…it will ease you in nicely to watercolors.

SESSION 2 – 3/14


Sisters Mandala: Session 2
Sisters Mandala: Session 2

To give each section a little more depth and shape, I used a darker color or purple in the top and left sides of each section.

SESSION 3 – 3/14


Sisters Mandala: Session 3
Sisters Mandala: Session 3

For this final session, I re-applied the original color wash over each section.  So where I had painted yellow in SESSION 1, I re-painted over that section with yellow again…and so on for each color.  

Did you notice that the painting is upside down from the first two photos?  That’s because I actually painted it upside-down.  I would love to say that I had a very clever reason for doing so but the reality is I drew it as you see it here in SESSION 3; however when I secured the paper to my masonite board, I had put the paper on upside-down.  Rather that take it off and re-apply it, I went the “go with the flow” mode and painted it upside down.  To be honest I’m glad I did.

‘Til next time, Happy Coloring!

Maureen, The Mandala Lady



  1. I’m going to take a quilting class in designing mandalas. I live in Salem Oregon. Can I use the idea of your design?

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