Mandalas drawn on 8x8" clairefontaine watercolor paper, black pitt pen, sakura micron in purple
Freehand mandalas can start with any shape, but try a circle first. Put some shapes around the circle, across from each other. Then put something in between those shapes. Build outward.
Mandalas are good exercise in refining the ability to draw lines and curves.
When I started drawing mandalas (or my interpretation thereof) I'd wonder what on earth to do next. Just as art journaling prompts get you to skip the blank page phase, mini-mandalas allow you to practice ractice all different sorts of shapes.
Focus on various ways to start a mandala. Brainstorm different ways to work outward from that center. For example, start with a circle, and work from there. Start with a star, and work from there. Start with an outer circle, and work inward. Start with random dots and connect them somehow. Start with a square. Start with interlocking circles. My advice is to put away the freaking ruler and draw freely with pen in hand. A ruler is not going to help your drawing skills. If the mandala evolves into an oval or a shape that defies description, so be it! Draw for the purpose of drawing, not to seek perfection. It's Your Art. Imperfection rules.
I'm not into the sacred, symbolic or spiritual facets of mandala discussions. I like hand drawn mandalas as an art form. I like the challenge of drawing them. I find drawing mandalas and doodles relaxing. I'm an analytical artist, and in my world logic and reason rule.
The first series was drawn a few weeks ago; the second series was drawn for Art Every Day Month, DAY 21.