How to Paint Rocks?

Stuart Wellbert
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Guide To Painting Rocks

Painting rocks can be fun, but also a neat way to keep busy. Throughout history, rock painting has been used for decoration, storytelling, communication and magic. In some countries, it played a part in courtship and marriage. It also has been used to make political statements.

The first step in painting a rock is deciding what you want to paint on it. From there, you will need to decide on the medium, whether it is paint or another material like sand or glitter. When choosing paint, glitter or sand, pay attention to the consistency. To make sure the paint adheres to the rock, it needs to stick on the top layer of the rock and not sink into it. You also want to make sure the material is not too runny either. Try these mediums to get a feel for how they will work with painting rocks: – Gel medium or acrylic sheet medium – Modeling paste – Pomade – Sanding sealer – Matte medium – Water based products – Crayon crayon pencil (colored pencil with wax)

After you choose the medium, you will have to decide how realistic you want your rock painting to look. Each medium can help you achieve a different degree of realism.

Finding Rocks

Finding rocks can be a fun weekend trip. You might not want to consider the price of gas and how many hours spent travelling versus what you are actually spending. This could actually be a great time at a state park with your children exploring nature.

What you are going to want is a naturally occurring stone slab area. Pick an area that is away from heavy traffic and the ones not frequented by tourists.

Rocks you are searching for use should be fist-sized and bigger. Collecting small rocks are enjoyable when you are looking for them, but they are too small for painting.

Once you find a nice rock, it’s time to collect it. Don’t use gloves if you are using a sharp object. Some rocks have little protrusions that may cut your fingers. Have a large paper bag nearby to place the rocks you choose into.

Once you’ve decided on your rock, it’s time to bring it home and paint it.

The Base Coat

Once all of your rocks are collected, you'll have to select one for the base coat. Using a white artist paint brush, apply one layer of acrylic or latex paint to the rock. You can use any color or combination of colors you want for your design. It is also common to have two contrasting colors.

Choosing a Paint

The paint you choose is entirely up to you. You can paint one side and leave the other plain, or choose a patterned fabric paint and paint it on to create a canvas that looks like a rock. You can even mix different colors to create unique designs.

Painting a Rock

A rock such as a stone or lava rock is ideal for this art. But you can also use beach stones, pebbles, marble, granite and of course, the ever popular ‘washed up on the beach’ pebbles.

You need an acrylic paint, a palette knife, a cup for water and a “rocky” surface to paint onto, such as a large acrylic sheet which you can purchase at any art supply shop.

You can use a wide assortment of colors. The paint you use needs to be of a heavier consistency and water-based. Remember to wipe any excess paint off with a damp cloth to ensure the next layer glues on to the previous layer.

Lightly mix in a knife streaky pattern. Make sure your pattern is random. Change colors for different effects.

You can use collage papers, stencils or other items. Just be sure to paint over them with some of the thinner paint, so as not to be able to detect it underneath the final painting.

Your finished rock painting can be further embellished with glitter, stickers, buttons, string, yarn or anything else you want to use to further express yourself.