After recreating several mandalas it becomes obvious that there are two basic techniques for the beginning steps. Circles can be easily divided into four segments and six segments. Therefore, mandalas are frequently radially symmetric with three, six or twelve matching points of rotation or four, eight or sixteen matching points of rotation. Knowing if the mandala is based on a multiple of four or six determines the starting technique.
Mandalas which contain four or eight segments typically begin following the steps shown in the creation of this mandala. Basically a circle is drawn with one diameter. A perpendicular bisector is drawn through the diameter creating four 90 degree angles. The angles are then bisected again to create eight 45 degree angles.
A second technique, discussed below, is used when circles are divided into multiples of six segments.
place the compass point anywhere on the circumference of the circle and create tick marks where the compass crosses the main circle. Then move the compass point to each tick mark and create another tick mark where the compasses crosses the circle. Continue until there are six tick marks. This divides the circle into six equal parts. The six angles can be further bisected into twelve parts.
Other Mandala construction tutorials are available on our Math Page.
Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.