Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making Rocks

Yes- you can! Anything you can paint can become a rock, just by a few easy techniques. You can create beautiful and one of a kind pieces for your home or work place easily and at a fraction of the cost. Say, for instance, you wanted to remake your counter top (which I have thought of doing!), or you need some earthy placemats for your deck table- paint it in stone! Make matching votive holders, candle plates, napkins (using fabric paint, of course)- you can do it just about anywhere.

First, assuming you've picked out what you want to paint, find the type of stone that you'd like. Do a little research. Sedimentary rocks, with their veins of color, are really the very easiest to mimic in painting. They have no set pattern (you know how Mother Nature is), so a flub here or there isn't going to make a difference, because maybe that's how it was supposed to be. But, you can use any stone style that fits with your needs.

Now that you've studied your stone, visualize your starting point. Start with your lightest shade of color. Basecoat if you'd like, but that depends on the surface you are painting. If it's originally hot pink, you definitely want to basecoat first. After your basecoat is dry, start laying down your veins of light shade. Vary the thickness of the paint, using water to thin for a more natural cast. Below, I started with a plastic tray and spray painted it with a Stone Accent spray (this was an experiment). I wanted to use the speckleness for the background.

Desert Jasper

With the basic veins in place, I started adding speckles in their special shades of color. This is where a specialty brush comes in handy if you don't want to paint dot by dot. My brush is an old filbert whose bristles are now all bent and curled, making it the perfect brush for dots, bushes, and trees. This old brush has seem more painting than you can imagine! So, if you have a brush like this, do some dots. Some spots are a thicker grouping than others. You can add some in dot by dot later, too. Keep checking your reference material, but let your hand do the work. It's fun once you get into it!

Now, start bringing in your final, darkest color for the deepest colored veins. Liner brushes are excellent for this. Follow the veins of lighter shades, but don't stick to it strictly. Those deepest veins will form wherever they will in the evolution of the rock. Thin down your paint if you need to, but I've found that the denser the color, the better the vein will look.

Here are two close ups:

That's all there is to it. Simple. Effective. Unique.

Sandstone is another easy stone to mimic in painting. These are a few beads I've painted-

This is a glass votive holder, basecoated:
And finished in Desert Jasper.
These are look-alike Purple Sea Sediment Jasper-
The bracelet in the following picture is real Desert Jasper. The bead is painted to look like it is.
Turquoise is a tough one, but I stuck to it. The copper accents come from copper metal powder suspended in a gloss varnish medium so it wouldn't oxidize while I was waiting for the paint to dry.
A plain, large bangle bracelet turned itself into turquoise:

After making this polymer clay bowl, it needed to be decorated. Here is how the 'making Sandstone' looks in the beginning stage:

It's not difficult to change something to what you want it to be. Painting is a marvelous medium to use, and with some practice, you can use it anywhere. Don't let it intimidate you. With a paint brush in your hand, You are the creator! Make it your way.

I sure do!!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Tell me what you have turned to stone!!


Cowland Studio

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