Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Art Elements October Theme Challenge Reveal - Petroglyphs.

This month's Art Element Theme Challenge was set by Karen from the team and it was Petroglyphs.  You can see the original post here  

I have to admit I didn't know the word or that it has any history to it but I have been drawing on rocks and just about everything for as far back as I can remember - and that includes walls, I used to do murals in my kids rooms and the bathroom.. the en suite... I might have done the downstairs looe in one house too... but I just love to draw, doodle, illustrate.

The oldest stone I have ever done that I still have, is from 2006 and I use it to stop my kitchen door from bashing into my fridge as the handle of the door just connects nicely with the corner of the fridge.  I remember painting it, one summer holiday day, the kids were off school and the sun was beating down, it was 'almost' too hot to be outside so I was sat at the table in the kitchen painting a big old stone we had unearthed from the garden.  

I love watercolour paint these days, after many years of hating them they are now my go to for any doodling I do but before watercolour paint my instrument of choice was the coloured pencil.  The stone below of the orange cat is Inktense pencils, activated with water to make it smooth and many many layers later.......

A coat of spray varnish and this cat sits on my hearth, the only one in the family to not put hairs on the furniture!   I have a few more on my hearth in the living room too but this one is my favourite.

When Karen announced this challenge I started looking around for stones to paint.  This time of year the farmers are harvesting and plowing the fields ready for winter plantings so lots of lovely stones come to the surface of the mud but filling your pockets on a dog walk with stones a) makes people look at you funny and b) makes you walk oddly.  I fancied sourcing some wooden pebbles that I had seen others paint on via Pinterest.  

I found some!!  I ordered 6 approx 2 inch ones, the shapes do vary and slightly bigger one of approx 3 x 2 inches.  They are lovely wooden pebbles and for a while after they arrived I didn't want to spoil them. 

I tried Inktense blocks as watercolour paint on the wooden pebble at first and I hated it so I washed it off - I was a little surprised that when the Inktense had dried it wasn't stable, it did leave a small stain but I just turned it over...  

Some of my problem in drawing on the wooden pebble was me.  This last month, blame the weather, things going on at home, life in general and my creative muse was just not forth coming and when that happens I revert back to being very picky about everything I do and whereas I favour a looser illustrative style I tend to work very photo realistic when I am stressed.  I used to work photo realistic in coloured pencil in the very beginning, that is how I learn't to use the pencils with the many many layers but now that annoys me, I like colour and fun and illustrative not formal.  Thankfully I picked up the pencils and as I had 'ruined' one side of this pebble I just set about having fun and my muse didn't disappoint me.  I rather like my little girl pebble. 

I do paint on just about anything - by paint I mean use pencils or watercolour or acrylic although the latter is not fluid enough for me even with the flow medium to make it so.  This little disk of wood is small, approx 1 inch round and I used Inktense blocks as watercolour paint.  I love strong vibrant colours.  I also LOVE outlines, just don't ever tell my art mentor from many years ago as he always steered me towards 'proper' art!  

Another wooden disk this time with acrylic, I find acrylic too gloopy for me and I struggle but I do love painting cats!  

Varnishing these things is a completely different subject!  You can't use a painted on varnish as it smudges the work - which is my favourite way of doing it - and on most I have used spray clear lacquer but I don't like it, the wooden pebble I experimented and sealed the surface first using a pencil fixative then when that was dry I used my acrylic matt varnish which you paint on, which worked brilliantly and I will be trying that again, hopefully it wasn't a one off!  

The others that took part in this theme are below....

Our Guest Artists:
CraftyHope: http://CraftyHope.com

Art Elements Team:
Jenny Davies-Reazor: https://jdaviesreazor.com
Cathy Spivey Mendola: http://cmendola.blogspot.com
Marsha Neal Minutella: http://blog.marshanealstudio.com


  1. those are all so very cute Laney, you make me smile :)

  2. Yes, Laney cute and your personality really shines through!

  3. You just love cats.... No question!!! They are cutey pebbles.. 😀😀😀

  4. I love your design sense and that you can put your art onto any kind of media. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations with the wood as well - so interesting to think of how different foundations react. I didn't even know that people were making wooden rock inspired pieces :)

  5. I was wondering if I would see any painted rocks in this challenge as "kindness rocks" have been all the rage in these parts for a year or two. All of your painted pieces are so fun! How unusual that you get so precise when stressed. But, I guess that does make sense. I've never seen wood rocks - those are pretty cool. I bet you're going to do all kinds of neat things with them. Don't stress, please enjoy the process!! :D

  6. I paint rocks too. You know how when someone moves someone else’s purse they will teasingly say “What’s in here? Rocks?!?” Well... I’ve actually had to answer YES to that question — so I know your pain about picking up rocks while walking. Hahaha! So I love your solution of wooden rocks! Perfect! I like your looser style a little better, but you are a great artist either way!

  7. Love your petroglyphs, they're so full of character. The wooden pebbles are brilliant!

  8. I just love that first stone you painted. Your whimsical illustrations on the rocks show that you really love drawing and doodling. Your characters are always so fun and bring a smile to my face!

  9. Awwww.... I know, every time I see what you made, it will make me smile! I love your real as well as your whimsy style. Also I think there is a time and place for both. Maybe sometimes one need to be able to switch, just to express what is going on in one's mind? If you are stressed and everything seems to get out of control, maybe your brain tries to get any kind of control back and if it is "just" painting?

  10. Your drawings are so sweet. You have a special gift that warms my heart.

  11. I was thinking the same thing as Claire when I read how you get photo realistic when stressed but prefer something less real otherwise. Either way, your paintings are wonderful and filled with whimsy and personality.

  12. Really cute and inventive creation! Made me smile!

  13. I love your interpretation of this month's theme! All of your rock paintings are a success, even if you do see small imperfections. But I have to say that I prefer your first pic, the one that holds the door ... the face on the upright edge of the rock ... love it! Alysen.

  14. I love your contemporary take on this theme and as always your illustrations are just wonderful Laney.


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