Here are all the rocks after their first coat of base paint. By the way, don't put them directly on colored paper like that. Bits of ink and paper stick to the rocks even after the paint dries. It never seems to stop being slightly tacky. So put them on white scrap paper instead.
These are the green rocks after their first coat of base paint. You can see how it is lighter and darker in places.
These are the white rocks after their first coat of base paint. Even though I used lighter rocks for white and darker for green, you can see a lot of the rock showing through the white paint. That first coat was very streaky.
These are all the rocks after their second coat of base paint. They're starting to even out some. I gave it half an hour between coats.
The green rocks still have lighter and darker patches, but at least they look pretty green now.
The white rocks are still a little streaky, but they are much more white.
Here are all the rocks after their third coat of base paint. The colors are nice and even now.
The green rocks are a smooth bright green, more matte than the white ones.
The white rocks are quite opaque now, and glossier than the green ones.
I put all the rocks in a tray so people could choose which ones to decorate.
These are the decorated rocks ready for the ritual. Mine are the two green and one white on the lower right. Look at the top -- two people painted mountains, which were mentioned in the ritual, but this is before they knew that! On the top right is a rock with one smooth side and one broken side. I thought someone would paint on the smooth side, but the painter used the broken side to make the mountain, which was awesome.
After the ritual, I decided to paint more rocks. I chose my second white one -- we had enough for everyone to use two of each color if they wished, although some people picked natural rocks instead. I also decorated a bunch of natural rocks. Here they are before the sealant.
These are my rocks after three coats of glossy spray-on sealant. They are somewhat less tacky than before, but still want to click when I pick them up from the paper.
This is one of my favorite rocks. It has two yellow tulips and three blue grape hyacinths.
Here is the back of the tulip and grape hyacinth rock. On each rock I wrote the date and the name of a local rock club. You can find it on Facebook. People like to share pictures of rocks they have made, hidden, or found.
This rock has flowering vines on it. It's one of my favorites. This is more or less a top-front view. In the lower left you can see the end of the vine where I started drawing it.
This rock has several distinct sides, and is one of the most dimensional rocks, so I made the vines wrap around it except for the bottom. Here you can see one of the ends and part of the back. The beginning of the vine is now at the lower right.
Here is the bottom of the vine rock.
This is the top of my spring rock. I did this one entirely with paint pens except for the white background. Near the R is a pinkish spot where it picked up ink from the paper and I painted over that, but it still shows through a bit. This is artist acrylic, by the way, not craft paint which is thinner and even more translucent.
Here is the bottom of my spring rock. You can see dark specks where it picked up some ink from the paper.
For my love rock, I started out by squirting three colors of paint on the rock, then swiping a wide brush over them. I expected them to blend more, but I didn't use enough paint for that and also the red-yellow-blue just didn't want to blend well. But I decided that I liked the fairly crisp stripes anyway. I used a paint pen to write the word Love. When I discovered that the black writing didn't show up well against the blue bottom band, I underlined the letters with white. Art is a process of discovery -- you have to be open to what happens and adapt as needed.
This is the back of my love rock.
I used paint pens again for this rock. I started by making red dots, then blue circles around them. By the time I got to the green circles, most of them were touching. The black outline goes around the whole outer edge. This is a type of abstract, structured art that I learned as a wee tadling and have loved ever since. It doesn't take a lot of talent to make it look pretty good. Also, it comes out looking like an agate when you do it in the concentric version like this. (There's another that uses horizontal lines instead.) I think the colors really pop.
This is the bottom of my circles rock.
This rock is small but it's another dimensional one. You can see where I wrote DREAM on the top but there are more stars on another side.
Here is the bottom of my DREAM rock.
I used paint pens to make this simple red flower.
The rock club info is actually written around the side of this thick rock. The bottom is too small to write on.
After the love rock, I decided to try again with blending. This is the most blended of my rocks and I love how it turned out. I used yellow, light green, and blue. One great thing about the paint kit I bought is that it has a warmer and a cooler shade of each color; these are all warmer ones and they blended nicely here. I had to do two layers of paint to make it opaque enough. Then I wrote the word GROW in black paint pen. If you look closely, you can see that the date is written along the side of the rock.
This is the back of my GROW rock. You can see gaps where the black paint pen skipped over wrinkles in the rock. Smooth rocks work much better than rough ones for this craft.
I made this at the same time as the GROW rock, using the same colors and method. It says You matter. That's written in black paint pen again. If you look very closely, you can see that this rock has two facets on the top. The high ridge runs between the words. I wanted to incorporate the shape into the art.
Here is the bottom of my You matter rock.
This is the third in the yellow-green-blue blended set, and one of my favorites. After I had painted the other rocks in stripes, I swirled the brush over this tiny rock. It made a very pretty pattern after two coats. Then I used paint pens to make a red heart and a white highlight. It's one of the few that really came out looking like I imagined in my head. I don't have much artistic ability in this life, but every once in a while it works.
This is the bottom of my heart rock.
This is my attempt at a mandala rock, done in paint pens. Regrettably the rock was rougher than I realized, so it was impossible to make really round dots, which undermines the effect. It still looks okay, but lacks the impact of a really good mandala rock.
Here is the bottom of my mandala rock. I decided to use two colors of paint pen to help the center line stand out from the circumannular line.
This is one of the biggest rocks and another dimensional one. It is natural, not background painted. If you look closely, you can see a caramel line wrapping around the darker brown rock. On that line I wrote in white paint pen, You are a child of the universe. It is framed by green and blue wavy lines. On the top of the rock there is a red and white sunburst.
Here is a side view so you can see the end of the line.
This is more-or-less a bottom view with the club info. This rock doesn't stand on its head well.
This rock says BELIEVE in white paint pen. Then I used the red paint pen to make little dotted flowers all over the top. Finally I dotted the centers with blue paint pen.
Here is the bottom of the BELIEVE rock.
This rock stands up. I used the red paint pen to write TAKE UP SPACE around the side. It is framed by white lines and stars from another paint pen.
Here is the bottom of the TAKE UP SPACE rock.
This shiny caramel rock says CHOOSE in white paint pen. Underneath is a vine done in green paint pen, which has two curls branching off in different directions. Quantum rock art!
This is the bottom of the CHOOSE rock.
I first tried writing HOPE in blue paint pen. Then I added wings and a tail with the white paint pen. When I realized that the blue barely showed up, I went over it with green, so the letters kind of have a shadow. I wasn't ambitious enough to try purposeful drop-shadow lettering with the size of rocks and pens that I had, but this turned out decent.
This is the bottom of the HOPE rock.
Here I tried a different technique. I put blobs of red, blue, and yellow (their warmer versions) paints onto the rock and swirled them with a toothpick. First, the paints did not want to blend well. Second, the yellow was almost entirely subsumed into the other colors, except that little bit in the bottom center. Third, it left a very lumpy paint surface even after it dried. I wrote over the top with white paint pen, ENERGY with a little starburst pattern around it.
Here is the bottom of the ENERGY rock.
I really had fun with this rock painting project. I didn't even get around to trying all the techniques I wanted to explore. However, I did learn a lot as I went along, so I was able to modify later efforts.
Another interesting thing -- most of us liked someone else's rocks better than our own. While some of mine are real favorites, I was impressed by how artistic some other people were in creating actual landscapes on theirs. Some people admired the dimensionality of my flowered vine and the little scene of several flowers. I think when we look at our own work, we see differences between what we painted and what we imagined. With someone else's work, we can only see what was painted, so it looks better. I am still quite pleased with how some of mine turned out, and none of them really suck.