Monday, July 29, 2013

Rock Painting Technique: Pattern Tracing

No drawing skills? No problem. You can trace a pattern onto a rock and paint it.




Supplies
  • Flat, somewhat smooth rock
  • Pattern or photo
  • Graphite transfer paper
  • Pencil or stylus
  • Paints
  
Steps

Find a rock with a smooth and/or flat surface. A rock with lots of pits or angles will be difficult to transfer a pattern onto.


Even though this rock has pits, the pattern transferred nicely because of it's flat surface.

Find a photo or pattern you'd like to paint on your rock. If the photo or pattern is larger or smaller than your rock, that's OK.

This pattern was taken from "Stained Glass in an Afternoon" by Vicki Payne


Measure the width and height of your rock. You'll need the dimensions to adjust your pattern so it fits nicely on your rock.

Copy OR scan your pattern so your original is not damaged. 
  • If you copy your pattern on the printer, you'll need to play with reducing or enlarging the image so it will fit nicely on your stone
  • If you scan the image, you can insert it into a drawing program and resize the image using the rock's measurements to find a good fit, then print the page

Place a sheet of graphite transfer paper on top of your rock with the waxy side down. (If your rock is dark colored, you'll use white graphite paper. If your rock is light colored, you'll use gray or black graphite paper.)

Place your pattern (face up) over the graphite paper. You can use masking tape to secure the pattern and graphite paper to the rock so it doesn't slip while you're tracing the image.

Trace around all the lines of your image using a stylus or pencil.

Remove the pattern and graphite paper and paint your rock.

Pattern transferred onto the rock


The rock after it was painted and sealed

I used a stained glass pattern for this painted rock but you can use photos and other patterns just as easily. (Remember to copy or scan them first so the original isn't damaged.)

18 comments:

  1. Just found you here. Thank you for the wonderful information!!! Your work is beautiful!

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    1. You're welcome, Mary; I'm glad you find the information helpful. Thank you so much for the compliment about my work.

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  2. What did you use to seal the paint on the rock.....could you use modge podge?

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    1. Yes, you can use Mod Podge to seal rocks. However, in high humidity it can become "tacky" so I always add a coat of acrylic or polyurethane sealer over the Mod Podge. Here's how I seal my rocks: http://paintingrocks.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-seal-and-protect-painted-rocks.html

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  3. So good to find another rock painting lover. Love painting on paving stones too. Always have my eyes open for river rocks and rocks in unusual shapes. Moving to Ft Lauderdale and asked my friend there if river rocks, etc were plentiful. She paused and said they have sand! I'm moving my supply of rocks with me. Sure, could buy them at garden center but I prefer ones I find, or as I call them, free range rocks. Like to repurpose clay pots that are broken, especially if they are molded into decorative shapes. Oh, the possibilities. Rock on, Cindy!

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    1. Thanks so much for leaving a comment, dreamweaver. It's a good thing you're moving your supply of rocks with you to Florida. I've heard good ones for painting are difficult to find. Don't forget the U.S. Postal Service "if it fits, it ships" service with the 70-lb. weight limit. Maybe some of your friends can send rocks to you in Florida as a Christmas or birthday present. :-)

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  4. I was wondering if you used a pen or brush on the lines of the harlequin? Such a beautiful piece of artwork !

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    1. Thank you for the compliment. I used a brush to paint the lines on the harlequin because I prefer to use a brush-on sealer and a pen tends to bleed or change color. A pen can be used, but a spray-on sealer (instead of brush-on) should be applied to protect the piece.

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    2. I am going t have to try this I've been using paint pens to draw on the rocks
      this would be soooooo much easier I love your rocks they are so beautiful

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    3. I'm glad to hear you want to try this idea on your rocks, Cindy. It is much easier than free-hand drawing. Thank you for the compliment about my rocks.

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  5. Ahh. I wondered how I could successfully transfer designs to rocks. Thank You.

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    1. You're welcome, Marnie. I'm glad the technique was helpful to you.

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  6. Thank you for being such an amazing sharer of your journey of rock painting. You simply make it easier for us newbies who are afraid to ask thinking we are being daft. Your work has only improved from what I have seen. The Shabby Chic rocks were lovely and I cannot wait to make some. I was also thinking of a dark green to give it a verdi gris look. Again, thank you Miss Cindy.

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    1. What a lovely compliment to receive on Christmas Eve! It warms my heart to know my rock painting tips have been helpful to you. When you make the Shabby Chic rocks, I'd love to see them. If you're a member of Facebook, share a photo on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CindyThomasPaintedRocks

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  7. Hi Cindy, thank you so much for sharing. Could you please tell me what kind of paint you use?

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    1. Hello. I'm happy to share what I learn about rock painting. I use acrylic and craft acrylic paint sold in 2 oz. plastic bottles.

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  8. Hi Cindy! I got my transfer paper tonight along with some outdoor acrylic paint. I'm really looking forward to getting started on some new painted rocks. Maybe I'll snap a couple of photos when I'm finished, which will be quite some time from now, I'm sure, to show to you. You inspire me to try new ways of doing things. Thank you so much!!

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    1. Hi Lora. I'm happy to hear you've been inspired! Don't be afraid to experiment with rocks. That's how I discover what I share on my blog posts. And, don't rush. Sometimes I take weeks to finish a painted rock. I'll paint a little and let it sit for awhile. It helps me visualize how I want to paint the rest of it.

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