Thursday, 2 April 2015

Painted Rocks with Guest Designer Karen Hawkins

Lets meet Karen Hawkins

Hi everyone. Let me start by saying how excited I am to be here!!
I live in the Blue Mountains NSW with my husband. I have three grown up children, two grandchildren (plus one on the way..yay!) and two little dogs. 

I have tried my hand at so many crafts, folk art, stained glass, scrapbooking, patchwork and embroidery, but I have finally found my niche in the broad spectrum of mixed media art..particularly art journaling. I'm even developing an art journaling workshop at this very moment!
I'm very lucky in that, since my children have all moved out, I now have an entire room for my art space. But, with mixed media covering so many supplies AND me being an art supply junkie, I have managed to fill that space up to the brim! Gosh I envy those pictures of beautifully organised studios!
Until recently, due to work commitments, I only had one day a week to create (and even then it was shared with my housework), I now have a little more time, as I have dropped down to a casual position. 
Inspiration, for me, comes from playing and experimenting. When feeling creatively blocked, I rummage through my supplies. There's always something that I haven't used yet, or                                                                                                            haven't used in a long time...that gives me the inspiration to                                                                                                                move forward.  Well, that's my story. I'm looking forward to                                                                                                                  meeting you all xx

 Let’s Rock

with Karen Hawkins -GDT

 Painted rocks can look amazing. 
 They are quick, easy and fun to make. 
 You can group them together for a pretty display or you can scatter them around your home, tucked onto shelves, tables or any little space available.
 Decorate them with patterns, words, snowflakes, simple pictures or whatever takes your fancy. These little works of art are precious little gifts that you can give by customising them for each recipient. You could even use them instead of name cards at your next dinner party!

 The Pebeo High Viscosity Studio Acrylics are perfect to use as they will adhere well to the surface, have a wonderful range of colours along with the 'must have' fluoro and irridescent . Also you can apply them in a dimensional fashion for a really tactile feel to your rock or thin them a little with water for flatter line work.


 Pebeo High Viscosity Studio Acrylics in :-
Cerulean Blue
Titanium White
Dyna Irridescent Violet/Blue
Dyna Irridescent Green/Yellow
Dyna Irridescent Blue/Black
Fluorescent Pink
Fluorescent Orange
River rocks


  • Wash and dry your rocks. 
  • Glaze the background (or just a select area)The iridescent and fluro colours are quite translucent and can be used as a background glaze before any dots or line work are applied. I use my finger for glaze application on the rocks to eliminate the appearance of brush marks. Either plan your design or let it evolve naturally. 
  • Dots.Use a brush handle (or stylus) to apply the dots. Different sized handles will produce different sized dots.Dip the brush handle into the paint and press onto your surface. You can swirl your handle around on the surface to create a bigger dot if that is what you need. Each successive dot that you put down will become smaller unless you reload the paint onto the handle for each dot. The dots will remain raised when they are dry, so make sure you use fresh paint (just put a little out at a time), as when the paint starts to dry out, it will no longer make nice rounded dots.
  •  For line work, particularly lettering, I thin the paint out slightly by brush mixing a little water into the paint right on my palette. This just gives me an easier flow in the stroke work.
  •  You can obtain an attractive streaky look to a comma shaped brush stroke by loading your round brush in one colour (slightly thinned out as for line work), then picking up just a small amount of a second colour on the tip of your brush. Smoosh your brush fully down onto surface, tip to ferrule keeping your handle at the usual angle, then pull the brush towards you, lifting the brush until you come to the tip thus creating a ‘comma’ shaped stroke (You might want to practice this on paper first)
  •  Experiment and try out different approaches to your rocks. If you make a mistake, you can simple wipe the paint off with a baby wipe or, for more precision, a cotton bud. (Try to remove while still wet as the dryer the paint, the harder it is to remove).
  •  I'd reccommend finishing off your rocks with a coat of varnish.

I hope you have as much fun creating these adorable little rocks as I did

Thanks for watching today!



  1. Oh My Goodness Karen. this is so cute. My daughter is in the process of designing a fairy garden....these would be PERFECT!!!! I will show her your video. she will love painting her own! TYFS:-)

  2. I agree with Lydell. How sweet they would be scattered in a fairy garden. I might make some myself. And lovely to meet you Karen.

  3. Thanks ladies!
    They are so easy, but so much fun, it can get quite additive!
    Nice meeting you also Kerry. I have really enjoyed your tutorials. :)

  4. Karen.. Great video! I love these...and I love the idea of them being put into a fairy garden. I adore your designs but what gives them that special sparkle is the iredescent background..such a magical touch!

  5. Thanks Christine. It does give them a lovely glow, yes.....magical!

  6. Karen, what a wonderful blog!
    You have shown us something different, because your painted stones have many more uses than the ones I've seen. Everyone is right in saying that they would make the most wonderful addition to faery gardens!
    Also, paper weights, and lovely to brighten up small places around the house.
    I can also see them being great for meditation, people can paint their own motives on them and cleanse them, hence becoming really spiritual.
    I LUV how you painted the background with that iridescent paint, so different, and especially on the black stones, they would shine from any angle you look at them.
    I really like the different patterns that you created, and you have a great brushstroke technique.
    I can't wait until your next post Karen!

  7. Thank you so much Marta!
    I'm so glad that you like them and I love your ideas for further uses of my 'pet' rocks!

  8. Hello my cousin, your a star!!! Lovin it!!! Well done, your art is beautiful. XX

  9. Hey Karen,

    Awesome stuff, great editing, communicating and the rocks look awesome! :)