Paint Rounded Rocks

Rocks are a common element in both landscape and seascape paintings. Some are sharp-edged and jagged. Others seem softer and rounded. In this lesson you’ll learn how to paint those round-edged rocks with some easy techniques and by paying attention to a couple important details.  The intro video, right, tells you more.

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Painting Rounded Rocks in Watercolor

Round edged rocks are really easy, but to make them look right, there are a couple important details to get right.

Core Of The Shadow

Essentially, rounded rocks are spheres. Like all spheres, they have a particular look at the edge where the lit portion turns away into the shade.  It is almost always somewhat darker right at that edge than the rest of the shady side. That darker edge is known as the “core of the shadow” .  Not only is the core of the shadow darker, the edge separating light from shade or shadow is a soft edge. Getting it right requires the wet-into-wet technique.

We’ll practice that, as well as a few other important techniques in this lesson.

What You’ll Need:

  • Brushes – Medium and Small Rounds
  • Palette Colors – Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna
  • Papser – A small sheet of watercolor paper, about 6″ x 7″ – As always, Arches 140lb Cold Press is recommended


Related Lessons

Landscape Elements: Trees, Skies, Clouds, Water