I caught up with Andrea today to talk with her about mandala art dot paintings. I first found Andrea’s rock art on Instagram @DelicateDotsAndrea. There you can find her beautiful handmade mandala dot painting artwork.
I asked Andrea, about how she began rock painting and she said that her family painted and hid thousands of rocks that first year for the community and still do to this day. She even hides some of her mandalas and dot art stones in her community as well. That sure would be a lucky find!
In this guest post, Andrea will share her creative design process, favorite art tools and products, choosing the perfect color palette and paint mixing process.
Mandala art Dot Painting Planning Process
Most of the time I go into a project only knowing the colors I want to do. I love to create as I go and see where the project takes me. This way of creating is more enjoyable to me. It takes away any expectations of a set plan.
If I have done a particular design before than I already have a general idea of what I am going to do when I start the project, but I don’t let that limit me to not changing things as I go along.
I have one canvas that I actually planned out before I started painting. I had sketched out the design and used colored pencils to see what would be more visually appealing. I didn’t plan it all out, but more color blocking to see if the design I had in my mind would work. It’s my favorite canvas to date.
Favorite Art Tools and Products for Mandala Art
I use nail dotting tools and a punch set. A punch set is a hardware tool that comes in several different sizes, which is great for dot art. It comes with its own stand to hold and organize your tools.
My favorite go to paints are Liquitex. I love the colors, textures, and vibrancy of their paints. I also use Liquitex pouring medium. I am not sponsored. I have just completely fallen for their paints. I also like to use Golden fluid paints to enhance colors. A few drops of Golden’s fluid Magenta will make pinks and purples so vibrant! DecoArt Americana is another brand I love to use. Even though it is a craft paint it will dry with a small dome shape and won’t be completely flat like other craft paints.
Choosing the perfect color palette
I love pulling my color palettes from nature. A colorful bird, butterfly, and flower are some places I have drawn inspiration from. A color wheel is also your best friend when choosing colors!
Paint Mixing Process
I love to use thicker paints like heavy body and soft body paints and thin them down to the right consistency with pouring medium. I am looking for a smooth consistency where when I pull a toothpick up out of the paint the peak it leaves slowly settles back down. This will give you a lovely, rounded dot when the paint is fully dry. I have a full YouTube video where I go into great detail about this.
For anyone just starting out you can use any craft acrylic bottle paint and it will work just fine. Your dots will dry flat. I prefer more rounded dots, so I made the switch to thicker paints.
Dot painting trips and tricks
- Be patient with yourself.
- Don’t compare your work to others. Only compare your work to your previous piece and focus on how far you have come.
- Don’t be afraid to load more paint on your tool! Especially if using thicker paints! Your dots will be more rounded and have more texture!
- Don’t let the tool touch! This flattens out the edges of your dots and creates a lighter ring around your dots.
- Save your old paint brushes! Andrea shows us in this video to soak stiff paint brushes in rubbing alcohol for 3-5 minutes then soak in warm soapy water, repeat until bristles are soft again. For the hard to clean brushes, you can use a wire brush to scrape out dried paint after they have soaked.
- Here’s a great video of Andrea cleaning her dotting tools.
Beginner dot mandala rainbow swirl tutorial
Andrea shares her very popular Beginner Dot Mandala Art Rainbow Swirl Tutorial with us.
- Andrea used a 4×4 canvas and marked the center the 2-inch mark on all sides, adding gridlines for the pattern.
- You can use a larger dotting tool for the center black dot, this gives you more space to work with as you go along.
- Use a smaller dotting tool to make 2 black dots on top and bottom of the gridlines, then make 2 red dots in between the gridlines on top and bottom as well. Continue with orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet to complete the first row. The dots will either be on the line or in between the lines and always placing the dots to the right.
- For the second row, start going up 2 sizes from the first row. Place your first black dot in between to the right from the previous row (between the black and red). Keep dotting the same color pattern from the previous row. Be sure to go slow and evenly space out your dots.
- Continue the same process for Rows 3 – 6.
- Use a white pencil to make guidelines to make “walking” dots in a curved line following the direction of your dot pattern.
- Use a smaller dotting tool to make the dots along the last dot (row 6) and beginning walking the dots around the larger dot. Depending on the size of your dotting tools you may or may not be able to make 2 rows of walking dots. Continue for each color.
Thank you, Andrea, for sharing your mandala art and dot painting artwork with us.
Below are the links where you can follow Andrea’s mandala art and easy to follow tutorials.
Check out our Mandala Painting Page for our beginner guide, tips and tricks, and dot painting ideas!