I know this is a drawing class but I had the idea of drawing the mandala in Illustrator and using halftones instead of stippling. This is the first mandala I ever drew and there's some problems with the shadows but I kind of like how ambiguous it looks.
I used a double circle pattern as a starting point, the base pattern and a smaller one on top:
This is the end result, please share your thoughts!
And a zoom-in so you can see the level of detail without the high-res image: