Draw a Mandala

Mandalas are more than just an easy and fun way to draw something pretty. They are also a form of guided meditation that can promote peace and balance in your life. Always concentrate on the center of your mandala whilst drawing, this will give you an anchor point to fall back to as your mind wanders. Drawing mandalas also has great potential as a spiritual practice for your personal evolution.

Here's a brief guide to getting started creating mandalas.


  1. Get a mandala template; if you don't have one, then draw a circle on a blank piece of paper with either a compass or something round (like a bowl) as a guide.
  2. Find the centre of your mandala. On a mandala template, the centre will be marked. If drawn with a compass, the hole in the paper is the centre. If drawn with a plate, draw a light line in pencil from the top to bottom, and from the left side to the right side; where these lines cross is the centre.
  3. Keep your mandala symmetrical; this will make it look nice. Line up your motifs along directional lines. (Think of a compass, with lines North-South, East-West, NE-SW, and SE-NW.) If you have a mandala template, these will be marked on the paper. If you're drawing your own template, you'll need a ruler and protractor to mark some lines lightly on your mandala. Using 45° angles is a good standard; you will end up with 8 lines. (You can just imagine the lines, but it won't work as well.)
  4. Draw a small shape in the middle of the circle, with a pencil or a marker. A diamond or square, a circle, or a star all work well. (These are your "motifs.")
  5. Draw another shape outside this first shape. (You can change colors at any point.)
  6. Repeat it in a ring all around your centre motif.
  7. Keep going, drawing new motifs in expanding rings, as you work toward the outside circle of your mandala. Easy motif shapes include teardrops, flowers, fans, spirals, geometric shapes, and any other forms you like, such as butterflies, birds, dolphins, etc. Repeat some of your motifs, and introduce new ones as you go. Draw some shapes on the directional lines, and some shapes between the lines, to make a more satisfying design. This is especially important as you move outward, where there's more space between the lines.
  8. Try overlapping some motifs; this creates new and interesting shapes, which still harmonize with what you've drawn so far. As you move outward, your motifs may be larger since you have more space to work with. You can then start putting one shape inside another, again creating more interesting shapes.
  9. You may find yourself wanting to go back and add something to a previous ring. That's fine. The mandala is finished when it feels finished to you.
  10. If you've drawn in pencil, you may want to scan or photocopy it before coloring your mandala. That way you can colour it more than once, and share it with others to colour.


  • Draw lightly with a pencil so you can erase it if you make a mistake.
  • You can draw the mandala in colored pencils/markers, or do a preliminary drawing in pencil and then color it in later.
  • This is much easier with a good template and guidelines! And the finished result looks way better.
  • The finer the drawing tool, the more refined your mandala will be. Crayons give a much cruder appearance than, say, Staetdler markers (my personal favourite).
  • After you've drawn your mandala, you can read it to gain personal insights and spiritual awareness.
  • You can download a free mandala template.

Things You'll Need

  • Mandala template, or blank paper
  • Coloured pencils, markers, or crayons
  • Pencil and eraser (opt.)
  • Ruler, compass, and protractor (or a mandala starter kit)

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