28 May 2015

How to Draw a Mandala: Tips and Tricks

Some of you have asked me how do I get my mandalas to be so 'perfect' and 'symmetrical',  if I trace them in pencil first or if I use any template.

The answers:

They are not perfect or perfectly symmetrical.
I don't draw them with pencil first, I trace them directly with ink, freehand.
 I don't use any template or compass, unless I'm working on a geometric pattern rosette.

How do I do it?

I start in the center and work outwards, 
I try to compensate uneven areas by slightly varying the size of the elements.
 I try not to leave big empty spaces so I fill them with little details... 
When tracing the circles I pay attention to the distance between the curved line I'm drawing and what's already drawn. 

The most important thing to get almost 'perfect' and 'symmetrical' mandalas is  PRACTICE!
Lots of practice!

This is not symmetric and is not a true circle.

The petal / leaves are all different!

This is one looks more like a circle ;)

As I fill in with little details it starts to look more even.

Getting better...

...And he finished mandala looks almost 'perfect'

If you want to try this tips and tricks but you don't know where to start have a look at this tutorial.

Watch me drawing a mandala on a pebble on this video.

Last words, I encourage you to make your own personal mandalas not just copy, it's more fun to create your own designs, trust me!


  1. Hi MagaMerlina. I'm Kathy, or kfoh57 on IG. When I got my phone last summer, my daughter suggested I try Instagram. I did so that I could follow her photos, but in the process discovered many wonderful artists. Mandalas caught my curiosity so searching online, I found your site, used your tutorials, got inspiration. Am a pen and ink illustrator, love old houses, bugs, but am getting lost, in a good way, in mandalas. I do use a compass to draw my first circle, add more as it grows. These are so much fun to draw because they just grow, shapes inspiring more shapes and details. Don't know how they'll end up, which is fun, they don't have to look like anything! Choose a few colors to work with, but sometimes that changes as they grow. Just want to say thanks for the inspiration. I've done more work in the last year than the last 15! Take care.

    1. Hi Kathy!! I'm so happy to hear/read all these things about you, thank you so much! I follow the same process and have the same thoughts and feelings when creating a mandala. I admire your work very much, it's very detailed, delicate and "perfect" and I always wondered what your background was, now I understand perfectly! Your work inspires me!!! Please keep sharing it. :)

  2. HI MagaMerlina!

    This is a great tutorial - thank you so much for sharing it. Part of what I love is that it's free hand, and in the beginning stages you can see that it's not perfect, and then you still see how amazing it looks in the end. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank YOU very much Amy! I'm very glad you liked it. :)

  3. Hi MagaMerlina
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing tutorial.i just have one question,we should use a special pen to draw a mandala,or which kind of pen that you recommand for it.

    1. Hi Sunny!
      You can draw a mandala with any pen, pencil, marker, etc that you have :)

  4. What kind of pen and ink do you use? These are so Beautiful!


    1. Thank you!
      Here I'm using a Sailor Sapporo fountain pen end Platinum Carbon Ink.