DIY: Mandala Rock Painting

A Latina artist “rocks” a great way to unplug and have fun!

Here at Lateenz, we’re always looking for ways to slow down and unplug from our devices – preferably with a “Latin” twist! So, our team was excited when we came across a kit by Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango called Meditative Mandala Stones: Create Beautiful Designs While Relaxing and Focusing. Born in Colombia, Ms. Trujillo Arango is a psychiatrist who now lives in New Zealand. Her kit contains a book, three calligraphy nibs with a wooden holder (pen), and two flat round(ish) rocks for painting.  (You will have to buy acrylic ink separately.) 

The book gives a brief history of mandalas and instructions on how to create different types of mandalas based on various cultural traditions. We liked the simplicity of the white mandalas on natural stone shown in the book, so we just bought one small bottle of white ink for our projects. We also bought a white pencil so that we could trace our designs onto the rocks (and erase what didn’t work) before committing to inking them.  

What Is a Mandala? 

A mandala is a circular work of art with repeating patterns and motifs. Diverse cultures throughout the world historically have used mandalas for spiritual and decorative purposes. (In Latin America, for example, the Aztec calendar could be considered a mandala.) The rhythm of looking at and drawing the patterns in a mandala is said to have a calming and meditative effect. Also, the circular form and unbroken lines of the mandala are supposed to remind us of unity, completion, and infinity.  

Our Experience 

Looking at the beauty of Ms. Trujillo Arango’s designs, we were a bit intimidated at first and thought our stones might not turn out as well as hers. (Also – none of us had ever drawn with a calligraphy pen!) We were surprised to find that it was much easier than we thought to make great designs and that the calligraphy pen was the perfect way to apply the ink to the rocks.  

We made some designs in the styles described in the book, but we also branched out to try to create some more “Latin-themed” mandalas. For this, we looked to the art and symbols of the Aztecs and Mayans, many of which (like, for example, the Aztec calendar) have circular forms and repeating symbols and motifs like a mandala.  

We also made some other designs like the snake and chameleon just for fun and also because they have symbolic meanings.

Lateenz “Pro” Tips!  

  • Trace your design onto the rock lightly with a white pencil before moving on to ink.   
  • Consider using a compass tool to create neat circles to “guide” your work.   

[This is an unsponsored post. Lateenz did not receive anything of value from the author or publisher of the book.]