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Watercolor Butterfly Painted Rock Tutorial

Watercolor butterfly rock painting ideas. I love this for garden art. This same technique would look great on stepping stones, too. #rockpainting #PaintedRockIdeas #paintedrocks #paintrock #paintedstone #rockart #stoneart #paintedstoneideas #ilovepaintedrocks #crafts #rockcrafts

Do you love butterflies? My local rock painting group recently did a butterfly rock painting challenge and this is one of the rocks I did!

I had experimented previously with using watercolor acrylic paints on rocks and loved how pretty the strokes looked for flowers and butterflies.

If butterflies are't your thing, I've still got some great tips for how to paint rocks with watercolor paints below so read on!

This is an easy beginner watercolor painting project. Even if you have never painted with watercolors before, you can totally make this simple beginner project!

If you are inspired by this painted rock project and decide to make your own, would you share? 

I'd love to have you share your painted rock creations on the I Love Painted Rocks Facebook Page. If you are willing to let me feature your rock on this website, you can submit your unique painted rock creations here.

best paints to use for painted rocksAre you new to rock painting?

Check out the I Love Painted Rocks guide to the best paints to use for rock painting --->

Rock Painting Guide 




Watercolor Butterfly Painted Rock Idea

best butterfly rock painting ideas

Before we jump straight into the tutorial, here are some frequently asked questions about this project that we can get out of the way first!

Can you paint rocks with watercolor paint?

YES!! There are a few ways you can get watercolor effects on painted rocks.

The first is by using a modified watercolor paint like the Martha Stewart Watercolor Acrylic paint I use in this tutorial. 

The secret to getting it to stick nicely to the rock (since most rocks don't absorb water like watercolor paper) is to give the rock a nice coat of chalk paint first. I like the FolkArt Home Decor Chalk paint for this.

You can also get a watercolor effect with Posca Pens. Check out how to get a watercolor effect with a Posca pen on Rock Painting 101.

How do I make this rock waterproof to hide outside?

To seal a rock painted with both chalk paint and watercolor paint, use two coats of a clear spray sealer to make it weatherproof. 

I have detailed instructions for sealing painted rocks in this article >> What Should You Use to Seal Painted Rocks.

Supplies needed for this project:

Some of the links below may be affiliate links where a purchase made after clicking will support this website without costing you extra!

Video: Watercolor Butterflies Painted Rock Project

In this video, I show you how to paint a rock with watercolor butterflies! Enjoy!
(if the video doesn't load in the space below this paragraph, you can see it on the I Love Painted Rocks facebook page instead)


Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 1: Base coat

Even if you don't normally base coat your rocks, you need to for watercolor rock painting.

Use a chalk paint for the base coat since this type of paint is lightly absorbent and will help the watercolors to stick.

Allow to dry all the way.

Pro tip: In a hurry? Use a blow dryer!

Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 2: Set up the watercolors

Set up the watercolors by adding a small blob to a plastic plate (or other reused plastic container).

If this is the first time you are using your watercolor brush, wash it with soap and water to remove the sizing and make the bristles soft.

Dip your clean brush into a cup of water and mix the water into the paint. Continue dipping and mixing until the paint is smooth, creamy, and diluted.


Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 3: Practice watercolor strokes

Use a piece of watercolor paper to practice your butterfly shaped strokes.

Start by loading your brush with paint. Move to the paper and press the tip of the brush down. As you stroke down at an angle, slowly lift the brush.

This should create a flower petal shaped stroke. Once you get this motion right, try making butterflies.

Press down more when starting the larger upper wings and less when doing the smaller lower wings.

Once you have the hang of it, it's time to move to the rock!


Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 4: Paint the rock

Load your brush with yellow paint. If desired, you can also dip the brush lightly in the pink to give the wings a multi-tone effect.

Using the same technique you practiced on paper, paint a set of butterfly wings on the rock.

Add more yellow butterflies before changing to shades of pink and purple.

Allow to dry completely.


Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 5: Add butterfly bodies and antennea

Use an extra fine tip black Posca marker to draw bodies in the middle of the butterfly wings along with antennae coming from the top of their heads.

Allow to dry completely. 


Watercolor Butterfly Rock Step 6: Seal

Once the rock is completely dry, apply two coats of a clear spray sealer to seal the rock and make it weatherproof.

Watercolor butterfly rock painting ideas. I love this for garden art. This same technique would look great on stepping stones, too. #rockpainting #PaintedRockIdeas #paintedrocks #paintrock #paintedstone #rockart #stoneart #paintedstoneideas #ilovepaintedrocks #crafts #rockcrafts

If you love this painted rocks project, don't forget to share it!

Watercolor butterfly rock painting ideas. I love this for garden art. This same technique would look great on stepping stones, too. #rockpainting #PaintedRockIdeas #paintedrocks #paintrock #paintedstone #rockart #stoneart #paintedstoneideas #ilovepaintedrocks #crafts #rockcrafts #butterfly #butterflycraft


About the Author:

Carissa Bonham is a lifelong crafter and mom of two creative boys. The owner and lead writer of both I Love Painted Rocks and Creative Green Living, she won the Craftys Award for the "Best Craft Blogger" category in 2016 and the ShiftCon award for "Best DIY blogger" in 2018. Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. 

Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or on Facebook.

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