Monday, 25 March 2019

Paint Stones with Flower Illustration in Acrylic and Oil Paint

Painting on stones is an easy and cheap way of creating ornaments for the garden, gift ideas or dedications. Here is a demonstration on painting red pansies onto stone. Pansies possess punchy colors and bold shapes.

I prefer smooth stones or those with interesting shapes and nodules. Avoid porous stones like pumice or those that are liable to erode such as limestone or sandstone. I go for granite, slate or marble. Smooth pebbles are ideal.

Gift ideas: The Painted Stone

Art Materials needed are: several tough sables that have worn or grown a little stiff through use. They can withstand the surface of the stone, particularly when it comes to getting paint into the crevasses. Reserve separate sables for dark and pale colors. No.s 3’s or 6’s are good for detail. A number 6 flat bristle is suitable for the background.

Black acrylic paint, then oil colors of the following: white, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, black and viridian green. Artist varnish will weatherproof the stone. A good photo is needed.

Paint to Use for Painting Stones

1 Firstly, I will fix the surface with acrylic paint. This forms a good bond on which the oil paint to rest. Oil paint remains workable for a few hours, enabling smoothing out, refining or blending at leisure.

Black Acrylic Paint Applied as undercoat

Here, I have painted pansies onto a chunk of granite. As the background will be dark on which the pansies will stand out, I have applied a coat of black acrylic paint first. Two coats should suffice.

Pastel chalk pencil is used for drawing on stone

2 Next, I will conduct a rudimentary sketch of the flowers onto the stone. Here, I have selected bright red pansies. A good photo with bold colors and basic shapes will make the illustration effective and eye-catching on the stone. I have used a white pastel pencil so it stands out against the dark background. Chalk will do. Don’t worry if the drawing isn’t accurate.

Apply yellow oil paint onto the stone with a fine sable.

3 And now the oil paint. With a fine but worn sable (a tough bristle is best for the stone texture), I applied pure white dots to represent the eye of the pansies. I then worked cadmium yellow onto the palest areas of the flowers, which are around the edges and the central demarcations. Be liberal with the yellow as it can be easily dominated by the cadmium red, to be applied next.

Blocking in cadmium red onto the petals

4 Cadmium red is then blocked into the petal shapes, keeping the color bold and the brush marks within the designated areas. Be careful not to go over the yellow areas. Work over rough areas if necessary.

Dab black oil paint onto the central demarcations.

 5 Black oil paint is then applied onto the central demarcations of the pansies. If necessary, work over previous areas. To avoid constantly cleaning the brushes between colors, I will employ several fine brushes simultaneously. A couple for bright colors, such as yellow and white; others for darks.

Blocking in the foliage in the background with a flat brush

6 Work a medium bristle loaded with viridian green or similar over the background. Allow the paint layer to vary so that the black acrylic paint shows through in places, suggesting shadow. Darker greens will be worked over. Aim for a webbed or patchy suggestion.

Work over previously painted areas to neaten and blend

7 Add a little black or similar dark color to the green and dab around specific areas to reinforce the feeling of shadow around the pansies. The pansy heads should really stand out against the dark background.
Once the oil paint is dry, varnish to make the paint weatherproof.
8 Leave the stone to dry for a week or two in a warm place. Oil paint takes a while to dry, but this is why I prefer it. The color can be neatened and worked over at leisure if necessary for an ultra sharp and punchy finish. Once the stone is dry, apply a coat of varnish to make the stone weatherproof.

The stone can be placed in the garden as an ornament, meditation stone, a paperweight or gift idea. Here, I have placed it onto a plot of a relative.

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