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Do you wonder how to draw a mandala? The creative process is not complicated, although it requires some knowledge and practice. Read on to learn the basics of mandala drawing by hand with pen and paper!

How to Draw a Mandala Freehand

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Creating a Mandala can be an excellent tool for meditation. You can use a mandala creator online to make things easier and faster. If you decide to do everything yourself, you should learn the basics first. Let’s get started!

how to draw a mandala

What Stands Behind a Mandala Sanskrit Word?

mandala henna tattoo

Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is associated with spiritual symbols and shapes that represent the universe, organization, and connection between visible and invisible things.

Mandalas can also be found in other parts of the world. For instance, windows, floors, and walls in old Christian cathedrals and churches also feature the Mandala’s visual design.

a mandala window
Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden 

A standard Mandala consists of a circle and a square with four “gates” that are linked with tiny shapes. It is mainly used to establish sacred spaces, enable smooth meditation, or encourage a spiritual trance.

A mixed media mandala art piece by Jayshree Sharma, an India based contemporary artist
A mixed media mandala art piece by Jayshree Sharma, an India based contemporary artist.

Some specialists associate Mandalas with personal development and growth, as well as enhancing a person’s emotional state.

Drawing patterns can often be found in adult coloring books, due to their relaxing and stress-relieving qualities.

Creating Your Own Mandala

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When you draw your own Mandalas, you should listen to your soul. This is where you can find answers to all your questions. And this is where you can find the right shapes, colors, and patterns to express yourself.

For instance, you can create a Mandala to specify a state of mind that you are striving for. After all, Mandalas are used as popular tools for increasing self-awareness.

The best thing about creating your own Mandala is flexibility. While expressing your sense of self and your view of reality, you can choose to use any shapes and colors. Your Mandala is your space for demonstrating your personal creativity.

woman with mandala patterns painted on her hands with white ink

Mandala Drawing Materials

Now that you know the basics, you should start with a simple beginner’s Mandala. To proceed with this, you will need a few simple things.

These include colored pencils, markers, crayons, or paints.

Historically, Mandalas have always featured a wide range of bright colors. So, the more colors you have, the better.

Also, you will need a few sheets of white paper as you might create more than one draft.

Considering the even lines and shapes that make up a Mandala, you will definitely need something to draw nice circles and lines. Whether it be a ruler or anything else, it is up to you to decide what will work best for your design.

We will be drawing the circles in our mandala by hand, without a compass, but you can choose to use one if you want to.

vector mandalas

Let’s Get Started Drawing Mandalas!

This is where you will learn how to create these mystic symbols with ease. Of course, there are a lot of drawing techniques involved, but we will focus on the basic one that involves the following steps:

Step 1: Draw the Lines

Whatever kind of paper format you are drawing on, you should measure it out into a square shape.

Depending on the size of your future Mandala, you will need to add the relevant amount of space for future circles and shapes.

When you have your square shape ready, you will need to put 4 lines crossing in the middle of the square.

  • One vertical in the middle
  • One horizontal in the middle
  • One left diagonal
  • One right diagonal
how to draw a mandala

Step 2: Place Dots

You will place some dots on each line to draw proper circles. You should start from the center by marking the dots at equal distances on each part.

The distance between dots depends entirely on the composition you have in your head.

how to draw a mandala

Step 3: Draw Circles

You will connect the dots on the lines to draw circles, one by one. If your circles don’t look perfect, you shouldn’t worry about it. After adding other elements of design and highlighting them with bright colors, all the imperfections will disappear.

how to draw a mandala

Step 4: Add Some Shapes

The “most tiresome” part of learning how to draw a mandala is over! Once you have a scheme, you can start decorating it by adding new patterns.

These can be leaves, petals, half leaves, circles, and triangles. All elements can be repeated on several circles as long as the Mandala’s size allows you to do so.

how to draw a mandala
how to draw a mandala

Step 5: Add Some Colors

This step is all about you. Depending on your emotional state, you decide on the choice of colors for your Mandala. Whether you want to stay in a single color palette or you want to draw a colorful mess, it is up to you.

If you want to keep things minimal, without color, you can simply skip this step.

how to draw a mandala

When you add colors, you should move from the center outwards. Thus, you will avoid touching the rest of the drawing. Ideally, you leave each circle dry before going to the next one. This is especially helpful with light colors.

Step 6: Make Borders Clear

Whether you colored your mandala or left it simple, you won’t want to skip this step. You should highlight the borders with a bold marker. This will make your drawing clearer by adding a striking definition.

how to draw a mandala

Step 7: Finalize Your Drawing

To finalize your mandala, you can let your imagination run free. If you feel like adding more lines, dots, or some other design patterns, do so.

Take your time to go back to a circle and create some additional elements if the space seems empty to you.

how to draw a mandala

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this mandala drawing tutorial. Drawing mandalas is a great way to express yourself with the full-color palette. Whether you do it for fun or for meditation purposes, you will definitely enjoy the process.

Before you take a pen in your hands and start drawing, turn on some relaxing music and put out some candles. Let your imagination draw the elements for your masterpiece!

This is a guest post contributed by Alexa Khilova.

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    1. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward in getting better with Mandalas. I love to create but sometimes I get stuck. thank you 🙏🙏🙏

  1. Thank you so much for sharing such a great article and for your guidance. I love making mandala designs, it helps me calm down.

  2. I want to draw mandala for my mental peace and the way Alexa you defined this thing is on another’s level, I will start my mandala from now thanks for this great article.