Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Rocky Path to Painting Rocks

On my September 10, 2016 post I shared my plein air struggle with rocks.  It is so easy to paint rocks that look like potatoes but difficult to paint ones that actually appear to be, well, rocks.  And while the painting posted that day will never be offered for sale, it was good practice and a reminder that I really could do better.

During our visit to Acadia National Park last month we took a hike that was filled with beautiful rocks along the path and shoreline.  We even came across a few plein air painters painting the rocks and water.  I regretted not having my easel and paints that day.

However it was obviously time to get serious about rocks so I did some research to pinpoint what exactly I was doing wrong.  It was a good refresher.  First I needed to have a plan.  Second, to decide where the darks and lights are.  Third, to decide where exactly are the mid-tones.  And lastly to create both warm and cool colors in those mid-tones.  Yes, practice does work no matter how you much you serectly wish you could skip it.

Along a Rocky Path
by Judith F Lochbrunner
mixed media on canvas
12 x 9 inches.

This painting is a bit more realistic than my usual landscapes as it needed to feature real-looking rocks.  I still tried to avoid putting in too many details keeping painting "loose".  And I really liked the neutral colors which made painting all the mid-tones in the rocks quite enjoyable.  

Rocks are going to continue to appear in the next few paintings in progress as I continue working on the fall landscapes inspired by Maine.  Yes, more practice......and hopefully more improvement.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  

PS:  Art Night at the Dog: The event has been rescheduled 
for Thursday November 17 from 6-8 PM.   Hope to see you then!


  1. Lovely!! Rocks are difficult, much more so than people think. Enjoy your practice and we will enjoy seeing your progress :)

  2. Not sure if I could do rocks for the next thirty in thirty challenge ...... but with nice comments like yours I will continue to practice.