How to paint a duckling pebble

What you will need:

Clean pebbles/stones – if they are from the beach you need to soak and rinse them to get the salt out.

Paint brushes, you’ll need one fine pointed and the other a little thicker and blunt – Don’t use really good brushes, the rough surface of the pebbles will destroy them.

Paint (Black, Dark brown, Yellow Ochre, White) – either use paint that won’t wash off (acrylic) or think about varnishing the pebble after you are done and the paint is dry.

How to paint your duckling:

Start with the yellow ochre and paint what will become the head and chest of the duckling. Try to paint quite thinly, if you leave blobs of paint to dry on the stone they can easily get peeled or scraped off making your pebble look scruffy quite quickly.

Then use the dark brown to paint the back and the dark stripe down the head. By curving the brown paint round the yellow head you make the head stand out better.

Now paint 4 little stripes of the yellow ochre over the brown to indicate where the wings are. Blend it into the brown by scuffling the paintbrush over the two colours.

Then use the white to give the head a fluffy outline and highlight where the fluff stands out round the eyes.

Blend the white fluff into the head but not the body, this helps to make the duckling look 3D. To give the duckling even more shape blend a little white into it’s back and the very top of it’s head – look at the photo to get an idea of where it should be and how it should look, keep the brown that is close to the ducklings head as dark as you can so it looks like it is in shadow.

Outline more of the duckling’s face with brown and give it eye stripes as shown in the photo.

Blend in the brown stripes that are lower on the face of the duckling so that they look like shadows. Keep the eye stripes quite dark. I’ve done some more blending of the white fluffy head outline at this point too.

Put a little dot of white in place for each eye. blend some white round the front of the duckling’s chest.

Paint the beak in black. Also use the black to add a slightly smaller dot of black inside the white for the eyes so there is a narrow white rim left around the outside to make them stand out from the brown eye stripes.

Add nostrils in white. Then paint a highlight down the beak to give it shape and add tiny dots of white as highlights in the eyes.

If you only want a one sided pebble you are done now… but if you want to give your duckling some feet you need to keep reading.

Let the paint on your pebble dry and then turn the pebble over and paint the new side with yellow ochre. Paint a rough outline of the webbed feet in brown paint.

Paint the toes in white, then blend a little white into the yellow ochre at the edge of the webs. Blend some white into the chest of the duckling too.

Blend the brown outlining into the body of the duckling so it looks like a shadow around the feet.

Now you just need to leave your duckling to dry and it is finished.

What’s next?

Ducklings look best in a family! Try painting a few yourself or maybe with friends or with your family.

Use different bright colours, metallic paints or even glitter to paint fantasy ducklings instead of realistic ones.