Monday, May 28, 2018

There's More Than One Way to Paint a Cat Rock

I used how-to guides from 4 different artists to create these kitty cats painted rocks.



Lin Wellford's book, "Painting Pets on Rocks" was the inspiration for this Black Cat painted rock.

Design courtesy of Lin Wellford

I found Lin's instructions clear and easy to follow. Other cat designs included in Lin Wellford's "Painting Pets on Rocks" book are: Tabby Cat, White Cat, Siamese Cat.

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This Black and White Cat was painted using Ernestina Gallina's downloadable PDF tutorial - "How to Paint on Rock a Black and White Cat."

Design Courtesy of Ernestina Gallina

This Black and White Cat was more difficult to paint than Lin Wellford's version, however, by following Ernestina's detailed instructions, I was pleased with the result.


Suzi Chua's ebook "Let's Get Catty: Painting Realistic and Detailed Cats on Stone" inspired the Striped Orange Tabby and White Persian painted cats rocks.
 
Design Courtesy of Suzi Chua
Design Courtesy of Suzi Chua

I am always able to paint cute, whimsical designs using a Suzi Chua how-to guide. However, I find it necessary to study Suzi's included photos because her directions aren't as detailed as Lin Wellford's or Ernestina Gallina's and could be frustrating for beginners.


Flora Tan was a guest artist also featured in Suzi Chua's "Let's Get Catty" ebook who included instructions for painting this Sleepy Kitty.

Design Courtesy of Flora Tan
Of the five cats I painted using the how-to guides, I found the Sleepy Kitty to be the most challenging. The instructions were clear and detailed but all the fur strokes became frustrating for me.


The steps for painting a cat on a rock are basically the same in each how-to guide. I often refer to and adapt various steps/features from each guide to paint my own version of a cat rock.


How to Paint Cats tutorials mentioned in this post:
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© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Classic Design Ideas for Painted Rocks

Don't only rely on rock painting books for design ideas. Classic designs from books published years ago can easily be painted on rocks also.

For instance, the book "Pat Olson's Holiday Classics 1" (published in 1994) contains 37 designs (mostly bunnies) but also includes several patterns for Valentine's, St. Patrick's, and Patriotic-themed paint projects.

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In addition to the 37 patterns, "Pat Olson's Holiday Classics 1" also includes general info about acrylic painting, painting terms, fabric painting, "watercoloring" with acrylics and an acrylic paint color comparison chart.

Each design pattern lists the brand of paint and colors to use, step-by-step, written instructions and indicates the page where the painted, finished design appears in the book.

Look at what I painted on a rock using two of the design patterns from Pat Olson's book!

I used these designs from the book - "Chunkie Bunny with a Heart" and "Sending My Love" - to paint this rock. One side featured the cute bunny and I took advantage of the reverse, heart-shaped side to paint a plaid heart.

"Chunkie Bunny with a Heart" and "Sending My Love"

For a St. Patrick's Day rock, I used the "Irish Children Chunkies" design and painted the girl on one side of the rock and painted the boy on the rock's reverse side.

"Irish Children Chunkies"

So, don't ignore out-of-print design and pattern books. They can be a valuable source of inspiration for your rock painting projects.

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© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to Tackle a Rock Painting Challenge

Have you ever agreed to paint a rock then asked yourself, "How am I going to paint THAT?!"

A request for Noah's Ark was my rock painting challenge because:
  • It was a complex design
  • I had not painted it on a rock in the past.
I learned (and now apply) these lessons to painted rock designs which seem more ambitious than my skill allows.



Lesson 1: Don't rush to paint. Keep the project in the back of your mind and ideas will start coming to you.

Instead of rushing to paint the Noah's Ark, I spent time:
  • Thinking about and finding suitable rocks for the project
  • Looking at pictures of animals and Noah's Ark
  • Gathering reference materials.

Before I could envision how to paint Noah's Ark, I needed a rock to paint on. I was fortunate to find 3 rocks of a suitable shape in varying sizes - small, medium, and large.



Lesson 2: Paint a practice rock. Test the design and try techniques on one or more practice rocks before tackling the "keeper."

I painted Noah's Ark on the smallest rock first. From this practice rock, I learned:
  • The paint color for the wood portion was too dark and did not feature enough interest
  • The wood-painted portion could have been lower to allow more room at the top for the animals
  • Something should be featured in the windows of the ark
  • It was best to paint the largest animal(s) first then select the remaining animals based on the space available.



Lesson 3: Test Designs and Colors. Try out colors and designs on paper before committing to the rock. Record the steps and paint colors you used.

Before continuing to paint on the medium-sized rock, I sketched a simple ark on paper and played with various paint color combinations for the wood portion of the ark. Noting the colors I used helped me recreate it on the rock.



The 2nd Noah's Ark I painted (medium-size rock) incorporated what I learned from painting the practice rock:
  • The painted wood portion was a lighter color and more interesting
  • More room was allowed at the top portion of the rock for the animals
  • The windows of the ark and the roof now featured animals
  • The animal selection and placement process was easier.



The Noah's Ark challenge wasn't daunting by the time I painted the 3rd and largest rock (which would be gifted to my friend).



Lesson 4: Use reference materials for inspiration and guidance. Don't feel you have to paint from memory.

I referred to photos and these how-to guides to paint the animals:
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When you accept a challenge and push yourself to paint a complex design which you've never done before, the sense of accomplishment makes your spirit soar.



Have you been asked to paint a complex or challenging design on a rock? 
Try these tips.


Please leave a comment about your experience painting complex, challenging designs on rocks.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Monday, January 22, 2018

Rock Painting Video Tutorial: Glitter Bugs

Rachel Mitchell demonstrates how to paint her unique, glitter bugs on rocks in this excellent video lesson.

You'll learn to to paint these shiny, glittery bugs with Rachel's video





I have the brushes and paints to create the glitter bugs, however, these are the supplies I want to add to my rock-painting toolkit:
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Before & After Painted Rocks: Adorned Elephants



The rock shapes I chose for these adorned, painted elephants were:
  • Round, roly-poly stone (left)
  • Loaf shape (center)
  • Triangular (right) 

My first step was to paint the elephants without any colorful garments. To help with the proportions and shading I referred to Lin Wellford's book - Painting Zoo Animals on Rocks.

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Elephant features sketched on the stones

The rock elephants are brought to life with shading and details

I then chose a different head covering and blanket design for each elephant.

Painted rock elephants adorned in festive apparel

Rocks are enlivened by paint to become adorned, decorated elephants.


© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

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