What’s not to love about painting rocks? Browse through these creative rock painting ideas, and you and your kids will fall in love with this art activity.
Rock painting has been a popular activity for kids and grown-ups for generations. It’s an easy and rewarding art project that can be tailored for all ages – be it toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten kids, or older! You can’t go wrong with this activity, as no matter how you paint a rock, it will look great.
Another thing we absolutely love about rock painting is you can hide your creation in a random place for someone else to find – it will make their day!
Getting Started – What Supplies Do You Need?
This one goes without saying – you need stones. Smooth stones are the best; if you have a chance to pick them up on a walk with your family, especially near a river, this is a good way to get some. If that’s not an option, check your closest garden store, home improvement store, or craft store – they should all carry suitable rocks for rock painting.
As for paints, acrylic paints are the best as they are, by default, waterproof. For fine details, you can also buy acrylic pens – they work like any other marker, so they are really easy to use.
You can absolutely use any other medium to color your rocks – from crayons to pencils, watercolors, paper mache… Anything! But if you want your painted rocks to last, you will need to apply a coat of varnish to waterproof them and protect them.
Rock Painting Ideas
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite rock painting ideas for you or your kids to do.
One of the simplest projects to do is the ladybugs. Paint the stones red. Let the paint dry (do more layers if needed). Once dry, paint the head, the line between the wings, and 7 dots. Paint on eyes or use googly eyes. Tip: you can also use a black Sharpie instead of paint.
Big Eyed Birds
Another fun and easy rock painting idea. You can make them colorful or stick with a single set of hues.
Paint the rock with your chosen paint and allow it to dry. With white acrylic paint, make two big round eyes. We recommend acrylic pens for the next steps, but you can go with regular brushes as well. Draw the details on the eyes, and also paint the beak (you can do different shades of yellow or orange to give it dimension). Add dots if you wish – this gives these an even more “birdy” look.
Kids will love this rock painting idea. Just paint the stones yellow, let them dry, paint a few black lines, and let them dry. Paint over wings, eyes, and mouth, and it’s done!
Piet Mondrian or other artist style inspired creations
You can teach kids all about different artistic styles with the help of rock painting. Piet Mondrian is perfect for this. Pain the stones white (you might need more than one layer), draw a few black lines and fill some of the squares with primary colors.
Snowmen are super fun to make. If you have round stones, make just the head, but if you have more oval or pear-shaped ones, make whole snowmen. Paint the rocks white, and let them dry. Add in the details (again, acrylic pens are super handy here).
To make these, first, paint the rocks with beige paint. Next comes a coat of brown, have it covers about three-quarters of the rock. Also, dab a little for the snout. For spikes, we used a Sharpie marker (an acrylic pen is a better choice if you won’t apply varnish).
One of our favorite ways to paint stones is to paint dots on them. It’s easy! Paint the rocks with a darker base color – like black or dark green. Grab your dot-making tools – q-tips, pencils with erasers, anything really that can stamp a dot. And make some dots! Use different shades of a single color and add complementary colors.
If you aren’t good at keeping real plants alive, you will love this one – find a couple of flat long rocks, paint them green, and paint them on spikes (you can see the whole tutorial here).
When it comes to painting flowers on rocks, using brushes is best, as the uneven strokes and lines the brushes leave will give your flowers a more natural look. Paint the rock (blue) – if you want a gradient background, dab a sponge into lighter paint (light blue or white) and dab it on the painted stone.
This one will require using hot glue to complete – you can see the whole easy tutorial here.
Silhouette Rock Painting
This is probably our favorite idea for painting rocks. Silhouettes always turn out great. Start by painting the background; using a sponge is pretty great for this, as you will easily blend all the different hues of paint. Once done, you can draw your silhouette with a pencil and just fill it in with black paint.
One of the coolest rock painting ideas for kids, as these can’t be messed up no matter how hard you would try! They are monsters, after all, so anything goes.
If you have emoji lovers in your home, this is the project to do. Lots of yellow paint and a black, white, and red acrylic pen, and you are set.
These were painted using chalk markers. Super easy, but you do need to seal them off with varnish if you want them to last.
You can create magical little worlds with painted rocks. See the tutorial for this fairy house here.
Silly Pet Rocks
Did you have a pet rock growing up? Super fun. Just paint a silly face on a colored rock.
While these won’t do well outside, they are still a fun rock painting idea – paint the rocks back, add a pair of wings made out of paper and eyes and mouth.
Fish Rock Painting Ideas
Painting fish on the rocks (and leaving them near streams) is another wonderful idea. We like to leave the background uncolored for these. Start by painting the fish outline with white paint. Let it dry. You can use a pencil to sketch the details or freestyle it.
This one is perfect for the scariest season of the year! Paint the rocks orange, let them dry, and draw in the faces (easiest to do with either an acrylic pen or a black Sharpie marker).
Paint a butterfly on a rock
Butterflies are great, and painting one on a rock and dropping it somewhere for someone to find is a sure way to make that person’s day! Paint the black silhouette and add the details.
Ghosts rock painting idea for kids
A super simple rock painting idea for kids – just have them paint the rocks white and add in the details with a black Sharpie marker.
Owls are one of the most rewarding painting ideas when it comes to rocks; you can use as many colors as you like, add patterns, and as long as you add two big round eyes with circles around them and a beak, you will have an owl-like creation.
Painting animal faces on rocks is pretty easy too, with some animals that have distinct features like cheetahs and tigers being great picks.
Rocks can easily be transformed into little magical houses. You can go for a realistic or cartoony look.
Paint the rocks black and paint a heart with white color. Then paint another layer over the white – whichever color you like. You can add dots around the rocks. Add some doodle details with an acrylic pen.
Black and white designs
These are one of the prettiest rocks you can make – either pint them white or paint them black and use the opposite to draw some intricate line art illustrations.
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