In this session, we were joined by our good friend Leslie Nicole. Founder of French Kiss Collections, Leslie has a fine art background and is both a photographer and designer, and is no stranger to a Design Cuts live session.

Leslie taught us something a little unique, covering the topic of how to create a beautiful 4 way mandala design. Mandala derives from the Sanskrit word for circle and is an abstract design generally with a clear centre point from which you build out an array of geometric and organic forms. Designing Mandalas can be both inspirational and therapeutic, so we were beyond excited to learn how to create these captivating design.

Pick a Floral Image

Choose a floral image and cut it out from the background. Flip it to the side horizontally and then vertically.

Merge all of the florals and rotate them 90 degrees.

Make a copy of this and rotate it to 45 degrees.

Make another copy and rotate it to 22.5 degrees. Play with the blend modes and diagonals.

Click a RAW Image

Click a RAW image to begin and fix its white balance. Give it contrast and cut the photograph in Photoshop. Use the Clarity Filter to do this.

Add the Artistic CutOut Filter in Photoshop Filers to the flower. Use the Stylised Filter from the Exposure Snap Art.

Change Canvas Size

Change the canvas size by pressing Command + C and resize it to a square. Convert it to a smart object by clicking on the Command on the layer and invert to a smart object. Resize the flower to half the size of the canvas.

Duplicate it by pressing Command + J. Use Command + T, grab the middle handle and pull it to the bottom till it snaps. Control-click inside and flip it vertically. Select both flower layers, duplicate it and merge them by clicking Control + E.

Press Command + T, grab the center handle, drag it till it snaps and flip it horizontally.

Put the design in the center. Hold all the flower layers and press Command + J. Click on Command + E to merge the layer. Press Command + T to transform and rotate it 90 degrees, clockwise. This will form a base pattern for the four-way mandala.

Work on the Layer Mask

Put a layer mask on the composition and zoom in. Use a brush to erase the black flower coverings on top of the flower.

Make a Pattern

Duplicate the image and merge all the layers. Resize it to 1000 pixels to make a pattern from the motif. Remove the background and define the pattern.

Bring the document back and remove the large motif. Select the pattern and select the latest tile. Scale the pattern and add it to the document.

Make the Mandala

Bring the large motif back on the document. Add 200 extra pixels on the height and width. Duplicate the motif and merge it to a group. Transform it and angle it to 45 degrees.

Select everything again and copy it. Merge the layers together and transform it to an angle of 22.5 degrees.

Pro tip: Use blend modes with a flat image.

Apply dark colors to the flowers. Use different blends for modes.

Similarly, you can create different blend modes and change the pattern of the mandala. See both the images below for reference. They are both formed from the initial flower.

Add Background

Add different backgrounds to create a boho design.

Congratulations, a beautiful mandala is ready. Here’s another tutorial by Leslie.

Pick a floral image and isolate it from the background. Flip them horizontally and vertically.

Put all the flowers together and create a pattern or motif.

Rotate it on different angles and flip horizontally.