Tutorial: Seed of Life pattern

Seed of life pattern embedded in a simple mandala shape.

Intrigued by the beautiful henna designs that incorporate the intricate and complex "seed of life" pattern? This sacred geometry pattern, also called the "flower of life", can be found in religious structures, sites and artwork around the world.

Attempting it in henna may seem a bit daunting at first, but anyone can master it after seeing each of the steps broken down.

Shoulder epaulet-style design with the seed of life pattern

The primary techniques used in this design are draping straight lines and teardrops (both directions! More info below).

Keep reading for step by step instructions with photos!

1) Start by drawing a large open circle. You can "scratch" on a very light amount of henna to get the basic shape before laying down bolder lines.

2) Now, use your draping skills to draw a long vertical line down the center of the circle. Drape additional lines parallel to the center line, and try to space them apart as evenly as possible (It helps to have a stringy henna, typical of Moroccan or Rajasthani hennas such as my Suraja powder).

3) Next, draw a series of parallel lines at an angle to the first set of lines.

4) Now, draw another series of parallel lines. These should cross over the intersecting points of the previous two lines. The lines may not be perfectly straight, but continue to drape lines from intersection to intersection.

5) Finally, we're going to go over each set of parallel lines using the teardrop technique. Use cone pressure to widen and narrow the lines between each intersecting point.

henna-seed-of-life-5

Continue with the next set of "teardrop lines"

Add the final set of teardrops. You've just drawn a henna-style seed of life pattern!

Here it is, start to finish, in hyper-speed: