The Art of Meditation

Mental chaos. Emotional turmoil. High blood pressure. Sound familiar? Most everybody experiences these kinds of challenges at some point. What can be done? Enter the art of meditation.

Meditation has been defined variously but, according to Merriam-Webster, meditation is to engage in contemplation or reflection. It can also mean to engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.


When I think of meditation, I like to combine the two definitions given by Merriam-Webster into something like the following:


To engage in contemplation, reflection, or mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.


While it’s true that meditation means different things to different people, I make bold to suggest that its highest purpose is to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Raising our spiritual awareness can help us on all levels by grounding us in a place of strength and understanding.


Recently I completed my Art of Meditation collection—a 16-piece series of watercolor and ink illustrations created to inspire you and your own meditation practice. The illustrations in my Meditation collection are 6x6 inches. Each piece comes framed and matted with the total product measuring 9x9 inches. These are small, detailed illustrations that can easily fit in a wide variety of spaces. See the photo below for an example of my art in action!

Photo of art by David Oliver hanging on wall

Click HERE to shop the remaining originals from the Art of Meditation collection… or read on to get a glimpse into my creative process.


When working on a series like this, I almost always create thumbnail images first. These are small, rough sketches that are fast and easy. I can quickly create several different compositions before settling on my favorite one to translate into a final illustration.

Thumbnail stage by David Oliver Art

Now I lightly translate my thumbnail sketch by sketching with pencil on a piece of cold press watercolor paper.

Sketch stage by David Oliver Art

Once I’m happy with my pencil sketch I ink my lines with black ink.

Photo of a inked illustration by David Oliver

After the ink completely dries I erase any remnants of graphite from my sketch. Then it’s time to brush on the watercolor. I primarily use Daniel Smith watercolors, a local, Washington State producer of some of the world’s finest watercolors.

Photo of a colored illustration by David Oliver

Finally, once my watercolors have dried completely, I often will retrace my ink lines with more ink to help them really stand out and define the forms. Thus is born a David Oliver original!


If you’ve read this far I’ll reward your efforts further by sharing an insider tip: Since I remove my product listings after they sell in my web store, you have to visit my painting/illustration portfolio on my website to view the entire Meditation collection. They’re all there… for now…


Thanks for reading! Enjoy the art and best of luck in your own meditation practice.





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