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Painting Rocks - Cats & Dogs

Updated on October 23, 2014
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Painting on Rocks - Paint Cats, Kittens & Dogs on Stone

Painting on rocks is easier than you think. Animals make really good subjects to paint on stones and, by following step-by-step instructions, you can produce gorgeous painted rocks to give as gifts or even to sell.

My favorite things to paint on rocks are cats - when at rest, their lovely rounded shapes are simple to transfer to the 3-D form of a large round pebble.

I started by painting houses and cottages - they are a good introduction to rock painting; if you can draw a childlike picture of a house on paper, the you can do the same on a rock.

This Hub showcases some of my painted rocks and provides links for you to find more information about painting on stone.

© This page was created by TheRaggedEdge. All rights reserved.

Beach rocks perfect for painting
Beach rocks perfect for painting | Source

Best Rocks For Painting Animals

The best sort of rocks for painting animals are rounded and smooth. We are lucky to live close to some beaches with the perfect cat, dog and even owl rocks.

If you live in the UK, be aware that you are not allowed to take rocks from beaches (which belong to the Crown). This is mainly to prevent people stealing trailer-loads for their gardens. As the supply of beach rocks is constantly renewing, the odd one does find its way into my beach bag. And it is the odd one too - those things are heavy!

Otherwise, many garden supply centers will stock large pebbles and you may get them from a rock supplier or quarry too. Shallow river beds are also a good source, but make sure you have permission.

My very first rock cat
My very first rock cat | Source

The Art of Painting Animals on Rocks

My first painted rock cat

First rock cat I painted - he is big! The camera flash is reflecting off him a bit, which alters his color slightly.

I used the step-by-step guidance given by Lin Wellford in her book, "The Art of Painting Animals on Rock". I have included a link to the book right here. Lyn has a whole selection of books on painting rocks. Check them out.

Painted Rock Kittens & Puppies

Rock kittens
Rock kittens | Source

Well, one puppy rock to be precise...

Kittens are perfect subjects for painted rocks, they are just the right shape. Look for oval rocks with one end slightly higher and rounded for the backside.

You can start really simple and add more detail as you become more confident with your techniques.

Synthetic brushes are ideal for painting the harsh surface of stones and rocks. (CC.BY.2.0)
Synthetic brushes are ideal for painting the harsh surface of stones and rocks. (CC.BY.2.0) | Source

Materials Required for Painting Animals on Stone

  • Rounded Rocks
  • Acrylic paint - Hobby paints are just as good as the more expensive kinds, being the right consistency.
  • Brushes - Synthetic brushes are best for acrylic paints. Keep your precious sables away from rocks unless adding very fine detail.
  • An old plate - to rest the stone on. You could get a lazy-susan but a plate works just fine.
  • Saucer or palette - for mixing paint.
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Spray varnish - to protect your finished rock. With several layers of protective varnish, your painted pet can live happily in the yard among your flowers and shrubs. However, if your weather is harsh in winter, then bring your pet babies inside.


Black kitten rock. This one holds an indoor pet gate open - we're always tripping over her.
Black kitten rock. This one holds an indoor pet gate open - we're always tripping over her. | Source

Painted Rock Resources

Useful pebble painting links:

Rock cat tutorial
Rock cat tutorial | Source

Painting a Cat on a Rock Tutorial

My detailed step-by-step tutorial will show you how to paint a cute cat on a rock, from choosing the right shaped stone, to transferring a photo, to the finishing touches. Illustrated with 30 photographs.

How to Paint Stones: Cat Portrait

Painted Rock Labrador

Painted as a Christmas gift for my sister and her hubby. Oh boy was this one heavy!
Painted as a Christmas gift for my sister and her hubby. Oh boy was this one heavy! | Source

Painted Stone Cat - Make them Beautiful, Cute or Comical!

Comical rock cat
Comical rock cat

Painted Owl Rock

Owl painted on stone - for a little girl who loves owls.
Owl painted on stone - for a little girl who loves owls. | Source

Be a rock angel, leave a comment!

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    • myraggededge profile image
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      myraggededge 3 years ago

      @Rock Artist: Thanks so much, Nancymaggielee!

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 3 years ago

      I love your work! Especially the cat in the intro, beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great art !

      Congratulations

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      Awesome work. Looks like live art.

    • profile image

      citrine77 5 years ago

      What a great idea! I think the owl rock is my favourite, but they are all beautiful.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      You have inspired me! I live by a shingle beach so finding stones shouldn't be a problem. I love the idea!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Great painted rocks!

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Wow, those are fantastic! I had a co-worker who paints rocks, too.

    • profile image

      Qualitee 5 years ago

      Having seen these in real life, and the owl having pride of place in the living room, I can tell you they really are absolutely fantastic.

      We are going to have a go at painting one ourselves:) You are so inspiring, thank you:)