In last week’s post I discovered some of the first suggested creative therapy offered by psychologists was from and by Carl Jung. He encouraged his patients to create their own mandalas as a form of stress release. So today, I’m going to show you how to draw and color your own mandala.
First, let’s talk about the history of mandalas. The word is derived from Sanskrit for circle and is meant to be a symbol for our larger universe and connection to it. The Mandala Project has a great history of on their website. The Ancient History encyclopedia talks about how many different materials have been used to create mandalas, from paint to sand. Creating mandalas is seen as an act of meditation.
SO, if you are looking for some stress relief and enjoy drawing this may be the exercise for you!
Step One: Source your materials.
I suggest you obtain:
(1) scrap paper (I am reusing printer paper in this case)
(2) a fun pencil (Story: Mom has gifted me holiday themed pencils to me since I was a little girl. I now have a lifelong supply!)
(3) a compass (Or find another way to draw circles)
(4) a ruler or triangle
(5) eraser (to remove your pencil marks)
(6) coloring utensils (markers, paint, crayons, you name it)
Create an x or a dot in the center of your paper.
Using your compass, draw a circle based off the point you created in the center of your paper.
Draw as many concentric (sharing the same middle point) circles as you want.
Get your ruler or triangle and divide your circle into 4 equal “pie” pieces.
Now, create 8 equal divisions of your circle, or 8 “pie” pieces by dividing your current pie pieces in half.
Step Seven: Begin Your Design!
What ever you draw in one slice of your “pie,” be sure to draw in matching pie slices. This is about symmetry and repetition, but it’s up to you if you do the same marks in each and every pie slice OR every other pie slice, for example.
In this drawing you can see I start to match shapes I draw to those opposite each other:
The lines you draw are entirely up to you. Make each mandala you draw an experiment!
I made no plans for my mandala before starting this demo. I just made one set of marks, made sure they “match up” across from each other on my line axis, and then decided what marks to make next. It is an intuitive process: perhaps this is why it can be such a relaxing activity!
When you feel like you’ve made enough marks with your pencil, go through and lightly erase your marks if you don’t want them to show through in your drawing.
Now you are ready to color!
Consider symmetry and repetition when you color in your mandala, just as you did drawing out your mandala.
If you use a color in one corner, consider using it in all corners as I did with this yellow area below OR match opposite pie slices, as I did with the orange and magenta circles.
Ta da! Now you have your very first mandala. Now that you’ve completed one, consider doing another! Try one only using straight lines. And then another only using curvy lines. Each mandala you create will be unique and offer you new ideas for your next one.
If you like this tutorial please share it with others and click to Tweet:
Learn How to Draw a Mandala with Artist Strong – I did!
I want you to embrace your creative interests. Creating mandalas is easy and quick and a satisfying way to have some art play in your life. If you are thinking about drawing as a creative interest, this is a great way to build some confidence and get started. Mandalas are as complicated and skillful as you allow them to be!
Additional tutorials to help reinforce your understanding:
Thaneeya McArdle uses lots of organic shapes in her mandala demonstration
WikiHow has a great 10 step tutorial on making a mandala.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: SHARE the product of your creation with me! I LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I say love?) seeing the fruits of creative effort. Post it on the Facebook page.
I can’t believe no one has commented on this! This is wonderful, and just what I was looking for. Thank you.
I’m so pleased to know it helped you. Thank you for reading Artist Think! 🙂
This is a great tutorial for those just starting to learn to draw mandalas
Thanks so much for this! Starting mine tonight
Yay Reign! I’d love to see it. Give me a shout on social somewhere @artistthink 🙂 have fun!
Thanks it’s usefull forma me, thanks again.
You’re welcome Alejandra! <3
Fascinating and very cool stuff. Thanks! I’ve been increasingly interested in mandalas and how they might help people develop a more integrated life. This will improve their overall health.
Keep up the great work!!
Thank you Chris for taking the time to read up on mandalas. They are a meditative, relaxing activity that can most certainly help us be happier, healthier human beings. And they are only as hard or as easy as we choose to make them. It makes them perfect for all skill levels.
Mandalas are very beautiful and makes it easier in Arts
Thank you Elizabeth! Yes they are beautiful.
Hello 🙂 I didn’t realize I was doing Mandala until I came across your blog. Now I have more ideas in mind! thank you so much for this 🙂
I’m glad to hear that Melai! Happy Mandala-ing 🙂
Thank you for this fantastic tutorial!!!!! I find following a tutorial like this easier than following an online workshop (tho I enjoy those too); I hope you’ll keep doing these xoxo
Thanks Pamela 🙂 I’ll think of some more to do…Have a great day!
Thanks for the practical steps and the video!
I’ve always loved creating mandalas. It seems like there are endless possibilities and geometric forms you can create. I just wrote a blog post about sacred geometry and mandalas that’s pretty interesting too.
It is very interesting!
Thank you for the tutorial on the mandala. I drew one and it’s 7 in a half feet by 7 in a half feet. I drew it on a sheet with black sharpies. It took me 4 months to do it, I did it all on a T. V tray. I didn’t use a compass or anything else to measure it. I did it all free hand.
Good for you Angela!
That is just brilliant. Thank you ever so much.
love it! i like the colors and design! yall are crazy talented! hope yall have a great day!
This has helped me loads, i have been given a piece of homework, which is to draw a mandala and i had no idea what one o those were so i just typed into google how to draw mandalas and this came up. Thank you so much you helped me with my homework
I’m so glad it can help!
Carrie, I enjoyed watching your video on creating a mandala. Very informative. Enjoyed it!
You are most welcome 🙂
Eu já faço e posso ti dizer que é bem gratificante e melhora muito o nosso humor você se sente outra e quando concluímos fica melhor ainda.
I’m so happy to hear that mandalas help your mood too! Thanks for sharing Anacélia.
Gracias, espero que me ayuden, ya que me gustan mucho las mandalas
De nada Eve, Espero que esto le ayude!