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


Paint a pebble by imitating nature...

Often, when you paint a cactus-shaped pebble, you don't try to imitate it perfectly: what counts is no longer the cactus but the idea of a cactus... The result may therefore lack relief ... since it is only color!

Thus, in the example below, the cactus garden painted on pebbles, the main thing is not to perfectly mimic nature, but to create a pleasant scenery to look at: no trompe l'oeil, we represent the cacti 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 the natural to be bluffing. 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 "ribbed" cactus...



Tutorial painting a cactus on pebbles

Here is in 4 steps the way to paint this cactus on pebbles with more realism... Up close, you won't fool anyone, but at 1 or 2 meters distance... it's another matter !


 Step 1

You are going to paint the whole pebble with quite light green: this green corresponds to the illuminated parts of the cactus ...

Tutoriel peindre un galet cactus


 Step 2

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

Do not work in a regular way.

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 would not have been the case when mixed with black...

Tutoriel peindre un galet cactus


 Step 3

Now take some "pale yellow" paint... and, with a fairly fine brush, trace irregularly the rib lines...

Draw them just between a dark and a light band... which will give you the necessary relief ! One then has the impression that the ribs emerge on the surface of the pebble-cactus...

Tutoriel peindre u n galet cactus


Step 4

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

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

The color of the thorns 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 job

Your cactus is painted and dry... All you have to do is "plant it !

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

Happy planting!


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