Learning How to Draw a Mandala

Draw a Mandala. Jamie Ridler Studios.

When Andrea invited me to be a part of the Magic of Mandalas blog hop, I felt a bit sheepish. I had never (never!) drawn a mandala in my life and didn’t know where to start. Considering my complete level of inexperience it made sense to say no – but many great adventures arise from choosing what doesn’t make sense! And so it was with mandalas.

I asked Andrea whether I could take part as a newbie and relay what I learn in the experience. She said yes and shared her great tutorial, How to Draw a Mandala (and why you want t0). With that and this simple video above, I was all set.

I began my mandala journey by focusing on the three basics: a dot, a circle and the number 8.

Draw a Mandala

First Mandalas in Black and White

When I learn something new, I like to start with keeping it really simple and unintimidating. I started off with a black pen and index cards. I find index cards a really useful medium for staying unattached and keeping it light and easy.  Right away I started to find the process engaging. When I work with groups or lead workshops, I always start by creating a circle, a safe and sacred space in which the work can begin. It occurred to me that the mandala circle was just such a place.

Journal Manjdalas. Jamie Ridler Studios.

Next Mandalas in A Journal

I started to have a lot of fun creating mandalas and they soon found their way into my journal. I started to get into a practice of looking around for shapes that were in my visual field and I would add them into the circle. That was a fun way to expand what had been a limited repertoire of lines and shapes and possibilities.

Mandalas Drawn in Colour. Jamie Ridler Studios.

Then Mandalas in Colour

As it became more comfortable to play with shapes and lines, I thought why not try some colour? Again I kept it simple, using just one coloured pen for each mandala. It was fun to add a new dimension. With each layer of exploration, I felt myself going deeper and deeper into mandala magic.

Playing with Fire Mandala

Adding More Colour

Next I returned to the simplicity of drawing a mandala with a black pen but then added colour. This was glorious. Creating and colouring the mandalas was as meditative as I had heard. It was a contained space where I could take a break, mentally and creatively, for a period of time. And because I kept the mandalas relatively small, I was able to turn to them often.

Heart Mandala. Jamie Ridler Studios

Playing with Colour Stories

I discovered mandals were a wonderful way to explore colour combinations. I played with familiar favourites and stretched into new colour zones. If I wondered how colours would get along, the mandala created the perfect ground to find out.

Adding Mandalas to Your Art Journal

Adding Mandalas to My Art Journal

As I spend time with mandalas, more and more ideas pop up. How might I add them to my art journal? What if I scanned them in black and white and played with colours on the computer? What if I created a mandala out of flowers, leaves and stone?

Already I have experienced the power of the mandala, the gift of the circle, the invitation to explore and discover.

It seems my journey with mandalas has just begun.  Has yours?

This is a part of Andrea Schroeder’s The Magic of Mandala’s Blog Hop. Explore more mandala’s through the link below!

mandala blog hop

The Magic of Mandalas Blog Hop is a radically inspiring sharing circle, with artists from around the globe sharing the stories behind their process of creating mandalas. Our mission: To inspire you to see new possibilities for your own creative practice.

Click here to discover new artists, soak up new ideas and fill up on creative inspiration to fuel your creative practice.

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17 comments

  1. Joy says:

    I love this, Jamie – thank you! I stopped what I was doing and I tried drawing my first mandala ever (I have a mandala coloring book, but this is he first I have drawn). What fun!

  2. So glad you linked back to this, I had missed it the first time! I had a wonderful afternoon and evening playing with this method… and I wouldn’t have stopped if my hand didn’t protest! Thanks for the fun new artsy thing to play with!

    • Jamie says:

      Oh, I’m so glad this got you mandala-ing, Maurie! Clearly it spoke to your creative spirit. Yay!! I know what you mean about your hands. I find I have to jump from journaling to knitting to writing and everything in between to keep my hands from getting grumpy. So far it seems to be really helping! Have fun with the mandalas.

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