24 September 2015

Mandala Flower Tutorial

Nature is an endless source of inspiration and for me especially flowers. I love their shapes and their colors.

You'll probably know by now I love mandalas. For a while I've been drawing these Mandala-Flowers which are inspired in real flowers.

In this tutorial I'll show you how I do it.

 For this tutorial I used:

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook
Staedtler Pigment Liners  0.05, 0.2 and 0.5
A photo I took of a flower.

You can use any paper or pen/pencil you have. 

As for the photo, is better if you use your own photo or a photo which you have permission to use. Most of the photos you find on internet have Copyrights and are NOT for FREE use, so make sure what type of Copyright it has before you use it.

This is a photo I took at a friend's farm some years ago. It's the flower of one of my favorite tropical fruits called LULO in Colombia, its scientific name is Solanum quitoense

First, look at you flower carefully. I like to use actinomorphic flowers, which means that it's radially symmetrical, like this one, you can divide it in equal segments meeting at the center.
This one has five segments.

I start with a big dot which will be the center of my flower using the 0.5 Pigment Liner.

Then I add the five heart yellow shapes using the 0.2 Pigment Liner.

Now I draw the five light purple petals, each starting and finishing in the middle of each heart shape.

Next I put the five dark purple sepals between the petals.

Now that I have  my mandala flower with its main elements I add the details inside the main shapes. I like to add some other details not in the actual flower,  they complement my drawing.
I like to use the very fine 0.05 Pigment Liner for this, to have a little bit of contrast with the heavier previous lines made with the 0.2 Pigment Liner. The little dots within the heart shapes are done with the 0.5 Pigment Liner.

You can make one or many, arrange them in a mandala like the first photo and previous tutorial or make a little composition page like the second photo.
You can leave them as black and white drawing or color them in with you favorite media.
You can add as many details as you want.

I hope you like this tutorial and have lots of fun drawing your own Mandala Flowers and flowers.

Find more tutorials here.


  1. Hello. What I,m really curious about is how you make divisions of circle in your mandalas just -I don't know how to say it in english- by hand? (without measuring). I mean how do you manage to hit the in spot, when hou start drawing for example petals around the circle, and finish them just in proper place. Umm, I don't know if I make myself clear...
    When there are just a few tops in mandala design, it is quite easy, but e.g. here: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-46MQhTHXfOM/VWZeEahNBuI/AAAAAAAABj0/CzJLBvuCVm0/s640/blogger-image--689206462.jpg
    I have no idea how to hit in point with all those little U-shape petals on the all way around. Or those triangular petals. You manage to draw the last one JUST IN PLACE next to the first one.
    Any tips? :)

    1. Yes, it's all done free hand without measuring. If you look closely they look equal but they are not exactly the same, some are bigger than others and it doesn't matter!
      Sometimes I don't hit in the spot like here https://www.facebook.com/309797059034941/photos/pb.309797059034941.-2207520000.1443082395./943067732374534/
      The tips I have are the ones in the tutorial where you got this photo from and lots of practice!

    2. ...practice means draw a lot, try to draw one mandala a day. I've been making mandalas since 2001, in the last year I've done around 200 mandalas or more.

    3. Thank you for your reply! I know I shouldn't be surprised that your mandalas look perfect even drawn freehand, because you practise for years :)
      I'm trying to draw a lot, but maybe my problem is that I like them to look symetrical too much.
      I'm a fan of your designs because they look so freely, effortless AND also steady and even.
      Best wishes!

    4. May be you shouldn't judge your mandalas to hard, look at them with love, they are your creations, accept each of them exactly as they are, they are already perfect! Keep them all and before you know it they will look perfect to you.
      Use a grid or tools like compass and protractor if you feel more comfortable, you have to find your own way to draw them :)

  2. Thank you for strongly forewarning about the use of copywrite protected materials! I am a photographer and have had major issues with this. I've been reading parts of your blog the last couple of days to find fresh ideas for my rock painting, although I only use paintbrushes. I've found all the inspiration I'll ever need from a statement you made about drawing to reflect your emotions. On my worst day, designing any type of pattern with the elements and colors that reflect what's weighing in my heart are certainly going to turn out more interesting & desirable than the rock I paint a happy family quote and related objects with bright colors! In retrospect, every time I've had to ask for an opinion was when I was painting something that didn't fit how I felt that day. Thank you!

    1. Dawn Marie, sorry it took me sooooo long to reply to your nice comment. Makes me happy to know you felt inspired and that you found the correlation between emotions and creation.
      I wish people were more aware and careful with copyrights!!!

  3. Brilliant tutorial, thank you!