You followed along the first part of my tutorial so here it is the second part!
Paint on your pebbles!
We have a nice sketch now it is time to paint! Painting on pebbles is easy if you accept one thing: pebbles absorb water, and color, not like paper or canvas. Pebbles dry more slowly then paper, and it can be a good thing or a bad thing.
With watercolor and gouache if you are not patient enough you could risk smudging the colors too much. Colors will always move around a little bit on pebbles (they are not primed poor things so don’t blame them) but you can work on them to a satisfactory level.
If, on the other hand, you are working with acrylic paint, this slower drying time is a good thing . I was able to achieve a smoother blend effect on my acrylic painted pebbles because colors are wetter longer so you can work on them a bit more as if they were oils.
When you are finished painting you can add details using gel pens or waterproof markers.
I have yet to try colored pencils to add details but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work.
Seal the pebbles!
Your pebbles are all nice and dry. If you want to make the painting last you have to seal it. My first pebbles were sealed with an emergerncy sealing agent: hairspray!
If you are on vacation and you are in a small village and don’t want to hunt for art supplies, hairpsray is a good choice. The problem with hairspray is that, in time, it will slowly tint your colors yellow, but it is a really slooooow process. If you don’t plan on selling your pebbles you can live your whole life without seeing this happen.
If you want to have a more pro seal you can buy any sealing varnish: matte, clear, shiny, you name it. Don’t use varnish that are to be applied by brush as you risk dissolving the colors and creating a Picasso disaster. Focus on spray sealing.
I am finding a good and cheaper alternative to fancy sealing spray: clear acrylic paint. You can find it in any hardware store and, at least here, can choose between matte finish and shiny finish.
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Spray outside in the open air, as the aerosol is dangerous (if the spray bottle say it isn’t simply don’t trust the label 😀 )
When you add spray you will see the pebbles turn a little darker. It is not an issue for me, I simply cover the whole pebble to have a nice effect.
When spraying you will see that, if you didn’t use loads of paint, the brushstrokes become visible and that where you applied less paint the color becomes more transparent. Embrace the process and remember what you did. BTW, this is my mantra and it saved me from screaming and burning my studio several times.
The spray I use takes 24 hours to dry completely so I leave them out in the porch a whole day, then I sign them on the back side and do the spraying and the waiting again.
Are you planning on painting on some pebbles? If you are going to try let me know and if you are on Instagram you can tag me in your photos —> @valeriadraws
Kisses and happy painting!