How to Design a Mandala Tattoo

Mandala tattoos rely on perfect linework and symmetry. Because there isn’t a lot of shading, the silhouette is super important to mandala tattoos, and even tiny mistakes are easy to see.

The best way to make sure your mandala tattoos are perfectly even is to have a perfect stencil. You can do this by designing your mandala on an iPad.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how to do it, including:

  • Which apps make drawing mandalas 10x easier
  • Different types of popular mandala tattoos
  • How to make sure your lines are perfect on your stencil

How to Draw Mandala Tattoo Designs

There are lots of mandala designs on the internet that you can use as a stencil. However, we recommend making your own tattoo designs because it will give your client a custom design and give you an original piece that you can put in your tattoo portfolio.  

Pro Tip:

You can use a mandala design you like as inspiration to work off of. This way, you can create a similar design that is unique. We recommend doing this if a client brings in a design, but you want to avoid copying another artist.

Use the Amaziograph App

You can create mandalas on Procreate, but there are extra settings you have to deal with. Instead, we recommend using the app Amaziograph. This makes it super easy to create symmetrical designs.

You just start drawing in the middle, and the app will “mirror” your work in each section so everything lines up perfectly. You can also change the number of sections in your mandala (we recommend between 6 and 12, depending on how much space you have to work with).

Like Procreate, you can change the opacity, undo and delete actions, and change the size of your brush. Depending on what part of the body you’ll be tattooing, you might want the linework to be larger or smaller. 

Pro Tip:

It’s easy to add tiny details on your iPad. However, tattoo ink spreads under the skin over time. When you’re designing, keep in mind that you need enough space between lines that it won’t all bleed together. This is especially important when it comes to the center of the mandala.

Types of Mandalas

Usually, clients will want mandala designs that look like flowers. However, there are tons of different styles, and they’ve become more popular over the last few years. 

It’s important to note that mandala tattoos can be combined with other tattoo styles

For example, mandalas can be stylized so that they’re in the American traditional style or incorporated into neo traditional designs. You can also use other techniques, like stipple shading, to create a different effect in your mandala design.
mandala tattoo by @shannonhodgkin
mandala tattoo by @marieradfordtattoo
mandala tattoo by @jonlaflore

How to Stencil Your Mandala Tattoo Design

Mandalas have a lot of geometrical shapes, which makes it nearly impossible to follow the lines perfectly and make a stencil by hand. However, if your design is even a little bit off, it will be easy to notice. 

Because of this, we recommend using a stencil machine to create mandala stencils. This will not only save you a ton of time, but it will make sure your stencil is 100% correct.

Pro Tip:

You can find stencil machines for under $200 on Amazon. 

Become a Tattoo Artist With the Artist Accelerator Program

student work from the Artist Accelerator tattoo artist training programs

Having a career in tattooing is not only fulfilling, but it’s also the most stable way to make a living as an artist. However, for decades, the process to become a tattoo artist has been notoriously difficult. 

The apprenticeship process requires aspiring tattoo artists to work 50-60 hours a week without pay for 2-4 years. That, combined with the toxic culture of abusing apprentices, makes getting into the industry almost impossible for newcomers. 

That’s why we created the Artist Accelerator Program. Our online course provides a simple, structured way of learning to tattoo that has been proven to work by over 2500 successful students, with many of them having gone on to open their own shops all around the world. 

Inside the program, we’ll take you through every step of the tattooing process in 9 clear, easy-to-follow modules and support you along the way within the Tattooing 101 Mastermind online community.

In the Mastermind group, you’ll collaborate with other students, get answers to your questions, and receive personalized video feedback on your artwork and tattoos from professional tattoo artists. With this friendly community of both new and experienced tattoo artists, you’ll never be stuck again. 

When you join the Artist Accelerator Program, you’ll have instant access to the full course and the Mastermind community, as well as our 30-Day Flash Challenge and recorded interviews with tattoo artists from all over the world. 

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
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AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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