Tag Archives: symmetry

Perfectly Pink Flower Mandala


It’s a mutant plumeria, or something.

It’s been a rough month in Dragon’s Cave. The deadly beast insomnia (second only to gravity in the “keeping-Dragon-down” pantheon) keeps rearing its ugly head, which can be kind of debilitating. On the plus side, I have beaten my own personal record for most consecutive hours of consciousness. The previous record was 36, in which time I took 2 cars, 2 planes, and 4 trains from Chicago to Prague. This weekend, all I did was travel to and from the town of Bisbee, attend a late night stand up comedy show at an underground club, and fail, repeatedly, to fall asleep.

Picture me, hour 39, in the front row of a club hazy with the green-tinged atmosphere of a Dutch coffee shop, looking up, as if from the bottom of the ocean, at this big black comedian who’s explaining to the organizers of a local Pride Parade that Chik-Fil-A is so good that he doesn’t care if the organization is homophobic, that he would eat Chik-Fil-A if they were openly racist and made him sit in a black-only segregated area of the restaurant, while the civil rights lawyer on my right side is actively booing him. What am I doing here? I ask myself. Is this really happening? Also, if I stand up to go to the bathroom, how likely is it that I will fall over and injure myself? How am I going to get out of this club, anyway? Will I have to walk? Am I actually already asleep and having a weird meta dream about insomnia? And so on.

Round about hour 41, my brain finally relented and I got 9 hours of unconsciousness (not uninterrupted, as The Man got up and made a smoothie halfway through). I bet I could have slept another 2 hours at least, but also there are the kids, and when you’re a kid, “being quiet” and “banging the door of the front-loading washer 17 times in a row” are somehow not mutually exclusive activities. But you can’t make up lost sleep, can you? Like, I should have slept 16 hours, right? Not an option. So, I’m not wholly recovered. I may never be.

Here’s a pinky-pinky flower mandala with an unusual symmetry based on the number 7, drawn in less stressful and more well-rested times.

Dotty Mandala and Macrophotography


It’s a bit spotty, isn’t it?

That was another breakneck weekend. And now it’s over.

This mandala is stark and cold, like the snow icing the mountains, making the desert look like Denver. It being somewhat threadbare, here is some macrophotography to fill in any gaps the white space may have left in your visual pleasure receptors.

Humans have visual pleasure receptors, right? Feast your eyes on this:


What else are you missing?

This is the bud of an aloe flower. Tiny and pretty!



This is a detail of a small garden sculpture my mother bought me at a street fair. It happens to be the curly hair of a little fairy, a very specific fairy, in fact: the first year dance fairy. You can tell by how she holds her feet. It’s a long story. But a small detail.

There ya go. Happy Monday.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Mandala

Ooh...dimensionality through texturization

Ooh…dimensionality through texturization

There came a point at which I realized that the mandalas were starting to form patterns, which allowed me to deliberately mix those patterns up. I had mandalas with crystalline structure, and mandalas that look leafy and flowery, and mandalas that had creature elements. This one combine all the three. In the center a sort of garnet-y thing in purple and red, surrounded by a sort of a green lily pad, with a feathery blue edge that reminds me of a sea creature.

Been tinkering with the same comic all weekend. It’s closer, although I still don’t have the last panel. The illustrations are coming together, at least. So I’m drawing these pictures and trying to figure out why the ones that are supposed to be kids look like adults. And then I realize that kids have great big heads on their little tiny bodies. If you don’t give them enormous heads they just look like thin adults.

Anyway, I would have gotten further but The Man wanted to watch Boyhood with me. It’s a very long film. The concept is fascinating, though. Not only could then have no way of knowing what the child actors would look like at the end of the movie, they couldn’t have written certain scenes (like when the main character rants about Facebook) before they actually pitched the film. Not to mention the music. I neglected to take any of the vast quantity of OTC medications that have been keeping my sinuses from back up into my brain, so now I have a headache, too. Still, I’m going to try to get this comic at least 50% finished tonight. Otherwise tomorrow night I’ll going nuts either scrambling to finish it or to dash out some kind of filler comic.

Man, people better appreciate.

A Bold Triangle Mandala

This mandala would probably appeal to hippie Jews. Also, hippie Rastafarians. Although in my experience that phrase is basically redundant.

This mandala would probably appeal to hippie Jews. Also, hippie Rastafarians. Although in my experience that phrase is basically redundant.

All weekend I kept telling myself, “I’m going to get 1 or 2 comics finished this weekend so that I’m not driving myself crazy trying to beat midnight deadlines after crazy days all week.” Friday night we actually got in early–10:30, which is an early Friday for us–and then spent 3 hours playing Words with Friends. OK, there’s still Saturday. No, Saturday we were frantically cleaning the house in expectation of some guests, and once they arrived we went out with them, and didn’t get back until 10:30 again, at which point I had other work to catch up on for the next 3 hours. But there was still Sunday: we only had brunch plans and then had the rest of the day free. Except I had to bring soup to a sick friend, and there were a lot of things to talk about with a lot of people, and now it’s after midnight, I’m still updating a mandala post, and so far I’ve got 3/4 of a script for tomorrow and nothing else.

Monday Mandala was a good idea, but it’s removed some of the urgency of Sunday nights.

I should have an article on Panels entitled, “3 Webcomics for People Who Find Kinky Sex Hilarious.” Will update later with link.

Mandalas Make Your Mind Go Round

There’s plenty of room for this colorful rainbow mandala in your happy Tuesday, is there not?

I am a little ray of sunshine.

I am a little ray of sunshine.

Love the colors in this one, and the rosace quality of the mandala itself. Without making an effort to wear my crayons down equally, I would most likely compose all drawings as rainbows, or in shades of blue. I do try to explore the full chromatic spectrum, but it takes work, especially when exploring oranges and yellows and neutrals, to which I am not at all drawn.

This is one of the mandalas that might get turned into a T-shirt in the future. And speaking of T-shirts, if you would like to purchase a fine one, RedBubble is still offering a site-wide sale on shirts until midnight tonight. Just visit the QWERTYvsDvorak RedBubble shop, select any of our exquisite merchandise, and use coupon code RBTEES15.

Mandalas are Magic Part 2

A flower-based mandala

A flower-based mandala

I set out to draw one hundred mandalas to help me find my way as an artist. It took about six months. Part of me thought, “why not one thousand,” but I only got to about one twenty five before other things became more interesting to me. I still draw mandalas sometimes, but it used to be a couple a week.

A mandala inspired by Aztec design

A mandala inspired by Aztec design

Patterns started to appear in the mandalas. Although each was different, there were many based on flowers or other plants, many based on crystals. There were mandalas inspired by holidays and mandalas inspired by tragedies. Comedic ones made my smile, perfectly symmetrical ones made my work a little harder.

Too obvious?

Too obvious?