Monday, 6 November 2017

Artline Monday - Rock painting

For as long as I can remember my children have collected rocks and pebbles when we have been on holiday or days out.  They bring them home and then they get left dotted around their room or on their windowsills, gathering dust and being forgotten about until I try to move them outside!  To be honest my eldest two aren't too fussed about their collection anymore but my six year old still guards it dearly from me in case I try to cast them out into the cold, wet garden so when I came across the idea of rock painting I thought it would be fun to try and would put their collection to good use.

I was only allowed to take eight stones to paint, that was the deal with my youngest and she got to pick which ones I could have.  


If you want to give it a go yourself you will need some rocks or pebbles, paints (I used watercolours mixed thickly and some Artline poster markers) and for writing on the rocks or adding details these Artline 853 Overhead Projection Markers.  

The 853 markers have been declared the best for rock painting by a group in New Zealand according to this blog post as the ink doesn't blur when writing on paint and it doesn't fade over time.

Painted pebble and Artline 853 OHP markers

We started by painting the rocks different colours.  You need to use the lightest colours first and then the darker shades afterwards.  For the stone above I used orange, red and brown paint as I was trying to make it look like the colour of an autumn leaf.

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile!

Once the paint is 100% dry you can write or draw on top of it using the 853 markers.  As I went with autumn colours on my rock I doodled some leaves and added an autumn quote to go with it.  It says "Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile!" which I think is really nice.

Hello sunshine and Just keep swimming

The yellow pebble was painted with an Artline low corrosion paint marker which has given it a lovely shiny finish.  The yellow was so sunny and bright I just had to write "Hello sunshine" on it!

Finished rock

My six year old is a fan of Finding Nemo and Dory so she painted her rock with sea green shades, I drew her a fish and wrote "Just keep swimming" on it.  We added some air bubbles using a silver Artline 900XF pen and coloured in the fish using blue and green 853 markers.  We wanted it to stand out a bit more though so I used my Artline 444XF paint marker in white to brighten it up.

Be kind

My eldest daughter used a blue poster marker to paint this stone and when it was dry I wrote "Be kind" on it for her and she added some polka dots and hearts to it using a 0.8mm tipped gold metallic pen. 


This was our simplest design, my eldest daughter thought the pebble was shaped like a heart so she drew one on it and coloured it in using the red 853 marker.  I wrote "Love" for her underneath the heart and then it was finished!

Sweet strawberry rock

This was our first time rock painting and there was some trial and error involved in it.  I painted this little stone pink using a poster marker but I didn't wait for it to dry properly so when I tried to write on it with the 853 marker it didn't work.  I set the stone aside for an extra hour and when it was 100% dry the paint was much easier to write on!

The largest rock my six year old gave me had a kind of wave pattern running through it so I used this to paint a sea scene.  I left some of the rock showing to create a cliff and painted the sea and sky around it. Once the blues were dry I added white clouds and waves and when they dried I used my blue and brown 853 markers to add some details to the cliff face and the sea.  It's not the best seascape I've ever painted but I am new to working on rocks and might need some more practise!

Our rocks and the Artline 853 markers

The very last step you need to do when your rocks are dry is to coat them with clear varnish or nail polish.  This will seal your works of art and protect them from the elements if you want to put them outside.

I have heard of a few groups around the world who paint rocks and then leave them for people to find like a little surprise gift.  I think that is such a sweet idea!  How nice would it be to find a pebble with a picture or message on it when you are walking through a park or shopping in town?  I would love to leave these rocks somewhere for people to find but they are going back into the bedroom now to take pride of place on the windowsill.  Maybe I need to find my own stones and make some more to hide in my home town!

My girls have asked me if we can paint some more of their collect next weekend so I guess this craft was a big hit!  Will you be giving it a go?


  1. Definitely a sweet strawberry rock! ☺ I was going to ask if they faded but you answered that question already. The first paint pens I tried faded after a few months- so disappointing! The next (different brand) exploded.... well, the tip left a huge puddle of paint instead of a nice fine line. So I can appreciate a good paint pen! Welcome to the rock painting world! I hope you all continue to paint and hide!

    1. Thank you so much Kathy! I think we will definitely hide the next set of rocks we paint, it’s such a nice idea 💕