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Straight From My Art – Workshop 12 – Dancing Lady Mandala

A little late for the time of the year this usually falls in, but we came across this wonderful representation of a lady dressed up in traditional ghaghra-choli garb, dandiya in her hands, ready to dance with a group of friends and family during the nine-day period of Navratri which usually falls in September/October each year and celebrates the eternal triumph of good over evil as well as the Goddesses worshiped in Hindu culture, Lakshmi, Parvati and Saraswati.

The drawing we found also has the lady surrounded by an intricate mandala. Besides being the workshop that marked a dozen humble attempts of our small group at art, it was also the point where we all found ourselves in four different countries and time zones such that it was near impossible for all of us to find a time that worked to spare for the workshop. With such extreme time differences, we decided instead to pick a sketch every few weeks that we all liked and attempt it independently. I began to share my step-by-step sketches just to break it down for everyone’s convenience as the crucial part of our workshops lately was getting the basic sketch down which as yet all of us were not totally comfortable with.

Here are the step-by-step sketches I shared with the group:

I chose to start with the mandala circular pattern itself and then work my way around it to draw the lady. I then outlined all of this with a microtip pen and erased the extra pencil lines.

From this point we all began to use our own imagination and colour choices to complete the design.

My cousin sister Goma came up with this version:

She kept to the original drawing which had the lady completely enclosed in the mandala. She also chose to create a colourful mandala instead of the original black which adds a pop of colour and brightness to her version.

My sister Lakshmi went with the original brief on the colour theme but decided, like me, to bring the lady a little outside of the mandala as a different effect:

The level of detail and attention to the finer points makes her version almost indistinguishable from the original except for the swirling skirts outside of the mandala.

I chose to go with a different colour theme for my lady’s outfit, but stuck to the brief and did a black mandala. Here’s my version:

I added a bit more design elements to the lady’s outfit as well in comparison to the original. The mandala was one of the most intricate ones I’ve worked on till date and I also got to work on negative space style of colouring the pattern in. This is one of the styles that I’m as yet not very comfortable with, and I enjoyed the opportunity to hone my skill while drawing this one.

Until next time!

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