Otauna Pattern System




The pink dots farthest from the center of the mandala in this picture are examples of doubles. Doubles are two dots that are beside each other and created with the same tool. The spot between them, where the two dots almost touch, should align with the center of your mandala.

To create a double, paint the first of the two dots off-center. Reapply paint to your tool and apply the second dot.

Creating doubles that align perfectly with the center of your mandala takes practice and adjustment as you make them with different size tools.



Outlining a dot is similar to the taper technique in that small dots are applied around a larger dot. In an outline, however, the goal is to keep the dots all the same size instead of using progressively smaller dots. Ball-tipped tools are used to create outlines. (Tool number 7 in our set of seven dotting tools and numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 in our set of eight dotting tools). There are two methods for achieving this:

  1. Reapply the paint to the tool after each and every dot is painted.

  2. Apply paint to the tool. Use a very light pressure to paint one dot and then a slightly heavier pressure to apply a second dot. Apply more paint to the tool and repeat the process. The goal here is that both dots formed between paint applications will be the same size. This is achievable with practice and you will create outlines with smaller dots than in the first method explained above. This can also make the outlining process faster.


Rainbow mandala

A rainbow mandala incorporates all colours of the rainbow, beginning with shades of red towards the center and working outwards in the order of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.


Reverse rainbow mandala

A reverse rainbow mandala incorporates all colours of the rainbow but begins in the center with violet. As the design works outwards from the center, the colours appear in the reverse order of the rainbow: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.


REverse taper

The reverse taper technique works the same as the taper technique. The difference is that a reverse taper begins as close to the center of the design as possible as opposed to beginning as far away from the center of the design as possible.



The taper technique uses progressively smaller dots to outline a larger dot. This is achieved with a ball-tipped rounded tool. A tapering tool will make a line of smaller and smaller dots, the length of which depends on how much paint is applied to the tool and how big the ball tip is. In Otauna pattern instructions, a suggestion is made for the number of times to reapply paint to the ball-tipped tool before beginning the taper. This suggestion is made to ensure that the tapering makes it all the way around the dot that is being outlined.

For example, instructions may read 2 + taper. This means:

  • (1) Apply paint to the tool and make one dot.

  • (2) Reapply paint to the tool and make a second dot.

  • (Taper) Reapply paint to the tool and then paint a series of smaller and smaller dots until you reach the connecting spot in the design.

Tapers begin as far away from the center of the design as possible.


Special Taper/ Special reverse taper

To create a special taper, align the first dot with the center and taper around one side. Reapply paint to the tool. Paint over the first dot created and then taper along the opposite side.


Double dot/ Triple doT

A flat ended tool can be used to make a variety of size dots.

For a double dot, apply paint to the tool and create a dot as usual. Next re-dip the same tool in paint and apply this to the dot already created. Allow the wet paint to expand outward to create a dot about 10% larger than the original.

For a triple dot, follow the steps for a double dot. Then once more re-dip the same tool in paint and apply this to the existing dot. This makes a dot about 10% larger than the double dot.