Draw-along: Mindful Color

You Will Make: One Drawing Meditation

You Will Need: Paper, Crayon, Marker

You can draw along with me and reflect on your feelings

It is inspired by the Tibetan Buddhist practice of creating a Mandala. Monks use cones with colored sand to tap out images of a metaphysical model, focusing on the qualities shown by the Bodhisattva in the center of the drawing who embodies enlightenment. As they draw with sand, the monks think about the symbols in each circle or square that is created around the center in order to visualize those qualities in themselves.

When they are finished, they sweep up the sand and bring it back outside, symbolizing the ephemerality of existence and the interconnectedness of thought and being.

This drawing is not a Buddhist practice, but I was inspired by the idea. In this drawing exercise, I focused on the difference between how I felt and how I wanted to feel. I used my personal connection to colors and symmetry to shift my mindset from being a little tired to more energetic. The drawing practice helped me clear my mind.


  • Hue: The gradation of color, like orange-red, or blue-green
  • Saturation: The intensity of the color like Bright blue, or just blue
  • Value: The amount of shading in a color like pink versus red; or black, grey and white.
  • Radiating: symmetry that moves outward from a central point
  • Rotating: symmetry that can be made by turning a shape as opposed to reflecting like: b, q
  • Mirror: symmetry that can be made by reflecting or flipping a shape like: b, d
  • Mandala: In English-speaking culture this has been co-opted to mean any kind of round abstract drawing, but it is a practice in Hinduism and Buddhism of doing a meditative drawing in sand.
  • Mindfulness: Being aware of one’s own way of thinking and paying attention to one’s body.

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