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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Digital Mandala

Created on December 03, 2014 by Scorchard

Students will create abstract mandalas in the Adobe Photoshop program.

8 Keeps, 3 Likes, 2 Comments

5 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. SWBAT identify similarities in radial designs across time and culture
2. SWBAT successfully create a radially symmetrical abstract design
3. SWBAT use the Pen Tool and paths to create artworks from scratch in the Adobe Photoshop program

1. Computers
2. Adobe Photoshop (Will work on all versions) or similar program with paths, layers, and transform tools

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. View and discuss Tibetan sand mandalas and Medieval European rose windows - similarities, differences
2. Demonstrate to the students how to create a radial template in Photoshop that has 16 slices (or 8 slices for less complex designs)
3. Select inside of one wedge of the circle template with the Magic Wand tool on a separate layer
4. Draw a path with the Pen Tool or Freeform Pen Tool
5. Paths Tab > Stroke Path with the Brush
6. Repeat step 5 until the wedge has a complex set of lines (Note: lines should create enclosed shapes)
7. Deselect the wedge, Duplicate the wedge layer
8. Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical
9. Transform the wedge copy so that it is mirroring the original wedge
10. Merge Down
11. Duplicate the merged wedges layer, Transform and rotate into position. Repeat until the circle pattern is complete.
12. Create a new layer
13. Select a set of shapes around the circle with the Magic Wand Tool, Fill with a color. Repeat until the mandala is fully colored.

Note: I had my students hide the solid black lines before saving their files as JPEG format, but keeping them is equally striking

See attached rubric/reflection

  • Me1issa08 12/05/2014 at 09:37am
    This is a great lesson! I am interested in trying this with my high school Art I students... do you have the template you were talking about for those of us less experienced in digital art?

  • Scorchard 12/08/2014 at 04:09am
    I do have a template! It's a PSD format though, so it's quite large. If you're on Google Drive I'd be happy to upload the template and share it with you.

    Shoot me an email at: