Tutorial: Neocolor Rainbow Mandala

"Nature is more like a seesaw than a crystal,
a never-ending conga line of bold moves
and corrections."
Diane Ackerman

We're always fighting against ink smears and here we will revel in those smudges! The basic idea is to draw a starburst mandala design, blur the lines, then color them in! You can use any pen, marker or ink that will smudge. 

This one is all about the imperfections and the blur. The lines do not need to be straight and the colors don't need to be even. In fact, let's make that the goal. Imperfection and out of order.


- Water-Soluble Crayons or Pencils. Caran D'Ache Neocolor II wax crayons, Lyra Aquarelle wax crayons, water-soluble pencils or watercolor pencils. The idea is to use a transparent or translucent medium that you easily blend outward from the center and still see the lines. I'm using Neocolor IIs.
- Watercolor paper
- Something to make smudgy lines. Ideas? Draw the lines with a black Sakura gelly roll, then act quickly to smudge the lines. Or draw the lines with a charcoal pencil and smudge away... or draw the lines with a dip pen and any ink that does not dry instantly.
- Brush, #6 or #8 round
- India ink I used J. Herbin ink for the initial lines and then Dr Ph Martin's Bombay Black for the lines at the end.



Draw the outline with marker or ink, then fill in the sections in whatever order you wish. Notice that at the points closest to the center of the mandala, I made the Neocolor II crayons thicker and then sort of squiggled the line lightly as I went further from the center. The color doesn't need to be evenly spaced, just put more color in the first inch or two.

Take a jar of water and a watercolor brush and paint the Neocolor II crayons with water to create that grungy smudgy goodness.

If you have permanent ink on hand, draw extra lines just for fun. The result is a delicious rainbow with soft grungy lines.