This art form has such a tangible, accessible quality. Painted rocks invite the viewer to hold them and look at them from different angles. I like the uniqueness and unexpected quality of transforming such a natural surface into a realistic, three dimensional painting. Rock painting is the ideal hobby especially in our current economic condition. It's inexpensive and the painting process can be very relaxing. Rock paintings can be given as unique gifts to friends and family or even sold for a little extra spending money. With practice, patience and imagination anyone can learn to create little treasures on rocks no matter your age, gender or level of painting experience. I throughly enjoy learning and sharing this art form with others and hope the reader of this basic guide will be inspired to let the creativity and paint fly. I think you'll be amazed at what you can create with a plan rock and a little paint.
SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT:
Inexpensive liquid acrylic paints are recommended. They commonly come in 2oz plastic bottles found at local or online craft stores. Apple Barrel, Folk Art, Delta Creamcoat & Patio Paints are a few recommended brands (Patio paints are advertised as being weatherproof)
An array of inexpensive brushes in various shapes and sizes will come in handy. I find I mainly use a small thin script liner brush for the details and a flat shader brush or medium round brush to fill in the larger painting areas.
A sealer is recommend to add lasting durability and enhance your painting for items that will be displayed indoors or out. There are many good brands on the market. Mainly I suggest something that is non-yellowing and marked specifically for exterior use. For outdoor display, It has been my experience that harsh weather conditions will fade most painted objects over time. If possible try to place out of direct sunlight and not in overly moist areas. I also recommend resealing every year or two for lasting durability. Below are a list of some sealers that can be found in craft stores or hardware stores. I favor the brush-on brands and find they coat better without any fumes. (available in Matte, Satin, or Gloss)
Krylon crystal clear ...spray-on
ColorPlace spray on sealer ...sold @ walmart
Delta ceramcoat clear exterior varnish: brush-on
Duraclear deco art exterior sealer (brush on)
Lastly and most importantly the rocks. Rock hunting for smooth rocks can be done at oceans, riverbeds, lakes & streams or purchased from local landscape supply companies and local home improvement stores in the garden department.
Preparing your rock:
It's important to wash your rock of any dirt and debris before beginning. Next, I base coat my rocks with white paint to prepare it for my pencil sketch. This can be achieved by spraying on a flat white paint or brushing on white acrylic paint.
After consulting my reference pictures, I begin the pencil sketch of my subject. Google image search, magazines, greeting cards, & family photos are good resources for locating images.
I then proceed to outline my sketch in black paint for more permanences and to aid in viewing my lines.
Anyone can create extraordinary projects from just ordinary rocks.....only limited by your imagination.... animals, insects, flowers, cars, candy, holiday themes, words, names, scenery, symbols, colors, portraits, houses, fish ....an endless diversity of subjects....simple or elaborate. I hope this guide will inspire you to give it a go and I truly hope you enjoying your rock painting adventures in this terrific low-cost hobby.
Take the old "pet rock" concept to a whole new level.
I like to base coat my rocks with a flat white spray paint...nice and quick. After I consult reference pics ..(usually via google's image search) I proceed with a pencil sketch. Then I lay my colors down light and watery to start. I've learned that for the white fur areas it's good to lay down a wash of blues/ grays before painting over them with white fur strokes. It helps give the fur more definition. I use light gray & light blue colors to make the fur strokes over the black fur areas. After I finish making the light colored fur strokes over the black fur I do a light watery wash of blue or purple over the light colored strokes to give them a tint. Another tip is to do a dry brush technique over areas of the fur...this helps make them look more soft and natural.