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How to Rock Mandalafest

Mandalafest is coming very soon! This online event that I’m hosting celebrates the joys of creating and coloring mandalas with several contests and lots of prizes. Today’s post will give you lots of ideas for the “Mandala Your World” contest where you are encouraged to draw mandalas on found objects like pebbles and rocks.

There are so many ways to paint a mandala onto rocks…let’s explore some of those options.

[Note: I link to the products that I use in this post to Amazon. I’m an affiliate which means when you click through and purchase anything, I get a small kick back. Know that your purchases help me to buy art supplies which in turn I use to create tutorials and share inspiring blog posts like this one. Know that you don’t pay more for anything that you purchase by clicking on these links. I never link to a product that I haven’t tried myself.]


Paint Pens

I love using Uni-Posca paint pens that come in a variety of vibrant colors. Pictured above shows my steps where I started with drawing the basic shapes in pencil. I then filled in the shapes with color and then outlined in black. The final step is to add lots of little details. You’ll see that I ended up changing the colors of the inside petals and circle.

What I love about the Posca pens is that they are opaque. You can color over any color whether the first coat is dark or light. Here I thought the red looked flat and there wasn’t enough contrast with the orange. I painted over the orange with a light and dark color green and covered the red with purple. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t like the colors. Remember you can always paint over it!

Look more closely at the details of my mandala and you’ll see how I outlined the yellow triangles with orange and finished it with black spirals. The orange dots around the outside were covered over with the light green to connect it with the colors used inside the mandala.

I also love working with these paint pens because they are acrylic and dry fast. Working with a marker is also easier than painting with a paint brush.

The technique, colors, and style of my mandala stones are inspired by F. Sehnaz Bac and her book, “The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity.” Watch her video above to see examples of her colorful rock art. I really love her book and highly recommend it.


Here is another rock painted with the same technique.


Since this stone was darker, I started by painting a white circle using a heavy body acrylic paint. This ensured that the colors painted over it were nice a bright.


This is a mandala stone that I painted a couple of years ago using Posca paint pens. When you flip this rock over you’ll find another design…


…here a rose metallic marker was used along with a black Sharpie and white acrylic paint.


This lotus mandala stone is the perfect place for my Buddha to sit, don’t you think?


Jewel Drop Mandalas

Pictured above are jewel drop mandala stones by Elspeth McLean of Victoria, BC, Canada made by using acrylic paints and a very small paintbrush.

Meet Elspeth and learn about her lovely and thoughtful process for making these gorgeous jewel drop mandalas in the video above. Find Elspeth on her website, on Facebook, and on Etsy.

Here’s a tutorial that illustrates this dot painting technique.


Dip Pens & Ink

MagaMerlina (aka Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango) uses a dip pen and inks to draw her mandala pebbles.

Watch how MagaMerlina grows her mandala design.

Find tutorials and videos on MagaMerlina’s blog. You’ll also find her on Facebook and Etsy.


See also Maria’s book, Meditative Mandala Stones that is part of a kit that comes with 2 river stones, 4 metal calligraphy/drawing nibs with wooden holder.

PRIZE ALERT! I have two of these mandala kits that I’m giving away at Mandalafest! Scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn how you can win one!


Inspired by Maria’s book and kit, I tried using a calligraphy pen and inks to draw a mandala on a rock.

My river rock wasn’t circular so I started by painting a white circle in the center and surrounded it with a metallic bronze paint.

I pulled out a gorgeous ink set that my mother had given me as a gift many years ago and used the bordeaux, turquoise, and verde colored inks. I used Winsor & Newton black calligraphy ink to draw my design first then filled in with the color.

Here is a calligraphy set similar to the one that I have.


I found that I love the fine lines that you can draw with the calligraphy nib. I went back in with a white Posca pen to add some light details in some of the blue petals and I have to say, I definitely prefer the fine nibs that came in the mandala kit.


Acrylic Paint & Brushes

I painted my first mandala rock pictured above about seven years ago using acrylic paints (inexpensive craft paint) and a fine point brush. I started with drawing the spiral in the center and switched between different colors until the design finished as you see it. I added the dots by turning over the paint brush and using the end to dip into paint and tap it onto the rock.

I’ve seen beautiful mandala stones created using Sharpie pens and other ink markers. For more tips check out this post.

100+ Rock Mandalas on Pinterest

You’ll find lots of inspiration in my board here… https://www.pinterest.com/100mandalas/rock-mandalas/



Now It’s Your Turn!

I have two copies of Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango’s, “Meditative Mandala Stones” kit to give away. The contest is part of the Mandalafest online event happening from April 22 – April 30, 2017. Enter your mandala pebbles for a chance to win!

Get the details here!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this inspiring post, Kathryn. Yesterday I found a great rock (at first I thought that someone had dropped a potato ;-)) and I’m looking forward to mandala-ing it!


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