Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rock painting


Last weekend we drove down to Winchelsea beach and collected some pebbles for the rock painting we planned to do this week. Winchelsea is a vast expanse of (almost always deserted) pebbles, so perfect for some quiet beach combing. Interestingly, if you've never been to Winchelsea, the town is actually two miles from the beach, as the original town was swallowed up by the sea in a storm in the 13th century. When they rebuilt it, they chose the top of the nearest large hill to ensure that they couldn't find their houses washed away again. Because of their hilltop location Winchelsea has stunning views in every direction. It's one of the most utterly adorable and very English towns we've ever visited.


We bought acrylic paints for the purpose of rock painting right at the start of the holidays and then waited for a warm day when we had no other plans (doing craft activities outside is fairly essential due to the presence of my husband trying to work in one of the open-plan rooms downstairs and a large puppy who has yet to learn not to try and gobble something up the moment it drops on the floor...it is a far from ideal arrangement for the summer holidays). You can see from how brown my children are in the photo below that we have spent a lot of time outside!


Before lunch we enjoyed looking on Pinterest for rock-paining inspiration (there's a lot of it!). We then  spent over six hours painting stones and became so absorbed in our task that when we finally packed away (purely because we ran out of pebbles) my daughter exclaimed: I haven't eaten since lunch time and it's nearly 7pm! This was indeed miraculous, because my children seem to ask for food on an hourly basis during the holidays. This was such a lovely, enjoyable thing to do and so different from painting on paper (which I don't overly enjoy) as there's something more manageable about having a miniature canvas size dictated by the stone.


These were the tiniest things I painted - the policeman is just a bit bigger than my husband's thumb nail.


 My children enjoyed painting a selection of minions from Despicable Me.



And we each painted a house, after falling in love with the tiny villages we'd seen on Pinterest. My daughter also painted this seascape:


While I painted a landscape:


And this cat.


My son made monster rocks with googly eyes, owls and small mice. While my daughter made a bear in a forest and a 'welcome' stone.


Later they named each stone and played the 'Grandmother's Tray' game, where they hid one of the stones and the other person had to guess which was missing. 


We plan to revisit this activity the moment we have some more stones.


Just in case you're interested in painting some rocks yourself, here's what we did: 
  • We used Newton & Windsor acrylic paints. Acrylics are fantastic for this as they dry in minutes and if you make a mistake you can paint straight over it, irrespective of what colour it was originally (so white can paint over black in one easy coat). 
  • We used specialist fine acrylic paintbrushes for intricate painting and an assortment of random old paintbrushes for the less detailed work. 
  • We bought Pilot gold and silver markers with an extra fine point (the type that you shake before use), which was fantastic for adding sparkly detail. 
  • For eyes and fine black outlines we used a very fine Micron pen. Don't do this. Micron pens are fantastic for using as a very fine permanent marker on fabric and paper, however, dry paint will block the nib as they're very sensitive to dust particles (I've since read this on the manufacturers website). Next time we'll use something equally fine, but with a less delicate disposition. I will be re-buying my much loved Micron pen.
  • Once finished, I sprayed our stones with a quick-drying, matt lacquer so that they can be placed outside. We bought ours from our local art shop - it was called 'GOLD acrylic professional spray paint' made by Montana.Cans (The name is deceptive as it's not actually gold, it's completely clear). 
My children have asked me to pin these rocks to Pinterest, as they really want their own to join the ones there that they've spent so much time admiring...so if you follow me you may see some rocks appearing later. 

Florence x

21 comments:

  1. Brilliant. I love how the limited size makes the task so different from just painting on paper - much more inventive :)

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  2. I love them! Great post, thanks for the inspiration to all.

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  3. Great idea I got a rock once as a gift and it is a treasure.

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  4. Love the minions! I haven't done this with the kids for ages.

    http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. I hvant rock painted for YEARS! What a fab idea! I love the fact that you dont just have one or two but a squadron of painted rocks!

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  6. You and your children are real artists! I'm not sure that my current-day painting efforts have progressed much beyond when I did this in primary school!

    I love the little houses and the landscape best of all.

    Angela xx
    Little Apple Tree

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  7. I love these! I may have to make some for my garden...

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  8. These are so lovely, I love the detail and bright colours on them!

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  9. These are beautiful and such a great idea!

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  10. Wow, they are all wonderful. What a fantastic activity, and I love the idea of the game of hiding one as well. I'm planning a trip to the beach now!

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  11. Beautiful! What a great activity!

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  12. So cute! Try an extra-fine tip Sharpie pen if you can get them there.

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  13. Me and my 3 yo boy made some last week too! It's relaxing and I enjoy the making something with my child. He kept some for his Lego farm and I will use mine as pattern weight :)

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  14. All of these paintings are looking superb, I really appreciate you efforts.

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  15. These are fantastic. You have talented children too. I have made a mental note to go visit Winchelsea, it sounds gorgeous. Hope you get some more pebbles soon for another session before the holidays run out x

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  16. Well done they are brilliant . I have to say the minions did make me smile having recently watched Despicable Me at the cinema with my grandchildren. Which they loved.
    Whinchelsea is a great spot for the beach . We live in East Sussex so not far away . My husband as a child used to camp there in The Summer Holidays and had a fun time. Mind you it was slightly different then ! Enjoy the rest of your holidays . Thank you for your beautiful blog .

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  17. This article is amaizing.The show cased pics of rock painting is very nice.The paints used are good quality and are very bright.Monster rocks with googly eyes, owls and small mice are really beautiful.
    anti slip tape

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  18. These are totally adorable! My favourites are the cottage house, the seascape and that lovely little rainbow. Pebble painting was a great joy during my childhood too, although we didn't have acrylic paints in those days! By the way, did I spot correctly that BOTH your children are left handers? (I am a left hander myself and often notice other left handers because they are not so common). If so, that's amazing! (for both to have it). Have they inherited it from anyone within the family?

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  19. These are lovely and sounds like you had a wonderful day--no requests for food! I love the pebbles painted with some of the natural stone showing--very pretty. Your cat is very impressive!

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  20. Oh that brings back happy memories of pebble painting with my mum, thank you.
    They do look stunning all together in the bowl ;-)

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  21. Those pebbles are now works of art. It looks like your children may have some of their Christmas gifts sorted. What a worthwhile (and not in a worthy way!)way to spend an afternoon in their company. Is that a couple of creative left handers I see...?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x