Rock painting is such a fun kids craft! Well, it’s honestly fun for adults too, making it a great family activity. Here’s a fun way to do rock painting – use paint markers to create adorable DOODLE ROCKS. This post is loaded with fun ideas, and we’ll show you where to find great inspiration for doodling on rocks.

We also have tons of painted rock ideas on this site – you may want to check out our post on 25+ Rock Painting Ideas. We also have LEGO Painted Rocks and Star Wars Painted Rocks.

After doing so much rock painting, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best approach is to use a combination of acrylic paint (with a brush) and then paint pens for details.

Well, actually, for young kids (preschoolers and early elementary age) I would just stick to acrylic paints and brushes. Once you have kids that are old enough to create more intricate designs, it’s worth investing in some good paint pens.

We’ll get into more rock painting tips in a minute, but first let’s talk about HOW TO CREATE AWESOME DOODLES. 🙂

My 12 year old has gotten really into drawing, and he recently bought a book at Hobby Lobby called 20 Ways to Draw Everything. It’s an AWESOME book. It’s not just 20 drawing lessons – it shows you 20 versions of a TON of different things. How to draw 20 penguins, llamas, monkeys, dandelions, snowflakes, bees, etc, etc. This book shows kids how to approach the same object in different ways, and it would be perfect for learning how to design logos.

There is room in the book to practice your own sketching, but Gresham prefers to draw on his own paper and keep the book clean. The book is still a good value even if you don’t draw IN it!

Gresham has been creating pages of doodles from the book, and we decided to make some painted rocks out of the doodles.

Supplies needed for making doodle rocks:

  • Smooth, clean rocks – we used river rock purchased from Home Depot
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • Pencils
  • Paint pens – we used Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers

You can buy the paint markers individually at Hobby Lobby.

First, wash your rocks and let them dry completely.

Then paint them solid colors with acrylic paints. Choose light colors so that you can draw doodles with paint pens, but it’s more interesting if they are not all white.

After the paint dries, it’s time to add some doodles!

You’ll definitely want to draw your design in pencil first before filling it in with paint pens.

Then use the paint pens to bring your design to life! You can use our photos for inspiration, or create your own doodles.


  • Let the acrylic paint dry all the way before trying to use the paint pens!
  • Likewise, let each color of paint pen dry before switching colors. For the cactus, I colored it in with light green and then let that dry completely (several minutes) before outlining it with dark green.
  • It really helps to have pictures to look at as you create your doodles.

For the lizard, my son drew directly on an unpainted rock – we liked the color of the rock for a background for the lizard!

What doodles will you create?

Be sure to check out our other rock painting ideas for kids!


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  1. Sherri Nov 11, 2022

    To speed up the drying process we use a hairdryer. Helps avoid mess ups when impatient for the paint to dry.


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