Even if you don’t feel compelled to keep a pet rock, there are still many ways to have fun using what can naturally be found in your backyard. One of the most inexpensive, creative, and fun ways to make use of rocks is by using a rock as your canvas to create a beautiful painting.
In this article, we will go over colorful rock painting ideas that are achievable at three different levels of easy, from “very easy” to “pretty easy” to “easy-ish”. Feel free to either adapt these designs, or to use them as inspiration and create your own version!
First Things First: Here’s What You’ll Need
Before you embark on creating your rock masterpiece, it’s essential that you set yourself up for success by ensuring that you have all the proper supplies.
One of the best things about rock painting is that not only are the supplies inexpensive (or, virtually free, in the case of rocks), but you also do not need very many supplies at all. In fact, many of the things that you will be may already be available around your house. Here are the materials that go into a successful rock painting:
- Acrylic paint
- Permanent markers or other similar pens
- Sealer (usually in the form of a spray-in; will help protect your design for years to come)
Rock Painting Ideas: Very Easy
If you do not consider yourself an artistic person, it can be hard to feel motivated to take on a
craft, even if it is something as basic as painting a rock. However, it is possible to create something beautiful out of even the most simple of strokes. Here are five of the best rock painting ideas for beginners. Here is what goes into a great rock painting:
1. Adorable Ladybugs
If you would like to create an animal-themed design, then there are many options for you when it comes to painting rocks. After all, the natural shape of a rock lends itself to the shape of a variety of animal’s bodies, and you can always choose a rock with a certain animal in mind.
This easy-to-follow tutorial from Crafts by Amanda shows you how to paint an adorable little ladybug from a simple, flat rock. This tutorial is so easy to follow, in fact, that is even accessible to children — a good thing considering the design is sure to appeal to children.
2. Gone Fishing
This rock painting idea, which can be easily viewed on Pinterest, is so simple that it does not even require a tutorial of any kind. We love the way that this rock painting actually tells a story, one that inevitably involves a fish posing as a shark to ward off swimmers!
In another way, this rock could serve as an inspirational reminder, too, that life is truly about how you see yourself! Even if you are a fish, you can dream like a shark.
3. Let’s Play Dominos
Who isn’t familiar with the design of classic dominos? We love this easy tutorial from Paging Super Mom that shows you how to design a domino rock using only a paint pen and black pen. One of the best things about this rock design is that it can actually be turned into a functional name, provided that you find rocks that are relatively uniform in size and have a hand steady enough to create corresponding dots.
4. Emotions Rock
If you are partaking in rock painting as an activity for young children, then the effects of these “emotion rocks” are twofold. Not only will painting emotions on these rocks keep your children occupied for hours on end, they can also open up a discussion with your kids regarding their feelings and how to manage them. You can even use these rocks to help your children communicate how they are feeling on the regular.
The comprehensive tutorial is available from Artistro, and encompasses a range of emotions from happy, sad, and exhausted. Of course, you could also add your own emotions to the mix (a green jealous rock, anyone?)
5. Delicious Strawberries
Strawberries are one of the most popular transformations for a rock to make, and it’s for good reason. Not only do the shape of strawberries work well with the shape of the average small rock, but they are also relatively easy to produce and add a colorful touch to any indoor or outdoor area.
This tutorial from Crafts by Amanda takes it back to the basics to show you how to paint beautiful and similar rocks that look like strawberries. Just be careful to resist the urge to eat them — that won’t go down well!
Rock Painting Ideas: Pretty Easy
If you have already had some experience with rock painting or another similar craft, then you may be able to jump right into intermediate rock painting. These tutorials will feature designs that are a bit more intricate, though still manageable. Here are some of our favorites:
1. A Floral Delight
There is a reason why floral designs are so popular. Not only are they relatively easy to draw, but they are also pleasant to look at and can be adapted to fit a variety of tastes! You could either go the minimalist and paint a single flower on your rock, or could draw on an entire bouquet of flowers.
We love this tutorial from rock painting aficionados I Love Painted Rocks. Starting with a black background, this tutorial features a colorful collection of brightly colored flowers that are easy to draw. Of course, you can choose your own set of colors to make your floral rock truly your own.
2. Playful Penguins
Down at the Soccer Mom Blog, they have created a painted rock penguin that is just so adorable that it will make you squeal when you lay your eyes on it. Although the concept in itself is pretty simple, we believe that it belongs in the “intermediate” category due to the precise round lines that are required in order to encompass the realistic likeness of a penguin.
3. Owls Galore
What isn’t to love about owls? These shy but wise animals are the favorite of many people across the world, and Tightwad created a wonderful tutorial to honor these creatures. We love the way that they think beyond the colors that naturally occur in owl feathers to offer designs that incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow — you can do the same!
4. Colorful Abstract Designs
If drawing animals on a rock is not quite your thing, fret not. There are also some fantastic tutorials out there that focus on rock designs that are more abstract and geometric. One such example is available from Rock Painting 101. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to put together funky designs that just happen to be in the shape of hearts. Bonus point if you are somehow able to get your hands on a rock that is heart-shaped!
5. Non-Intimidating Mandela Rocks
Also from Rock Painting 101, this mandela tutorial breaks down a complicated concept so that it is easy for the average rock painting to apply. It even includes practical tips on how to get into the proper headspace for doing some painting that is finely detailed, which is a type of craft on its own.
Rock Painting Ideas: Easy-Ish
There’s a chance that the earlier tutorials may not be challenging enough for you. If this is the case, then you may find the following challenging rock painting tutorials more fulfilling —whether you are a professional artist or simply somebody with heaps of ambition.
1. A Peer Inside a Fairy Door
If you’re a fan of fantasy movies such as Lord of the Rings, you will love this hobbit-esque painted rock tutorial from Adventure in a Box. We love how creative this idea is — if you place it somewhere in your garden, it is sure to be a great conversation starter.
If this concept seems rather intimidating to you, fear not. The tutorial is very easy to follow and breaks the project down into many small digestible steps, including first drawing your design out on a piece of paper. The tutorial will also show you the order in which to paint your rock, which is arguably the hardest thing about this design.
2. Happy Llama
There are few animals on the planet that are more endearing than a llama. In fact, we think that the only thing that comes close to being as good as a real llama is an adorable llama that is painted on a rock. If you too would like to have a charismatic llama as a part of your rock collection, we recommend using this beautiful photo that we came across on Pinterest as your guide.
3. Pep Talk Rocks
No matter our mood, there is something to be said about seeing a happy or inspirational message. While up to this point we have focused on rock paintings that incorporate animals, objects, food, or abstract design, it is also possible to take your rock painting in another direction with inspirational quotes.
This guide from Mod Podge Rocks is sure to give you inspiration for the different kind of quotes that you could paint on your rocks. Of course, you can adjust these to play hommage to your favorite sayings, no matter what those may be.
4. It’s a Beautiful Day in the (Rock) Neighborhood
If you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, or you prefer to take on big projects, then you will love this idea from Handmade Charlotte. This tutorial shows you not only how to design one rock, not two rocks, but an entire rock neighborhood!
5. Unicorn Rock
We round out this list with a timeless but unique rock painting tutorial — a shiny unicorn! The folks at I Love Painted Rocks sure know how to appeal to our childlike sense of wonder, though there is no shame to be had if you decide to follow this rock painting pattern as an adult.