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Tips for Coloring Mandalas

If you love coloring mandalas have been checking out our FREE MANDALA MAKER and our growing collection of FREE coloring pages but need a few tips on how to color mandalas, don’t worry – we have you covered!

In this post we’re going to share our lists of tips on how to color our (and other) free printable mandalas and make your own unique works of art!

Why Color Mandalas

Before we start, why do we love coloring mandalas?

Mandalas are often used for coloring because their symmetrical patterns can be very relaxing and meditative. The repetitive nature of coloring the same shapes over and over can help to quiet the mind and focus the thoughts. The act of coloring can also be a form of self-expression and can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, coloring mandalas can be a fun and creative way to explore different color combinations and color schemes.

Or… if you want to try something different, learn how we created this effect below following THIS tutorial 🙂

How to Color Mandalas

Here are a few tips for coloring mandalas:

  1. Start with a light pencil sketch before adding color. This will help you to plan your color scheme and make sure that you are coloring within the lines.
  2. Use a variety of coloring tools, such as markers, colored pencils, or paint. Experiment with different textures and techniques to create interesting effects.
  3. Use a limited color palette to create a cohesive and harmonious look.
  4. Take your time and enjoy the process. Coloring mandalas is a meditative and relaxing activity, so don’t worry about finishing quickly.
  5. Use the symmetry of the mandala to your advantage. If you find yourself at a loss for what color to use next, look for the corresponding spot on the other side of the mandala and use the same color there.
  6. Be open to unexpected color choices. Sometimes using a color you wouldn’t expect can make a mandala even more interesting.
  7. Most importantly, have fun and let your creativity flow – remember, when using free mandala coloring pages you can simply reprint the coloring page and do it again if you are not delighted with the results

What To Do With the Finished Mandala?

When you have finished your mandala and are pleased with the results – what do you do with the finished artwork?

Well, here are a few ideas for what you can do with your finished colored mandala:

  1. Display it as art: You can frame your mandala and hang it on a wall or display it on a bookshelf or mantel.
  2. Use it as a meditation focus: You can use your finished mandala as a focal point during meditation or yoga practice.
  3. Give it as a gift: Your mandala makes a thoughtful and personal gift for friends and family.
  4. Scan or photograph it and use it as a digital background on your computer or phone.
  5. Use it as a pattern on a piece of clothing or a piece of home decor like a pillow or a tapestry
  6. Make a card or a scrapbook with your mandala
  7. Use it as a logo or a design element in a craft project like a DIY journal or planner.
  8. Use it as a reference for your next mandala coloring or drawing.
  9. Share it on social media and inspire others to create their own mandalas.

Remember that your mandala is a unique and personal creation, and there are countless ways to enjoy and share it.

Tips for Coloring Your Mandala Digitally

Here are some tips for coloring mandalas using apps like Procreate, Affinity Photo, or Affinity Designer:

  1. Start with a solid base color: Choose a color for the background and fill the entire layer with it. This will serve as the foundation for the rest of your coloring.
  2. Create separate layers for each section: To keep your coloring organized, create separate layers for each section of the mandala. This allows you to color each section independently and make adjustments without affecting other parts of the design.
  3. Use the blending modes: Experiment with the different blending modes to create different effects and add depth to your coloring. For example, you can use the “Multiply” blending mode to darken certain sections and create shadow.
  4. Use the gradient tool: The gradient tool is a great way to add a gradient effect to your coloring. You can use it to create a smooth transition between two colors or to blend multiple colors together.
  5. Work in small sections: Coloring mandalas can be time-consuming, so break the process down into smaller sections. Focus on one section at a time, and be patient as you build up the coloring.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things: Try out different techniques and styles until you find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and adjust as needed. The beauty of digital coloring is that you can always undo and start over.
I created this mandala effect following the tips above and experimenting with blending modes

Best ‘Traditional Coloring’ Medium for Coloring Mandalas

If you prefer coloring mandalas using the tried and tested traditional coloring media, we have some tips to share with you! The best coloring tools for mandalas can depend on personal preference and the desired outcome. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Colored Pencils: They are great for fine details and layering colors. They are also easy to control and come in a wide variety of colors.
  2. Markers: They can be great for coloring large areas quickly and offer vibrant and intense colors. They also come in different tip widths, which can be useful for coloring different mandala shapes.
  3. Watercolors: They are great for creating a softer and more organic look. They are also easy to blend and can be used to create gradient effects.
  4. Gel pens: They are great for adding a metallic or glittery touch to your mandala. They also come in a wide variety of colors.
  5. Acrylic paint: They can be great for a bold and striking look, and they can be used on a variety of surfaces, including paper, canvas, and fabric.
  6. Combining different tools can also be fun and inspiring, for example, use colored pencils for details and markers for larger areas.

Ultimately, the best tools for coloring mandalas will be the ones that you feel comfortable using and that allow you to achieve the look and feel that you want.

Best Paper for Coloring Mandalas

When printing mandala coloring pages, it’s important to use paper that will allow your coloring tools to perform well and will also help to prevent smudging or bleeding. You will find there are plenty of options other than standard printer paper – however it will depend on what thickness paper your printer can handle – you may also need to trim the paper to size before proceeding:

  1. Heavyweight drawing paper: This type of paper is thick and sturdy, making it ideal for coloring with markers and colored pencils. It’s also acid-free, which helps to prevent the paper from yellowing over time. However, it’s difficult to print on this paper so you may need to transfer the design manually (see below).
  2. Mixed media paper: This type of paper is designed to be used with a variety of mediums, including watercolors, markers, and colored pencils. It’s often heavier than regular drawing paper and has a slight texture that can add depth to your coloring.
  3. Watercolor paper: This type of paper is specifically designed for use with watercolors. It’s thicker and more absorbent than other types of paper, which helps to prevent warping and allows colors to blend smoothly. While you can purchase printable watercolor paper, you can also transfer the design.
  4. Printer paper: This type of paper is specifically designed for printing, it’s often is a standard weight paper, it’s good for printing mandalas for coloring, but it’s not recommended for coloring with markers or watercolors as the colors may bleed or smudge.
  5. Keep in mind that some coloring tools may require a certain type of paper. For example, watercolors require a more absorbent paper to prevent warping and bleeding.

It’s always a good idea to test your coloring tools on a small area of the paper before starting your mandala.

Tips for Coloring Mandalas on Printer Paper

Printer paper is widely available and low cost, so if you are printing the mandalas for coloring on printer paper, here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Use light pressure when coloring. Pressing too hard can cause the paper to tear or become distorted.
  2. Use colored pencils or fine-tip markers instead of heavy markers or paint. These tools are less likely to bleed or smudge on regular printer paper.
  3. Use a primer or fixative spray on the paper before coloring. This can help to prevent smudging and bleeding and can also add some texture to the paper.
  4. Be mindful of the colors you use. Some colors, such as red and blue, are more likely to bleed on regular printer paper.
  5. Use a thicker paper: If you can find a printer paper that is a little thicker than standard paper, it will help to prevent smudging and bleeding.
  6. Use a blotting paper or a piece of cloth to remove excess ink or water from your coloring tools before coloring.
  7. Be careful when coloring around the edges of the paper. The paper is more likely to tear or become distorted in these areas.
  8. Print your mandala on thicker or glossy paper : Some printer paper can be glossy and thicker than the standard paper, and that can help to prevent smudging and bleeding – but check first that this type of paper is suitable with your preferred coloring tools.
  9. Remember that coloring mandalas on regular printer paper can be a bit more challenging, but it’s still a fun and relaxing activity. Take your time and enjoy the process.

Tips for Printing Mandalas at Home

Here are a few tips for printing mandalas on a home printer:

  1. Make sure that the mandala image you are using has a high resolution. This will ensure that the final print has crisp and clear lines.
  2. Use the correct paper settings on your printer. Most printers have settings for different types of paper, such as glossy or matte. Make sure to choose the correct setting for the paper you are using.
  3. Use the appropriate print quality setting on your printer. Higher print quality settings will produce sharper and more detailed prints, but they can also take longer to print.
  4. Use a printer that is capable of printing with high quality. Some printers are better suited for printing detailed and complex images like mandalas than others, so check the specs of the printer you have.
  5. Check the ink level of your printer before printing. Running out of ink in the middle of a print can cause the final print to be of poor quality.
  6. Test your printer settings and paper on a small sample before printing your mandala. This will help you to get a sense of how the final print will look and make any necessary adjustments.
  7. Try to print the mandala at 100% size. Some printers may automatically scale the image to fit the paper, which can cause the final print to be distorted.
  8. Make sure to use the right kind of paper for your printer. Some printer paper is not suitable for all types of printers, so check the specs or consult the printer manual and do a test first.

Hopefully this will have whet your appetite for coloring mandalas. Download a few of our mandala and start coloring and share your results with us (@makebreaks on Instagram).

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