Mandala Designs: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

Mandalas have appeared in art for hundreds–maybe thousands–of years. I’ve long been a fan of the geometric, symmetrical designs. They give me a sense of peace. Everything is balanced. Everything is beautiful.

I’ve been eyeing the work of modern mandala makers lately. Since the Zen doodle wave has been captivating the art community–even bringing new artists into the world of drawing–it should come as no surprise that mandala designs would see another surge in popularity. While I love to look at mandalas, I didn’t know if I had it in me to draw one. I was intimidated by the intricate lines and circular form.

Mandala design by Deborah Pace |
Weeping Willow (mandala design) by Deborah Pacé, who says: “Try using black or dark background paper with simple line drawings using a white pen. Draw lines close and far apart and see what emerges from your design.”

But I just read Creating Mandalas by Deborah Pacé and before I was finished, I put it down to get out my sketchbook and compass. I also grabbed my Sakura Pigma Micron .08 pen, a sharp pencil, a black Sharpie marker, and a ruler. The next thing I knew, I was drawing circles, then lines, all inspired by the mandala designs in this book. Once I started I couldn’t stop, and when I was finished, I felt exhilarated.

Mandala designs for beginners (art by Cherie Haas) |
If you think it’s too hard to learn how to draw
a mandala, think again, friends! This is the
first stage of my maiden mandala.

Part of that exhilaration came from the experience I had while drawing my first mandala. Perhaps because it was repetitive, or because I was only using black ink (and not complicating things with additional color), my mind was able to wander to other creative ideas that I have been simmering. By the end of my little impromptu drawing session, I had an epiphany about an interview I want to do with a friend for my personal blog.

I learned things on more than one level through this exercise. In addition to getting that rush that comes only with art-making, I discovered some design elements that I’d like to expand on in future drawings, such as the rabbit-like shapes and the eyes that are partially covered. These are nuggets of ideas I can use again as I learn more mandala techniques. You can do the same with Creating Mandalas (available for pre-order here).

And now, it’s time to get back to work, which is art. Practice it. Devour it.

Wishing you exhilaration,

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