Scenery – Rocks (Part 3) Painting Rocks
Rocks – Painting (Part 3)
In this final part of this series having made & installed the rocks on to the land form, we’ll look at painting them to bring them to life. We’ll be using coloured liquid pigments to paint the rocks using whats known as the leopard spotting method. There are many types of liquid coloured pigment painting packs out on the market by well known companies like Noch & Woodland Scenics. We’ll be using the Noch 61200 Landscape Nature Paints set which can be found here (also available to back order):
Having already completed the basic land form, installed the rock castings & added scenic filler/plaster compound we’re ready to get on with painting. Now before you begin painting, think what type of finish you are going for with your rocks. Depending on what type of rocks you’re wanting to replicate will dictate as to what colours to use.
Have a look online, in books, magazines at photos of rocks or even better go out & have a look at the real thing. Be sure to take plenty of photos for reference & to give you a guide to work to. So lets have a look how it’s done…
The Pigment/Paint Set
The pigment paint set we’re using contains a set of liquid pigments, a foam brush &/or a set of mixing beakers. Sometimes these sets include a mixing tray instead of plastic beakers. The pigments can be used neat or thinned down with water.
Mix it up
Following the instructions on that come with the pack, apply the required amount (add more or less pigment to suit your taste) of pigment to a beaker/tub of water. Mix thoroughly 30 seconds to a minute. For more colour variations add two pigments or more to a beaker/tub of water, mixing thoroughly.
Painting the rocks
Start off with the lightest colour first, this will be the base colour for your rock scene. Using a dabbing motion with the foam brush to apply the pigment mix to the rock. Vary the amount of pigment applied across the surface of the rock, so some areas will be lighter & other areas darker.
The next colour to go on should be another light colour but slightly darker than the first colour just applied. Again using a dabbing motion with the foam brush, apply the pigment mix to the rock. As before vary the amount of pigment applied across the surface of the rock, so some areas will be lighter & other areas darker. Pay attention to cracks & crevices, work the pigment mix into these areas to help highlight them.
The third colour to go on should be a slightly darker colour than the second colour just applied. Again using a dabbing motion with the foam brush, apply the pigment mix to the rock. As before vary the amount of pigment applied across the surface of the rock, so some areas will be lighter & other areas darker. Again pay attention to cracks & crevices as well as vertical faces, work the pigment mix into these areas to help highlight them.
The fourth & final colour to go on should be the darkest colour, such as black or a dark grey. This locks & blends all the previous colours applied to the rock. Again using a dabbing motion with the foam brush, apply the pigment mix to the rock but this time go over the whole rock area.
This dark final pigment mix will bring out all the details in the rock, helping to create darker shadow areas in the crevices & cracks whilst giving a weathered appearance to the whole rock area. Now allow a few hours for the pigment mix to dry out.
Painting bigger rock areas
For bigger rock areas or area’s that surround the rocks, use a spray bottle like the one shown in the photo on the right. As before start off with the lightest base colour first & then add a second slightly darker base colour. Finish off with a dark colour to lock & bind together the two base colours. Allow time to dry, before adding grasses, bushes, trees etc.
Once dry the rocks should look like in the example photos on the right. Depending on what type of rocks you are replicating is down to what colour mix & blending you use. If you’re not sure then have a go at some practice pieces & experiment which mixes & colours work best to suit your scene. Make notes as you go along, such ratio of pigment to water, pigments used etc.
Also on shown on the right is some other examples of painted rock castings using this leopard spotting method. To see more on painting rocks using this leopard spotting method, check out this video. The video you’ll see the Woodlands version of Noch pigment paints, but both do the same job. Here’s the video:
Have a go & if you do we’d love to see your photos of your work.