Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He Came Bearing Gifts of Painted Rocks

With the holidays approaching, small painted stones make great gifts and travel well.

My husband took a trip back East to visit family and friends after a 10-year absence. I did not accompany him but wanted to let everyone know I missed them and was thinking of them. A variety of painted stone gifts transported in an egg carton was the perfect solution.

Getting through airline security can be problematic, however, the stones were light enough and the egg carton compact enough to fit in a carry-on bag and go through security with no problem. I wrote "painted stones" on the carton in case questions arose as to the contents.

A plain egg carton transported small painted rocks

At the family get-together, my husband placed the egg carton on a table and surprised the group by opening the lid to expose a painted rock menagerie smiling up at them.

painted rocks, gifts, rock painting, Cindy Thomas
A collection of painted gift rocks
The egg carton was passed around and each family member chose the painted stone they liked best. Some comments about the painted stone gifts sent in my absence were:
  • Thank YOU Cindy for the wonderful gift of stones!
  • Thanks for sending so many NICE SAMPLES !!!!!
  • Thank you so much for my cute gift.

A great gift idea for kids, especially at Halloween or Easter, is painted mystery rocks in an egg carton. Imagine their surprise as they open the carton expecting eggs and see this instead.

painted rocks, eggs, mystery, carton, Cindy Thomas
Surprise - it's not eggs in that carton

As Cathy A. Malchiodi states in The Soul's Palette: Drawing on Art's Transformative Powers: "It would be indeed revolutionary if each of us could offer one small act of art to another person...a single act that eventually "pays it forward" in ways that often cannot be predicted or planned."

My painted rock gifts were a small act of art kindness which, similar to a stone skipped into a lake, created ever-widening circles of smiles.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is a Person Who Paints Rocks?

Am I an artist? Am I a crafter?

I've never known what to consider myself and my rock painting and this informative infographic has the answer.

Careers in Art by Madison Art Shop

I'm a craft artist.  What are you?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Painted Rocks on Facebook

Painted Rocks by Cindy Thomas is now on Facebook.

painted rocks, rock painting, Facebook, Cindy Thomas
Painted Rocks Fan Page

On my painted rocks fan page you can:
  • See the projects I'm working on and those completed
  • Get rock painting tips and ideas
  • Post and share your comments
  • See albums of painted rocks
  • Read my latest blog posts
  • Follow my Pinterest boards
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Connect to my painted rocks shop and other sites
  • Smile and be delighted

Here's a FB post from 9/15/2012:

"The goal: paint all of these rocks this weekend."
Visit my fan page to discover if I reached the goal set on 9/15/2012 and Like me or leave a post
Allow me to delight your heart and bring a smile to your face.
© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Paint Water Droplets on Rocks and Stones

A droplet of water adds a little "something extra" to a painted rock or stone.

Cynthia Snider generously shared her illustrated, step-by-step lesson for painting water droplets.

Something extra would be nice here

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Following Cynthia's steps, here are my results. I painted the water droplets on paper first to get the hang of it and then painted the rock.

My 1st water droplets on paper

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My water droplets painted on a rock

painted rocks, rock painting, water, droplets, how to
Another view of my water droplets painted on a rock

Jewels and gems can also be painted using Cynthia Snider's technique. 

Cynthia painted jewels on her fence

Closeup of Cynthia's fence jewel

Thank you for sharing your lesson, Cynthia Snider. You're a great teacher!

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Paint Gems and Pearls on Rocks

I thought gems and pearls painted on rocks could be eye catching and this easy lesson courtesy of Elaine Benfatto helped me understand how to paint them.

"How to draw a gem" by Elaine Benfatto "urbanspinner"

Although this is a drawing lesson, I figured it could also work with rocks and acrylic paints.

First, I ran through the steps using paint on paper.

My attempt at gems painted on paper

My attempt at pearls painted on paper

I thought the painted gems and pearls looked pretty good on paper so I tried the techniques on one of my round rocks. 

I used the same acrylic paint colors for both the gems and the pearls and used the different shading methods Elaine demonstrated.

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Gems painted on one side of a rock

painted rocks, rock painting, how to, gems
Pearls painted on the other side of a rock

My thoughts on painting gems and pearls on rocks:
  • A Micron pen may be better than black paint and a liner brush to outline each circle for both the gems and pearls
  • When painting gems, the paint must be thinned with the correct amount of water to achieve the graduated shading referred to in the lesson (I considered using white paint but thought allowing the rock to show through would be better)
  • I wasn't sure what paint color to use for the drop shadows on the rock so I chose gray
  • My pearls remind me of candy
  • I will keep practicing this technique -- stones painted with pearls and gems would definitely be "eye-catching" when placed in unexpected places.

Coming soon: How to paint water droplets on rocks.

Do you have tips or suggestions for painting gems and pearls on rocks? Please leave a comment.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Painting Rocks - Gaining Confidence and Skill

Don't be discouraged if you're not happy with your results when using the free lessons and tutorials I've mentioned in my recent blog posts.

My early attempt at painting a rock rabbit

Confidence and practice go a long way in achieving great results with painted rocks.

To help gain confidence, 5 Top Tips for Building Your Artistic Self-Confidence by Neadeen Masters, states "New painters especially struggle with lack of self – confidence. You may feel colors are washed out, lines are crooked and your art might be worthless – all of the  hallmarks of negative thinking and an artist trying too hard and yet failing at it in a spectacular manner." Neadeen's blog post goes on to describe 5 confidence-building ways to see "life through the eye of an artist!"
  1. Doubts are to be expected
  2. Plan your painting day
  3. Be your own person
  4. Set daily goals
  5. Preparation

As for gaining skill, 5 Sure Ways To Hone Your Painting Craft by Neadeen Masters, states "The good news is that regardless of the stage your painting is at, or if your media is acrylic or oil or watercolour,  you can take some specific steps to develop your painting skills and reach certain goals." The five helpful ways to accomplish this described in Neadeen's blog post are:
  1. Challenge yourself
  2. Practice perfectly
  3. Get inspired
  4. Use better painting supplies
  5. Dream big but then take it one step at a time

I've discovered that drawing is foundational to painting and recommend "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards.

I'm currently working through this wonderful book and find the description - "Whether you are drawing as a professional artist, as an artist in training, or as a hobby, this book will give you greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception, as well as foster a new appreciation of the world around you." - to be true. After following only a few of the exercises, I was amazed at what I could draw once my right brain instead of the left took over. You'll be amazed at the results of the upside down drawing exercise.

Your painted rocks will rock once you gain confidence and practice, practice, practice.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Four Free Rock Painting Projects

These four, free rock painting projects (provided by two rock painters and a craft store) will help you create cute painted rocks of your own.

Thanks to Lee Wismer for sharing these two rock painting lessons:

Thank you, JoAnn Fabrics, for sharing this cute, PDF rock painting tutorial:

The free projects mentioned in this post along with their links were viewable on the date of this post. I cannot guarantee how long the projects will remain free and available online.