After a recent trip to Japan I decided to get into drawing manga. I’ve loved anime ever since I saw Dragonball Z growing up, and I’ve always been fascinated with the great skill manga artists possess. If you’re thinking of getting into it yourself, two great resources are available to you, they are: ‘How to Draw Manga – Getting Started’, which is an online hosted ebook, and ‘Manga University’ which is a site dedicated to aspiring manga artists.
The following image will no doubt amaze and or scare you. It might make you ponder our insignificance in space, it might not, but it most probably will. It’s a gif image, so wait for it to load – by the time you’ve read this far it will already start flicking through pictures of planets and stars contained within our solar system, in order from smallest (Earth’s moon) to largest (VY Canis Majoris – 3000 million km in diameter and 4,900 light years away from our planet)
To put this into some sort of perspective:
- In one second light travels 300,000 km, which is 7 trips around Earth.
- The closest star to us that we can see in our night sky is Alpha Centuari and is 4.5 light years from Earth.
- 1 light year is 9.5 trillion kms away.
- You can fit 1 million planet Earths into our Sun.
- You can fit 1 billion Suns into VY Canis Majoris!
- A lot of these stars have planets orbiting them, just like we orbit the Sun (a star).
- It is estimated that there are as many as 50 billion planets in our galaxy, most of which are as large as Jupiter.
- There are said to be as many as 200 billion stars in our galaxy alone.
- Over 2 million galaxies have been counted, but it is estimated there could be as many as 100 million.
- The visible universe is about 15,000 million light years in size.
- If our planet is the only one in the entire universe that contains intelligent life, then we are really alone.
To view the image as a single jpg rather than an animated gif, click here.
Here’s something else that might bend your noodle – Look outside your window and take a peek at the stars, yes they don’t seem so small now do they? Since these stars are about 500 light years away (takes 500 years for their light to reach Earth and therefore be visible by our eyes) you are actually looking at space as it was 500 years ago.
Yes, you just saw the past.
Back in my high school days I did life drawing classes once a week, for about 10 weeks. I only managed to hold onto two of my drawings though; this is one of them – a quick charcoal sketch. I really looked forward to these classes, not because I got to see naked girls, but because it was a rewarding challenge! At first I was hopeless, but after a while I became ok at it! Good times! This drawing took me 10 minutes by the way.
This is probably my favourite mandala, and it’s my most recent. It depicts the 7 chakras (energy centers in Yogic tradition) of the human body, and a kundalini serpent that has woken up from the root chakra (which appears to be choking the man… that was an accident!) The whole thing was drawn in pencil, except for the outlines and the fire which was done with paint, to capture its untamed nature. I like this mandala because of its contrast between the still and meditative man and the minimalistic patterns, to the roaring fire surrounding him.
This was the most difficult mandala for me to draw, as it wasn’t spontaneous, but rather very geometric and precise. To get a sri yantra right is quite a difficult process, and I abused the hell out of a lot of erasers in the process! If you want to try drawing one yourself, or are just curious as to how tech the process is! Check out this site.
After I finally finished drawing this beast I was too afraid to colour it in! I drew the actual sri yantra on a different type of paper and pasted it in my glossy paged mandala journal, it gives it a nice effect in my opinion, and helps the geometric design to stand out in all it’s complicated yet beautiful glory! The yellow petals were done in watercolour, and the rest is coloured in pencil. This mandala is still incomplete.
P.S I’ve decided to wing it, pictures below..
I particularly like this mandala, especially the milk white kundalini serpent coiled up on the inside of the circle. The image is a snapshot of a man, any man, or woman, achieving enlightenment, the Buddha is there just for the symbolism of enlightenment. The horns on the backs of the dragons are supposed to be hair, and you can also see the persons’ nose at the very tip of the mandala. The sun and moon represent the passing of time, they could also represent the alchemical images of the unity of the sun and moon; also the sun symbolises masculine (conscious) energy, while the moon symbolises feminine (unconscious) energy. The two faces on either side of the mandala represent the ego and the id. The face on the left is of the ego, it is shaped like an adults face and represents the adult personality of the ego which is to tame the id. The face on the right is the id, it is shaped like a childs face and represents the childlike persona of the id, which is to satisfy it’s immediate urges and be present.
Below: Text taken from my mandala diary: 1st of April 2011
This is the second mandala I ever drew, I drew it in my cousins sketch book to inspire him to start drawing his own, which he did! I’m sure he’ll upload his own mandalas as well (they’re very good!) and you can check them out at his blog silly reverie.
This is a scan of the original, and I don’t know what the hell happened with the green water stain; that wasn’t intentional, I think I spilled my drink on it accidentally, but it looks cool! Also, this is my 100th post, hooray for me! If this blog were a TV series it would have jumped the shark by now, or you would start seeing the same episodes over and over again. Maybe I’ll just re post old posts from now on…?
Text taken from my mandala diary: 1st of April 2011
I like to draw while I read, this is a picture I drew on a chapter header in Carl Jung’s book on dreams.
This is the first mandala I ever drew. I drew it after reading Carl Jung’s book on dreams, on the very last page.
I was watching a video on crop circles and was thinking about aliens when I drew this, the baby with spikes coming out of its back was inspired by the movie Species, which I saw and was freaked out by as a kid.