Spirit Animal Mandalas | Skillshare Projects

Sandra Relf

Creative Decorator



Spirit Animal Mandalas


Here he is. I gave him some boxes to stand on. I think he turned out kinda cool.

I had problems resolving him and it came to be that he should be standing on the boxes. That's how I feel sometimes so it feels right to put them there. I'm leaving the feathers and some parts of him as they are because I like the raw drawn cardboard cutout feeling about him. But I'm open to ideas so if you think I can improve on any part (well of course I can)  please tell me.

My future goals are to work on a flat design of him where I will probably remove most of the pencil work. I really liked the look of those flat design discoveries as I was working on him.  I'll also be doing one of him where the main focus will be the pencil work and he'll be added into a photograph. Then lastly he will be printed as an etching.

It's been great working with everybody here in Sara's class! I'm gonna miss you guys.

... couldn't stop working on him.... he's got some wobbly stilts so he can reach the stars.


I have fixed the below eraser problem. I went thru my layers and found the one that had the erasing. I deleted it and problem solved. You gotta believe how happy I am. This took me ages to figure out.

: ) I'm going to leave this here in case someone else has the same problem as I did.


I have an area on my image that I used the eraser tool on. I'm now trying to create a gradient background and the erased area will not go away. I'd be so happy if someone could please tell me how to fix it. You can see the offending area on the right side of the bear : (


He's starting to look almost finished.

I just need to do a little more to his head area and then put in a background.

Even more progress 30/07/13

I'm really liking how he's going.

More progress 30/07/13

Here's a pic of him flat with no sketch and one with the sketch visible. I think he's starting to shape up but I'm not sure about the leg colour. Think it needs to be less blue and more grey.

Taking him back to a flat design really helped me with figuring out how I want him to look, what to keep and what to discard.

Progress 30/07/13

Well I've been playing around practicing.Apart from Sara Blakes work that is totally amzing!.. I'm also liking the work of Andrew Lyons. 

I like the minimal feel of his work. So I've taken my bear back to basics and am making him with flat design.

After I have his basic shape down I'll go back in and start adding back in some of my hand drawn detail.

(Slow progress but I'm really practicing and there is so many different combinations to play with in photoshop. And I'm also doing another Skillshare course at the same time with Surface Design.)

but here's what he looks like at the moment.

My scanner is portable and doesn't scan at a very high pixel rate. When I enlarge my scan within Illustrator it becomes pixilated and hard to work with. I found a great resizing tool called Perfect Resize 7.5 Standard Edition. They have a free 30 day trial. And believe me - it's worth having a look at what it can do. Until I can afford a better scanner this is a great solution.

Lesson 2

Here's my scanned image. A big thanku goes to Siena for helping me with scanning and stitching. Her detailed explanation is here : )

Also handy to note: I used a portable scanner to scan the sketch as a pdf  (much less clean up work)  in 3 sections.

It's a bit rough, in a few spots, but I will work on it more over the course of the project as we learn how to do more things.

Lesson 1

Hello. I'm Sandra and I'm a printmaker and I live in Toowoomba Australia.

Statement - Why am I making this?

This is a personal project as I'm planning a set of prints for an upcoming printmaking exhibition in winter of 2014. I've spent the last couple of years experimenting with different printmaking techniques and mediums and this is the start of my 'serious' work phase. I will be studying surface design soon and hope to enhance my illustrator/adobe photoshop skills too : )

My idea comes from spirit animals and mandalas so very simply... I'm making some spirit animal mandalas - a bear, deer, wolf, owl and fox. I'd like to incorporate layers of images within each animal form .As per the theme of a traditional mandala that has a central dot -  each of my mandalas form and pattern will have the central dot forming from either heart or mind and representing my soul. ha! not to get too deep and meaningful. lol!

Traditionaly circular mandalas are a form of meditation and healing that is drawn from layers of your sub-conscious. more on that here.

My eventual outcome for my prints will be in the form of black and white etchings, but I'd also like to see what they'll look like as coloured giclee prints too : )

I've been collecting some inspiration images on Pinterest. See them here

My pics are what I've done so far with the bear and the deer. Not sure yet which animal I will use for this course. i'm thinking the bear. I know it's detailed but that's ok because it's all about being meditative for me.


Please sign in or sign up to comment.