How to Get Started with Dot Mandalas

This year at Lucky Star Art Camp, I am teaching a dot mandala painting class. I love mandalas. I have created lettering mandalas for gifts and relaxation, but have never tried creating dot mandalas. It looks like so much fun and pretty simple, too.

I first attempted it using dowel rods, one nail dotting tool, a cake pop stick, and a Bic stick pen. I marked the center of each site of my four-inch canvas and created a big X. It seemed like it would be easy to simply add dots around it. I looked at a pattern and went for it. My paint was too thick and I had a wonky, not circular layout, but I had a blast.

Next I thinned the paint and got some bigger dowel rods. I studied the layouts more and found a video of a beginner mandala.

I was having fun, but the end result is not what I was seeking. It was time to head over to Amazon. I bought this set of stencils and this fantastic dotting tool set and it made all the difference.

Here is a picture so that you can see my progress and the difference that practice and better tools can make. I used chalk to draw lines and that can be removed with a wet Q-tip. I love the technique called “walking the dots” where you dip and then make multiple dots without re-dipping. Each dot gets a bit smaller. Love it!

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