Mandala Week: A Celebration of Radial Symmetry

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Since the release of our Radial Symmetry tool we have noticed an upswing in the number of mandala style designs our users have been making. Even here in the office, we have been playing with the number of sections and effects we can make in our own drawings by using radial symmetry. It is a really inspiring tool for artists.

Because of this we wanted to celebrate all the great work being created using this feature. All this week, June 26 to July 2, our Instagram will be taken over by mandalas. We will be featuring user art that uses radial symmetry to create Mandalas in a variety of styles.  Be sure to follow and use the tag #SketchbookMandalas on your Mandala drawings this week too.

Mary Frances Cappuccitti Delft Mandala

What’s a Mandala?

Mandalas have roots in both the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Used as an illustrative metaphor and meditation focus, they traditionally have concentric rings and squares that lead the viewer into the center and back out to the edges, occasionally including imagery, but often they are purely geometric designs. They can be a representation of the universe, cosmos, or a path to enlightenment. Buddhist monks will take weeks to create large mandalas out of colored sand only to wash the sand away in a stream or river to symbolize impermanence. The “rose windows” in some Christian churches are also modeled after mandalas with large central circles of stained glass surrounded by smaller panels of glass with religious motifs and icons depicted.

In modern, western culture the mandala has taken to meaning any repeated geometric or abstracted design on a circular repeated pattern, often featuring radial symmetry. Popular in adult coloring books and tattoo designs, they give the same centering, meditative feeling that the original religious themed mandalas do when drawn or colored. Our users have created a wide variety of mandala patterns from riffs on Delft pottery (above), sunbursts (below), abstract florals and ones made of  intricate geometric pointillism. Stay tuned to our Instagram feed and #SketchBookMandalas to see all kinds of examples this week.

Soft Colored Mandala - Mary Frances Cappuccitti

Radial Symmetry

Check out Radial Symmetry in SketchBook Pro if you haven’t played with it yet. It’s a great tool for a number of drawing applications outside of creating mandalas. Want a quick example of how Radial Symmetry works in SketchBook before you start drawing your mandalas? Check out this video: