Using the shape of the rock for inspiration
When we visited our local landscape supply company, our favorite place where to get rocks for painting, and came across this rock. It looks like a dog's head (you see it, right?) So, we decided to try drawing and painting a dog's face.
A "How To" book to the rescue
We usually turn to Pinterest to get ideas for what to paint on rocks. It's filled with ideas and inspiration, but what we often find is the finished design, not always a step-by-step of how to draw the design. And, some of the designs we see are incredible, and a bit intimidating, having us thinking "how did they go from a blank rock to that?"
The Internet is a fantastic resource, especially when it comes to learning how to do something. But, when it comes to learning how to paint something, it's not always practical. Not sure about you, but our rock painting station is not in the same room as our desktop computer, so we have to resort to using our phone — and, we don't always want to stare at a tiny screen. That's when we turned to a How To Draw book.
This book, Cartoon Cute Animals by Christopher Hart, is a great resource because it includes step-by-step instruction and illustration that makes it easy for even beginners.
Step 1 - draw the basic outline
Use a pencil to draw the basic outline of the dog's face. We started by making the dog's face fill the entire rock and it wasn't quite working as planned. Thank goodness for erasers because we drew and erased this a few times before we got the shape just right (or, close enough!).
Step 2 - choose your rock painting supplies
Anyone who follows our blog knows how much we enjoy using Posca paint pens for their ease of drawing and low-mess painting. But, for this tutorial, we decided to use acrylic paint.
We often blend colors to get different shades of paint. But, CraftSmart acrylic paint has a nice brown color, called Golden Brown, so we were able to use that color right out of the bottle.
We selected some fine-tip paint brushes because this design will include some detail work we wouldn't be able to accomplish very well with a thicker tip.
Step 3 - fill in outline with paint
Use the brown paint (or, whatever color you decide to paint your dog's face), filling in the pencil outline. We purposefully did not paint a second coat because we wanted to see the faint outline of the pencil for when it came time to add a darker outline.
We didn't paint over the eye so we wouldn't lose the placement of it on the dog's face. We did paint over the pencil outline of the nose because we felt we could easily find the placement — you could choose to also leave that unpainted.
Step 4 - paint the remaining details
The fine tip of the paint brush is so helpful for creating the details such as the twinkle in the dog's eye, the shine on its nose or the "whisker dots" around its nose.
These small details suddenly make the dog's face come to life!
Final step - add an outline
Adding an outline is the finishing touch that helps define the shape of the dog's face. We blended the brown with a little black to make a darker brown. Again, that fine-tipped paint brush (and, a steady hand) were necessary to get that thin line. We were tempted to break out the ultra fine tip Posca paint pen to draw the outline, but we were committed to finishing this design using only paint!
We also added a bit of shading below the eye and around the nose to add some depth. Since this is a beginner tutorial, we stopped here. But, you could really add some depth with shading.
You're doggone awesome!
Congrats! You did it! Hope this step-by-step tutorial with photos helped you — or, at least gave you some ideas for what sorts of rock painting supplies you could experiment with.
We'd love to see your painted rocks featuring a dog face. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or tag us on Instagram. And, comment below if you found this tutorial helpful. It helps us decide what sorts of tutorials to try in the future.
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