'Zen Mandalas' has wonderful artwork from Margaret Bremner on the cover. When I first saw it my jaw dropped! Both Margaret and Carole Ohl contributed to this book from Suzanne McNeill. The book goes into some of the rational behind why mandalas are so special. Throughout this book there are wonderful mandalas in both black and white and color. When I showed this to people at CHA the first reaction was "I could never do that!" But when you look at one section at a time and remember the Zentangle philosophy of "anything is possible, one stroke at a time", it all falls into place. Instructions to create you own mandala are very clear.
Zen Mandalas - Sacred Circles Inspired by Zentangle "explores the ancient teachings of the mandala through the process of Zentangle".
Of the 4 new Design Originals books that just hit the bookshelves Zen Mandalas is far and away my personal favorite.
Suzanne McNeill did a superb job of creating a mini-course in all you could want to know about mandalas. Her illustrations along with those of CZTs Margaret Bremner and Carole Ohl are beautiful and inspiring. I learned so much about mandalas and their symbolism and meanings from this book and I'm totally inspired to create some of my own.
Zen Mandalas is an 8 x 8-inch, 52-page (including covers) softcover book that includes 60 tangles with step-by-step illustrations, "and everything a beginner needs to start making beautiful mandalas."
The "Zen in Mandalas" section sets up the content that follows by summarizing and explaining the qualities mandalas represent - sacred circles, center of life, expanding life, symmetry, balance, relaxation, meditative, focus.
From there, the book proceeds into the following sections:
Getting Started - the Zentangle basics of supplies, border, string and tangles, and shading to add dimension
Snowflake Mandalas - how to cut snowflake mandalas, by CZT Carole Ohl, with Carole's inspiring black and white mandalas
Color Mandalas - by CZT Margaret Bremner, with Margaret's beautiful colorful mandalas
Templates and Geometric Mandalas - how to create mandalas with stencils, or a compass
Symbolism and the Color Wheel - the meaning of common mandala symbols, and the meaning of color and combinations
Adding Colors - a "collection of generally accepted meanings of color", with a variety of colorful mandalas by Suzanne McNeill using various media - watercolors, colored pencils, chalk, colored pens, etc. - and tips for each
Tangle Patterns - arranged in groups by variations of circles, grids, wavy lines, parallel lines, leaves and shapes
These next chapters contain examples of each theme with explanations of related colors and numeric symbolism:
Yin-Yang - how to make a 2-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 2
Planet Earth - how to make a 3-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 3
Sun and Compass - how to make a 4-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 4
Heavenly Bodies - how to make a 5-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 5
Love & the Heart - how to make a 6-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 6
Water & Earth - how to make a 7-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 7
Hands All Around - how to make an 8-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 8
Spiral - how to make a 9-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 9
Lotus and Symmetry - how to make a 10-section or 12-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of these numbers
Dream Catchers - how to make an 11-section mandala with a protractor, symbolism of the number 11
Borders & Hex Symbols - borders and boundaries for your mandalas and 8 Pennsylvania-Dutch good luck symbols
Index of Tangles - a pictorial index of the 60 tangles. (Errata: in Line 3, the 4th tangle labeled Braid should be Cells, and the 5th labeled Cells, should be Chinese Lanterns)
Zen Mandalas is simply packed with inspirational examples and practical information for expanding your Zentangle creativity with mandalas. You will not be disappointed with this book, it is well worth having in your library.
Explore the ancient teachings of the mandala through the process of Zentangle. Includes 60 new tangles, and amazingly beautiful circles to inspire all crafters.