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  • Writer's pictureAdam Millward

It All Started With A Sketch

I'm excited to finally share what I've been working on for the last little while! In June I went to go visit one of my patrons Brad in Las Vegas (you can read all about my trip here) - and when I left, he asked me to do a custom Mandala inspired by Tiki culture! He's a sculptor and carver himself, and lately he's been working on releasing a line of Tiki mugs he designed.

This has been one of the most fun custom projects I've had the pleasure of doing. It was so cool to learn about all the history behind Tiki bars and to find out there's a whole Tiki subculture still going strong! The first thing I did was draw a few Tiki inspired characters to get the vibe going, it all started with this sketch.

Tiki mandala rough sketches - Adam Millward Mandala Art

I showed the sketches to Brad, and we decided to go with the design of the one on the right for the actual painting. The first thing I did was create the outline for the 4 Tiki God figures. I do the outline with a light color of paint so it won't show through when I go over it again later in the process.

Then I created the rest of the pattern outline. For this one it actually took me quite a while to come up with the idea for the rest of the pattern. It's weird how sometimes ideas come to me suddenly though, and once I figured out what I was going to do it came together nicely. I added a few more Tiki characters, which you'll notice more once they're colored and detailed.

Then it was time to add color! I left some open space that I filled in with solid black. One of the things my patron asked me to include was some white pattern on a black background with a tribal sort of hieroglyphic vibe.

Coloring it in is usually the longest part, and this one was no exception. Slow and steady is the only way to get it done. I really like the colors in this one, I was feeling a Polynesian vibe and listened to a lot of Hawaiian guitar music while I was coloring it in lol I tried to give it a tropical Pacific island vibe. Once the colors are all done I start to get excited. It feels like it's getting close to being done, even though there's still a lot more to do.

The next step in creating one of my Mandalas is to go over the outline again. The outline tightens up the design and adds contrast, almost like magic. Doing the outline is probably my favorite part, it feels like a meditation. I get in the zone. The brush gliding across the canvas, then dipping it to get more paint on my brush, becomes almost like a Qi Gong or Yoga movement - it just flows. I also started to add some of the details on the Tiki characters.

The last thing to do was the white pattern in the black areas, and adding some extra details & dots. Those last embellishments really brought the piece to life, and gave it a more vigorous Tiki tropical vibe. I'm super happy with how it turned out - another one that will be hard to pack up and ship away! lol But that's not all, I also made a super limited run of T-Shirts with the design!

I'm super stoked to release these! This is only the second T-Shirt I've done, and the first T-shirt design I've done with color. They're a very exclusive run, there's only a couple available in each size, so I expect these will sell out fast. Don't wait if you want one for yourself, go grab your size now - click here.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog,I hope you have an awesome day! -Adam

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