Once a week I want to show you what’s on my drawing board, hopefully to inspire you to pick up the pencil and also to give you an inside look at my process.  Today I am working on a mandala drawing.  These are my “go to” drawings.  When everything starts to kinda bog down or I get a little overwhelmed with multitasking, this is where I go.  Sit and draw it out.  It creates a little white space in my life, as they say.  A meditation on paper


The Framework

I pull out my trusty circular grid, which you can get a copy of in the Creative Lounge area of my website.  I load up my trusty compass with my mechanical pencil and I draw circles!  This is what I ended up with this time.


Sketching In The Shapes

adding in shapes mandala drawing

I often just start with what I know.  I love to work with little petal like shapes, so that is a good place to start.  From there I like to see if anything pops.  Sometimes the way the shapes fall together creates ideas.  The trick is just to start somewhere, the rest will start to follow.

detail sketch mandala

I keep building out the petal concept, sizing and shaping and arranging them to fit depending on the shape of the areas I have to fill.  To switch it up as I get closer to the outer circles of the mandala drawing, I start putting some swirling shapes in.


detail drawing 2 mandala

Once I get the initial detail in place, I step back, take a break, go make a coffee.  When I come back,  I will look at the design as a whole to see if anything stands out, maybe something just doesn’t flow or fit.  Sometimes a detail or concept just doesn’t work with the overall flow of the design.  No problem, I will pull out the eraser and start working in new ideas.  The design evolves in layers and it just takes patience to let it emerge.

The Ink Hits The Page

inking the sketch mandala

Once I am pleased with it, the pens come out and the ink goes on.  Often I will work with the sections I am 100% sure of first.  When the contrast of the black ink starts going into the design, I can get a new perspective again and this may make another area pop that doesn’t fit.  Before that section gets inked, I will bring the eraser and pencil back in and try something different.  Once inked though, I just have faith and go with it.


Line Art and What is Next For Our Mandala Drawing


lineart inked mandala drawing

The line art is done.  Now I get to play with shading, depth and dimensions.  At this point I will scan it in, this gives me a fresh copy to work with if I want to try a bunch of different ideas. I will download it to my ipad and play with shadings on there, or use tracing paper to work some ideas into the lineart.  I love to play with a design and experiment with many different ideas.

Have a fun and creative day


class 2 cover pic 2If you are interested in learning my techniques for drawing mandalas consider checking out my course page JSPCREATE COURSES .  In my mandala drawing classes I walk you through my steps to drawing my detailed symmetrical mandalas and provide you with lots of downloads to help you along.


You can also check out my new colouring book Mindful Mandalas on my book page.

Lots of detailed mandala drawings to spend hours of relaxing fun colouring.