How to proceed for a cactus-pebble in trompe-l'oeil...


Painting a pebble in imitation of nature...

Often, when we paint a pebble in the shape of a cactus, we do not try to imitate it perfectly: what counts is not the cactus but the idea of cactus... The result may therefore lack relief ... since it is only color!

Thus, in the example below, the garden of cactus painted on pebbles, the main thing is not to mimic perfectly the nature, but to create a pleasant decoration to look at: no trompe l'oeil, we represent the cactus as a child would do, from memory and not by imitating nature... And the result is very pleasant...

But if you want to go "a little further" and represent nature "a little more faithfully" you can obtain, with a little acrylic color and a good support, a painted pebble that gives a result close enough to nature to be stunning. Some pebble painting specialists are masters in the art of imitating nature!

So I propose you a simple tutorial to imitate, by painting them on pebbles, the cactus "with ribs"...

Tutorial to paint a cactus on pebbles

Here are 4 steps to paint this cactus on pebbles with more realism... Up close, you won't fool anyone, but from 1 or 2 meters away... it's another matter!

 Step 1

Vous allez peindre le galet en entier avec du vert assez clair : ce vert correspond aux parties éclairées du cactus...

Tutoriel peindre un galet cactus

Step 2

Before the background is dry, you will paint darker stripes over the fresh green paint. This way they will blend into each other without a clear demarcation...

Do not work in a regular pattern.

Remember, to 'darken' a green paint, do not mix with 'black'... Simply add a touch of red (the complementary of green") which will give you a "shaded" green that a mixture with black would not have given...

Tutoriel peindre un galet cactus

Step 3

Now take some "light yellow" paint... and, with a thin brush, draw the rib lines irregularly...

Draw them just between a dark and a light band... which will give you the necessary relief! It looks like the ribs are showing on the surface of the cactus pebble

Tutoriel peindre u n galet cactus

Step 4

Now take a fine brush so that you have very fine spines... They are just suggested.

Draw a larger dot on the rib line and start from this point to draw the spines.

The color of the spines is variable: from very light beige to dark beige... work lightly with soft gestures... Vary the colors... Do not overdo it : 4 or 5 per package of thorns...

Tutoriel peindre un galet cactus

Finish the work

Your cactus is painted and dry... You just have to "plant" it !

A small terracotta pot recovered in the garden... that you will have painted. Pour sand in the pot and place your cactus. Finish with small pebbles or coarse gravel!

Good planting !