Painted Moroccan Rocks

These painted stones started out as simple rocks that I've collected outside my family's cottage on the Massachusetts shoreline.  It's a relaxing activity while we're at the beach and I love bringing them home and placing them around my deck and in my planters throughout the summer.  Here's my process using graphite paper and calligraphy ink.  If you can trace a design, you can make these!  


Smooth Beach Stones
Graphite Transfer Paper
Pen or Pencil
Wide Paintbrush
Detail Paintbrush
Calligraphy Ink
Clear Spray Shellac*

*If you plan on having your rocks outside, give them a couple of coats of spray shellac.

Using your wide paintbrush, paint a few coats of white ink on the top surface of your stone.

Search pattern sourcebooks or online for detailed designs.  I found some great photographs of Moroccan tiles. Using your graphite paper, transfer your design onto your painted stone.  

Using your detailed brush and one of your ink colors, begin filling in your design outline.  It is best to work from the inside of the design out or let the ink dry between coats.  Calligraphy ink dries fairly quickly, so I was able to paint my stone in one sitting.  

Continue painting, adding on the next color.  You will notice that I did the blue dots freehand.  You do not need to transfer your entire design to your stone especially for a fairly simple detail.  

I enjoy working with calligraphy ink as it flows nicely.  I generally dip my brush in and work on the outlines from the center to the edges, pushing my ink out to the lines as I paint.  

Each color ads another layer of depth to your design and it is exciting to see it coming together.  

As a final step, using black ink outline your colored design.  Don't worry, it doesn't need to be perfect!  I actually love the look of a bit of color seeping out from underneath the outline!  

Happy rock painting!

xoxo Karen June