A zendala is a cross between
a mandala and a zentangle; a usually circular design filled
with patterns which can be colored in or left black and white.
The subtitle on the cover reads “draw and color meditative
mandalas for inner calm,” and this is a guide to how
to do it and how it works for your benefit.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word and the classic version is associated
with Tibet, but as the introduction says, there are circular
patterns all over the world. These range from rose windows
and Celtic patterns to Native American, Middle Easter and
even patterns in nature. You don’t need many materials
to draw zendalas; just paper and a good fineliner pen and
maybe some colored pens or pencils, so most of this book is
devoted to the actual creation of the designs. First learn
how to construct a base using a ruler and compasses or paper
cutting, and then you are ready for the fun part. Like zentangles,
the areas in the zendalas are filled in with various patterns
and many of these are given to start you off. Each pattern
is shown in several steps (usually four) with the newer parts
shown in a different color. This makes it very easy to see
how to progress and patterns are arranged in groups. Some
are in squares, others in triangles or circles. Some are all
filled in with grids while others have smaller shapes floating
around in them. There are bands to go around the edges, and
even a couple of pages about the symbolism of colors with
their positive and negative characteristics. Coming after
this is a section showing whole zendalas, each with a note
about their construction and a simple diagram of the base.
Some are shown in color while others are black and white.
These are also arranged in sets, ranging from ones inspired
by other cultures to dream catchers, flower, circles, seasons
and stars. At the back is a selection of basic zendala patterns
to copy and fill in as you wish, plus a helpful index showing
thumbnail views of all the filling patterns. To sum up, this
is a wonderful way of relaxing that is a step up from coloring
books and a lot more creative which is shown as being easy
to master, thanks to the clear diagrams and instructions.
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