How Do I Create Geometric Designs?
The pattern I normally create uses multiple copies of the seed of life design, or essentially the flower of life. It is a creation where six circles perfectly intertwine on a single central circle. It is a symbol for the seven days of creation and is found at the heart of the symbol of the flower of life. The flower of life is known as the perfect form of proportion and harmony, and it has many spiritual and religious links.
What You'll Need
- Compass (preferably with the ability to change the pencil/pen)
- Protractor (for creating designs that do not have 6 lines of symmetries)
- Pencil & Eraser
- Set of Pens (with a range of colors)
- Old Note Book / Scrap Paper
- Stabilo Felt-Tip Pens: The colors are just beautiful. The tips are also fairly fine and good for coloring, which I find important when choosing pens to make these types of designs with.
- Thicker Black Pen: You'll use this to outline your design or to color the negative space/main background.
How to Create or Choose a Color Scheme
When choosing a color scheme, try to either use complementary colors or colors that are close to each other in the light spectrum.
Color Spectrum Combinations In Order (Following the Rainbow)
After pink, the spectrum repeats and goes to red. There are transitional colors that I recommend should be used (like turquoise in between green and blue).
- Try to use colours that are next to each other for creating an even gradient within the design.
- For monotonous shades, go from darker to lighter, or vice versa.
Color Spectrum Combination
going to / coming from
Complamentary Colour Pairs
How to Use Positive and Negative Space
Negative space is the 'nothingness' in a design. I use black and white (depending on the design) to create negative space between the petals of the flowers, or the Vesica Piscis. I find that the use of negative space helps to bring out the design and its colors.
Positive space is the main focus of the design and is where I typically use bright colors.
Making the Seed and Flower of Life
- Put a pencil in the compass. Make sure the tip of the pencil is level with the tip of the compass.
- Decide the size of a circle you want to use. Test what size would be best for your design. The smaller the circle, the harder it is to draw!
- When drawing, remember to have an old notebook or scrap paper underneath so that the point of your compass does not slip.
- Choose a point to start on your paper, whether it's the centre or closer to a corner, and draw the first circle.
- Along the rim of the circle, choose a point to draw the next circle, and draw it.
- On the intersection of the two circles, draw another circle until there are six circles surrounding your centre circle.
You have drawn a seed of life! There are some different ways that you can continue with your design.
Options to Add Additional Designs
Continuing to Make the Flower of Life
1. Continue to draw circles on the intersections of your seed of life until the rim is full.
2. Once a hexagonal shape is viable, return to the centre of the first circle, and draw a large circle around the hole design.
3. Replace the pencil in the compass with a pen, and trace over the design to make it visible when colouring it. After five minutes, erase the pencil marks as the ink should have dried.
Making a Seed of Life in a Seed of Life
1. Return to the centre of your design, and draw a large circle along your design. Try to make the larger circle close to the edges of the smaller outer circles.
2. Keeping the same circle size, go to the rim of the larger circle, and make another seed of life. When drawing the larger seed of life, stop at the rim so that the smaller design remains intact.
3. Replace the pencil in the compass with a pen, and trace over the design to make it visible when coloring it. After five minutes, erase the pencil marks. The ink should have dried by this time.
Coloring your design is what brings it to life!
How to Color Your Design
Coloring Your Design
- Choose a color scheme that you want to use. Also, decide where you will have your negative space.
- If you plan on having negative space in your design, lightly mark the space with a pencil.
- Going from one extreme of your color scheme (the lightest or darkest color), start coloring from the centre and work your way out. Make each layer a different color, with the transition from the two extremes being gradual, or have alternating contrasting colors to make your design stand out.
Example: All the Vesica Piscis in the first circle are yellow, and all the Vesica Piscis between the first circle and the next layer are orange.
Get creative! Color your design how you would like to, and enjoy! Creativity is shown to be a great form of stress relief and is good for your mental health.
Mandalas are a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. They were originally used to represent the universe, but it is more commonly known as a diagram or representation of the cosmos, either metaphysically or symbolically.
- Mandala was derived from the Sanskrit word " मण्डल " (mandala), which translates to circle, which is the base form of the beautiful designs.
How to Make a Mandala
- Choose whether to start at the centre of your page or closer towards a corner and draw a smaller circle.
- Using the centre of the circle, draw some progressively bigger circles with the difference in between.
- Decide how complex you want the design to be.
- Using a compass, split the design into sections.
The design does not have to be split using a compass. If you prefer freehand, allow your creativity to flourish!
|Complexity of Design||Number of Sections||Angle|
Simpler designs are better for beginners, as complex designs are made of fine details. Try working your way up!
5. Using a pencil, try to make symmetrical designs in each layer. Work your way out.
6. Once you have finished making the design, outline it with a pen. Erase the pencil marks after five minutes.
7. Color your design to help bring it to life. If you prefer a more simplistic form, use black and white to create a beautiful contrasting design!
Incorporating the Designs
Once you have the basics of compass patterns, the possibilities are endless. You can decide to use a combination of the flower of life and a mandala, transfer the designs onto different patterns, and experiment!
As long as you use pencil before pen, you can come up with a variety of designs using a variety of circle sizes.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make MISTAKES.
Art is knowing WHICH ONES TO KEEP."
— Scott Adams
Creativity is putting your IMAGINATION TO WORK, and it PRODUCES the most extraordinary results in HUMAN CULTURE."
— Ken Robinson
What Is the Seed and Flower of Life?
The seed of life can be seen around the world, in both a variety of cultures and religions. The number seven, which is one of the most sacred and magical numbers of the universe, is represented by the seven interlocking circles which create a sixfold symmetry.
- The seed of life is the base of the flower of life where the Vesica Piscis form the points of a hexagon, a six-pointed star. The Vesica Piscis is a mathematical shape that is made by the intersections of two overlapping circles with the same radius.
- The flower of life is the most powerful ancient symbol encountered worldwide. It is believed to be the universe's blueprints, with its basic design used as the structure for everything in existence. It is also believed that the flower of life contains the secrets of the universe and a record of all living things.
© 2018 Monique K-G
Bede from Minnesota on May 07, 2018:
Monique, I’ve tried designing my own mandala, but I didn’t follow specific instructions. Now I know how to do them correctly.)) This design is associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, what about Islam? I think Christianity has its own form in rose windows and maybe Celtic designs.