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.

painted rocks, rock painting, how to, gems
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 


  1. Very good lesson. I am going to try this. Thank you for the directions.

    1. Glad to hear you found it helpful, grandmad1ana. Thanks for commenting.