View Full Version : Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

01-23-2007, 04:04 AM
While I haven’t had the opportunity to draw many rocks in my landscapes (yet), they can certainly add interest to any landscape. I consider them just one more opportunity to add a different texture to the scene.

There are different kinds of rock formations. From sandstone, shale, limestone, volcanic to boulders. Each one will hold different textures and ‘feel’ to them.

This lesson will be very specific and we are going to study the drawing of a close-up view of rocks. Our goal is two fold. 1) To understand the how to create the shape and depth of rocks and 2) to learn how to create textured, realistic looking rocks.

Materials Needed:

F and 2B .5 mechanical pencils
4H and 2H clutch pencils
blu-tack or kneaded eraser
battery operated eraser
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Smooth paper

Homework – Optional

If you are lucky enough to own Mike Sibley’s “Drawing Line to Life” book, I would recommend that you read Chapter 19 – Drawing Textures. His techniques on drawing bricks can be easily translated to drawing rocks. Mike's techniques differ from what I will be explaining but is an excellent base to understand.

If you haven’t purchased Mike’s book yet, save your pennies and purchase it as soon as possible. This book is THE BIBLE to drawing realistically. Not only is it a masterpiece with all the wonderful illustrations and renderings, but it will teach you techniques that will take your drawing skills to the next level.

So let’s get started….

01-23-2007, 04:06 AM
Homework – Extra Credit

Sketching… Never underestimate the power of just sketching. I seldom just sit and watch television, but when I do, I usually have a folder full of photos and I just sketch. Here is a sketch of a group of rocks….

Find some photos of rocks and sketch them. Don’t let the rest of the landscape intimidate you as you sketch the rocks. Pick out the sections that interest you and just sketch.

01-23-2007, 04:07 AM
Creating 3-dimensionality and form

At first glance they seem to be easy to draw. I find they a bit more challenging than that. They beg to have 3-dimensionality and form. Light and shading play an important roll in drawing realistic rocks.

I find the best comparison to make is to use a cube. In order to create this 3-dimensional form we have to use light and shadow. The plane with the most direct sunlight is the brightest. The plane with the no sunlight is the darkest. With a strong light, the shadow will be short and dark.

01-23-2007, 04:24 AM
Let’s relate this concept to a grouping of rocks. These rocks are drawn to emphasize the angles and planes of the rocks. The light source is to the upper right.

The second sketch softens the edges of the rocks but the planes are still very visible, creating solid 3 dimensional rocks.

I find most tutorials stop at this point when explaining how to draw rocks. Do you see the problem with this? Will these sketches really work in a realistic landscape? What’s missing or rather what is there too much of?? White. There is just not enough tone or detail to.

So let’s keep going….

01-23-2007, 04:28 AM
Here is the reference photo in both color and grayscale that we will be using for the rest of this tutorial. I like to draw and study from both images. The grayscale helps to match the tones, but color helps in the details.

01-23-2007, 04:29 AM
Step 1

We are going to draw the large boulder on the left. I start with a 2B pencil and sketch in the darkest areas. The lighter areas are sketched in using a F lead weight. Using short random marks, I concentrate on the indents and shadowed areas. Be sure to draw in all of the darkest areas in this step (I will explain further in the third step)

01-23-2007, 04:29 AM
Step 2

Once you have the preliminary details drawn, use the clutch pencil with a chisel edge to apply a smooth even layer over the surface. The lighter areas I use the 4H and use 2H in the shadowed areas. Remember the planes and angles for lighting.

01-23-2007, 04:30 AM
Step 3

Now the fun starts! Using a softer lead in the mechanical pencil, start creating the texture! I use random short marks to create pits and a rough surface. That’s right ,use a softer lead over the harder lead. We all know that using softer lead over harder lead creates a very uneven surface. But what it works wonders in creating a random, uneven texture for rocks.

The chisel edge is important as it creates a flat wide mark. To create a chisel edge, use sandpaper, angle your pencil and scrub!

Using these harder leads may be new to some of you, but they create wonderful light values that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve.

Continue building and layering. Use the blu-tack to create subtle highlights. Press the blu-tack onto an area and lift the graphite off. Use the battery operated eraser to create small strong highlights.

I mentioned in step 1 to be sure you have all your darkest areas drawn BEFORE you proceed onto step 2. The reason should be obvious. Once the harder lead is laid down, you will not be able to achieve those rich blacks!

The second image is the completed study....

01-23-2007, 04:31 AM
Assignment 1:

Practice on paper the technique of layering soft, hard, soft. Work on creating a ‘rough’ texture. Post your attempts!

Assignment 2:

Use the image provided in the steps and draw the grouping of rocks. Or find your own favorite grouping of rocks and DRAW!! Post your drawings.

A .pdf of this lesson can be found on my website at the bottom of the rock tutorial!


01-23-2007, 06:29 AM
Fantastic detailed lesson Diane! Thanks so much!:clap: :clap:

Can't wait to start!:thumbsup:

You Rock!

01-23-2007, 07:46 PM
Great lesson!!:clap: :clap: :clap: Thanks Diane!!

Say if my clouds look really hard can they count as rocks?????


01-23-2007, 08:42 PM
Hi Diane:wave:

Glad WC! is back online!

I did have trouble with the electric eraser- maybe I should put in a new eraser-though the last one was never used.:confused: I got nada with it as in highlights:( -so I just used my eraser in the click holder.

I am lucky to have Mike's book too. I adore it! Worth every dollar everyone! So I read the textures section and did a lil practicing there.
Also the rocks. I was really suprised how the soft-hard-soft technique worked! Love it! I am on your waiting list for your book too!:angel: :D

01-23-2007, 09:07 PM
Great lesson,I learned alot from your cloud tutorial too.
Will give this a try, and post. Thanks!!!!:)

01-23-2007, 11:13 PM
hi diane...couldnt get online this afternoon ...finally got to read your tutorial..and am most anxious to try this soft hard soft method..as i am a hard time with being light with my h's....thank you for all your help...tyree:wave:

frieda L
01-24-2007, 03:54 PM
not setting any standards with this one, a first exercise. Should I keep working on it, or move on to the next one? Failed or unfinished, cannot decide.
Told the kids it was a potato and they did not protest... ouch!
took long enough, though, but hopefully by the end of the week, I will create a rock!
Diane, thank you,

01-24-2007, 04:50 PM
Frieda - nice first try. Since this is just a practice why not push this one just a bit further? Take a harder lead such as 2H and sand it down so you have a flat wide edge (chisel edge) and then with a firm pressure, shade in the rock. Then you can take a kneaded eraser, regular eraser or battery eraser and lift out the highlights.

I am thinking you have just too much white showing. By covering the majority of the rock with a light tone you are giving it more depth. The white of the paper should only be reserved for the strongest highlights. The main tone of the rock is not white.

I hope this makes sense!!! I'm not sure if I explained this very well. Let me know if you have any questions or need further explanation!! :)


frieda L
01-24-2007, 06:39 PM
Hi Diane,
thank you for the tips, and yes, it makes a lot of sense, I think I understand the technique. Now, translating it onto paper...
I did keep going, a few more rocks, and pushed the first one. Hopefully it is getting more rocky. Here is the next stage...

In real life, it looks a little softer,:cool: I think, the dark parts don't stand out so much, and there is not much white left...
thank you Diane, and I am looking forward to seeing more rocks!:wave:

01-24-2007, 08:39 PM
This looks great Diane, thanks for providing this. Living in a place called affectionately 'The Rock', its rather appropriate. :)

Here's a rock I did this evening to get a feel for it. It was on a scrap of stonehenge which seems to enhance the rough texture of the stone.


01-25-2007, 11:47 AM
Staying in touch for the moment

01-25-2007, 12:31 PM
A lesson I have needed for so long. My son-in-law shakes his head when I go out collecting in the fields after he has bulldozed, bring home "treasures." This rock is about 7" long and has been on my porch for a couple of years, waiting for me to draw it. It has a different view from each side, but I had to bring it inside due to the cold weather. The lamp gives a different look from natural light.
I was drawing the set of rocks you used for reference and think they do look like rocks, though maybe not the ones you posted.

frieda L
01-25-2007, 02:32 PM
final, I think, on this one,
will do a few other rocks, and then maybe this one again...
Jeanette and connie, you guys rock! Connie, I can see why you picked up that rock... how big is it?

01-25-2007, 03:33 PM
Still working on mine..went back to reread the tutorial...judi youve done terrific on the change of values in the rocks...frieda..they do not look like potatoes:p they are coming along very good in shape and gradation...jeanette...terrific job in all the little indents..could be the paper..but its good...connie...did you say you bought your rock inside because it was cold:lol: :p teasing aside good values and shapes with this find of yours...back to the rock...tyree opps..missed one..HI LES

01-25-2007, 04:00 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2007/65063-rock_1.jpgi was going to put the rocks in on the side..and decided to stop here..i think i could have used a more gradual change from the darks to middle to light..seems a little rough..probably could use more highlights also...tyree

frieda L
01-25-2007, 05:08 PM
hi tyree, you've got great three-dimensionality in that rock, realistic...:clap:
Les, we are keeping your seat, hopefully you can jump in soon....:wave:

frieda L
01-25-2007, 06:36 PM
hmm... this is hard. when drawing these rocks, starting to put in some details, I keep losing direction. I just don't remember where I am, which is not surprising since the drawing was not totally correct to start with, ...
should I just go a lot slower? To realistically draw these rocks, should that alone take me two days? I spent a few hours on it so far...( 3 or 4)

01-25-2007, 10:19 PM
Freida - don't be concerned with how much time it takes to draw. To really concentrate, learn and understand what you are looking at, it can take days to complete one rock. That's okay. What you are learning is eye, mind and hand coordination at it's finest!

As an example I probably have 10 hours in the rock study that I did.

Now onto your rock, I can see you are doing a fine job in trying to get the jagged feel of the rocks. Let your pencil express itself as you work your way into those deep ruts. As you draw those darker areas, let the pressure of your pencil get heavier and your graphite darker. As you reach the peaks let the pressure lighten up. What you also want to do is explore different kinds of textures (pencil strokes) to 'represent' the roughness of that rock.


01-25-2007, 10:25 PM
Tyree - I agree with Frieda, you've done a good job with the shading and textures. If you use small circular strokes or light random strokes, you can even out some of that roughness. It doesn't take too much - but it looks great as is too.

Connie - great job!

I am so impressed by all of the rock studies so far! You folks are doing fantastic.


01-25-2007, 11:37 PM
Here is my attempt.. Maybe its too dark? First time I've used an electric
eraser, the first one I got a little carried away:eek:
Well here goes...http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2007/71359-rocktutorialassignment1.jpg

01-26-2007, 02:16 AM
Hi all and thanks Susan, keep em coming great to watch the talent emerging.

01-26-2007, 03:09 AM
Oops, sorry I'm late for class, just been sooo busy.

Well, here is my first attempt, but hubby reckons it looks like moss but not rocks, so I guess it's back to the drawing board for me.


01-26-2007, 09:42 AM
Judi - I see you are still cheating and using those magic pencils. As usual your drawing looks better than the reference.

frieda - looking good . Now how about some red rocks to go along with the cactus. You could do a desert landscape series. Oops see you just went from desert to ocean. Keep going. It looks good from here!!

Jeanette Here's a rock I did this evening to get a feel for it. I think you got the feel.

Connie - Love your rock. Lots of nooks and grannies.

tyree - Looking good!

Tammy Jo - FWIW I don't think it is too dark. I think it is too much mid tone.

Dot -Your post is too small for my old eyes.

Hi Les ( soon to become known as Les the Lurker.) :wave:

Okay here is my rock effort. Done on a 4.5 x 11 in scrap of Stonehenge. Using H (don't have any F) and 2B .5mm mech and 4H and 2H clutch. I like the contrast but looking at it on the screen I can see I really only got texture on the bigger rocks. Also the highlights on the top of the rocks is too even and looks more like an outline.


01-26-2007, 10:13 AM
Okay... Here is the series of rocks, worked on it for 2 hours this morning.
My rocks look "impressionistic". That electric sharpener takes some getting used to. Tyree, I like your rock very realistic, Connie, I like the second one pretty good textures!:thumbsup: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jan-2007/71359-rockstutorialassignment2.jpg

frieda L
01-26-2007, 01:41 PM
it can take days to complete one rock. That's okay

wow, that is such an eyeopener for me. A very different approach, when you settle down with a drawing that will take you weeks rather than days... I really enjoy it, too. Another breakthrough withthis lesson is the use of a chisel edge,... I had no idea!
Thank you Diane, for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Joe, you've got it! very nice rocks, love the texture.
tammy Jo, jou are having a lot of fun with the electric eraser. I haven't found one of those here yet... I am glad I found some white tak, little chicklet sized pieces, I knead them all together into a nice sized eraser.

01-26-2007, 02:08 PM
thanks diane...i will try the circular method on my rock series...frieda..i think its wonderful your spending hours on them..this last one shows great depth to it..tammy jo..great darks on both..i do like the rock series one...dot..lol..moss..looks like a rock with good tonal to me..joe..yours has a wonderful smooth blended look that i want to achieve in my next one..good job all!!! tyree:wave:

01-26-2007, 03:51 PM
Frieda, yeah its fun using the electric eraser, but its not mine, I borrowed the one from my husbands office!:eek: Wonder how long before he notices its gone!!!:lol:

01-26-2007, 05:52 PM
Hi all. I didn't realize that the rocks lesson had started, so quickly came down from the clouds and have tried a rock. I now realize how little drawing I've done and am having a bit of a struggle - but fun at the same time. Does this look like a rock to anyone? I can stand the truth :D

I think it makes a great bear's paw :lol:

frieda L
01-26-2007, 06:19 PM
an update on my rock exercise... a ong way to go,...I will follow Dianes advise and get my dark pencil into all those cracks... anyway, that is the idea. :rolleyes: So far, I am extatic, I never thought I would dare tackle this. Any criticism will be so much appreciated, I am soo hooked, and have sooo much to learn.

Joe, a desert series sounds like fun, I'll go out and find some shrubless piece of desert. Sky, rocks and cacti.:lol:
ruth, glad you made it back down... yep, that's a rock.

01-26-2007, 07:55 PM
Decided to add something to my group of rocks. It kinda looked funny just sitting there by themselves, so I finished the scenery.
Frieda: Very nice, I like the jagged textures to your rocks!!:thumbsup: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jan-2007/71359-rockstutorialcompleted.jpg

01-27-2007, 03:27 AM
Hi all, Good one joe and promising Ruth, a bit of tweeking methinks, frieda ,what a challenge.
Able to do a little sketching today propped up in armchair but still restrictive. very frustrating being helpless. Tomorrow's another day. back to the armchair now, gravity takes over.

01-27-2007, 12:13 PM
Oh, man, I'm late, but this looks very interesting. Diane I found it from your website where your amazing work is displayed. I have been somewhat busy the last few months, but I'm trying to get back to it and I'm kind of sick of portraits :) so I think I'm going to do some other things, like rocks! :)


frieda L
01-27-2007, 01:58 PM
:wave: Hi Kenny, I had been missing your portraits... figured you got caught up in the busy-ness of life...
Cannot wait to see what you do with rocks, ( and clouds... that was a great class as well)

01-27-2007, 03:09 PM
Hi every one great class Diane been busy with other things but hope to have something to post soon.

01-27-2007, 03:58 PM
Hello everyone :wave: Another great lesson, Diane! Very enjoyable....don't think I've ever given so much thought to a rock, but here my first attempt. I found more difficult than I thought it would be...maybe it's the cheap paper I am using:confused: ...ya, right.......that's it. :lol: off to practise some more...


bayside girl
01-27-2007, 05:42 PM
Hi everyone, Here's my attempt at rock drawing I think it looks flat rather than 3 dimensional . Any suggestions are welcomed. Connie M


01-27-2007, 07:36 PM
Judi - Your rocks...totally ROCK!!!! :D :clap: :clap: And look at you, goin' for brownie points with the bricks and wood. :p I also have Mike's book and have to agree, it is definately worth it!

Frieda - Great job on the first one. I finately don't see any potatoes there! And your second project....:eek: you sure don't pick the easy ones, do you! You are doing a fabulous job on those craggly jagged rocks. I won't be attempting anything that difficult for a while yet, you're an inspiration.

Jeanette - Lovely. I have to agree with Joe, I think you definately got the feel for it

Connie - Excellent tone and depth on the real life rock....and your second one looks great, too. I think the big rock has especially nice highlights and shadows. Very 3-D!

Tyree - Awesome job!!! Coming along very nicely!

Tammy Jo - Boy, you are turning out the rocks! Great job on all of them. :thumbsup:

Dot - Love the grasses and shading on the ground. It sure looks like a rock to me.

Joe - Nicely done! Love the texture you created. My favorite is the one in front of the grass....I see a little vein runnng through the midtone area and into the shadow....very well done!!!!:clap:

Ruth - Yes, I think it looks like a rock. Just need to punch up the darks a wee bit....then again, could be my monitor. I know what you mean about the struggle. I thought, how hard could it be to draw a rock? Well, serves me right I guess....heck of a lot harder than it looked, I say. But, I'm finding it fun as well :D

Connie M - Great start, you got it! :thumbsup:

Hope I didn't miss anyone?

01-27-2007, 07:46 PM
Rock group I did wacthing TV, Still working on the class project.

01-28-2007, 11:48 AM
Tune in for...... LORI vs. THE ROCK....and not the wrestler!

Boy..oh..boy...am I finding these rocks a challenge. Oh, well...if at first you don't suceed..... :evil:

Here is my second rock attempt. Using the refernce photo for this one (in case it was hard to tell :lol: ).....argh!!!!....it started out looking like a face in the rock, then after about an hour it looked flat (got carried away with the highlights)....then it started looking like a mess (got carried away with the shading).....now I think it's starting to look like a rock. Pheeeewww...how many do I have left to do on this????


Scrappie - Your TV sketching looks fabulous!!!!! Way to go!!:clap: :clap: I'm a wee bit envious to say the least.

01-29-2007, 06:24 AM
Great job everyone. Here my partially finished rocks from the reference photo. I'll be working on it as time permits, which may or may not be much.



01-29-2007, 10:56 AM
Frieda: A very ambitious photo to work from, and I think you are meeting the challenge :)
Tammy: I think this is a lovely, gentle scene. Looks as if it might belong in a child's story book.
Les: Thanks for commenting. You are right, it does need some tweaking. I think I need some more hard lead work on it.
Lori: Got a chuckle out of your "How hard can it be to draw a rock?" Your second attempt is really good, you are inspiring me to go back and work on mine.
Connie: Looking good, and three dimensional to me.
scrappie: Lovely detail in your rocks.
kenny: Looks like a masterly start :)

How come so many of you are producing lovely "groups" of rocks and I'm still struggling with one:( Ah well! Back to the drawing board!
p.s. Just noticed I've become "Immortalized", I'd better smarten up!!!

01-29-2007, 11:16 AM
Gosh, everyone is doing fantastic!! I just wanted to pop in here and let everyone know that I've been watching. I'm hoping to get caught up this week, finish getting the next tutorial ready and be able to comment a bit more!

Thanks for everyone commenting on each other's work! That really helps to get other's comments and suggestions!!!


01-29-2007, 04:09 PM
an update on my rock exercise... a ong way to go,...I will follow Dianes advise and get my dark pencil into all those cracks... anyway, that is the idea. :rolleyes: So far, I am extatic, I never thought I would dare tackle this. Any criticism will be so much appreciated, I am soo hooked, and have sooo much to learn.

Joe, a desert series sounds like fun, I'll go out and find some shrubless piece of desert. Sky, rocks and cacti.:lol:
ruth, glad you made it back down... yep, that's a rock.
frieda frieda...i think this is awesome...tyree:clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

frieda L
01-29-2007, 05:32 PM
scrappie, very very nice
blu ize I think you've got it, its three dimensional..., I am somewhat puzzled by the shadow on the left, but I am sure that once you have the neigbouring rock, it will all make sense. I really like your other one, the turtle-y one.
Ruth, thank you for the comment, and congrats on immortalization!
Kevin, I hope you will have time for this, it looks great so far
tyree, thank you so much, it was a zen exercise...
Diane, cannot wait for the next one, thanks for checking in...

I put two more days into this, don't know whether it shows at all. Somehow my photos always seem harsher than the real, I do not know why... Anyway, I like this enough to leave it as is until after the waterclass. Maybe now I should redo the first few rocks we did...

01-29-2007, 06:38 PM

How come so many of you are producing lovely "groups" of rocks and I'm still struggling with one:( Ah well! Back to the drawing board!
p.s. Just noticed I've become "Immortalized", I'd better smarten up!!!

Ruth, if you look closely at mine, you'll see there's only one "almost" finish rock. :lol:


01-29-2007, 07:02 PM
Ruth - Now that you are immortal you'll have plenty of time to draw!!!:D
freida - looking better and better!!:clap:

bayside girl - I think you just need to push the darks.

Lori - Thanks for the kind words.:wave:

scrappie - Nice work!!...and watching TV besides:thumbsup:

KAC - Nice start!:)

I was having trouble getting the texture the way I wanted so I followed Diane' advice to Judi and went back to Mike Sibley's Chapter on textures. Hope bricks count as rocks.

This was done in a 5.5x8.5 sketch book using H, 2H, HB and 2B clutch pencils and a .5 mm HB mech pencil. About 18-20 hours.

Edited to add: Not sure where that white spot in the upper left came from. It is not on the original.


frieda L
01-29-2007, 07:23 PM
those bricks sure count as rocks!
and they are:thumbsup: :clap: :thumbsup: :clap: :thumbsup: :clap: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :clap: :clap: :clap: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :clap:
(had to go back and delete two , smilies, it wouldn't post. you deserve more

01-29-2007, 09:51 PM
I'm fed up with this rock! This is my last attempt at it.

Thank you for trying to ease my discontent Kenny:) I've started a group of rocks and will see if I have any more success with that.

Lol Joe - if only I could draw like an immortal!

01-29-2007, 10:55 PM
18 plus hours is lot of time Joe, but the results are well worth it.

01-30-2007, 10:08 AM
scrappie...wonderful job..looks like its at the beach!!! lori...i so understand what your going thru..great shape and highlights youve done though...kenny...terrific shapes..good start!! joe..a very impressive brick work!!! worth your hours..ruth..congrats on the upgrade! yours has great textures in it..a very nice job id say...tyree:wave:

01-30-2007, 10:11 AM
blu ize I think you've got it, its three dimensional..., I am somewhat puzzled by the shadow on the left, but I am sure that once you have the neigbouring rock, it will all make sense. I really like your other one, the turtle-y one.

AH...yes....that dark patch in the upper left (I think that is the one you're referring to) of the rock is the start of my background :o . Still have a LOT of work to do there.....

Frieda - AWESOME job! This scene is really taking shape nicely. :clap: :clap:

Joe- Great bricks! Well worth the effort.:thumbsup:

Ruth - Excellent work on your rock! :clap: I think it looks very 3-D and rock-ish. I think it's safe to assume both of us will have a lot more landscapes with clouds involved then rocks, eh? :lol: :lol:

01-30-2007, 10:12 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jan-2007/65063-rock_series.jpg i started this last nite about 11:30..twice i left to come back and my cat was laying on it:cat: then about 2:30 ..i looked down and i had pink all over two of my rocks..tried to erase:eek: then tried to add white opaque:eek: does make it textury:p gave up at 3...think i will abandon this one and try again..realistic is hard for me..as you know:wink2: tyree

01-30-2007, 12:39 PM
Been away from class for a bit. :o and it looks like I've missed some beauties!

Joe-ty. Awesome bricks! Weren't they a lot of fun too! Your rocks rock too!:clap: :clap:

Lori-ty! I was happy with my rocks too. I think yours is a rockin!:clap:

Ruth-I think your second is better than the first-which was a very nice piece too! Fantastic!:clap:

Freida-well aren't you the ambitious one! :eek: Wonderful work!:clap: :clap:

Scrappie-welcome and those are marvelous!:clap:

Kenny! This is looking great-I know you will nail it.:clap:

Susan! I think this is great-I am seeing a lot of texture (and values!:clap: )

I hope I didn't miss anyone either.

Robin Neudorfer
01-30-2007, 01:10 PM

I decided to do a warm up today with a rock sample.
I did mine with charcoal on a small Strathmore sketchpad.

frieda L
01-30-2007, 02:08 PM
Ruth,looks good, :thumbsup: Your rock would look nice in any landscape. I think you are ready for another rock! You might have more fun on the next one,
Tyree don't abandon it before you sign it, I actually like it a lot. I was wondering when the tyree style would come out:lol: :clap:
Robin, nice to see it done in charcoal... very well done, ( I wish to be able to do warming up exercises like that, one day)

thank you for the comments on my seascape... ambitious ?,not really, it was the only rock-picture from around here I had with me at work,:rolleyes: and I thought it would keep me busy for the remainder of the class, :lol: I also hoped it would be enough practise to be able to redo these elusive rocks of our assignment.... which are a lot harder to do!!!

01-30-2007, 04:32 PM
Fantastic!! Work by all, started on this three hours ago using Starthmore300 works much better it's not done but will post.


01-30-2007, 05:09 PM
I think it's safe to assume both of us will have a lot more landscapes with clouds involved than rocks, eh? :lol: :lol:
Got it in one Lori, lol.

Thank you tyree, Lori, Judi, and frieda for your comments.

I think the water lesson is coming next frieda, just at the right time for your rocks. It will make a lovely sea/landscape.

Great lights and shadows on your own unique style tyree. I presume the cat liked it!

Your warm up is "hot" Robin - nice work.

Lovely, delicate work scrappie, and from the few darks in it, it looks as if it is going in a great direction.

01-30-2007, 06:51 PM
Ruth - Thank you. Your rock looks like a big old piece of New England granite I had in my backyard up north. :clap:
freida - Thanks. You are too kind. Appreciate all the smilies.:)
Lori - Thank you.:)
Tyree - Your landscape looks like one of those southwest canyons to me. Very nice!! :thumbsup:
Judi - Hey girl!!!! .:wave: Thanks for the kind words
Robin - Just when we were all starting to feel good about our rocks (bricks) you had to raise the bar!:eek:
scrappie - 3 hours! Wow. Very nice!! :)


01-30-2007, 07:06 PM
Gosh...you've all been so busy...I've got some catching up to do here!! Sorry I haven't commented before now!!

Tammy - way back on post #28! I don't think you are too dark at all. You've got some nice textures going there. The only thing is watch your outlines. As you build your rock you should eliminate the outline around the rock. After I use the battery eraser, I usually pencil in some of the areas again. Sometimes I slip and erase too much, but just a little pencil on the edges break up the longer lines.

Tammy regarding your second update post #32 - impressionistic? I agree and I think that is a good thing. Landscapes are all about textures. By experimenting, we can create a ton of various textures to apply to various parts of the landscape. That's what this series of lessons are really all about.

Dot - what happened to your rocks??? Don't be hiding them from us! Your rocks did not look moss at all. The only comment I wanted to make was vary the crevices a bit more with wider and tapering areas.

Ruth - definitely looks like a rock to me! I'm glad you are having fun with this! You might find there is a bit too much white left on the surface of the rock. If you use a flat (chisel point) on a harder lead such as a 2H and burnish the surface and save just a few highlights in white, the rock will seem to just emerge on the paper. (I see the bear's paw too!);)

Joe- NICE ROCKS! :clap: You've got good strong shadows that are making them just pop off the page.

Frieda - post #37 update! WAY TO GO! :clap: :clap: Wow you are doing awesome. That is one tough perspective there and you are meeting that challenge. It is looking great. Watch out for that shadow crossing the water. It looks a bit too straight-lined.

Lori - I like your rock. It has such a soft flow to the rock. The crevices have a definite 3-dimensionality to it. Very unique and I like it very much. :thumbsup:

01-30-2007, 07:22 PM
Connie M - post #44. Flat?? I don't think so! You've got the shading in the right spots. Looks like your paper may be the culprit as it looks a bit grainy. I would try using a flat chisel-edge 2H lead and try burnishing the entire surface of the rock. See if that gives you a smoother surface, then work some of the crevices in for more detail. Hope this makes sense. You've got a great start!

Scrappie - NICE DRAWING! The grouping of rocks with the weeds is awesome. Nicely done!

Lori - your description sounds so familiar! I seem to go through these stages all too often! You've definitely recovered nicely!

Kenny - great start! It's interesting to see everyone's approach is different. You have started the background around the rocks first. I have a tendency to do the background at the same time I am doing the edging around the rocks.

Frieda - on post #52 - Nicely done! I was wondering if you were going to wait until the water tutorial!!;) That's cool. I hope to give you some good pointers to finish this drawing!!!

Joe - Nice bricks. I definitely think bricks can count as rocks. The philosophy is the same - working with crevices and angles and lighting to create 3-dimensionality. They look great!

Ruth - I like your rock!! Great textures with 3-d form to it!

Tyree - WONDERFUL play with light on rocks. This is great!

Robin - I'm so glad you joined us! I had no doubt you would turn out a beautiful grouping! Nice play of light/shadows!!!

Scrappie - nice update. You have splendid sense of form with nice shadowing going on!


01-31-2007, 12:09 AM
For those of you interested, I will be posting an announcement of Diane Wright's next epic thriller "Ode to H20"--yep now that you have mastered the mystery of rocks--she's going to give you something to skip them across. Stay tuned!

01-31-2007, 02:36 PM
Nice rocks Judi!

frieda, your rock looks much more like a rock than a potato to me. In fact, I'd say that as potatoes go, it's not very realistic. ;) Your rocks are even more convincing on your second and third posts. You're brave to do the prominent rock in the surf -- I'm not sure I'd have the nerve for that. I like the crevassed and pockmarked look to the rocks in your most recent drawing.

Great rock, Jeanette!

Connie, I especially like your atmospheric-looking stacked rocks. Very nice.

Nice, solid-looking rock first Tyree. On the second, do you find that cat hair contributes interesting or realistic textures to stone surfaces? ;)

Very pleasing textures in your rock, Tammy Jo.

Exceptionally realistic rocks, Joe. Your bricks are wonderfully craggy -- they look like they belong in a story illustration.

Yours looks very much like a rock, Ruth. There's a nice sense around the bottom edge of it being partially buried and well-grounded, even without a ground. :)

Convincing 1st rock, Lori. I especially like the deep shadows in the undercut areas. Your second drawing is nicely blended and convincingly solid.

Connie M, you have some nice texture going there.

Scrappie, I know it's not in the exercise, but I like the way you contrasted the solid rocks with the sinuous plants. Nice start on your second piece, too.

Those are some massive, heavy looking rocks, Robin. Nice job!

I've done two more drawings for the cloud workshop, some for other threads, and one for this workshop, but we had a "didn't realize the camera was on the roof of the car" type accident, so it'll be a while before I can post anything anywhere. :rolleyes: Nice work everybody!

02-01-2007, 04:50 PM
Great job eveyone . I love looking at the different interpertations of the rocks.

bayside girl
02-01-2007, 06:34 PM
Here's the rest of the rocks.......the first one doesn't look so lonely now. Connie M


02-01-2007, 07:09 PM
Diane - Thank you for a great lesson and the kind words.

Alecto - Thank you.

Bayside Girl - Nice!! I really like the background.


02-01-2007, 09:17 PM
robin...terrific work as always...!!scrappy...very realistic..great start...connie...terrific texture and darks!!! great work all...tyree

02-01-2007, 09:36 PM
Looks like every ones ROCKIN :clap: along in this class. Thanks again for all the comments. There all great.
Did alittle more on my rock's.


02-01-2007, 10:38 PM
Robin-That looks terrific!:clap:

Bayside girl-Love the textures-wonderful job!:clap:

Scrappie-FAB! I see all the lil nooks and crannies-and the sunlight!!!:clap:

Thanks Alecto:)

02-04-2007, 06:34 PM
Worked it some more?


02-04-2007, 06:59 PM
WOW - scrappie those weeds look terrific! Nice job on the rocks too!!!:clap:


frieda L
02-05-2007, 01:14 PM
while awaiting the water class, I started some more rocks...
size 14x10
I wonder wonder whether the rocks are believable.
I will post the ref as well, the water and the vegetation will have to wait for more experimenting.
the reference...

frieda L
02-05-2007, 01:20 PM
scrappie, your drawing has become very lovely! not only the rocks, the grass is great as well.:clap: :clap:

02-05-2007, 01:40 PM
I wonder wonder whether the rocks are believable.

Frieda - I think they definitely look believeable. They look like rocks. Don't be afraid to punch up the contrast. The rocks in the foreground have strong shadows. If you push your darks, they will just pop right off the page.


02-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Frieda- Looks good.

frieda L
02-05-2007, 05:22 PM
thank you Diane, I will work on those darks,... a good excuse not to have to jump in the water... quite yet:evil:
scrappie, ty, see you in the zoo, by the swans

02-05-2007, 05:33 PM
This ones going to be a challenge :eek: studying the photo to figure out best place to start.

02-06-2007, 12:04 AM
last post in wrong class.

02-06-2007, 10:25 PM
scrappie...that is an unbelievably good drawing of the group of rocks...well done...tyree:wave: :clap:

02-07-2007, 04:43 PM
Glad to see that others are still working on rocks besides me.
Great rocks Connie, I love the textures on them. scrappieSo-o real looking, nice work! They look like good solid rocks to me frieda

I've done a little work on rocks assignment 2. My reference is from the top right corner of a lovely photograph of daffodils and rocks posted in the image library by Dublinah.

02-13-2007, 04:20 PM
Here is my study of rocks.


02-24-2007, 05:43 AM
HI diane this may be a dumb question but what is a macanical pencil ?thankyou from jasmine

02-24-2007, 06:04 AM
HI diane this may be a dumb question but what is a macanical pencil ?thankyou from jasmine

There are no dumb questions! A mechanical pencil is one with thin leads that are pushed out through the pencil's tip by some sort of internal mechanism. Here is a picture of one:

Hope this helps!

02-24-2007, 06:33 AM
eventhough i cant draw at this moment these are faboluse.

02-26-2007, 02:05 AM
Hi all, actually made a start on my rocks so a little tomorrow again and progress. Got some use of my drawing hand now so should be away with it.
Seems I have to see a Surgeon sometime now. What happened to youthfull health.
See you

02-26-2007, 05:26 PM
Hi Les - good to hear you are beginning to get some use in your drawing hand. At the same time, sorry to hear you have to see a surgeon - am I allowed to ask if this is for your hands? [no offense taken if I'm not :)]
Looking forward to seeing those rocks roll onto the screen!

02-26-2007, 08:08 PM
Thankyou Dave . yes thats great ive got one at home here already . thanks again from jasmine:clap:

02-27-2007, 02:19 AM
Hi Ruth, I dont think the problem is drastic, seems a number of my spinal disks are squishy as they say, causes intense pain across shoulders and or intense pins and needles down arms palms etc. The dog tripping me up didnt help. Treatment 4 times a week been a failure hence time to see a specialist.Seeing some one specializing in muscles and nerves problems Thurs, they say if they cant fix it in 1-2 sessions their unable too. Main problem been missing my concentration and inability to draw thro this, but who said life is fair anyway. great grandson knocked down a few hours ago, a 7 yr old, is in Hosp and understand will be ok but test proceeding. No more about me please, keep the piccys acoming. best therapy for sure. I am getting better, just impatient.

02-28-2007, 10:39 PM
Sorry to hear of your shoulder and arms problems, and also of your grandson's being knocked down. I hope your situation will improve under a specialist's care Les, and that your grandson is out of hospital and on the mend.
I didn't get much done yesterday as I went to the hospital for a four hour stress test. I changed doctors in September as my previous doctor is retiring, and my new doctor is following up closely on my annual check up results.
They tested my blood pressure before starting the test and it was way down from what it normally is, so I told them " I must like this place" :):)

03-05-2007, 12:20 AM
Oh dear Ruth, you have your problems as well.
Thought i would show the effort to date, Taking a long time, waiting for the pins and needles in the arms and hands to disappear.
Its a piccy I took some years ago intending to do something with it sometime.
Afraid the concentration gets disturbed somewhat, only three months of my problem to date.

03-05-2007, 12:23 AM
Oh the boy is back home, had some surgery, has a hair line pelvis fracture, bruised liver and lungs etc, massive abrasions cuts etc and beaut black eyes, lots of swelling. lucky to be alive.

03-05-2007, 12:26 AM
Oh, forgot the drawing to date.

03-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Hi Les :) You and your grandson have surely "been in the wars" as my Mother used to say. I'm glad to hear that you are both recovering.
The photograph is a very interesting one with lots of textures and different distances in it. I think you have done a marvellous job on it so far. Such fine lines on the twigs, and tiny pieces of gravel, and some lovely tones.
I had hoped to have an electric eraser by now, but it is very icy underfoot and I cannot get out very much. The one store I managed to get to on one of the rare milder days did not have one in stock (WC! needs a smilie for gnashing of teeth :D ) The forecast is for a couple more weeks and then hopefully some milder weather, meanwhile it's ideal weather for drawing indoors :)

04-07-2007, 03:46 PM
Hi Diane I'm here tooo:D

my rocks

I didn't have the H4 lead so the second sketch is not completed will be getting some next week


steps to a complete landscape


07-18-2012, 05:53 AM
Hi. This was hard for me. Not totally happy with the outcome but I guess they look like rocks! I don't have an electric eraser, maybe put one on the shopping list. What do I need to do to give these a bit more punch?http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2012/500681-rocks-001.gif The cast shadows aren't good enough I can tell that. That is supposed to be water too at the back of the rocks!!
Thanks, Lyn

07-18-2012, 08:23 AM

A battery operated eraser is less bulky and cheaper than an electric one. Staedtler has a really nice one for under $10. I use it sparingly but comes in handy for small highlights.

There are a couple of things I would like to offer. First, when drawing rocks, think angles. Each angle is hit by the light differently creating various degrees of shadow. If you think of this as you shade, your rocks will look more like rocks. You have achieved this on a number of the smaller rocks. I'd recommend emphasizing this a bit more.

Rocks also cast very strong, short shadows. By darkening these areas, will give them the punch you are looking for. Remember, use the full spectrum of values (darkest as black, lightest the white of the paper).


07-19-2012, 06:23 AM
Thankyou Diane. You are very kind to pass on all your valuable knowledge and experience. It is because of people like yourself that make WC such a wonderful resource for students like myself, so a very big thankyou for all these tutorials you have put together. Lyn

07-19-2012, 09:11 AM
You are most welcome. I had a lot of help from other artists when I started, so I am just reciprocating! ;)