Monday, April 28, 2014

How to Paint Zentangle Patterns on Rocks and Stones

  • Smooth stones
  • Acrylic paints
  • Artist's pens (I used this set of pens which I like because it contains different pen tips and 3 colors of ink - black, brown and gray.) (Note: since the date of this post, I now prefer Pigma Micron pens for use on rocks.)
Pro Art Artists Pens - Set of 8

  • Zentangle patterns (If you're new to the Zentangle method, "Joy of Zentangle" has simple explanations and step-by-step patterns.)
Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products.

How I Tangled the Stones

First, I primed the rocks with white, acrylic paint.

Stones primed with white, acrylic paint

Next, I thinned my turquoise blue paint with a little water and tinted the primed stone.

Based on the shape of this stone, I chose the Ammon Zentangle pattern from the "Joy of Zentangle" book and drew it with the black artist pen. I chose a darker blue acrylic to paint the shapes within the sections of the tangle.

To add a little dimension, I used the gray pen from the Artist Pens 8-piece set and outlined the black swirl.

I painted three more stones but this time I did not thin the acrylic paint with water.

I combined all four Zentangle patterns on one stone and used the black and gray artist pens on a white background.

I enjoy painting tangles on stones after I've painted a detailed rock. It's a relaxing way to prepare for my next rock painting project and allows me to be creative in a simple way.

  • Smooth stones are best
  • Micron pens are normally used when creating tangles on paper. I find the fine, metal tips of these pens can scratch the acrylic paint from the rock and the pen's tip can be damaged by the rock
  • Use a pattern which works well with the shape of your stone
  • Don't worry about being perfect. Incorporate any mistakes into the design
  • Do not seal your rocks with brush-on sealers when using artists pens or Sharpies. Most times the ink will bleed and your beautiful creation will be ruined. Learn about my spray-on sealer preference

Useful Links
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© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rock Painting Ideas: Butterflies Painted on Rocks

I enjoy painting butterflies on rocks because of all the beautiful, bright colors I can use.

See how this rock was transformed into a Paisley butterfly

To help get my creative juices flowing, I have a new Pinterest inspiration board. It features ideas and patterns for painting butterflies on rocks, stones and pavers.

Ideas: Butterflies Rocks

There are many simple, whimsical ways you can paint a butterfly on a stone or paver. Painted butterfly rocks add color, interest, beauty and whimsy to your garden and are unique, eye-catching garden art gifts for a special friend.

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Visit my Pinterest Rock Painting Ideas and Helps board for more tips, tricks, ideas, and patterns to use for painting rocks, stones and pebbles. 

 © Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Find Rock Painting Ideas and Inspiration at the Used Book Store

When I visit a used book store, it's an exciting adventure to discover new ideas and inspiration for my painted rocks craft.

I haven't found a book about rock painting, but I have discovered several titles with projects and ideas easily adaptable to rock painting.

I'll show you a page from several books I purchased at the used book store and why I chose them.

Books found on my first trip to the used book store

A Crafter's Book of Angels by Deborah Morgenthal

A Crafter's Book of Angels by Deborah Morgenthal
This book contains Angel projects using fabric, paper mache, sculpting, paper, animals, florals, wood, tin, wire, and glass. I can use many of the patterns for these projects to paint Angels on rocks.

Tole-Painted Outdoor Projects by Areta Bingham

Tole-Painted Outdoor Projects by Areta Bingham
This book was a great find. Not only did it contain two rock painting projects, but it's a great resource for step-by-step Tole painting instructions.

Pencil Drawing by Gene Franks

Sketching a design onto the stone is an important first step of rock painting. I can always improve my drawing skills. How about you?

Pencil Drawing by Gene Franks

I discovered these wonderful books on my second excursion to the used book store. Learn what drew me to them.

Books discovered on my second visit to the used book store

Better Homes and Gardens Easy Bazaar Crafts by Joan Cravens

This classic from 1981 drew my attention because of a quilt pattern featuring cats in various poses.
Better Homes and Gardens Easy Bazaar Crafts by Joan Cravens

Hearts - The Art of Making Gifts of Love and Affection by Juliet Bawden

When I find a heart-shaped rock, I prefer to take advantage of the shape and paint a heart design. This colorful page drew my attention to this book about making heart gifts.

Hearts - The Art of Making Gifts of Love and Affection by Juliet Bawden

Painting Wild Life Textures Step by Step by Rod Lawrence

This is, by far, the best book I've "snagged" at the used book store - a step-by- step guide for painting fur, feathers, scales, eyes, ears, bills, muzzles, tails, feet, antlers, and horns.

Painting Wild Life Textures Step by Step by Rod Lawrence

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! While I was sitting on the floor, looking through the Arts & Crafts section, the clerk shelving the newly-arrived books asked if I'd be interested in this one.

  • Wear comfortable clothing. I often sit on the floor while I flip through my possible book selections
  • Visit shelves for the subjects you enjoy painting not just the arts and crafts section
    • The subject areas (or shelves) where I have the most luck are:
      • Animals
      • Art & Artists 
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Childrens
      • Gardening
  • Get the most bang for your buck. Try to find books with several ideas you can adapt to rock painting
  • How-to-draw and how-to-paint books are always a great resource
  • Check with the staff. They may have seen something come in that has not been shelved yet 

(All of the titles featured in this post are available online if you can't find it at a used book store and you'd like to have a copy.)

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