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How do you color mandala art for beginners?

How do you color mandala art for beginners?

Coloring mandalas can be a fun and relaxing hobby for beginners. Mandalas are circular abstract designs that hold deep meaning in many cultures. The Sanskrit word “mandala” translates to “circle”. Coloring these intricate patterns is said to have meditative benefits. Anyone can pick up coloring mandalas with basic supplies and techniques. Read on to learn how to get started with mandala art as a beginner.

Gather Your Supplies

You don’t need fancy art supplies to color mandalas. Here are the basics you’ll need to get started:

Colored pencils Aim for a set with a wide variety of hues. A set with 100+ colors gives you lots of options.
Fine tip markers Markers allow you to fill in large areas quickly. Opt for fine or extra-fine tips.
Gel pens Gel pens contain vivid inks perfect for embellishing details.
Mandala coloring books Look for books printed single-sided with intricate designs.
Sharpener A handheld or electric sharpener keeps colored pencils ready to go.
Blending stumps These paper sticks help you shade and blend. Q-tips work too.

Gather this basic starter kit of supplies and you’ll be ready to jump into coloring mandalas. As you progress, you may want to add more tools like acrylic paint pens, glitter gels, and specialty drawing papers. For now, focus on learning the basics with standard colored pencils and markers.

Select Your Coloring Sheet

Once you’ve got your supplies, it’s time to choose a mandala to color! Flip through your coloring book and pick a design you’re drawn to. Here are some tips for beginners:

– Look for simpler designs without too many tiny details to start. You’ll build skills as you go.

– Pick a mandala with thicker lines. Thin intricate lines can be tricky for beginners.

– Choose symmetrical designs first. Non-symmetrical mandalas require more planning.

– Focus on abstract designs rather than representational ones with people, animals or nature scenes. Abstract mandalas let you focus purely on color.

– Pick a design with 5-15 sections. Very simple or very complex mandalas are harder to start with.

Don’t overthink it. Simply pick a mandala you’re excited to color. Remember, you can always color the same design again later with a different color palette and technique.

Plan Your Color Scheme

Now comes the fun part – selecting your colors! This is also an area where many beginners struggle. With so many color options, how do you choose? Follow these tips for picking colors:

– **Limit your palette**. Stick to just 2-3 colors when you’re starting out. You can always add more later.

– **Select based on mood**. What feeling do you want your mandala to convey – calm, joyful, fiery? Choose colors to match.

– **Try color groups**. Select analogous hues, complementary colors, or triadic colors that naturally look cohesive.

– **Use a color wheel**. Referencing a color wheel helps you identify color schemes.

– **Consider meaning**. Some colors have symbolic meanings you can play with. Red evokes passion, green encourages growth, blue inspires serenity.

– **Go monochromatic**. Shades of one color automatically give cohesion.

Once you settle on 2-3 colors, make a palette by swatching your colored pencils or markers. Refer to this as you color to maintain consistency.

Techniques for Beginners

With your supplies, mandala, and color scheme ready, it’s time to start coloring! Use these easy techniques to create beautiful mandala art as a beginner:

Shade lightly

Avoid pressing hard. Layering light colors builds richness. You can always add more layers to deepen shades.

Color section by section

Slowly work outward from the center, completing one section at a time. This helps you focus.

Outline first

Outline each section with black pen or marker before coloring if you want defined separation.

Embrace imperfection

Don’t worry about staying perfectly inside the lines. Relax and have fun with it!

Start with solid fills

Simply filling in each section with a solid color looks clean and balanced for beginners.

Use blending

Blend colored pencil strokes with a stump for smooth shading. Q-tips work too.

Take breaks

Step back periodically to evaluate your progress with fresh eyes.

Add detail later

Save tiny details like dots, lines, and embellishments for after you’ve filled in the main areas.

Stick to these basic techniques as you get comfortable with mandala coloring. After you finish a few, you can start experimenting with more advanced methods like gradients, textures, patterns, and special effects.

Common Mistakes for Beginners

When starting out with mandala art, it’s easy to make a few common mistakes. Being aware of these missteps can help you avoid them:

Pressing too hard Take a light touch so you can layer colors for richness and depth.
Skipping sections Be patient and systematically move through the design section by section.
Smearing Left-handed colorers should keep their hand away from colored areas.
Overblending Avoid muddying colors by limiting blended areas.
Straying outside lines Use a page behind your hand as you color to avoid smudges.
Rushing Work slowly and carefully to avoid careless errors.

Check in periodically to make sure you’re not falling into any of these common traps. Catching mistakes early prevents having to erase and redo large portions.

Display Your Masterpiece

After finally finishing your first mandala, don’t just close the book and stash it away. Display your artwork to appreciate your progress and motivate further creation. Here are creative ways to show off completed mandala drawings:

– Frame it – Pick up an inexpensive frame that complements your color scheme.

– Make a card – Cut out the mandala and paste it on blank cards to share.

– Decorate your space – Hang mandala art on the wall or prop it on your desk.

– Post online – Share your accomplishment on social media.

– Give as gifts – Your mandala drawings make heartfelt personalized gifts.

Proudly displaying your work brings joy and satisfaction. It also gives you a chance to spot areas for improvement to focus on for your next mandala.


Coloring mandalas is an enjoyable hobby that provides hours of relaxation, focus, and creativity. With a basic starter kit of supplies, a coloring book, and easy techniques, anyone can succeed when first starting out. Avoid common beginner pitfalls like pressing too hard and take a systematic approach. Display your finished mandala creations proudly. In no time you’ll gain skills, confidence, and your own unique coloring style. Let your creativity shine by embracing mandala art as a calming new hobby. The possibilities are endless!