Painting Rocks | Alison Kolesar | Skillshare
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6 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. The Process

    • 4. Painting a Heron

    • 5. Varnishing Your Rock

    • 6. Final Thoughts


About This Class


Painting rocks is fun, enjoyable, easy, and low stakes. Whereas painting rocks can be done with astounding artistry, the essentials are very straightforward, the simplest designs can be really effective, and it makes a great project for all ages.

In this class I'll give you all the information you need to get started, show you a couple of different approaches, and share what I've learned after painting probably hundreds of rocks myself.


1. Introduction: - rock painting is a hugely enjoyable activity. Anyone could do it, and lots of people are high. I'm Alison Carlos are, and I'm an artist and illustrator. I can't actually remember what made me paint a rock for the first time, but I do know that the results weren't very good. As I went on, though, I figured out a number of things and learn from my mistakes. Whether you want to paint rocks as gifts or to sell, or you want to leave them around your town or some other special place for others defined, watching this class will give you a good head start. There's something about painting rocks that I find very soothing. For one thing, the stakes are low. It's only a rock, after all. If you make a mess, you aren't ruining expensive watercolor paper or fine linen canvas. I find that working on a three dimensional surface gives me permission to be less of a perfectionist, even if what I end up with is often quite detailed. Painted rocks have a particular charm. Children love them. It's art they can hold. Small ones can be carried in a pocket, or actors worry stones bigger ones could be arranged in a dish or on a shelf or actors paperweights. One of my friends uses one to stop her paper napkins blowing away. When eating outside. I varnish mine so that they should withstand staying outside, though, to be honest, I've never actually kept mine there, so can't be sure how well they'd stand upto weather over time. The only problem I found is that it dropped on a hard surface. The paint chip, as you saw in the slideshow. I tend to paint a lot of animals, but that doesn't mean you have to. Flowers or inspirational messages were simple. Abstract patterns are all great ways to decorate your rocks, so let's get started with some basic information about materials and techniques. 2. Materials: materials. When I first started painting rocks, I didn't pay much attention to how smooth they were or whether they were a nice shape. But I learned it's a lot easier to paint on a smooth surface. And while imperfections air less noticeable once the rock is painted, they do look and feel better at the end of the day. If you start with a smooth, rounded rock, the local stone in my area is not great for producing smooth rocks. But Aiken generally find some. If I looked down at the river at the bottom of my street, if you go on vacation to a beach, you're likely to find smooth brooks. Or you can ask your friends to bring a few back from their vacations. Failing that, the landscaping departments of Big box stores tend to carry what they call Mexican beach pebbles. Here's one. Even if you're a local branch doesn't carry them, you can order them for pickup or have them shipped to your house. Not all of the ones in the bag will be perfect, but it's still pretty inexpensive. And because these of actually being tumbled there nice and smooth, what you should avoid are the kind that are polished because they won't hold paint as well . So what paints to use? I mostly used inexpensive acrylics from the craft section of a big box store. I have a few more expensive artist acrylic colors like these, and where is they do tend to cover better on a first coat. They also take longer to dry. Acrylics wash up with water while they're still wet, but they dry toe a hard plastic finish. So if you're working with kids, make sure to cover their clothes and make sure to wash your own brushes right away. I add details with micron pens and sharpies and white gel pens. I recently also some paint pens. I've heard British artists talking about these for a while, and I thought they weren't available in the U. S. But I managed to buy some online, and I already really liked him. You'll need a jar of water to rinse your brushes and some paper towel to dry them before starting the next color. My brushes are nothing special over time. Acrylic paint tends to swallow your brushes, even when you try to be good about cleaning them. So I don't think it's worth spending a lot on them, but it is worth having some different sized ones so that you can cover larger areas with a larger brush and have a small brush for details. Everything is dry. I cover it with a layer of varnish. I use this water based acrylic varnish with a Matt finish that I buy at the hardware store rather than any special artist. One ish. It's worth stirring each time you use it, as the amount of shiny nous seems to various. You work your way down the camp. And finally, one of the harder things about painting rocks is waiting for the paint to dry. You could hurry it along with a hair dryer. 3. The Process: so the process. The first step is to wash your rocks and let them dry. If you find them outdoors and they have any kind of multi stuff on them, they may need to be scrubbed occasionally. If you leave some kind of vegetable matter on your rock, it'll work its way through the paint, causing discoloration, which is the last thing you want after all your work. So don't skip this step. I will usually then paint my rock all over with white acrylic or latex paint. The latex may be cheaper if you're doing a lot of rocks at once, but it takes longer to dry, and I prefer the matt surface of the acrylic to anything shiny. Starting with white tends to mean that fewer coats of calories on talk and it's easier to draw with pencil on a white background pencil. Not, and they shows up well, but you can erase it if you need to. Of course, if you like the natural color of your rock and want to keep it as a background, you don't need to do any under painting. In that case, if you want to make an outline on the dark rock. You could try using a white gel pin. How do you decide what to draw? You could let the shape of the rock suggests an image to you. I painted this peacock because it was one of the few things I could think of that would fit on such a long, thin rock. Alternatively, if I know I want to paint a particular thing, I'll search my collection for the right shaped rock. I keep folders of visual reference material to give me ideas. And, of course, you can always find images online. If you don't usually do a lot of painting, you may want to keep it simple and think of a design where you can use color straight from the bottle. Alternatively, if you want to paint something more complex, you'll probably need to make some colors. I'm not gonna go into the theory of color mixing here. There are lots of other videos that will give you that basic information. I usually mixed colors and on old ceramic plate. Now I'm gonna show you a speeded up video of painting a blue heron, using reference voters I found online and adding a blue green background to suggest his watery surroundings. 4. Painting a Heron: this next video will go by quickly. Watching it in real time would probably be pretty boring, but I'll point out a few things as we go along. I usually start with my pencil image and then begin by painting the background. You'll see. I tend to shake up a little paint into the caps of the bottles and use the paint. And then, rather than dipping my brush all the way into the bottle, I go back and forth between foreground and background, letting one part dry before working on it some more. Sometimes I try to speed things up a little with a hair dryer. The paint rarely covers completely on the first coat, but you can't always see the thin spots until the paint dries. Adding an outline may not be very realistic, but it helps the image to stand out. 5. Varnishing Your Rock: So here's the finished drug. I added a few more details, and I also painted the back. And now that the paint is thoroughly dry, the next step is to varnished, stirring my varnish, getting rid of some of the excess. We'll wait for that side to dry, and it's completely dry or varnished the other side. 6. Final Thoughts: So there you have it, a from easy, inexpensive project that anyone could enjoy. Before I go, I want to share a couple of other rock decorating ideas. I mentioned Posca paint pens earlier. Here's a rock that I decorated, using only those. It enabled me essentially to draw my design rather than painting it with a brush and meant I could get lots of fine detail. My only caveat is that using the pens that way, instead of just for adding details, means they'll run out sooner and on. The subject depends with the exception of micron pens or black sharpies for outlines. I haven't had a lot of success using other markers. You might think that since black sharpies work colored ones would, too. But I found that their colors actually change when you put varnish, talk with him. Finally, it is possible to use watercolor when painting rocks. I painted this butterfly using a black Posca pen to create the butterfly itself. I then used water color instead of acrylic paint to paint the background. Watercolor tends to puddle up on the white acrylic background, creating a fund texture, as I hope you can see in this video. - I hope I've given you some ideas and a little inspiration to do your own rock decorating do. Share your rocks with the rest of us and let us see what you produce and the bubble. Have fun. There's no pressure here. It's only a rock after all.