Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wild Animals Painted on Rocks: Before & After

A smooth, 3-inch stone was primed with white acrylic and transformed into a cute panda painted rock.

See more photos of this panda

This rock had been sitting around (unpainted) for quite a while. I didn't see the shape of the elephant until I picked it up and turned it over. The rock's striations and color were used as part of the elephant by shading/painting just his head and legs.


This is another rock which was sitting around and I kept seeing a duck until I painted my first elephant (above). To add a little pizazz to this rock elephant, I painted a paisley design for a headdress and blanket.

See more photos of this elephant

See More Before & After Painted Rocks

Useful Links

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where Can I Find Rocks for Painting?

Here's a solution if you live in an area where rocks are difficult to find or you don't have access to the type of stones found near a beach.

Check out your local home improvement store and/or it's website, especially during the summer months when landscaping and gardening projects are in full swing.

You'll want to search for any of these terms: pebbles, river rocks, landscaping rocks

I purchased two bags of smooth, white beach pebbles (small and large) through the Home Depot website. To save on shipping, the stones were sent to my local store where I picked them up.

Small Caribbean Beach Pebbles

Large Caribbean Beach Pebbles

Of the small- and large-sized beach pebbles, I found the shapes of the small rocks to be better suited for most rock painting projects. 
Here's how I painted some of the beach pebbles purchased at Home Depot.

The design is painted directly onto the cleaned and dried white, beach pebble. (I did not prime the stones before painting these butterflies and owls.) The stones were sealed after painting to protect and preserve the design.

  • You may also find rocks, stones and pebbles at landscaping supply stores and/or Walmart
  • Stay away from polished stones for painted rocks. They are too slick for the paint to adhere and/or remain on the stone
  • Wash your stones with a little dish detergent and allow to dry completely before painting. (The white beach pebbles shown here were chalky until I washed them.)
  • For brighter colors, you can prime the stones with white acrylic paint
  • Be careful where you pick up rocks and stones. Public lands, state parks, federal lands prohibit the removal of natural material
  • Enlist the help of friends and relatives
Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Thursday, June 5, 2014

3 of My Favorite Rock Painting Brushes

What are the best brushes for rock painting?

You can use any brush to paint rocks (and I have many) but I keep returning to the same three brushes - stencil, script liner and flat - for most of my painted rocks.

For me, it's the shape which makes these brushes my favorites and not the brand or material. (You're better off not spending a lot of money on rock painting brushes because the rough surface of the rocks wears away the bristles.)

Script Liner Brush

Good for:
  • Outlining
  • Detailing
  • Fur strokes

For many years, I used short-bristled liner brushes. Brushes with the longer bristles (script liners) just didn't make sense to me...until I used one. The longer bristles of this script liner brush enable me to pull the paint stroke further for better outlining, detailing and fur strokes.

Flat Brush

Works well for:

I use both small and large flat brushes depending on the area I want to fill or tint and the size of the rock I'm painting or sealing. The flat shape allows me to work around my sketch lines as well as fill large areas.

Stencil Brush

Used for:
  • Dry brushing
  • Blending
  • Shading
  • Dappling/stippling

I use both small and large stencil brushes depending on the area I want to shade or dapple and the size of the rock I'm painting. 

  * * * * *

Here's how I used a flat, stencil, and script liner brush to paint rockin' rolls.

As you paint rocks, you'll discover the subjects you enjoy painting, your personal style, and the brushes which work best for creating your masterpiece.

Helpful Resources
Brushes Tutorial
Before You Purchase a Brush
Paintbrush Guide
How to Care for Paintbrushes
How to Clean Paintbrushes

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks