Thursday, May 21, 2015

I painted my first pet rock, and tips

I've painted animals before; those were done on canvases. This is the first animal that I've painted on a dimensional object.

I had purchased some rocks at the craft store because I wanted to give this type of painting a go. I thought I might paint some cats.

However, a friend of mind is hosting a Zazzle party for me, and I decided to give her a hostess gift. So then it dawned on me to paint a pet rock for her. So I called her up and asked her what her favorite animal is and she replied dogs.

Her favorite dogs are beagles and collies. So I browsed some images of beagles online and looked at my rocks, and decided yep, beagle it is.


This particular beagle was not painted to look like anyone's pet; it is actually a conglomeration of different characteristics that I saw on the beagles that came up in my search results.

It is kind of neat painting a portrait or the like on a dimensional object. I like that it has some size to it.

A week or so before the beagle painting, I tried my hand at painting lady bugs on small rocks.


Lady bugs are a nice place to start, as they are pretty straight forward to paint.

Once I painted the dog, I was glad to handle something bigger. I also liked looking through the rocks and finding a good fit for the animal, and then determining how I wanted the dog to lay. It adds a new dimension to my painting.

Whether the subject is large or small, the basic techniques are the same.

1. Draw your main image on the rock. I used a watercolor pencil, some people like using markers.

2. Paint in your base coats, and usually a second coat on top of the base coat.

3. Then do your adding. If it's basic, add some highlights and/or shading.
For the lady bugs, I highlighted the wings before adding the dots. I dabbed a lighter shade on their wings around halfway down their back, with a small round spongeround sponge set.

For the dog, I added some highlights and shading before adding the fur strokes. I used side by side shades directly on a rounded brush to get a blending for the fur. Then I used the same technique on the rake brushrake brush to get more of a fur look.

Once the painting was dry, I also add two coats of varnish, waiting for it dry in between. A couple of coats is probably fine, unless it might get lots of use, or be outdoors, then you might want to add more.

If you'd like to read more about blending techniques for acrylic paints, you can check out my article - Blending Acrylic Paint on Canvas.

Have you painted any pet rocks yet? Will you be painting any?

What do you think of my first ventures with painting pet rocks?

Cheryl Paton
CherylsArt at Zazzle