Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christmas Ideas for Painted Rocks

Painted rocks are great gifts to make, give, and receive over the Christmas holidays.

Santa Ornaments Painted on Rocks

For Christmas rock painting inspiration, I have a new Pinterest board: Ideas: Christmas Painted Rocks.

Painted rocks can be more than ornaments, too. Larger rocks can be painted as indoor/outdoor holiday home and garden decor.

Large Painted Rock Santa with Detachable Head

Christmas will be here before you know it. Now is the time to start collecting rocks and stones (before they're covered by snow) and painting them.

* * * * *

Visit my Pinterest Rock Painting Ideas and Helps board to get inspiration for other painted rocks projects.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rock Painting Idea: Animal Prints

A fun, easy rock painting project is animal prints.

Animal prints painted on stones

The easiest animal print to start with is a black and white cow. Just base coat a stone with white acrylic paint then add black splotches of various sizes and shapes.

A tiger print is easily painted also. Base coat the stone with orange acrylic paint then add long, black squiggly or wavy shapes. Make sure the black squiggles go in the same general direction. (Switch the orange paint to white and you'd have a zebra print.)

Click here to see a size comparison for this stone

A fun variation of an animal print is to paint hearts on a stone base coated with pale pink.

For an animal print that shines, use metallic craft paint.

Click here to see a size comparison for this stone

You can paint various sizes of paw prints on a stone too and stay within the animal print theme.

Click here to see a size comparison for this stone

With practice you can paint more detailed animal prints on stones.

Have fun and get creative with painted rock animal prints. Small stones can be used for paper weights and larger rocks make colorful door stops.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rock Painting Ideas: Doodles, Patterns, Designs

I recently painted my first "Zen tangles" on stones and loved the process.

Learn how I painted these designs on stones

For repetitive-pattern drawing & painting inspiration, I have a new Pinterest board where I'll be collecting simple doodle, tangle and pattern ideas: Doodles, Tangles & Patterns.

Visit my Pinterest Rock Painting Ideas and Helps board to get inspiration for other painted rocks projects.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Paint Designs on Rocks and Stones

Have you heard of tangle art, also known as Zen doodling? I first discovered it on Pinterest and it appeared very complicated.

Here's how I painted these simple, Zen doodle designs on rocks using three different techniques.

I used the book - "Zentangle® untangled" - to learn the process.

The book illustrated step by step how to draw repetitive patterns to create designs "that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability."

After practicing on paper, it was time to try it on smooth, flat stones.

My practice Zen doodles on paper

Zen doodle technique 1: I used a black Sharpie fine-tip, oil-based paint pen to draw the design directly on the stone.

I then used various hues of blue acrylic to paint the design carefully within the lines.

Zen doodle technique 2: I painted the stone turquoise blue first.

I drew my pattern onto the stone using a pencil, then outlined the design with a black Sharpie fine-tip, oil-based paint pen, and filled in the design with various shades of blue acrylic paint.

Zen doodle technique 3: I drew my design on an unpainted stone with pencil, then filled in the design with red and pink acrylic paint and added white dots. (I did not use the oil-based paint pen on this tangle art stone.)


  • Use smooth, flat stones
  • For small stones, an extra-fine point Sharpie oil-based paint pen would probably be easier to use than a fine-point
  • Some people use Micron pens to draw on stones. I tried the 02 size which did not work for me; the nib was too fine
  • Don't worry about being perfect with your doodles
  • Don't rush; a certain level of concentration is required  


  • Experiment with color palettes using tangle art. As an added benefit you'll have a pretty, painted stone
  • After painting a detailed rock, take a break and relax by painting some tangle art stones

Useful Links:

If you like to doodle and paint rocks, you'll love tangle art.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Paint Simple, Two-Sided Critters on Stones

You can easily paint front/back and top/bottom critters on stones.

  • 3-inch, oval or round, flat stones
  • Animal patterns
  • graphite tracing paper
  • acrylic paints
  • sealer (optional)

How To

I found front/back and top/bottom animal patterns on this website and printed them out. The original size was perfect for tracing onto flat stones measuring approximately 3 inches. Tip: the front/back patterns are the easiest to start with.

I used this pattern tracing technique to transfer the animal pattern onto each side of a stone, then painted it. (You can also draw the animals instead of tracing them.)

Optional: As a final touch, you can add a sealer, either to the whole stone or just the painted portion, to extend the life of your painted creation.

These two-sided critter stones are a fun way to teach children the concepts of top/bottom and front/back.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks