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How to Paint Rocks in Watercolors


Nature Scene

I recently came across a new way to paint rocks with watercolors by watching the video by Terry Harrison. I gave it a try and it work out very well. This painting, focused primarily on the rocks,  was my first attempt.

The Cotton Cloth Technique

Not all charcoal drawing techniques need to be done with charcoal pencils or sticks. Beautiful effects can be achieved with charcoal powder or dust to accomplish beautiful effects. The three images above are a few examples from my charcoal collection that were created using charcoal powder and a cotton cloth.


Click for larger view.

You want to make sure you have plenty of charcoal powder for your project. I sand my own compressed charcoal or natural graphite down to powder  and store it in small, labeled containers.

Now get out them old cotton tee shirts and cut them up into swatches. I cut mine about 6″ x 6″, but you can cut them to a size that is most comfortable for you to handle. Keep plenty of them on hand so you have a clean one when needed.


Wrap the swatch of cotton cloth around the finger tip of the finger you want to apply with. Dip the tip of your cloth covered finger tip into the charcoal or graphite powder.  Apply to your work surface light or heavy depending on the contrast you are looking for. If you are not sure now much to apply,  then apply lightly. You can always add more later. You will still be able to lift color out with a knead eraser for highlights no matter how dark you apply the charcoal dust/powder. However, the darker the charcoal is the more limited you will be if you are trying to lift all the color out.


P_The Waiting OneTo the right is another examples of the Cotton Cloth Technique. I drew in the general shape of the woman and her umbrella. Then I worked the charcoal powder within the shape of her, and around her with the cotton cloth technique.


Tip #8C

Click for larger view.

Practice applying the powder in different direction on samples of paper in different direction. Examples of that would be circular, up and down, or back and forth motions to name a few. You do not have to use this technique for your entire drawing, but just portion of it. You can still draw over the area you applied, or prior to the technique.

© All images are my artworks and copy write material. They may not be copied.

Blending with Graphite

Drawing is a very individual thing by picking up information, experience, and your own new discoveries all combined with our own unique personality. No one style of art or a drawing technique can be considered right or wrong, just different.

Some styles and subject matter denote themselves to impressionistic, bold statements and applications, the information here will concentrate on a gradual, smoothly blended appearance. I feel this particular style of drawing best demonstrates a smooth appearances with a more realistic look. And with a little practice there is no limit to how real you can make a drawing appear.

The key to this style (more…)

Drawing Materials

Paper comes in a variety of different sizes and qualities, ranging from newspaper grade for practice up to high quality and relatively expensive paper sometimes sold as individual sheets.  Papers can vary in texture, hue, acidity, and strength when wet. Smooth paper is good for (more…)

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