Composition: Mandala

This page is still under construction.  Until it is finished, the attached PowerPoint provides the necessary information.

Composition – Radial Symmetry – Mandala

Radial Symmetry

  • Radial Symmetry (or Radial Balance) – a type of balance in which all elements radiate out from a center point.

Think of a pizza, or a clock.  With radial balance we have objects arranged around a circle.  It is a form of symmetry, but objects won’t be on just the left or right, but repeated at various points of the compass.

Below are some examples of radial balance.


  • Mandala – an abstract circular design that has one center point, from which extends an array of symbols, shapes and forms.

Mandalas are an old form originating with Buddhist and Hindu practices.  They were seen as a tool for meditation and as maps to the spiritual cosmos.  Each one is unique, and the creation of one was seen as a meditative or spiritual practice.

One thing that most mandalas have in common is radial symmetry and repetitive design.

To begin the assignment we need to brainstorm a little bit.  In your sketchbook I want you to render out 2-4 different mandala designs.

the reason to do so many is so you can experiment and see what you like.

Since we are doing several sketches, keep them small, they don’t need to be super complicated, and they certainly don’t need to be perfect.

Mandala Sketchbook Example copy

This drawing will be on 12″ x 12″ drawing paper.  The initial drawing will be done with a #2 pencil.  We will be adding color using Prismacolor pencils.  Optionally, you can go back over the lines with a black ink pen (technical pen, which provides consistent, smooth lines).

This is a summative grade.