Henna-Inspired Painted Rocks

I have discovered a new hobby, one that I have until this point have only been showing on my personal and business Facebook pages. I have had a fascination with painted rocks and a few years now, ever since I discovered them on Pinterest and created a board devoted entirely to this art form. I decided to try it myself and while the resulting rock was decent as you can see at left, I wasn’t happy with the actual painting. To me it was too sloppy, and it wasn’t up to the expectations that I had had in my mind for the project.

20141222_231655-1I  moved on to using my Prismacolor art pens, which I thought were working out great (note the rocks at right – I was ecstatic!) I knew they weren’t drying very fast but I had no idea using these pens on latex paint would mean it would take days, even WEEKS to dry. Don’t get me wrong, I adored using the 005 micron pen and the wonderfully detailed designs I was able to create, but waiting weeks for one rock to dry just wasn’t an option.

I went to our local JoAnn’s (with coupons in hand!!) and bought three different kinds of pens. After experimenting with an “Ultra Fine Point” Sharpie which dried immediately, I decided to try to find something similar. I ended up buying a 2-pack of Sharpie pens (the line was too thick), a Faber-Castell “Pitt Artist Pen” in Extra Superfine (it turned out gray on the latex paint, not black), and a LePen Permanent art pen with alcohol-based ink (ding ding ding – we have a winner!)

20141228_210508-1The LePen art pen dries almost immediately and the ink shows up black on the latex paint. If I linger in one spot too long the ink appears to liquify the white latex paint so I try not to do that.

This whole process of finding pens and paint that will blend well together and not mess each other up has made me really curious as to the what and why of these interactions. Running off on a tangent for just a moment: I bought a clear oil-based satin finish and it instantly smears the LePen ink. In-stant-ly. The force of the spray from the can smudges the ink. $8 down the drain unless I can find something else to use it on!

My only complaint about the LePen Permanent art pen is that I can’t achieve the ultra thin lines of the 005 micron art pen. Although I am happy with the designs I can create (note the rock above with said pen in the picture), I miss the fine detail of the micron.

If you are reading this and you know of a brand of micron pens that use alcohol based ink, please mention in in the comments! This ink seems to be what I need in order to color successfully on latex paint.

20141228_122318-1Since seeing me drawing on these rocks, my 7-year-old daughter has started to explore similar designs. I get my inspiration from the Henna tattoos I used to do on myself in high school and from examples I have been able to find on the internet. My daughter has been creating similar symmetrical patterns on paper, so there might be a blog post in the future featuring her own rocks!

Thank you for reading and have a great day!