Painting on Rocks: Whimsical Owls

Painting on rocks has become one of my favourite crafty pursuits. It’s challenging (and fun!) to transform a plain stone into a decorative keepsake. It’s also one of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon.

I went for a walk along Oakville’s Lake Ontario shoreline, where I gathered a treasure trove of smooth rocks in a variety of shapes and sizes. Once back home, I just used soap and water to wash all of the rocks.

After choosing four shapes that suited my project, I roughly penciled a different owl design on each one.

Next, I chose a different colour combination of acrylic paints for each owl. Working on only one owl per day, I painted a couple of coats of the base colours and allowed them to dry overnight. 

Once the base painting was complete, I used a black ultra fineline marker to carefully outline each of the painted areas. After allowing the marker lines to dry, I used a combination of both fineline marker and acrylic paint (with the finest size of paintbrush) to add intricate designs in each section. You need an extremely steady hand and a ton of patience to get it right!

Once I was satisfied with my finished owls, I sprayed them with Krylon Kamar Varnish, a clear, protective sealant. Next, I used black acrylic to paint a plain, leafless tree on an 8.5” x 11” white canvas board. Once that was dry, I used a heavy-duty glue (LePage Carpenter’s Glue) to affix each rock to a branch on the board.

Then, I sanded a light-coloured wood frame that I had in my stash, painted it black, and sprayed it with a protective sealant (Armor Coat Clear Finish Acrylic Spray Paint).

All done!

Here are both of my completed sets. Stay tuned for my next rock project.



  1. kiangablog said,

    May 27, 2022 at 12:53 am

    I love this! I keep collecting rock painting posts on Pinterest but haven’t got around to doing any myself. The branch and the framing works so well. I would love to learn to do these for one of my favourite fundraisers.


    • May 27, 2022 at 1:04 am

      If you belong to a public library, you’ll probably also discover some great rock painting instruction books there. Once you decide on a design you like, just jump in and start! It’s so absorbing, once you get going. Because the designs are so tiny, you have to concentrate on keeping your hand steady. If you make a mistake, you can just paint over it and start again. Looking forward to seeing some future work on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      • kiangablog said,

        May 27, 2022 at 2:45 am

        That’s why I like making cards, if I make a mistake I can stick something over it! I think my problem is having more time! But with winter on the way, I will give it a go. Maybe, I invite some friends to join a crafting afternoon to make some to sell!

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 27, 2022 at 3:40 am

        Wish I lived nearby! :)))


  2. May 8, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    These are so cute Donna 😍😍 Love them! Happy Mother’s Day 💖💐

    Liked by 2 people

  3. May 8, 2022 at 11:19 am

    As usual, difficulty in commenting on WordPress.

    These are absolutely stunning! Your work and the fine details are incredible! Very very cool!


    Liked by 2 people

  4. TheViewFromHere said,

    May 8, 2022 at 2:16 am

    I love it Donna! They’re beautiful! You can sell them at craft shows.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. May 8, 2022 at 1:57 am

    wow, those colorful stone owls are adorable💓
    You have awesome favorite thing to do!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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