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Emily's Blog: Stone Painting to Relax and Release Your Creative Flow

By Gillian 04 Mar 2021

One of my favourite activities that helps me relax and unwind is painting on rocks I get at the beach. It feels very calming to just sit down after a long break, or even if I’m having a study break, and make a small painting that doesn’t use up too much paint or time. It can also be a lovely decoration for your room, or a small personalised gift.  I will be showing you some simple painting ideas that will hopefully inspire you to try this out next time you want to relax and make some art.  

Equipment: 

  • Stones
  • Pencil
  • Paint (I used acrylic, but if you have a type that will stay on such a surface, feel free to use that!)
  • Paint brushes
  • Thin, black marker
  • Optional: silver marker 
a table topped with a blue background

Animal Painting

The first painting idea is favourite animals. I’m going to paint my friend’s cat on my stone. I will be using a photo he sent me, however, you don’t have to do that. I personally find it much easier to use photos if I’m painting someone’s pet.  

1. Start off by sketching an outline of the cat (or any other animal of your choice). 

a hand holding a stone with outline

2. Next, colour in your sketch using acrylic paint. 

a hand holding a stone with animal

3. Then, using a thin, black marker, outline your painting. You can either go over all the pencil lines or choose where it’s needed most, like I did with white segments.  

a hand holding a stone with cat outline

4. This step is optional but I thought it adds a nice finishing touch. With a silver marker, outline the cat (specifically around the paint). And you’re done! 

a hand holding a stone

Plant Painting

For this one I chose lavender because it’s one of my favourite plants - I really enjoy its smell and drink lavender tea in the evenings. This will be a freehanded painting as it’s quite simple to do.

1. Begin by creating the basic shape of the flower (stem and petals) in the colour you want to use as a base. I recommend not using a very light colour for making the process of adding highlights easier. 

a hand holding a green and purple painted stone

2. Next, add lighter details by layering them on top of the base colour. 

stone with light and dark paint

3. Then add the shadows and blend them with the lighter tones. Add white highlights. As you can see in the first photo I made a mistake but thought it would be useful to explain how to get rid of something like that. If the paint is not fully dry yet, use a wet wipe and it should come off easily.

a hand holding stone with heather painted on it

4. Lastly, add any final details you want (such as the leaves on the stem) to complete the image.  

a hand holding a stone with heather painted on it

Cloudy Sky Painting

This is something I enjoy painting when I have no other ideas but want to let myself have some creativity with colour combinations. This will also be a freehand painting, with no sketches necessary unless you choose to make a sketch for accuracy. I apologise in advance for my paint stained fingers in the photos! 

1. With a colour of your choice, create the first layer of paint that will be the sky.

a hand holding a blue painted stone

2. Using a paint brush and white paint, create cloud shapes over the first layer of paint. For a more cloud-like texture, lift the paint brush after placing every dot of paint onto the stone. Build up the paint in layers like that to create a fluffy look.  Acrylic paint dries quite quickly, especially on stones, as I found out, but if it mixes with the white a bit, that is not a problem.  

a close up stone with clouds painted on it

3. Continue by choosing a lighter colour or two (my choices were a lighter turquoise, so I used the same colour as the background but mixed with more white paint and light blue) and add them onto the clouds as shown in the image. If you feel like you covered too much of the white, use more white paint over the layer of light colours.

a close up of a hand holding a painted stone

4. Next, use the same light colour of your choice to create highlights on the background layer

a hand holding a blue stone painted

 5. Then, choose another colour (I used light blue, like for the clouds) and add streaks of it to the background. Blend the colours together. This doesn’t have to be done perfectly if you want to have more texture. 

a hand holding a blue painted stone with clouds

6. Then choose a new colour you haven’t used yet to add a few streaks of it to make the painting pop. I also like to then blend that colour with more white to add small streaks into the clouds, as you can see in the image. For this painting I chose dark purple, which I then made into a pastel purple/lavender for the clouds.

a hand holding a blue painted stone

7. Finally, use the white paint to add a few extra details to bring the whole painting together. 

a hand holding a blue painted stone with clouds and raindrops



I hope you enjoy this little painting tutorial and that this will give you some fun ideas of new ways to relax and let your creativity flow. Even if you haven’t painted before, this is a great way to start as it’s simple, fun and doesn’t require too much time or large amounts of paint! Enjoy. :) 

All 3 painted stones

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