Easy rangoli designs - beginners

Though I have drawn all the designs myself personally I am thankful to my family for the inputs, information and help in drafting all the posts so far. 

I have used the terms kolam  rangoli quite freely in all the posts.

Probably there would have been differences based on classical (!) explanations in the past but today kolams can also be colourful like rangolis both in the free hand and dots type

 I find that even the terms rangoli kolam and kolam rangoli are used at  present.

The only area where I think kolam are different are in sikku kolam and arisi maavu kolam. Both are beautiful, challenging and can be intricate .

Rangoli is muggulu in Telugu and so this post will be useful for those in search of small and simple muggulu for beginners. This post may have answers 

kutty rangoli / kolam designs

The rangoli in the image below is one of the basic designs that can be used for learning.  Form a star with two inverted triangles.

  Next draw a set of parallel lines to the lines in the star to get the  top right image. 


In the third step floral petals are added around the star design and finally add another set of petals inside the bigger petals.  If required add colours as shown or leave it plain and white.     



  Another easy and simple rangoli design using a star shaped pattern at the centre.  The rangoli is shown in two steps.  The final image below and intermediate step in the photo above 

Rangoli in the image  on the left is also a basic star design. Again, draw two inverted triangles but in this case  extend the arms from one edge and connect to the other with curved lines as shown. 


The image on the top shows another easy free hand rangoli for beginners.  It is based on swastik that is regularly used in rangoli designs.  I hope it is of help to those who want to learn. 

The rangoli in four steps shown below is self-explanatory.  However the final image can be changed or patterns added or colours added according to our convenience and / or imagination.  Next How to make a rangoli - with lines - kutty kolam designs


Observe the image above.  First draw two sets of parallel lines intersecting as shown in the second part of the image.  Add petal like designs and fill with colours as shown to get a simple rangoli design.  It is  simple, easy to draw.  

The image below shows how to draw a floral rangoli design.  In the first stage on the top left intersecting lines - four numbers are drawn.

From the centre draw curved patterns on either side of a segment of the line to get the floral designs shown in image 2. In the third stage draw v shaped patterns between the petals. Finish the rangoli design as shown in the fourth stage of the image to get a simple floral rangoli design.



  The next rangoli a simple design is also a free hand type. The image above shows how the rangoli progresses from two petals to a completed floral design that is further decorated and also filled with colours. shows the final rangoli pattern.  
After drawing the floral petals at the centre add the longer lines of two different lengths, between the petals to complete the rangoli. It is quite a simple design to teach and to learn! 
Now a small rangoli designs with dots and colours
How to make a rangoli - lamp or diya designs for Diwali


 This rangoli on the top is with dot pattern 7 by 4 for drawing lamps designs in rangoli.  Lamps ( also called diya or deepam ) are regularly used in rangoli design and so Rangoli-sans-dots is no exception.  Place the dot pattern and draw the star shape with two inverted triangles as shown in first part of the image. 
 One lamp has also been drawn with the bottom of the lamp drawn free hand outside the dot grid.  The completed rangoli is shown in the second part of the image.  

The next rangoli is also with dots - 4 by 4 dots grid and the patterns used are quite simple - these type of designs are drawn at the entrances (vaasal padi kolam  as it is called in Tamil - literally meaning rangoli drawn at the steps at the entrance.).              
White rangoli is actually a misnomer. However practically speaking, particularly in parts of India where the practice of drawing rangoli art daily in the morning ( and in some cases in the evening) plain or white rangoli designs are used.  Hence this collection of this type of rangoli designs are also shown.

How to make rangoli - simple floral patterns without a dot grid with colours

Another rangoli in this series of simple rangoli for beginners, in a few steps.  The floral petals are drawn and the rangoli developed around it to get the final image shown at the bottom right.

     The next rangoli is also a very easy rangoli design in line with the title of this post.  The rangoli is shown through 4 steps.  In the third stage the petal like patterns are joined as shown.  The final image with curlicues and colours make a simple pattern very beautiful.     

        The images above show how to draw plain or white designs with the final image shows the colours filled. 
Some simple free hand rangoli designs without steps

Some of themes in Rangoli sans dots include  the lotus , butterflies and birds that can be practised after going through the easy rangoli designs

A simple freehand  rangoli using lines

 The next kolam, a simple design in this series - a line kolam design drawn without dots.  Draw four parallel lines and four more lines perpendicular to them ( just as we do in tic tac toe ! ) .  Develop the kolam with lamps on four sides and handles.  Add some colours.  The result is the simple design below.

Another rangoli or kolam yet another simple design using some paisley motifs and mango leaves.. It is a very basic kolam design and  is a simple line rangoli formed by a pair of parallel lines intersecting each other .  Around the lines the leaf-like patterns have been added. 

 The ones in green with mid-rib and veins are the mango leafs and the ones in yellow are mango motifs ( paisley ) .  Mango leaves are considered to be auspicious in India and it is quite common to see festoons ( called toran ) made from from mango leaves tied to a string hung outside the house for festivals and special occasions like house-warming, baby showers , wedding,    

 The end result a simple but colourful free hand rangoli if you are looking for a quick and simple rangoli design for Diwali. Next Another simple colourful rangoli for Diwali                              
Simple rangoli / muggu / kolam for practising and learning for simple New Year rangoli 

  Frankly,contemporary rangoli  has many names, kolam , Rangavalli, muggulu in southern India. Though the names are different, what is common among them is that they are all beautiful and that is what matters most.  

All the designs are a tribute to those who draw them daily and for festivals.  Muggulu designs associated 
with Sankranthi festival in Andhra Pradesh, rangoli designs with Diwali in many parts of India and 
associated with Margazhi season in Tamil Nadu so far as festivals are concerned
Rangoli is called kolam in Tamil , muggu or rangavalli in Telugu .  Some more simple designs from my collection for practising.

At the centre a spiral design surrounded by more spiral designs to form a small circle is drawn.  Around the circle  surrounded by or decorated by patterns according to one's imagination.

 The design next is drawn in two steps first the outline is drawn and then the bottom lines are added to get the pattern in light blue.  This is surrounded by a simple border in purple. 

The rangoli is now decorated with the patterns in pink and green.  Few white patterns are added in the area filled with purple rangoli .   Then petal patterns in red and green are added to get the final image.         
This rangoli can further be made attractive by adding more patterns with colour or white rangoli as shown in the image above. .    


Simple kolam, easy kolam call them by any name the idea is to have some kolam that are easy to draw due to one of the following reasons, constraints in space either at the entrance or the puja room, to have an idea of simple designs to learn or to practice kolam art. 

So some designs that are small, easy and simple are there in Rangoli sans dots. These kolam designs can also be used as simple apartment kolam designs as they are called in Tamil Nadu.
In the image above all are free hand kolam.  The first one has a spiral design at the centre surrounded by spiral patterns and finally decorated with floral petals on and in between the spiral designs.

The second kolam has a star drawn at the centre that is decorated with a petal at the junction of any two lines.  Finally a floral petal or curved line border drawn with two parallel lines drawn separately to get the final image.
The lotus design can be drawn free hand or with dots.  

The third is one of the many lotus kolam design that I have drawn here.  It has four petals at right angles and each petal grows into a lotus with petals added on either side to get this kolam.
The fourth one is again a star design at the centre. 

 Circular pattens are drawn at the edges and any two circular designs are connected with curved line patterns as shown.
All the above kolam designs are quite simple and can be drawn in double quick time. For learners it is a useful photo of four simple and easy kolams for learning.  

Small  kolam , rangoli                          

The second set of basic and easy kolam designs in the photo above.  All have been drawn free hand. The first kolam in the first row has a floral petal design with four simple floral designs on the four corners. Aren't they cute and beautiful.

The second kolam in the first row has deepam like designs around a basic design at the centre. It can be drawn with 7 by 1 dot pattern also and is in 7 dot kolams.

The first kolam in the second row has lotus patterns. The second kolam is a simple floral pattern.The third kolam in the second row can also be drawn with five by five dot pattern..   Since these are basic designs I have drawn only the white kolam patterns.  

Colours can be added.  These designs may be helpful for practising.  For knowing the steps for basic and advanced designs please visit my YouTube channel Rangolisansdots.
Small rangoli , kolam.                       
Another set of kolam ideas that are easy and basic designs that may be useful as very simple kolams.  All of them have been drawn free hand but can be drawn with dot grids like 4 by 4 dots. The first and second kolams in the first row are very simple designs as it is obvious from the image.  

The first kolam in the second row has simple bird like shapes and the second one is a purely free hand design.   Information on the steps involved in drawing these designs is available for some of these kolams 
In the photo above, the next in this series on small and easy kolam for learning,  three designs have been drawn all free hand versions.  The first one has been expanded from a simple triangle, the second one from a hexagon!.  The third one from a number of intersecting lines.

  All the three have been completed with some petal like patterns.  The lines inside the hexagon parallel to the sides resemble lines in benzene!.  Of course six lines are not there in a benzene ring ( I hope I am correct ).                        

 A design with couple of parallel lines intersecting each other that grows into a simple but attractive rangoli with leaves and flowers is shown in the photo below in two stages.  The final rangoli after adding colours is  in the second step'  
Simple Butterfly rangoli without dots for Sankranti
The next rangoli is an improvement of the previous rangoli with four butterfly patterns added  in the image above  Again a free hand version with a flower with four petals at the centre.  The white dots in green representing the centre of the flower. 

 Due to the nature of the rangoli design with long petals I have drawn slim butterflies with elongated bodies.  However filling the colours has ensured that the resulting design is beautiful.     This rangoli on the left is again on this theme - butterfly and is actually an improved version of a rangoli drawn with leaves and flowers in one of the earlier posts. 

 Here I have added some elements of nature, leaves, flowers and butterflies to get a simple but cute and beautiful rangoli design, drawn free hand of course.    Two steps for this simple pattampoochi kolam ( vannathu poochi and seethakoka chiluka) as it is called in Tamil and Telugu or simply butterfly kolam or butterfly muggulu !

 The kolam, a butterfly rangoli design without dots.  It is combination of butterflies, flowers and leaves.  First draw the star shape with two inverted triangles.  Between any two sides draw the butterfly designs in blue and yellow ( I am not aware of such a butterfly in nature but give some allowance for my imagination!). 

 Between two butterflies draw the flowers and leaf patterns and add suitable colours to complete the design. A simple rangoli with nature as theme (butterflies, flowers and leaves are congruous and hence suitable for a theme ) for competitions or for festivals. 

 Of course it can be developed further from here. if there are no constraints.  This also suitable for Margazhi season when we see many colourful and beautiful kolam designs. This rangoli will become simple without the leaf patterns.  
butterfly-rangoli-2.jpgAnother rangoli design with simple butterfly patterns                                               
Rangoli sans dots literally means Rangoli without dots   However Rangoli-sans-dots will have designs without dots, with dots and a few arts and crafts ideas   I will also try some designs that can be drawn with a dot pattern and the same designs free hand

.  This image above is a free hand rangoli with three butterflies around a flower.  So far as rangoli designs are concerned I think it not necessary to have the complete pattern and hence some tendrils around the flower to show that it is a creeper.  I have drawn a bigger butterfly with two smaller ones on either side.  This design  cannot be drawn with dots (exact replica ) because of the lack of symmetry.   

                              The next rangoli, in  theme on nature and again with some bird patterns in the image below.  Start with a basic geometric pattern like triangle and the rangoli grows upto stage three.  Upto this stage it is quite easy.  In step 4 of the image some paisley motifs and bird patterns are added.  

We can have a single bird design also for each edge of the triangle.  I have added two birds that are look away from one another.    I have added the crown also for each bird.  The tail of the birds have not been added to make the design somewhat simple. 

 We can add colourful tails also to make the rangoli even more attractive.  Simple colouring scheme and method has been followed in this rangoli.  Adding colours can be left to one's imagination.                                
One more set of rangoli designs, small ones have been added through the photo given below.  Both are small and cute rangoli designs, both basically circular in design, the first one is and can be used as the central pattern for many a bigger design.  

Draw a number of intersecting lines to form a chakra like pattern.  Connect them with curved lines and draw a curved line border around this rangoli to get this small rangoli.  The second has intersecting curved lines - two sets one above the other all connected to get this small rangoli.  Again this can also be used as a part of a larger rangoli.
Some  rangoli  for kids - activity through rangoliMy school-going  daughter has developed an interest in (my)  rangolis. She keeps pestering me to draw simple ones so that she can practise.  Some posts are meant for her like this one. When I started this, I never thought that it would  interest my daughter.

  What I did  not realise is that children are technology savvy and they are willing to accept and learn when it is given through the medium of their choice.  I had been  telling  her to study this art but in vain so far,  when it is through the internet she readily accepts.  Are results more important than  the means? Rangolis for beginners are drawn occasionally in Rangoli-sans-dots. 

There are three posts so far if my memory serves me right.  After all everyone was a beginner before becoming an amateur.  Below are some rangoli designs that are either complete or part of rangoli drawn by me.  They may be suitable for kids also to learn and practice because they are basic designs.  (However please use your discretion). 

 Though I have drawn with rangoli ( powder ),  one may try to practice with sketch pen or chalk piece or pencil any other means one feels comfortable till  he/she attains the required degree of dexterity, speed and comfort in drawing.  

This is the advantage of freehand  rangolis.  We can decide to what extent we want to expand a rangoli.  In the case of rangoli  with dots, the size is limited to the number of dots.  However both are appealing and also challenging in their own  way.  

 We can also have a combination of both freehand and those with dots to get the advantages in appeal and appearance of both types.  Obviously,  the rangoli with dots has to be the central design around which the freehand patterns can be drawn

Apart from the fact that rangoli are drawn daily in many parts of India and for festivals like Pongal or Sankranthi , rangoli are associated with important festivals like Navratri and Diwali. 

 Rangoli with flower as theme are also often used as rangoli with dots or without. Rangoli designs representing flowers are drawn  ( not the actual floral designs ) in some of the designs below.  They may have floral designs as a part of the rangoli or as a whole.


 My mother is from Vijayanagaram a town near Vishakapattinam .  She taught me many Teluginti muggulu as she called them.  Call them, rangoli , kolam,  muggu or alpona they are all beautiful and in their won way.  A rose by any other name smells as sweet.  I understand ( from my sister ) that rangoli are called rangavalli in classical Telugu language and muggulu colloquially.

Some rangoli designs drawn during Margazhi or Pongal kolam  Sankranti muggulu season
A month long celebrations with kolam or rangoli with Pongal or Sankranthi as the icing on the cake. Some rangoli I drew at the entrance during this season.

Share Rangolisansdots with family and friends.At last I have decided to switch over from blogspot to my (custom) domain.  rangolisansdots.blogspot.com is now www.rangoli-sans-dots.com.  

How to draw easy or simple rangoli  without dots for our home

How to make a simple rangoli design at home, how to fill  rangoli  colours, Rangoli without dots for beginners ?
Rangoli without dots for kids ? This article may have answers to these questions

Some of the posts including this one  are with three or four steps so that beginners or children can practise them on-line.  An on-line rangoli drawing project ! 

Before attempting to draw a rangoli, also referred to as wave or waving in some schools of thought  practise using rangoli powder to draw straight lines and then curved lines.  Initially, there may be problems - like the lines may be very thick, may not be continuous, the flow of rangoli powder cannot be controlled.  

Hence I have added a video to my Channel on YouTube showing how to draw a line using rangoli powder.  It is in slow motion and has been taken in four different angles to give the viewers an idea.  Hope it is helpful. For those not familiar with the use of rangoli a note book and pencil or sketch pen may be useful for drawing rangoli designs.

 All designs are simple free hand rangoli designs. Recently I have also added some rangoli designs using dot grid including two rangoli with 7 dot grid ( very simple lamps designs ) .

 We can practice to draw rangoli with sketch pen or chalk piece till we become comfortable with drawing with rangoli powder (kolam maavu as we say in Tamil ) and we should try because making with rangoli powder  is what makes a rangoli pretty, lovely and any other adjective we can think of for beautiful !  

 Most of them here are small rangoli designs with colours some with dot grid  others without . Free hand rangolis start from a central design and proceed radially - outwards however maintaining symmetry in design.

  Kolams i.e rangoli with dots can be started from the centre or the dots on the outside can be connected first and then the central design can be completed. 

 Finally the remaining dots can be used up.  Free hand designs or kolams make use of designs and patterns available in nature.  They differ from drawings and paintings in that the details of designs borrowed from nature are simple depictions and do not show intricate details. 

1.  What is a free hand rangoli
A rangoli design drawn without a dot grid also called rangoli without dots

2.  How does rangoli with dots differ from those without dots
Rangoli with dots - the design is restricted to the dot pattern whereas free hand rangoli can be expanded and expanded so long there is space and time.
Both are easy and difficult in their own ways.  Some are comfortable with free hand designs and some with dot patterns.  Both need practice, creativity, patience and imagination.

3. Is it possible to draw the same pattern with dots and without dots
 It is easy for small designs and becomes more and more difficult as the design becomes bigger and more intricate. So while a basic design may be drawn free hand and with dots some elements of ( free hand rangoli drawn with dots)  may have to be drawn free hand 

4.  Should we draw free hand rangoli or with dot patterns
Free hand rangoli designs are more suitable for curved patterns of different types , floral designs, petal designs and birds and so on.  Rangoli with dots are usually more suitable for geometric patterns like triangles, squares, rectangles and rhombuses.  Of these triangles and rhombuses, parallelograms are used quite a lot.

The bigger the dot pattern the more complicated the design becomes.  So one needs practice to draw bigger designs without making mistakes because one mistake and the whole design can go wrong and we may have to redo part or a big part of the rangoli design.  However, all smaller designs can be drawn free hand and with dots with some degree of similarity.  

What is the difference between rangoli and kolam
Rangoli is an Indian art drawn on the floor rang means colours.  Kolam is the same art called so in Tamil Nadu. Kolam means beauty

 How to draw a rangoli on tiles ?
I presume that it is ceramic tiles. I don't see any problem in drawing  a rangoli on a tiled surface.  The  only thing to be borne in mind  is the colour of the tiles  and colour of the rangoli  (powder ) should be different. The darker the shade of the tiled surface the lighter the colour of rangoli ( powder)  the better the presentation. The flow of rangoli   should  not be a problem.

How to choose the colour combination in a rangoli?
After drawing the rangoli with plain rangoli , before filling up with colours we can try the  colours in an area near the rangoli to check  whether  the colour combination we want to use is alright and is to our satisfaction.    After we are satisfied we can fill  up the rangoli with the chosen colours.

. How to choose a theme for a rangoli
The answer is quite simple.  It depends upon what festival or occasion we are going to celebrate.  For Independence Day or Republic Day it can be combination of orange green white and blue colours ( for India) and similarly for other countries.  For festivals like Diwali and Karthigai ( in Tamil Nadu ) it can be combination of lamps with any other pattern drawn free hand or with dots.  

 What are the other uses of  a rangoli
Apart from the traditional use of rangoli as a floor art for welcoming guests and for that matter anyone who visits our house rangoli can also be used on greeting cards.

Rangoli - greeting card ideas
Though there are many ways to design a greeting card, rangoli designs are one of the most important and beautiful options.  Greeting cards are sent for festivals like Diwali, Pongal or Sankranthi , NewYear and many other festivals.  Presently, greeting cards are e-cards, still rangoli is an excellent option for designing a card.

 Rangolis differ from paintings in that intricate details of the subject being drawn are not shown or are not given importance.  Importance is on imagination, symmetry, and the use of motifs to suit our taste.  Rangoli  is drawn the floor, where there is a constraint in space and there is constraint in time also , hence these are to be factored into when drawing or appreciating a rangoli. 

More importantly, these are art forms that last for a very short time and are drawn every day at the entrance and for them to last for a long time they can be drawn on a festival greeting card. Since inspiration for rangoli is drawn from  nature it is natural to draw fruits, birds,  animals,  flowers, leaves, creepers,  geometric shapes and patterns according to one's imagination.  

These are the variables that can be combined to our convenience and imagination the constraints being credibility in the design.  Usually, we add colours to suit the fruits, birds etc. drawn.  However we can  take  some liberty in  changing the colours,  hoping that it will be acceptable !  

Best rangoli posts

Small rangoli with dots

9 dots or pulli kolangal