DecoratePaintingsTutorials. December 5th, 2023

Make your first creative mandala art design

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Use acrylic paints, stencils, and sticks to make your first creative mandala art design at home for beginners. Draw easy mandala art designs on a piece of round wood board and paint with geometric patterns mainly dots and rounds of different sizes. You can make colorful mandala art, doodle, or simple flower mandala art. A variety of supplies are available online on amazon, but I will share things you can use at home and not overspend on mandala art as a novice learner. Let us start with:

What is mandala art?

Originating in the first century India, mandalas are a form of Buddhist art which suddenly spread to other parts of Asia. Mandala art is a wheel with eight strokes, a lotus and a bell; that is part of monks’ religious practice and meditation. The word mandala means ‘circle’. The geometric designs in traditional mandala art represent the cosmos and heavens. It is associated with finding peace in the symmetry of the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Mandala art drawing and painting became popular due to their practice of focus and attention. This also proved helpful for stress relief and anxiety treatment. It is not only limited to peaceful spaces like homes and parks but to studios and schools as well. One usually starts from the inner core and keeps painting dots layer by layer to reach the outer core. You can also try the reverse method which is the spiritual journey starting from the outer core to the inner core.


How to draw a creative mandala art?

Mandala art has found its popularity in the artist’s society as a hobby as well as a design for rock painting, dream catchers, rug weaving, wall art and so much more to sell from handmade stores. This has led to a variety of mandala kits and tools sold in stores.


You can buy mandala dotting tools, coloring books, templates, stencils, and mandala design books. A few that caught my eye for using at home are:

Mandala dotting tools and stencils for painting rocks

Adult Mandala art coloring book

Mandala dot painting templates and stencils

Diamond dot painting coasters


However, if you are keen on using things at home and saving money you can make a mandala dot art using the method I am sharing below.

Mandala stencil:

You can use a pencil, compass, and ruler to draw your pattern but it’s easier to use a stencil so I would suggest investing in a good stencil to make basic eight strokes with layers. You can print and cut a stencil yourself also to use at home.

Cardstock Circles:

A cardstock paper cut in circles is great to paint using acrylic paints as it is thick another great option is watercolor paper. Canvas board, wood slice, acrylic disc or round rocks are all great options. You can get all these supplies at a dollar store or might already have them at home. The cardstock circles pack of 50 is great for those who do regular painting on round surfaces.

Acrylic paints:

You can use oil paints as a substitute but acrylic paint is your best option as they are water-based and dry quickly. Start with primary colors blue, yellow and red and keep black and white handy to make any colors you like. You can also stick to a combination and buy those paints for your mandala art. Honestly; you don’t need too much of a quantity to make dot painting.


Mandala dotting tools:

A variety of things can be used to make different size dots on a surface for creative mandala art. Anything that is round and solid can work. The back tips of paint brushes are of different diameters and are great for this project. You can use rubber on the back of a pencil for larger dots and glue stick for even larger ones. For fine dots toothpicks, dowels and skewers can do the job.

Before starting with your improvised tools, test them on a sample sheet to know the dot size of each dotting tool. This helps in choosing the tool when working on the mandala designs. Make sure to label the dots on the test paper to remember the tools.

Mandala art designs:

There are a variety of mandala art books available at your resource. You can buy them online or search for mandala art designs and you will get a variety of choices. Another great source is your library, you can loan books from there and use them to print and use stencils to make your mandala art.

How to draw and paint a simple mandala design?

Get ready for some ‘dot, dot’ language as I use words to explain how to draw and paint creative mandala art on a round board.


Create your outline

The key to making a perfect mandala is symmetry and guidelines are helpful. Start by using a stencil to trace the basic skeleton (structure) of a mandala art with a pencil. This works as a guide for you and makes dotting easy.


Choose a mandala design guide

You can choose a design from a variety of options like books or online as discussed above. Save the image above to use as guide. Comment to let me know if I should upload a free template to print.


Choose your color combination

You can make mandala art in a variety of color combinations limited to your imagination only. You can choose a single color, a family of colors, black and white or even a colorful palette to start making your creative mandala art that is your masterpiece.


Test your dotting tools

Before you start applying dots to your mandala design you must test your mandala art tools to understand the size of dots they produce. A sample test with labels is handy for the process.


Follow the dotted mandala guide

Follow the image you have in focus and make a center dot. Dip your tool into the paint, not too deep as you do not want the paint to go up the sides of your tool. Then place a dot on your paper. Now continue, place dots on top and bottom, and side to side, then fill in the space between and then between again to create a ring.


Next ring in the valleys of previous dots

It is suggested to start your next ring in the valleys of the dots in the previous ring for symmetry. I missed it and placed dots on the four sides and filled them in between. Make sure to keep dots equally spaced and aligned as this can get tricky sometimes. I also realized that I should have used a smaller tool for dots.

Dotting Tip: Keep dots consistent in size, dip and dot, dip and dot. Follow this pattern to ensure the same quantity of paint is applied always. You will learn with practice how much to dip and dot.

Continue with the dots

One keynote is to avoid being overly critical of your design and enjoy the process. With practice, one learns to place perfect dots and space them evenly. Even if it is lopsided and you notice imperfections in your work from a closer view, it will look beautiful when you step back. Just continue dotting your creative mandala art.

Get fancy as the mandala design grows

The smaller dots around a bigger dot creates a beautiful view. Dip your tool in the paint and place a small dot right above the big dot you are circling. Then go back and dip your tool, and dab the first dot you already made, then without reloading your tool go down one side of the big circle with dots. The dots get smaller as you have less paint with each dot as you go down. Repeat the process for the second side.

Descending dots tip: The technique for descending dots is to dip your tool once and then dot dot dot without loading your tool with paint again.


This was my first attempt at dot painting and I was rushing it at the end as I had timed myself to complete it in 45 minutes. My dots got sloppy. You can make an evenly spaced and lined-up mandala art design with careful precision and time. However, I found timing in art to be a great way to learn about a new project without overspending on details.

First creative mandala art

Here’s the result of my mandala art. So, what do you think?


Please note: The images I shared above are part of the process at the art class in my community library. The final product in hand is mine, however, the tutorial contains my instructor’s first trial.

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Hi, I’m Hani

I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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