Coloring mandalas is a therapeutic activity that has steadily been gaining popularity as more and more adults are discovering mindfulness and comfort by coloring these intricate patterns.
Often, when a beginner looks at mandala patterns, it can seem overwhelming. After all, intrinsic geometric patterns can be daunting to a newbie. Now we want to share some tips using which you can easily color mandalas with an attractive outcome.
You will learn which colors to use for the mandala patterns and also discover some tools and tips that can help ease the task, making it more fun for adults and kids alike.
We have already covered an article on the benefits of coloring mandalas, so be sure to check that out as well.
Tips to color mandalas
Let your inner wisdom be your guide!
When you choose to work with mandalas for therapy, art, confidence, or meditation, then it helps to give some thought to the size, shapes, and forms, as well as the colors you will use for these patterns. It is believed that the colors you choose for your mandalas actually represent you in that given moment. So always let your deep inner wisdom guide you into choosing the colors. Colors signify different things for each of us. So there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to choosing the mandala colors. They can also vary based on our personal experiences; what certain color means today to someone may not mean the same a few years down the line.
Use your favorite colors
Take a look at your wardrobe. Perhaps there is a color that you repeatedly wear. We are all drawn to certain colors and are guilty of buying clothes in that color, again and again. Then there may be some clothes you haven’t worn for over a year. These could be your least favorite colors, as you may have simply gotten bored or started disliking them for some reason.
If you keep a journal, write down the colors you like. This can also help you select your mandala design colors. Here are some questions to ask yourself while selecting colors for your project:
- How do I feel when I see certain colors?
- Do I like certain colors? If yes, why, if no, why?
- What do I remember about certain colors from my childhood?
Remember: there is nothing right or wrong about choosing certain colors. Color choices made by different individuals can result in different versions of the same mandalas. The key is to have good thoughts while coloring. Mandalas colored with peace and harmony can be a restful and refreshing experience.
Use the right tools and materials for coloring mandalas
- Color pencils – For satisfying results, select coloring pencils that are a notch above the student grade material.
- Watercolors – These are recommended for advanced artists. Remember, watercolors can bleed through thin paper.
- Gel pens – Use these for highlighting certain areas.
- Marker pens – Use these to make the boundaries as they too tend to bleed through the paper.
Some more tips for selecting the best mandala colors
- If you find yourself reaching for the same colors over and over, try photocopying or printing several prints of the same pattern and consciously try to use different color combinations for each.
- Refer to the color wheel mandala often. This can give you many inspirational ideas.
- Go color shopping. The package design of colors can be an inspiration too.
- You can also window shop in your favorite home improvement stores. These usually stack linen in attractive color combinations, and that can inspire you as well.
- Lastly, go through many examples of colored mandalas. Many books are available about the topic, and they also contain colored mandala pictures. These will certainly inspire you to come up with your own combinations.
Colored mandala examples
Here are some examples of mandalas that have already been colored.
Basic color combinations
Primary triadic colors
The colors yellow-magenta-turquoise create a beautiful primary triadic combination. Additionally, you can also use all colors created by blending these three colors. These colors can also be tinted, shaded, and toned. Note that the primary triadic combination can be overwhelming if not well thought out.
Secondary triadic colors
The secondary triadic color combination scheme uses green, violet, and orange. Tints, shades, and tones of these colors can be used too. The main beauty of this combination comes from the blend of colors that result when pairs of colors are combined. The colors green and violet are cool, while orange is warm, so the result is a balanced combination.
Tertiary triadic colors
Beautiful hues result from combining yellow-orange, blue-green, and purple. Alternatively, go in for yellow-green, blue, and red. Violet, blue-green, and yellow-green are also good color combinations for mandala patterns.
These are the colors that are present on opposite sides of the color wheel. They are farthest from each other, and their combinations result in a vibrant and high-contrast effect.
- Red and green
- Blue and orange
- Yellow and violet
- Analogous warm colors – Yellow, orange, and yellow-orange
- Split complementary – Violet, yellow-orange, yellow-green or green, orange, red-violet
After you practice the combinations seen in the examples of colored mandalas, you can go ahead and make your own combinations. For example: try the complementary color scheme: start with a primary color and pair it with a secondary color that is right across it on the color wheel. As a variation, you can also start with a tertiary color like blue-green and pair it with orange-red, which is on the other side of the color wheel. Always refer to the mandala color wheel designs as they give many insights.
You can also ask yourself questions like ‘how is the blue-green and red-orange combination similar to or different than the blue-orange combination?’. Which do you prefer? Challenge yourself to reach out for colors you do not normally reach out for. You may just discover a new favorite combination!