How To Create A Mandala Pattern Tutorial wood burning

In my last blog I covered how to do the Mandala Flower pyrography art and I thought it would be of value to discuss how I created the pattern.   There are a few items I found very helpful, like a compass, tracing paper, and a few stencils, but nothing extravagant or that cost a lot of money.  This tutorial will not be very long, but it will provide some tips and techniques that will allow you to create your own mandala designs.

Let’s get to work.

SKILL LEVEL: 1

MATERIALS NEEDED:  

  • Pencil
  • fine tip marker
  • Paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Ruler / straight edge
  • Compass (for drawing circles)
  • Calculator
  • Stencils (optional)

This picture shows the compass and ruler I used.  Nothing fancy.  Both are readily found in most stores where they have paper supplies for home offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 1 – FIND CENTER

Find the center of the paper by drawing two intersecting straight lines half way through the length and height of the paper. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a ruler, measure the halfway mark for the length of the paper and put a mark on the paper near one end of the paper.  Do it again for the other end.   Use the straight edge of the ruler to draw a line connecting the two marks.

Now do the same thing for the width of the paper.   The spot they intersect is the center of the paper.

 

STEP 2 – DRAW A CIRCLE

Draw a large circle on the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a compass with the metal point on the center of the paper, draw a large circle.  The end result is a circle with lines that divide it into equal quarters. 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my actual pencil drawing of the circle that is divided in quarters.  It’s pretty pale and hard to see, thus the reason for the computer generated quartered circle.

 

 

 

 

STEP 3 – DETERMINE PETAL END WIDTH

Determine the petal end width.  The petal end width is how wide the petal is where it intersects the circle.   This requires a little bit of math, but not much.  

 

 

 

 

First, measure the diameter of your circle.   Do this by placing a ruler on the horizontal line and record the length.

Take that diameter measurement and multiple it by 3.14 (pi).  This gives you the circumference of the circle.   Now divide the circumference by the number of petals you want on your flower to get the petal end width.

Example: My circle has a diameter of 6.5 inches (16.51 cm).  6.5 x 3.14 = 20.41 inches (51.84 cm).   I want 20 petals.  20.41 / 20 = 1.02 inches (2.59 cm).   With this example the Petal End Width is 1.02 inches (2.59 cm).

 

 

Adjust the compass to the petal end width.  Place the metal pointed end of the compass on a ruler and adjust the opening of the compass until the distance between the pointed end and the pencil end of the compass is the equal to the Petal End Width. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next place the compass metal point on the circle where the horizontal line intersects it and place a mark on the circle with the pencil end.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move the compass so the metal point is now on the mark you just made and make a new mark on the circle.      Continue this process working your way around the circle making marks with the compass.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made marks around the entire circle to make sure I didn’t end up with an oddball sized petal due to improper compass adjustment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 4 – DRAW A PETAL

Draw a line from the center of the circle to one of the marks made on the circle. 

NOTE – I intended for my pattern to be a flower, so drew a ringed circle in the center of the circle.   I had lines that radiated from the center of the paper to the ring, so I knew where to start my petal lines.

 

 

 

I used a stencil that had assorted sized ovals on it to use as a guideline to draw my petal edges.  You can make you petals straight, curvy, etc.

 

 

 

 

STEP 5 – CREATE A DESIGN

Fill the petal with a design.  I can’t tell you what design to fill your petal with.  For that you need to sketch out design ideas until you find something you like.  

 

 

 

 

If you have any stencils look at them and see if there is a spot on the stencil that can be used.  I have an old stencil for designing electronic circuit boards and it has circles, triangles, etc. that I found very handy for all of the circles in this pattern.

I personally started filling the petal near the center and worked my way towards the petal end.    Once I decide I like a segment design, I inked it in.  This way I could erase stuff I didn’t like and not worry about ruining the spots I did like. 

 

 

 

STEP 6 – MAKE A PATTERN

Make a pattern.  After you have one petal with a design pattern you like, then it’s time to repeat that pattern for the other petals.   For that we need a piece of tracing paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the tracing paper over the pattern.   Make sure that the tracing paper covers the entire circle (flower) area.  

 

 

 

 

Ink in the petal design onto the tracing paper.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continued work inking the petal onto the tracing paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotate the tracing paper so the freshly inked in petal is next to the petal design on the paper behind it.  Ink in the next petal onto the tracing paper.   Continue to repeat this process until the flower is filled with petals. 

 

 

 

This picture shows how the tracing paper has been re-positioned and the second petal is getting inked in. 

 

 

 

 

In this photo it shows the progress of the flower getting inked in petal by petal.

Yes, this is a bit of a tedious step.

 

 

 

 

STEP 7 – BACKER

Lastly, place a blank piece of white paper behind the tracing paper and secure the two together.  This provides an opaque backer to the tracing paper so you can copy and/or scan it as needed and get crisp clean results.

The photo shows the tracing paper with a piece of white blank paper partially behind it.

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 8 – READY FOR USE

Now your pattern is ready for use.  Make a photocopy of it and use the photocopy to transfer the pattern to the wood.  Keep your original pristine in case you want to use it again.

IN CONCLUSION

That’s it.  I did promise this would be a short tutorial.  Despite being short I hope that I provided some useful tips and techniques that you can use to create your own mandala design.  They are fun to create and burn.  Plus there are unlimited designs that can be drawn up.   My pattern was based on a circle, but any shape could be use like columns, squares, ovals, etc., so get some paper and start creating.

By the way, I would love to hear from you.  What did you think of the tutorial?  Did it provide some useful information?  I always welcome feedback as that is the only way I will discover how I’m doing and what improvements I can/should make.

Until the next blog,

Brenda

Mar 18, 2017

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