Looking for an easy introduction to the symmetry tool in Procreate? Or do you just LOVE mandalas? This tutorial will walk you through the 8 simple steps to make a perfectly zen mandala or kaleidoscope in Procreate. I showed my 9-year-old niece how to do this last weekend- after that, I had a hard time getting my iPad back from her. (She was mandala-drawing obsessed). Personally, I love how meditative and zen this Procreate project can be. And using the symmetry tool in Procreate is pretty magical, no matter your age.
In this Tutorial, You’ll Learn How to-
- Turn on and Edit the Drawing Guide
- Know what the Symmetry Options Are
- Download and Use a Mandala Template
- Use Stamps in Procreate
- Create Layers and Turn on Drawing Assist
- Use ColorDrop and the Color Threshold
- Color with Automatic Selection
- Export Your Mandala in Different File Formats
Get the Free Mandala Template plus the Mandala Stamp + Brush Set for Procreate!
Download the resources for this tutorial from my Free Creative Library.
***Once in the Library, you’ll scroll down and find these Procreate freebies (+more) under the Procreate Resources section. To get the password, sign up with your email below!
Procreate Tutorial: How to Make a Mandala with Symmetry
Use the Symmetry Tool in Procreate to create complex-looking Mandalas in just minutes! It's simple with the FREE Mandala Template, Brushes, and Stamps - so make sure you download them before you begin!
- Mandala Template, a free download from the Well Crafted Studio Free Library
- Mandala Stamps and Brush Set for Procreate, also free in the Library (link above)
- Procreate, an iPad digital illustration app
- Apple Pencil or Stylus, optional
Step One: Create a New Canvas
On the top, far right of the Gallery Page is the Canvas options. Tap on the plus at the top of the menu to open the new custom canvas options.
Change from pixels to inches, and make the canvas 10" x 10" at 300 dpi. Save and then it will open automatically.
Step Two: Upload the Free Mandala Template from the Free Resource Library @ Well Crafted Studio.
Go to the Free Creative Library and scroll down to Procreate Goodies. Click on the title to download the zip file and then open it on your iPad. Save to your Photo Gallery.
Back on your canvas in Procreate go to the Action Panel (wrench icon) on the top left of the screen. Tap Add and then choose Insert Photo from the drop-down menu. Click on the mandala template to insert it into your canvas.
With the template layer selected, tap the move arrow (top toolbar) and with the snapping and magnetics on, find the center of your canvas. You'll see a gold vertical and a gold horizontal appear when you've found the center.
Tip: You can make the template bigger or smaller.
Step Three: Turn on Drawing Assist
At the top right toolbar tap on the wrench icon (Actions panel). Then, under the canvas option toggle on the switch next to Drawing Guide.
Step Four: Edit the Drawing Guide/ Symmetry Options
Next, Edit the Drawing Guide- that’s the option right below the drawing guide in the Action Panel.
Choose Symmetry from the menu options and then under Options choose the Radial. Try playing with Rotational Symmetry on.
Now, when you hit Done (top right corner) and go back to your canvas you’ll see that the center of the radial lines is the center of your template.
Step Five: Draw Your Mandala Using the Template
Create a new layer and tap on it to turn on Assisted Drawing. Use any brushes you like, or you can play with those that I included in my Mandala Stamp and Brushset. This is again free for subscribers at my blog, WCS.com.
Now you can see the way the template works to help you decide on the size and direction of your stamps or lines.
Change the direction of your canvas by tapping with two fingers and then rotating, to change the direction of the stamps. Create different layers for different parts of the design.
Tip: Draw circles as divisions if desired between the concentric circles. This is easy with Quick Shape, Just draw a circle, and keep your stylus tip on the screen to activate Quick Shape.
Just remember to tap one finger to the screen to make your shape a perfect circle vs. an ellipse.
Step Six: Duplicate the Canvas
Make it easy to color your mandala without worrying about which layer you're on and without making destructive changes to your art by duplicating your canvas.
Create a copy of your entire canvas by going back out to the Procreate Gallery and then swiping left on the title of your mandala and then tapping Duplicate.
Open up this new copy and in the Layers panel turn off the template layer and then combine your other layers.
This makes it easy to color your mandala without worrying about which layer you’re on.
Step Seven: Color Your Mandala
Create a palette by tapping the color dot in the upper right corner of your screen. Deciding on the colors you'll use before you begin coloring helps to keep the colors consistent.
To Use Color Drop: Set your Stylus tip on the circle of color in the corner of your screen. Without picking up your stylus or finger, pull the color to the place you want it in your design. Then, lift up the stylus to "drop" the color in.
About Color Threshold: Sometimes the color doesn’t fill the entire area, but leaves a little space next to the lines. To adjust your color threshold, simply keep your stylus on your screen and then slide it back and forth across the screen. You can see a bar at the top of the screen change percentages as you do this.
To Use Automatic Selection to Color: Another way to color is by using the automatic selection tool. Just tap the area you want to fill and that will select it. Then you can go ahead and fill just those areas with color all at once.
Tip: Duplicate your layer and alpha lock it. Then, create new layers by duplicating the design and playing with them. This gives you a way to try different color choices in a non-destructive way.
Step 8: Sharing Your Mandala
Once you’ve finished coloring your mandala, you can export it by going back to the wrench option and choosing the SHARE icon.
Share as a PNG: If you plan to use your design as a sticker, sublimation design, or with Print then Cut then you'll want to turn off the background layer before you explore. This makes the background transparent so you don't have to remove it later.
Share as a JPEG or PDF: If you plan to make a print of your design then you may choose to export it as a JPEG or PNG. If you'd like to print your mandala as a coloring page or on an 8.5" x 11" format then choosing PDF works well.
These mandalas are super fun (and therapeutic) to make. But, they also make GREAT designs for coloring books, sublimation designs, and more.
You can even try making layered mandalas to cut with a Cricut if you export each layer separately.
Watch the YouTube Video!
Like to Learn More About Procreate?
I’d love to have you check out the Procreate tutorials and projects here, or my playlist on Youtube!
If you’re a crafter who hasn’t tried Procreate yet, this is a GREAT (and simple) alternative to using pro-graphic design programs, like Adobe Illustrator, to create your own designs. AND it’s ONLY a one-time cost of $9.99. It is, however, currently only available for the iPad, iPad Pro, or iPhone.
Wondering Which iPad to Get for Procreate?
My husband, the software designer, wrote a great introduction to the best iPad to purchase (I added my tips for accessories too!).
For More Inspiration…
Would you like to see some mandalas for inspiration? I love pixabay.com as a resource for images that are copyright-free.
If you like creating mandalas some things you can do with these designs are-
- Turn it into an iron-on for a T-Shirt or Market Bag
- Create coloring cards to give away (or keep!)
- Make your own coloring book
- Create stickers or printable magnets (maybe add an inspirational quote)
- Make mugs with the new Cricut Mug Press
Thanks for Reading!