For Christmas last year I got given this kit…
…and it has been sat on my shelf waiting for me to get around to it – along with a bajillion other kits and projects. I finally did it!
It’s a pretty good kit, with a full colour guide that’s very detailed. It goes into lots of information about what mandalas are, and provides patterns for you to follow as well as techniques, hints and troubleshooting advice.
The paints were… not great. Particularly the red and the white.
But I diluted them as best as I could and I had a go. Admittedly I didn’t give the rock a base coat, but the dots looked wrong. How do they get them clean? How do they get them less translucent?
I knew my technique was almost certainly a factor, but this paint was not helping. I decided that I’d investigate dot painting in the future, but there was something specific I wanted to do and it involved painting a rock white. I dug out some other types of paint.
This rock has ready mixed poster paint (sometimes called tempura paint I think) in the centre, and the clumpy blobs on the right are the paint that came with the kit.
On my second tester rock I used acrylic in both white and a colour on the right, and gouache on the left.
I left these to dry over night. The poster paint actually came out the best. I wasn’t sure it would, since it was so thin, but it was my favourite. The gouache was pretty smooth too, but it was shiny. I preferred the matte finish of the poster paint.
Okay, so having decided what paint was going to work, time to reboot. I coated the two tester rocks (after picking off the chunks of paint that came with the kit), as well as the failed dotty one, with poster paint. This is the stuff I used by the way..
The first coat was… unsuccessful. Especially with the acrylic/gouache rock – it picked up the coloured paint. But I was expecting to need to do a couple of layers at least.
After layer two, the rock on the left (the one which had the poster paint and the kit paint tested on it) looked just about done. The acrylic/goauche rock needed at least one more layer. The dotted rock was… well, you can see.
The good rock got two layers on the bottom in the end. The other two got a few more layers on top and ended up textured, but acceptable.
The textured two were put aside for another project, but the good rock was going to turn into this. Hopefully. (Image found on Pinterest.)
I figured the easiest way to go about it was with paint pens, so I dug out the few I have. Luckily I have a black. I don’t have a yellow or orange, but I did the beak in gold and it looked cute.
Unfortunately, the black paint pen – a Pilot Pintor from the May Scrawlr Box – did not survive. I’d barely begun before it started failing.
I had to shake and prime and pump the pen a lot and eventually managed to colour the thing in.
I touched it up the next day, and then varnished it. I’ve been experimenting with varnishes and things, but that’s a whole other blog post.