Zen Stone Balance

Hero shot: Image of the completed Zen Stone Balance artwork, 11" x 7" on watercolor paper.
Stacked and balanced rocks in blue, green, turquoise, and brown tones are shown in a pyramid formation in random resting places upon one another. Each stone has been stenciled with a pattern.
“Zen Stone Balance”, 11″ x 7″ on watercolor paper

To start the new year off right, I wanted to do something with a real Zen vibe, something calming, soothing, mindful, and meditative. This Zen Rock Balance piece was the perfect project to help me get into my Zen zone.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Do you have stencils that you rarely use or have never used? This is a great project to pull out any rarely used, never used, or brand new to you stencils. The sky’s the limit on this one! It’s also a great project to try those art supplies you may have had for ages and haven’t touched or have never used.

For this project, I wanted to try some new to me stencils, and some pens that I rarely use (in addition to some of my old stand by pens and stencils that I always seem to use). For this first variation, I chose to use liquid acrylic inks as watercolor in seaside tones. I created my stones individually by drawing each stone shape with water first, then dropping the inks with a paintbrush slowly and gently into each stone, watching them blend and bleed together. This is a beautiful technique to help you really slow down, release control of the outcome, take plenty of slow time, and lots of deep breathing. It’s also really fun to watch the colors bleed and blend into one another. Just look at these gorgeous colors, some of which I wanted to look like sea glass. Tip: Be sure to let the inked stones dry fully before proceeding.

For the next step, I used a myriad of stencils to fill each stone with a pattern. I used a combination of Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen brushes, Zebra Fountain Pens, and my usual Signo Uni-ball acrylic paint pens. I included the pens with each of the stencils in the photos below, so that you could see what type of pen was used for each stencil. Using a combination of stencils and pens brought different finishes to each of the stones, providing variety, depth, and dimension to the overall design. Please find following a list of the stencils and pens used in this art work:

TCW941 Rainbow Montage stencil with Pitt Artist Pen brush in Indanthrene blue 247 by Faber Castell.
TCW945 Starflower Net stencil with Pitt Artist Pen brush in Dark pthalo green 264 by Faber Castell.
TCW2312 Leaf Study Slimline stencil with Turquoise fountain pen by Zebra.
TCW2312 Leaf Study Slimline stencil with Lime Green fountain pen by Zebra.
TCW873 Orb Mandala stencil with White acrylic paint Signo UM-153 pen by Uni-ball.
TCW927 Cactus Dahlia stencil with Blue fountain pen by Zebra.
TCW810 Blooming Garden stencil with Pitt Artist Pen brush in Sky Blue 146 by Faber Castell.
TCW941 Rainbow Montage stencil with Pitt Artist Pen brush in May Green 170 by Faber Castell.
TCW810 Blooming Garden stencil with Pitt Artist Pen brush in Chromium Green Opaque 174 by Faber Castell.
TCW810 Blooming Garden stencil with White acrylic paint Signo UM-153 pen by Uni-ball.
TCW810 Blooming Garden stencil with Turquoise fountain pen by Zebra.
TCW810 Blooming Garden stencil with Gold acrylic paint Signo UM-153 pen by Uni-ball.

A black Uni-ball Signo UM-153 acrylic paint pen was used to outline each of the completed stones and to add shadowing at each stone’s resting places. Here is an image of the completed artwork, followed by some close up images of the finished artwork:

Image of the fully completed Zen Stone Balance artwork.
The completed “Zen Stone Balance” artwork, 11″ x 7″ on watercolor paper.

For my second variation, I wanted to try using our deeply saturated ColorSparx watercolor powders for the stones and earth (in place of the liquid acrylic inks). I used the same process outlined above, replacing the liquid acrylic ink drops with tiny sprinkles directly out of each of the ColorSparx earthy tones bottles. To tie this artwork together I decided to use only one stencil: TCW2312 Leaf Study Slimline stencil with the same pen brands in earthy and gold tones. I also used some beautiful rub-on transfers from 49 & Market.

Image of the fully completed "Mother Nature" variation shown in earth tones of green, yellow ochre, olive, sepia and browns. It's a montage of stone shapes, rub on transfers, and leaves that have stenciled.
“Mother Nature”, 11″ x 7″ on watercolor paper

Do you want to see this blog post as a fly-by video (1:05 min)? Hop on over to my YouTube Channel to watch it by clicking on this video link. I’d love to hear which one of these two artworks is your favorite and why, please leave me a comment, below!

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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6 thoughts on “Zen Stone Balance

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS, I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO DO SOME STONES AND THIS EXPLAINS IT ALL AND SHNOWS ME HOW TO GET BEAUTIFUL RESULTS TOO!

  2. The way you explain makes it easy to understand each step. The shadows make the pebbles look like slivers of agate rock that I have at home. So very beautiful. I’ve got to try this! thanks for the video too 🙂

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