How to Create Geometric Patterns

Updated on May 9, 2018
The seed of life on a watercolored rainbow background
The seed of life on a watercolored rainbow background | Source

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.

Sacred Geometry - The Seed of Life - the 7 days of creation
Sacred Geometry - The Seed of Life - the 7 days of creation | Source
The seed of life in a larger seed of Life, surrounded by mandala designs
The seed of life in a larger seed of Life, surrounded by mandala designs | Source

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.

The same design of the flower of Life in inverted colors (Done separately)
The same design of the flower of Life in inverted colors (Done separately) | Source

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)

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet
  • (Pink)

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

Red
Orange
Yellow
Blue
Green
Yellow
Pink
Purple
Blue
Black
White
Grey
Darker colour
going to / coming from
Lighter colour

Complamentary Colour Pairs

Red
Green
Blue
Yellow
Orange
Purple
White
Black
A design of an infinite amount of flowers of life
A design of an infinite amount of flowers of life | Source

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.

Seeds of Lives in other Seeds of Lives - using positive and negative space
Seeds of Lives in other Seeds of Lives - using positive and negative space | Source

Making the Seed and Flower of Life

  1. Put a pencil in the compass. Make sure the tip of the pencil is level with the tip of the compass.
  2. 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!
  3. When drawing, remember to have an old notebook or scrap paper underneath so that the point of your compass does not slip.
  4. Choose a point to start on your paper, whether it's the center or closer to a corner, and draw the first circle.
  5. Along the rim of the circle, choose a point to draw the next circle, and draw it.
  6. On the intersection of the two circles, draw another circle until there are six circles surrounding your center 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 center 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 center 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


  1. Choose a color scheme that you want to use. Also, decide where you will have your negative space.
  2. If you plan on having negative space in your design, lightly mark the space with a pencil.
  3. Going from one extreme of your color scheme (the lightest or darkest color), start coloring from the center 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.

Transferring the seed of life design to my galaxy painting: The stencil was made using these techniques and then by cutting it out.
Transferring the seed of life design to my galaxy painting: The stencil was made using these techniques and then by cutting it out. | Source

Mandalas

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.

A Mandala in the Cosmos
A Mandala in the Cosmos | Source

How to Make a Mandala

  1. Choose whether to start at the center of your page or closer towards a corner and draw a smaller circle.
  2. Using the center of the circle, draw some progressively bigger circles with the difference in between.
  3. Decide how complex you want the design to be.
  4. 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
Simple
6
60
Simple
8
45
Simple
10
36
Medium
12
30
Medium
15
24
Complex/Difficult
18
20
Complex/Difficult
20
18

Simpler designs are better for beginners, as complex designs are made of fine details. Try working your way up!

A Simple Mandala
A Simple Mandala | Source

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!

Overlapping Mandalas With Seed of Lives
Overlapping Mandalas With Seed of Lives | Source

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.

Incorporating the Seed of Life Design With Other Patterns
Incorporating the Seed of Life Design With Other Patterns | Source

Creativity is allowing yourself to make MISTAKES.

Art is knowing WHICH ONES TO KEEP."

— Scott Adams
Incorporating Mandala designs, With a Fraction of the Seed of Life
Incorporating Mandala designs, With a Fraction of the Seed of Life | Source

Creativity is putting your IMAGINATION TO WORK, and it PRODUCES the most extraordinary results in HUMAN CULTURE."

— Ken Robinson
Transferring the Flower of Life Into a Different Design
Transferring the Flower of Life Into a Different Design | Source
Sacred Geometry - The Flower of Life - blueprints to the universe
Sacred Geometry - The Flower of Life - blueprints to the universe | Source

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Monique K-G

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      • Bede le Venerable profile image

        Bede 

        2 months ago from Minnesota

        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.

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