Mandala Design Step 3: Finishing

In the first entry about this design, I wrote about using household items to draw a pattern. Today, I’ll be discussing the use of other common items to finish off a piece. This is a fun way for those who don’t have access to ten tons of art supplies to give a professional finish to even the simplest project.
Using one of the palettes I posted last week as a base, I shaded the design using crayons. I used Crayolas, as I’d picked up a huge box on a recent trip overseas, but just about any type would do (most popular brand here in Japan is Sakura’s “Coupy Pencils”- don’t ask, they’re actually crayons). When I transferred and inked the original design, I chose to use watercolor paper for the final piece. I did this because I wanted the rough texture of the paper to show through, creating a lighter overall look. If you want a design with bold, heavily saturated colors and are planning on using crayons, I would recommend a smoother surface, such as Bristol board.


You can see from the image that I made some alterations to my original palette, choosing to make it a bit brighter. If you are into coloring, you can easily complete the next portion of this exercise- adding a finish. Simply trace and ink your favorite coloring page or design, color it and apply…



Yup. Clear coat for nails will seal your project and add a nice gloss finish. I gave my project two coats and added big dollops to make domes over the circular parts in the pattern, all using the brush applicator that came with the bottle. Some of the pigment from the crayons will melt into the nail lacquer, giving the finished product a wet look. If you’d like to try this, there is only one major caution- if you’ve inked your own project, be sure to test in advance that the nail lacquer does not smudge the ink. Some types will bleed into the clear coat and ruin your piece. I’ve had a lot of success with gel-type inks (used on this project) and, of course, micron pens.




You can coat your favorite works in crayon with simple clear coat, tinted clear coat or glimmer to create an entirely new effect. Enjoy exploring!


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