Simple Steps to More Stunning Mandalas | Jane Snedden Peever | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Simple Steps to More Stunning Mandalas

teacher avatar Jane Snedden Peever, Living the Creative Life

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Materials And Project


    • 3.

      6 Sections Grid and Framework


    • 4.

      6 Sections Details And Inking


    • 5.

      8 Sections Grid And Framework


    • 6.

      8 Sections Detail And Inking


    • 7.

      12 Sections Grid and Framework


    • 8.

      12 Sections Details and Inking


    • 9.

      Final thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This is the second class in my Hand Drawn Mandala series.  In this class I will take you further into the process and introduce you to using circular grids.  We will learn how to make three different grids and then use these grids to create frameworks, add detail and ink our mandalas.  Similar design elements will be used throughout all three mandalas so the student can see how changing up the grid and framework can give you a completely different look.

What you require:

  • pencil
  • paper
  • pen
  • compass
  • protractor
  • eraser
  • ruler
  • no drawing experience necessary - just the desire to explore and learn

What you will learn

  • How to draw three different versions of a circular grid and the skills to invent your own
  • How to create a framework using a preset grid
  • How using the same design elements and simple shapes can give different looks depending on what grid you start with.

What you will walk away with

  • The skills to make your own grids
  • three grids available for you to download, print out and use over and over again
  • The encouragement to tackle your own creative designs
  • a community of fellow mandala lovers like you learning to create beautiful designs, share their stories and encourage each other on.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jane Snedden Peever

Living the Creative Life

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Jane and my favourite ways to relax are crocheting and doodling.

I love exploring creativity through texture, colour and shapes and sharing this with you through Simple and Fun Classes.

You can find me over on my blog with more tips, tricks and creative ideas.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Janice [inaudible]. I'm an illustrator and designer, welcome to my studio. In my first class, I showed you basic steps on how to get started on drawing mandalas. In this class, I'm going to introduce you to using circular grids. I will show you how to draw each of the grids, and then we will work with them to create a variety of frameworks. We use similar methods for each mandala, and you'll see how depending on which grid you use, you can achieve different looks. The project for this class will be to choose one of the grids, and draw an eight-inch mandala, either using my ideas, or experimenting with your own. I encourage you to be creative in this class, and I encourage you to experiment. There's no right or wrong way to do it, what you draw is your style. This will evolve the more that you draw, like everything else, it comes with practice. I'm here to guide you in the journey and I'll share the techniques I use and show you my favorite ways to do this. You don't need any drawing skills to do this, just simple shapes, pencil to paper, and the desire to learn, so just hit that enroll button and I'll let's get creative. See you there. 2. Materials And Project: To get started, we'll gather supplies. You won't need much, a pencil of you choosing. I like a mechanical pencil because I never need to sharpen it. A felt pen. I like to have a variety of widths available, but one thick and one thing will get you going. An eraser, I like to use a putty eraser because I can make it fit in the small spaces and I also like to use a white eraser to get those tough pencil lines. You'll also need a compass, and these come in a variety of styles. To help us draw our grids, we're going to need a protractor. I like to use the 360 degrees circular protractor, but you can also use a 180-degree protractor that you find in just about every geometry math set. You'll also need a ruler and I like to use a 12-inch one. To secure our grid to our drawing paper, you're going to need tape. This will hold it in place while we draw. I like to use the painter's tape because it comes off so easily. The drawing paper that I use is just your regular 8.5 by 11 inch white copy paper. One thing you should be aware of is how the markers you use react to the paper you're using. In this case, my thicker marker bled through the back, but my thinner market didn't. It all depends on the type of paper and the type of ink. It isn't something I'm really concerned about in this case, but it is something you should be aware of. So the project for this class is going to be an eight inch Mandala. I'm going to show you how to use three different grids. We're going to learn how to create the grids. Then we're going to create a framework with each grid and I'm going to walk you through creating the detail and the inking for each Mandala. In your project, just choose one of those grids and create a framework and create a Mandala within that. It can be right along the line with the one that I create and you can just show us your progress with that one. Or you, if you want to, you can get creative and you can show us one that you've created on your own. I'm going to show you how to draw each of the grids because it's a great thing to know how to do. But I also have in the class Info section, downloadable copies of all three grids that you can print out for your own purposes. Now that we have all our supplies and we know what our project is, let's get started. 3. 6 Sections Grid and Framework: The first grid will be divided into six sections. All over grids will be eight inches in diameter, like a mandalas, we start with drawing an eight inch line across the middle of our page and marking off one inch sections all the way across. When setting up your compass, be sure to match the pencil point and the compass point to start with. This sets you up for an even an accurate circle. Set up your compass point to the four inch center mark on your line. The pencil to the outer edge mark, and draw your first it in circle. Continue moving the pencil in one inch at a time so that you will draw a six inch circle, a four inch circle, and finally, a two inch circle on your grid. Now we're going to use the protractor to mark outer sections to line it up with the center line and the center point. You're going to mark out 60 degrees sections all the way around your circle to divide it into six. Then we're going to use a ruler to connect the points. We're going to end up with a grid that has six separate sections in it. Because I want to use this grid repeatedly, I'll go over all these lines with the heavier markers so that I can use it the way I want. My grid is ready to go. Now I'm going to play some tape on there, so I can place my blank sheet of paper over top and they won't move around. I'm ready to start my framework. We're going to place our compass with a four inch circle, intersects was one of the 60 degree lines. We're going to draw a circle. I'm going to repeat this all the way around a grid so that I end up with six intersecting circles. What the great does for me, it gives me equally measure points all the way around the circle to place the compass and I end up with six equally distanced, identical circles, which really creates a beautiful little pattern. I'm going to add a little bit more. I'm going to place the compass where the eight inch circle intersects a 60 degree line. I'm going to draw between two points of already established in the pattern within the paddles. It's just a small arc that is going in between two points that I have found in the drawing that I've made. Again, I put the compass point where the eight inch circle intersects the 60 degree lines and draw a small arc within the drawing that creates another section of petals that I can fill in with detail. Now we're ready to remove the grid from the back of my drawing. But before I'm finished, I have a few more things I want to do. Using my ruler, I'm going to divide up some of the sections I already have in half. I will just line up the points that are equal distance across and through the center. Then I just draw a line and it divides up the sections nicely so that it's easier for me to fill. The smaller the section, the easier I can put detail into it. There we have our framework. Now we can get into the detail and I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. 6 Sections Details And Inking: Welcome back and let's have some fun adding some detail. I'm going to start with this center section, and I'm going to add little stacking petals that lean towards the left but I'm only going to do this in every second section. I'm going to skip over every second one. So they'll have pedals leaning to the left because what I'm going to do in the sections that I skipped over, is I'm going to create the mirror image and lean the petals to the right. This is going to give a framing look to the section above it. Really, you can do anything you want as long as you're consistent. In the outer ones, I'm going to create the same pattern in the same way I am going to mirror one side will be to the right, one side will be to the left. I'm going to do this all the way around and it will also create a framework for that center piece. Now in this centerpiece, I'm going to create little petals that mirror each other towards the center line. So I'm just going to fill them wherever they can fit. I'm going to try to get in five in each section, one in the center and then two down each side. I'll do that all the way around on the same side. Then when I come back to do the opposite side, I'm going to mirror these petals the same way so that they create almost a perfect reflection of each other. I'll do that all the way around. So I have a lot of petals going on in this design. Now I'm just going to put in some straight lines, well proved lines and I'm going to move with the curve of the section. It just gives you an overlapping, almost a tiling effect. Then in the second half, I'm going to mirror the same idea, but reverse it so that the lines connect to the bottom section and the curves are at the top. This will when it's done, give you another really neat effect. I'll do this all the way around as well. Now time to get into the inking and all I do just as I did in my first class, is you just go over the lines that you've already put in in pencil. So the inking is a nice relaxing process because the lines are already on the paper and all you have to do is go over them with your pen. I usually go over them all with the same size of pen and then later on I add in my darker detail and my thicker lines. Often I changed my mind in the process of where I'm going to fill stuff in and where the lines are going to get thick and even what lines are going to get left out. So in this process, I can relax and let my mind look at the design and decide what am keeping and what I'm going to get rid of. At this point, I'll usually sit back and look at it for a bit and decide where I'm going to put the dark in. Every time I add another dark section all the way round, I'll sit back and look at it and just see where it's calling for more dark or less. It's a figure it out as you go. Often the plans I have when I started aren't how the design ends up in the end. It's really personal preference and you'll know as you go what you like and what you don't like. Go at it slowly. Sit back and look at what you've done. As you do it out in little things. It's supposed to be fun. It's your design, do it any way that you want. I'm going to have a finished version of each of my Mandela's in the project page, so you'll get to see where my final choices were as far as inking in the dark and the light. So let's move on now to an eight sections. See you in the next one. 5. 8 Sections Grid And Framework: So now let's work with a grid that's divided into eight sections. Follow the same directions that you did for the sixth section and create your circles the same way. Then we're going to use our protractor to divide it into eight sections, so 360 degrees divided by eight is 45 degrees. So place your marks every 45 degrees and then you're going to draw in your lines. Now using our tape, we're going to secure our blank sheet over top of our grids so that we can see the grid through it and we're going to get started on our framework. Similar to what we did on the last six section, Mandela we're going to place our compass point on the four-inch circle where it intersects with each of the 45 degree lines. The span between your compass point in your pencil point will be two inches so the pencil point goes right through the center. Then you're gonna draw your circle and you will continue this all the way round. You'll end up with eight four-inch circles inside your eight inch Mandala and they'll overlap, creating a really interesting pattern for your framework. One more thing I want to do is pull out my ruler and start drawing some lines that divide some of these sections in half. I can use the grid lines underneath to help me do this. I like to divide up some of the framework sections. It helps me ad in symmetrical detail when I get to that point. Let's head into the next lesson and start adding in some detail. 6. 8 Sections Detail And Inking: Okay, welcome back. Now, we're going to try to add some detail into this 8-Section Mandala. I'm going to start with the center section by dividing these petals up a little bit further by mimicking the curve, and then I'm going to fill each one with circles. You don't need a lot of drawing skills to do these. Simple objects can give you the most beautiful designs. Really, it's just a lot of lines and circles. One of the easiest ways to do this is to just create an inset of the section that you're working on, which is the opposite of an outline. You just create the same shape within the shape. Another idea is just to fan out lines. A lot of my inspiration comes from nature, and if you look at shells or leaves or feathers, they all just have simple lines creating the most beautiful effects. If you find the space is bigger than you want it to be, you can use the inset technique to make the section smaller, just by drawing lines to bring the section into a smaller size. Then you can add any object you feel that fits well. Simple petals are easy to do, and then you can use the inset technique again, and you can add smaller petals inside the original petals to create a little more detail. In this last area, I am going to fill it with different sizes of petals, and I'm going to use the center line to help me create a symmetrical pattern. Again, everything is a guideline and you're not looking for perfection. The whole point of the hand drawing is that the Mandala has its own character, and that character comes from each of your elements not being perfect or identical. Now, we're going to pull out our pens and start inking our design. Again, as I showed you in my first class, we just go over the design we've already laid out in pencil. It can be very relaxing process to just trace over the lines that we've already decided on. At this point, I do my inking all free-hand, but please feel free to use a ruler and a compass to get the accuracy in the lines that you would like. If I'm doing client work, I tend to use the ruler and compass when I am inking. Remember the pencil is your first draft and the ink is your final say. This is the point at which you make any changes that you'd like to do. I find the inking process as relaxing as coloring the Mandala. It's my form of meditation. Now that you have all the lines inked, you can go back in and start adding in some black areas. I enjoy this process. You can use the Mandala as it is now as a coloring page, and get your colored pencils and markers out to fill in the sections as you please. I like to add a little more black in, just for dramatic effect. Take the time to sit back and look at your design and let it speak to you. It will tell you where to add a little more work and a little more detail and what areas are already finished. I'll have the final Mandalas in the project section. I'll post them so that you can see where I made my final decisions with the details and adding in the black and the inking process. Now, let's move on to a 12-Section Mandala. See you there. 7. 12 Sections Grid and Framework: Now, we're going to work with a 12 Section Grid. This grid is the most complex of the three that I'm going to show you. The more complex the grids are the more options you have of creating intricate frameworks. With this grid, I've drawn the circles every half inch instead of every one inch. This results in eight circles within your eight inch grid. When you draw the line you mark off every half inch and you'll use these marks to draw your circles as we did with the first grid. Now, the grid lines are placed every 30 degrees in order to get your 12 sections. You're going to place your protractor in the center and you're going to mark off 30 degrees sections and then draw in your grid lines. The way you get the degrees is you divide 360 degrees for the circle by 12 and that leaves you with 30 degrees for each of the 12 sections. The next step is we place our tape onto a grid so that we can place our blank sheet over top and it won't move around and we'll be able to see our grid through the sheet. Now, as with the first two Mandalas frameworks we did, we're going to place the point of a compass on the four inch circle where it intersects with each 30 degree line of the grid. The span of the campus will be two inches so that the pencil point passes through the center. Repeat this circle all the way round and you'll end up with 12-four inch circles within your eight-inch circle that create yet another beautiful framework. Note that we use the same compass span and placement on each of the grids but yet because they're divided up differently, each one gave us a different framework. Now, we'll grab a ruler and divide up our sections a little bit more. We can use the grid lines underneath to help us out with this. I've chosen to only divide the outer sections and I'm going to leave the center petals alone as a complete section. I'm also going to divide this next section and I'm going to bring the line all the way through to the center just to help me out when I'm adding the detail into those center petals, it'll give me a little more of a defined space to work in. Then when I'm all done, we have yet another unique and beautiful framework. I can hardly wait to give adding some detailing on this, so I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. 12 Sections Details and Inking: This one's going to be fun as we have so many sections to work with. I'm going to start in the middle and just add some small petals in. I've kept the grid attached this time and I'll often do this when I have a more complex grid, because it helps guide me when I'm drawing my detail in. I'm using the smallest circle on my grid underneath to help guide how tall my petals will be. Next thing I'm going to add petals that are going to lean towards the left, and then in the section beside it I'm going to add petals that lean towards the right. Just as I did in the previous mandala, this makes the section above look like it blossoms out of these leaves. The section above, I'm just going to use simple lines that follow the curve of the shape and fan outward from the center line. Each of these design elements I've used in the two previous mandalas, but as you can see they give a different look in each one. I'm just going to round out the top of these fanned out sections, it gives a little more of an organic look. In this next section I'm going to fill it with individual petals, I can fit three nice sized ones in there close together. Then I'm going to mirror it on the other side of the dividing line so that they end up with a symmetrical look to the design. Now I'm getting closer to the outer edge and I want to add a little flower element here, so I'm just going to add little centers all the way round that I'll work out from. Then I'm just going to do a little free form flower-like element, and I'm going to do that in each of the 12 sections all the way around. With this framework, the sections are smaller but there's more of them. Since it's divided into 12, you have to do everything 12 times all the way around. In this last outer section, I'm going to do simple fanning out of the lines that mimic what I did in one of the sections below, and then I'm just going to round off the edges the same way I did below as well. Now I'm going to return to the center, and I'm going to start adding in more detail here. Just going to put little inserts inside the petals. Sometimes when it gets really busy at the center, I'll add a circle in the center that is going to be cleaned out. I'll use my little putty eraser, which I can a nice fine point with, and I'll just clean out the center of that circle. It cleans up that whole center section because it can get really busy with lines in there. I'm just going to add some more in set shapes into some of the elements, and maybe some veins into the leaves, just a little more interest into the design. In the end you're not using very many different shapes, you're really just using the same ideas and the same shapes and just fitting them into different sections. This is why I like working with the frameworks, because they do half the work for you. The nice thing with the different frameworks is it gives you something to start with, and it gives you a place to jump off from so you're not so overwhelmed by this big white piece of paper. It's fun because you can get all kinds of different frameworks depending on what grid you use. Now it's time to pull out our pens and once again get into that relaxing mode of inking our design. I'll do most of my initial inking with the same pen, I'll find a favorite and then that's the one I use to get the lines onto the drawing. It's easier than having to keep switching pens along the way. This way I can decide later where I want to thicken up the lines or add-in finer detail when I have all my pens beside me. I find my designs evolve in layers, I often have people ask how do you know where to put things, but I have to keep sitting back and seeing what it calls for next. I have an idea when I start, but it will often change along away. These mandalas literally evolve one line at a time. Even after you've inked the lines, your design still can take on many different looks depending on how you choose to fill it in. Now we've completed the third and final mandala on our third form of grid. Again, I'm going to have these in the project section so you can see how they all turned out. Post yours, I'd love to see your progress and how things are going for you in the project section. 9. Final thoughts: Now you know how to use circular grids to create an endless variety of stunning mandalas. Take these techniques and play around with them. Simply by changing the placement and width of the compass, you can create any number of interesting frameworks. Remember to post your progress in the project section and let me know how you're doing. My hope in this course is that when I show you these techniques and you walk through them with me, that I have created a spark in you that will also take you into creating your own mandalas and exploring that own creative side of yourself.