Tips on how to draw a mandala

Oh, hi there! Today I’m bringing you a tutorial for something that I get questions about all of the time… how to draw a Mandala. I’ve been drawing mandalas as a way to relax and unwind for some time now, and I often get asked where I learned and how I got started.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of information out there on how to draw a mandala. There’s plenty of pretty pictures for reference though, and that is how I learned… by copying what I could see.

Drawing mandalas is such a relaxing and meditative process. I hope you’ll learn a thing or two from this tutorial and I can’t wait to see the beautiful designs that you come up with when you give it a try.

 Get your supplies together

This is a list of the supplies that I use. Feel free to use what you have on hand. Circles can be made using random items from around the house if you don’t have a compass handy.

l Beinfang Heavyweight Drawing Paper

l Blackwing Pearl Pencil

l Compass & Protractor

l Staedtler Pigment Liners

l Clear Flexible Ruler (not the exact one I use but darn close!)

l  Draw your circles

Use your compass (or whatever small round objects you have laying around) and pencil to draw out concentric circles. Some people like to measure the distance between their circles but I like to just wing mine. This makes each mandala that I draw 100% unique and different. All these tools are needed to draw the mandala on paper. However, simple mandala designs are used for more than just paper drawings. The use of the mandala is very varied.

Draw your vertical & horizontal lines

This type of ruler makes it super simple to make sure your lines are at a perfect 90º angle to each other.

Draw your diagonal lines

Use your protractor to mark out the 45º marks between your vertical and horizontal lines. Then mark halfway between those lines as well. Connect your marks through the center line all the way across your circle. This will divide your circle into 16 equal sections.

Start to draw your pattern

Working from the inside out, start to draw your pattern. Here, you can start by simply drawing a flower in the center circle.

Start adding the layers

Pick what your next shape will be and repeat it 8 times around the circle. Here, you can chose a flower petal. The sky is the limit here… be creative! Just remember to repeat the same pattern all the way around to keep everything symmetrical.

Keep adding shapes and patterns

Keep adding layers of different patterns. Sometimes I like to outline a circle or go back and fill in blank spaces with more patterns and designs. Shading in certain areas can make a nice contrast.

Don’t be afraid to deviate from your plan

Here you can do a patterned border to create a separation between the inner and outer sections of my mandala. You can grabbed protractor and pencil and added in a new circle.

Add different line weights

If you want to make this separation nice and bold you can switch from 0.3mm pen to a 0.7mm. 

Fill circles with patterns

Circles like this one are great spaces to fill in with a fun pattern. You can kept this one simple with some swirls, but there are SO many fun patterns you could use. Zentangle patterns are great for something like this!

Keep at it until you’re happy with the size

You’re getting the hang of it now, right? Keep adding layers of patterns until you’re happy with how big your mandala is. Now it’s time to start thinking about the finishing touches.

Fill in blank spaces and create some depth

This I recommend you take a step back and try to look at the big picture. Are there any blank spaces that could be embellished? You can went back in with my 0.7mm pen and thickened up a few lines, adding some circles and scallops where I thought they were needed.

Erase those pencil lines

Check you out! You did it! All that’s left is to erase those pencil lines and admire your beautiful mandala!

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