Saturdays 9 - 1 pm • January 11 - April 12, 2014


Friday, April 5, 2013

FAQ #5: The Mandala Lady

Customer: How do you do the shading?


The Mandala Lady

When coloring, I strive to make my mandalas or the components within the mandalas three dimensional.

Two things to know about shading:

  1. where's is the light coming from
  2. use purple
When I know from which direction the light is hitting an object, I then know to go to the direct opposite side of the object to place my shading and shadow.

Years ago an instructor suggested we layer a color's complementary color to create the shading. I have since made it a bit simpler. I found that using purple works great for all colors except when purple is the color of the object. In that case I use yellow...yes, you read that right. Yellow is purple's complement. When you put yellow on purple and then layer purple on top of that, the 'yellow' turns into a darker purple. Cool, huh?


  1. In the first circle, I put down some green
  2. In the second circle, I determined that the light is coming from the upper right, so my shading will go on the lower left of the circle. I layered some purple in a crescent moon shape to coincide with the shape of the circle.
  3. In the third circle, I used the same color green from the first circle and layered it over the purple area. Notice how the purple morphs into a dark green

Shading Examples: add purple, then add the base color of the shading

Your assignment:

As you go about your day, pay attention to objects you see around you, shadows they create, the shadows on the object, and most importantly the direction of the light source in relationship the object and the shadow/shading it creates.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala Lady

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