Well, this was extraordinarily difficult to do - so I ditched any idea of symmetry or neatness and just went with the process of making each shape, hoping to imprint something in my memory for future.
Then I spent nearly as long fiddling with two different gradients on two layers with different blend modes and adding a Hue/Saturation mode over the lot, till I liked this result - the mandala now seems stretched over a paper plate on a rich damask cloth!
Hardly a brilliant success but think I have learnt how to do pen paths and other paths and make them circle round the centre. Um, with a few hiccups of memory en route!! Thank god for the history palette and undo button :D
Thanks for this fab class. Just had to knock off picture bombing and do it. [I already did your front-on cottage btw and added it to my project.]
I completely forgot about inverting it but I did try a texture and didn't much like the one I chose so deleted that layer. I might try that again tomorrow.