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Getting Started with Acrylic Paint Markers and Pebble Painting

Hello Friends, welcome to the first in a new series of posts - these how to guides will become a regular feature here on the blog.  Coronavirus has changed the way that I can work for the very foreseeable future, I am missing being at the Studio and all my lovely friends and customers so very much, but it has also given me the perfect opportunity to restart my blog - and finally share in blog and video form my favourite creative hints and tips.Getting Started with Acrylic Markers and Pebble Painting  - Paper and Smiles Blog
So many of you have asked me to put together a post about how to get started with pebble or rock painting.  If you have ever visited the Studio you will have seen the colourful collection of pretty and unusually painted rocks outside - most of these have been created by myself or other visitors to the studio in one of the many workshops or drop in sessions that I have run.  Pebble painting is an absorbing and addictive hobby, and is actually a very simple creative activity to get started with - in this blog and accompanying YouTube video.  I will introduce you to one of my favourite sets of Acrylic Markers and then give you a few ideas for getting started with pebble painting.
You can use all sorts of paints for pebble painting - I am still experimenting, and I have lots of different paints and pens that I use in the studio and at home (that's for another blog).  
In this post I want to introduce you to one of my favourite pens sets - this set of pens is all you need to get started on your pebble painting journey!  
Cambridge Art Supplies Acrylic Paint Pens - Paper and Smiles Blog
The pens pictured above are from a company called Cambridge Art Supplies, I've been using these pens in the studio since I opened.  I originally bought two sets, they have been used to paint sacks full of pebbles; paint signs; paint on canvas and many other art projects.  They've been used by people of all ages from toddlers through to adults at creative workshops, parties even in school and on the beach!  They really have taken a hammering, and have stood the test of time - each set comes with a set of 24 replacement nibs and what's more these pens are refillable, by purchasing these over non-refillable brands you are helping to reduce some single use plastics.  I have recently bought a new set to keep and home,  I was delighted to see that all new sets now automatically come with a full set of refill inks.
So, how to do I get my hands on these amazing pens I hear you ask?  Currently the only place you can buy these pens is from Amazon. Here is my Amazon Affiliate link which will take you directly to the product.  
To buy a full set of the pens with refills follow this link https://amzn.to/2X0miFg 
Paper and Smiles - Getting Started with Pebble Painting

Now for the pebble painting!

It really couldn't be simpler to get started pebble painting with these pens - the photo above is from last summer, taking the pens with us will now always be part of our beach routine - these rocks were all painted with this set of pens, by myself, my then six year old and my reluctantly creative mum!  We sat on the beach, and in between paddling and fish and chips we painted rocks and hid them around the beach and promenade for other holiday makers to find.  It was one of my most favourite beach days - pure bliss, watching peoples faces light up as they found them was nearly as pleasurable as painting the rocks!

Here are five easy steps to get started

1 - Find (or buy) your rocks or pebbles - please check local guidelines, there are lots of beaches in the UK where it is forbidden to remove rocks.  Try digging about in your garden  for free pebbles or you can buy your pebbles from garden centres, DIY stores, craft shops and online.
2 - Thoroughly wash and dry your pebbles - any sand or grit will get on your pens, and may mean that the paint doesn't stick to the surface and may flake or crack when the paint is dry.
3 - Get Creative - once your rocks are completely dry, grab your pens and get creative - if you are stuck for inspiration look around you, search online for images, use the shape of the rock to inspire the art!  You do not have to be fantastic at art or drawing to create some beautiful pebbles, grab a pen, doodle away and see where you end up!
4 - Be patient - these pens dry really quickly, but not all Acrylic Markers do - check that any base layers are dry before you try and paint over them or the paint will smudge.
5 - These pens have interchangeable nibs - you can remove them carefully with tweezers (or your fingers if you don't mind getting messy).  The bullet tip is great for thicker lines and colouring in, this is the tip that will be in place when you get the pens.  If you want to achieve finer detail you can switch the nib around and use the chisel tip.
For more tips and to see how I went about painting some of the rocks pictured you can watch my accompanying YouTube video.
I hope that this blog has helped to inspire you to try Acrylic Paint Pens or Pebble Painting if you have not tried them before - I would love to see what you create, please feel free to tag me in any photos that you post and also let me know how you get on in the comments below.  Enjoy your creative time!

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