Hey everyone! :)
I promised to do a blog post about my mandala planning, so here it is!
You should know that I never really plan that far ahead. The inspiration usually comes to me within a few days after making the last mandala. Sometimes I find a lot of pretty pictures or photos and I intend on making them all into mandalas, but then life happens and I stumble across something that makes my heart stop/sing/jump, and I decide to go with that :) So sometimes I have ‘topics’ already written down on my blog calendar, but more often than not I go with a spur of the moment decision!
When I have found the inspirational piece, I set out to pick a color scheme. I’ll use last week’s inspiration as an example:
I use this website to help me pick the colors. By just looking at a picture, it can be hard to define which colors are dominant and which aren’t. To help me pick the colors, I load the image and presto; PhotoCopa gives me a color palette to use!
By looking at this palette, I can tell that there are a lot of purple hues in this picture. The color palette isn’t written in stone; I often change around some specific colors because I like them better, or because I don’t have the other color in my stash! :) I have the entire range of Paris Drops to work with (I have at least a few yards of all the colors they offer) but sometimes I can’t find a suitable match, so I substitute with a color that is available.
After making the palette, I open Photoshop where I created a template to help me make the mandala:
I put the palette in the template together with the original image, and then the fun part begins: picking the actual colors! :)
I usually take a look at the palette to see which colors dominate, and I set those colors as the outer rounds. You know how when you’re making a mandala/circle/blanket, and the last row you added gives it a completely different look? That applies here too. For this mandala I wanted the purple to dominate, so I used that for the border. There is almost no purple anywhere else in the mandala, yet it still has a definite purple hue to it!
When the border is set, I work from the inside out, so I start in the middle. The first three rounds get the colors that I really love in the piece but shouldn’t dominate too much. And then I just work my way up, changing colors as I go. It’s not an exact science; I just play with it until I’m happy :) As I said before, sometimes after I finish the design I look through my stash and find some other colors in my yarn, and then I go back in and change those colors to see if the mandala as a whole still works for me.
And after all that is done, I lay the yarn out all next to each other, from left to right (representing rounds 1 till 13) and crochet the mandala! :) It usually takes me about two hours to make one, depending on if I’m watching a show while I do it ;) I often crochet my mandalas on a Monday, so that means time for Dexter, Homeland and all those other fab US shows!
I hope you liked this sneak peek into my ‘kitchen’!
How do you pick the colors for a project? Do you plan them like me or do you often just ‘wing it’?