Mandala Stones are the latest trend in the craft world to go viral. The colorfully dotted patterns are a real eyecatcher and easy to recreate. By now you can admire a great many of different patterns and interpretations of Mandala Stones all over the internet. The great thing about it is, that you can do them without a lot of practice. You don’t need special skills or be an amazingly talented painter to get great results. It is not so hard to paint dots. With some simple tips and tricks you get the hang of it in no time!
Here you can find a gallery with a lot of beautiful Mandala Stones. Maybe you find some inspiration there to make some stones yourself. 🙂 For a simple step-by-step tutorial on a beautiful basic Mandala Stone, just scroll down this entry.
Colors and Brushes:
You can use a lot of different paints to make Mandala Stones. Personally I prefer to use acrylic paint (available here*) thinned out with water or tempera paints (available here*). The most important thing is the right consistency of the paint. If the paint is too thick or pasty, you need to add more water.
Test: Let some paint drop on a piece of paper. The paint should be liquid enough to form a rounded shape on its own. If the paint is too thick, it is very hard to draw fine details or steady lines.
Choosing the right paintbrush is equally important for nice results! For this type of craft you should use pointed round brushes with synthetic bristles (available here*). Those kind of brushes work best with acrylic paint. The synthetic bristles are firm enough to paint small details and give you maximum control.
Paintbrushes with animal hair are not really suitable for painting Mandala Stones with acrylic paint. The bristles are too soft for patterns like that. Also the tip of the brush can be too fringy for details.
If you are shopping for paintbrushes look out for brushes with yellow or artificially white bristles. This often is a good indicator for synthetic or nylon hair. The tip should be pointed and the diameter of the bristles should be rounded. For small details I recommend size 0 and size 2 for bigger dots. (Both brushes can bee seen on the left side in the picture above.)
Heads Up: Sometimes paintbrushes have a pointed tip when you buy them but loose their shape with the first wash. That is because the bristles are dipped in starch and dried like that to protect the shape until you use them. You can see one example of that in the middle of the picture above. Take a good look at the bristles before you buy a brush. The bristles should not stick together. If they do, they are dipped in starch and the tip will become fringy once you use your brush.
Alternative Brushes / Tools: Sometimes good brushes can be hard to come by. In a pinch you can use nail art brushes (available here*) like Cindy suggested in the comments. (She painted some beautiful mandala stones herself. Check out her blog! Link >>)
You can also use dotting tools (available here*). They come in various different sizes and shapes. As the name suggests, you just dip the tool into some paint and dot patterns onto the stone. It works better if your paint is a little thicker. You can also get a nice 3D effect with your dots like that.
Do you have any more tips? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
You can find suitable stones on a stony beach or a gravel bar. The surface of those stones is really smooth and perfect to paint on.
Rounded, flattened stones work best for Mandala patterns. Before you start with your artwork, clean your stones with some soapy water. You don’t need to apply an undercoat or a layer of transparent varnish, but it can make the painting process easier. (I never do, but that’s because I am too lazy for that and want to start right away.)
Easy Mandala Stone Tutorial:
To enhance the colors of the Mandala pattern use a dark color (in this case black) to paint a rounded shape. Take your time with the shape and try to make it as evenly as possible. Leave a bit of space to the sides of the stone, because the Mandala itself will be larger than the dark undercoat.
You start this type pf Mandala pattern always in the center. Wait until the dark color has dried sufficiently and paint a big, white dot exactly in the center. (Obviously you can use different colors for this pattern.)
Now you start with the first row. Circle the big dot with a lot of small, white dots. The pattern will look prettiest if all the dots of one row are the same size and are evenly placed.
Start the second row of dots with the lightest color of your gradient. Place the dots between the dots of the previous row. It is important for later to leave a small gap between all the dots of one row.
The dots should get bigger and a little darker with each row.
I chose a purple gradient for this pattern. The lightest color should be really light. Add one or two drops of a darker color to the paint for each new row. It is important to save a small amount of each shade for later.
The gaps between the dots should also get slightly bigger with each row.
Paint the dots of the second last row close to the edge of your undercoat. If you run out of undercoat in some places, just reapply a little of the dark color to even out the shape.
Paint the dots of your last row halfway across the edge of your dark undercoat.
Now you can fill in the little gaps between the bigger dots with small, white dots. (Skip the first and the last row.) Use your smallest paintbrush.
To enhance the gradient effect and to add some depth to the pattern, paint smaller dots on the colored dots of each row. Choose always the shade of the previous row for that, as indicated in the picture. (Skip the first row again.) If the contrast between the shades is too small, add a bit of white paint to each shade.
You can add little details to the edge of your pattern. The easiest way to do that is a straight line of different sized dots. Start with a bigger one followed by three smaller ones. Keep an eye on the center of your pattern and imagine a straight line to the edge. Follow the line when you add small details to avoid wonky shapes.
You can go on as long as you want. I added a bright colored dot in the middle and small dots on the outside. Just do want you think looks nice to balance everything out. 🙂
Add a finishing layer of transparent spray paint if you want.
The finished Mandala Stone will look something like that. Of course you don’t have to use the exact same colors I used. Be creative and experiment with different colors and shapes. Mandala Stone Painting can be a kind of meditation. Just let the pattern form itself.
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