Rock Painting is something that’s grown in popularity over recent years. Here I’ll show you how to paint rocks and also share a few rock painting ideas for poppy rocks or remembrance rocks. This year on 11th November 2018, it will be one hundred years since the end of World War One. Communities are coming together to commemorate the centenary and along with a host of events our local St Albans Rocks UK group has organised a Poppy Line, where members of the community can bring their painted rocks to the local war memorial garden and lay them in remembrance.
Rock painting is a simple and fun idea… you paint some rocks and then take them to a local park, or on your travels and leave the rock for someone to find. Or if you’re lucky enough to find a painted rock then you can re-hide it near to where you found it, or take it with you to a new hiding place. Some rocks have hashtags written on them so that you can take a picture and share the painted rock’s travels!
How To Paint Rocks
For your rock painting kit you will need:
- rocks or stones of your chosen size
- acrylic paint
- permanent marker pen
- clear varnish (I use Wilko clear gloss yacht varnish)
- mixing palette (optional)
- jam jar or something similar with water in, so you can wash your brushes
- newspaper or something to cover the surfaces you are working on
First of all you need to wash your rocks. All I do is fill a washing up bowl with warm soapy water, pour the rocks in, scrub them with a brush and lay the clean rocks out to dry.
To paint the rocks I put out acrylic paints, paint brushes, clean dry rocks, some permanent markers, a jam jar of water and a mixing palette.
Rock Painting Ideas
For our poppy rocks I first painted a background of either white, silver, or a landscape with a blue sky and a green foreground. Once the background was dry I used a crimson red to paint a large poppy. The poppy design is simple as you just need to paint four petals and add a black dot in the centre once the red paint is dry enough.
For landscape scenes I used the end of a paintbrush to dot red paint onto the green foreground. Once the red paint was dry I added a black centre to the poppies and details with the permanent marker pens. Remember that permanent marker pens are PERMANENT so supervise young children when they’re using them and don’t leave them lying around because the marks that they make are PERMANENT… unless you want your best sofa covered in scrawls.
Rock painting is something you can do with all ages. I picked up a paintbrush set in Wilkos and it had a circular sponge that was great for creating a poppy with just four splodges of red paint. Alternatively, I gave our youngest a rock painted with a white background and some permanent markers and he created his own masterpiece. However, just be aware that I find that the permanent marker smudges when painted with varnish, so I try not to use too much – which isn’t a concept that my pre-schooler was interested in… more is more when you are 3 years old!
I let the acrylic paints dry overnight before varnishing. It is important to varnish the painted rocks otherwise the paint slowly washes off in the rain. I used a clear gloss Yacht Varnish from Wilkos and simply painted the varnish all over the painted areas of the rock, then left the varnished rocks to dry on a few sheets of newspaper for 24 hours.
Once the rocks were dry I used a permanent marker pen to add the #poppyrocks and #armistice100 on the back of the rocks, so that if they do get taken on any adventures I might be able to follow them. Rock painting isn’t hugely expensive and we’ve all really enjoyed creating the rocks for the local Poppy Line. We’ll be creating more painted rocks and joining in with the craze in the future as the painting is a great rainy day activity and hiding and discovering is a fun way to get children interested in a walk in the fresh air.
My top tip if you’re just going out to find rocks with younger children, is to take a couple of painted rocks hidden in your pocket. Then, if your children get tired or they’re disappointed not to find a painted rock, you can quickly and carefully ‘hide’ or ‘drop’ a rock, as and when needed and avert catastrophe!
Are you painting rocks for Remembrance Sunday too? Share your designs using #poppyrocks and tag me in, I would love to see them!
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