Have you ever tried water color pencils on rocks? I spotted these beautiful heart rocks over on Facebook and decided to ask Shelley to create us a tutorial. Lucky for us, she said YES!

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Shelley has been painting stones since 2012. You can spot her tutorials on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram! If you are in any rock painting groups you have probably run into someone raving about the beautiful stones she sells. We have linked to them before they are perfect for rock painting!

Check out her Etsy Shop!! She sells a variety of rocks, but in particular Santorini Stones. Which are perfect for this tutorial.

Supplies for Water Color Pencil Rocks

Not all water color pencils are created equal…

What’s so great about Derwent Inktense pencils? The center of the pencil is lightfast INK! No color washout, no fading, ability to create DEEP and bold hues that colored pencils and standard watercolor pencils don’t provide.

A FAQ regarding these: will standard water colored pencils do the same? Pencils that do not have ink in the center will give light/pastels rather than bold and deep color.
There’s no beating around the bush, it’s a big purchase. Luckily there are a lot of different pack sizes to pick from. I’ve been using my pencils since 2018 and most don’t even look like they have been sharpened! A little goes a long way with these! 

Derwent recently released a new color set ! The new pack of 100 contains all of the new hues!  I had the 72 set and bought the new colors separately 
Many people are unsure about these because it’s a medium they haven’t tried. To TRY before you buy the whole set, you can get singles at Joann and Blick online to see if this is a medium you like working with.

How to Paint Stones with Water Color Pencils

How to paint stones with water color pencils step by step

Follow along and see how to paint these beautiful water color hearts with colored pencils.


  1. Draw a heart with a regular pencil.
  2. Add Ink Black Inktense pencil to edge. No need to press hard! Light pencil strokes make a HUGE amount of color!
  3. Just on the inside of our black edge let’s add deep violet.
  4. Inside our deep violet let’s add mauve to get an ombre look when we transition into our center color.
  5. This will be our bright center! Let’s add Fuschia.
  6. I will share step by step pictures of the blending, but there is also a video below you can check out to see the colors moving. Start with the center lightest color with your water color brush.
  7. Work your way towards the outer edge letting the colors blend together.
  8. One color at a time. Alway use the tip of your brush toward the outer edge of the heart.
  9. Doing the black last
  10. Slow and stedy with the black so it doesn't bleed too much into the color.
  11. Outline with Posca 1MR Black
  12. Choose your background colors.
  13. Scribble colors through the background in small spaces in random order, we will blend these to make an abstract sky.
  14. Continue your scribbles with your colors until most of your background is covered with bits of color.
  15. Start on one color and work your way around the rock.
  16. You can occationally dab off the tip of your brush to clear one color.
  17. Dangles and chains! Using our Cactus pen let’s make some hanging brag garland and add some designs.
  18. Using Posca 1MR and a cactus pen let’s add some little bows and dangling hearts!
  19. Now let’s doodle some hearts and xoxo! This is a chance to be creative and have fun!

Below is a quick video of the process. Different colors on the heart, same technique.


You can play around with lots of different color combinations! Just keep in mind it is best to blend from light in the center to dark on the edges.

Let your hearts dry overnight and then seal them! You can seal your rocks with resin to get this nice glassy look. -Shelley

I’m so glad Shelly created this tutorial for our site! Don’t forget to check out her Etsy Shop!! For Santorini stones and more!

Pin this rock painting idea to your favorite Pinterest board!

I hope you have a chance to try this painting tutorial! Take a minute and pin it to share and save it for later!