Everyday Life

Day 9: Making Mandalas

I was re-introduced to mandalas during a free online course Kathryn Costa offered in December. She also has a great book, The Mandala Guidebook: How to draw, paint and color expressive mandala art that I was lucky enough to get over the holidays. I’m in love!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been following the book and making at least one mandala a day. Each time I create one I think it’s my favorite…and then I do the next one, which becomes my favorite.

The grid mandalas made with a compass and protractor are my current favorites. Creating the patterns appeals to my inner techie while adding the details and colors appeals to my outer artist. It’s a perfect blend of math and art for me. (Before I scare you off, making the more organic freehand mandalas are fun and easy with no flashbacks to math needed.)

In order to start, grab a pencil, pen, crayon or maker and have an open mind. Remember, the “mistakes” generally become beautiful oops anyway. By the time you color in or paint it, you’ve got a great work of art. In addition, as the fellow quilters out there can tell you, pieces are much more interesting and unique if they aren’t perfect!

If this is your first time with a mandala, you can start with a smaller freehand version. If you like more intricate designs, try those. You can even search for existing mandalas and print them out to add to your work.

Here’s a basic way to start.

Step 1 & 2: Draw a circle and add four lines.
  1. Create a circle and make another circle around it.
  2. Add four lines, one in each direction – think of a compass, N, E, S, W
  3. Add four more lines to the circle
  4. Connect the lines with a shape – triangle, petal, semi circle, etc.
  5. Add designs inside each “petal” or area
  6. Continue adding circles, lines and petals in layers and layers.
  7. Use doodles and patterns to fill in areas
  8. Add colors
Step 3: Add four more lines.
Step 4: Connect the lines with a shape.
Step 6: Continue adding layers and more shapes.

Voila! You have a mandala. It can be a soothing, meditative experience with the repetition of the patterns and designs.

Step 7 & 8: Add doodles and colors.

I can’t wait to see what you create or find!

If you’re interested in the book I mentioned, you can purchase it from Amazon here. The Mandala Guidebook by Kathryn Costa. (Please note this is an affiliate link and helps me and my business.)