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.

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

This is a Premium Learning Library Lesson.  Access The Entire Library  With a Premium Membership – Cancel or Pause  at any time.  

More Premium Member Info Here.

 Already a Premium Member? Login Below

Just browsing? Check out these FREE lessons.

Related Lessons

Painting Angular, Hard-edged Rocks in Watercolor

Rocks are a common element in both landscape and seascape paintings.

They can seem smooth and rounded or sharp-edged and jagged.  In this lesson you’ll learn how to paint those sharp-edged rocks using easy techniques  The intro video, right, tells you more.

As always, a few basic watercolor techniques, used in the right way and in the right places are all you need to create, great looking, hard-edged rocks. This lesson shows how.

Quiet Seascape From A Sketch

quiet seascape scene in watercolorIn this lesson, we start with the completed sketch from the lesson above and develop it into a finished seascape painting. 

We’ll develop the unfinished sky and foreground, show light and form on the rocks and create reflections in the water.

The subject is a quiet seascape scene with gentle light falling on the water and rocks.  The quick sketch may seem frantic and off-putting. Finishing it off is a skill-builder of its own – using a deliberate, thoughtful approach with washes and mark making to create solid form and structure to the rocks and enhancing the reflections in the water.

Landscape Painting Lessons

rural scene with barn watercolor painting

Seascape Painting Lessons

Still Life & Floral Painting Lessons