Painting rocks, stones, and pebbles may sound like a new trend but it isn’t. The earliest paintings ever created by man were done on the stone walls of caves.
Flat stones like cave walls provide great painting surfaces. Part of the craft is to find in the rock’s shape a suggestion of form which you can enhance by using color. You might see a dog, cat, fish or human face. If you prefer you can do abstract shapes and designs as well.
The color and surface of the stone can also suggest ideas. Before you begin the project you must have a few stones and rocks available. The best place to find good stones is at the beach or at a river bank. Nature has already washed and smoothed them down for you. If you have other rocks, you can just wash them with dishwashing liquid and water.
Rocks, stones and pebbles
Paints: acrylics, poster paint, watercolors
Brushes: fine brushes for great detail
Varnish: clear lacquer or polyurethane
Felt: for bottom of rock
Unless the natural color of your stone will be part of your design, start by painting your rock with an undercoat, such as white, black or grey.
When applying an undercoat or painting a pebble on more than one side, paint one side and then turn it over and stand it on top of a jar and paint the top. When dry you can turn it over and do any necessary touching up. Use good quality brushes which are made for fine detail.
The designs you choose can be anything including, folk and peasant symbols, country, and miniature landscapes. You could design the zodiac signs; create Halloween creatures and Christmas characters. Basically you can design anything you want.
You can look at your stone or pebble and what shape, if any, it evokes. Apply the design with a fine felt pen or pencil. You can stretch masking tape across the stones to make exciting stripes or angles. Spray paint, sponges and stencils are also great tools to use.
Once you have completed your project it is important to give your rock a coat of varnish. This just makes it look finished and also protects it. You can use polyurethane and clear lacquers. Two thin coats of varnish are better than one thick coat. Once dry apply a small piece of felt underneath to prevent them from scratching table tops.