Tips and Tools for Drawing on Rocks

The pictures of my rock doodles are some of my most popular pictures on my Instagram page. The first question I get asked is where do I find such smooth rocks? I’m lucky enough to live near a beach filled with them, but if you’re having trouble finding your own, I suggest visiting your local garden center and seeing if they sell river rocks. Once you have your rocks, it’s time to get supplies. Below is a list of my favorites. (This post contains affiliate links)

For clean, white designs, my favorite pen to use is this uni-ball signo gel pen.

For bright, detailed designs, I love the Moonlight Series gelly roll pens by Sakura America. Be sure the gelly roll pens you purchase are the bold point. The tip is actually quite small. I’ve tried the fine point tips and the ink doesn’t flow as well.
For a smooth, paint-like effect, I use extra-fine point posca paint pens. These pens also work great on wood and other surfaces.


For younger children, I really like these neon liquid chalk pens by OOLY. You can also use them on glass, chalkboards and other surfaces. The chunky tip makes drawing designs and letters easy for kids.

Sealing Your Rocks

When it comes to sealing your finished doodle rocks, my favorite sealant is this matte clear finish. I always use matte because I like to maintain the natural stone appearance as much as I can. When I use acrylic paint I typically seal with mod podge, but when I use the pens listed in this guide I always seal with a spray so that the designs don’t get smeared (I’ve learned from personal experience).

Remember, there’s no wrong way to doodle on rocks. If you’re unsure of what you want to do for your design, sketch it out on paper first. But really, the best way to create fun, unique designs is to just start drawing.

If you get a chance, head over to my Instagram page and let me know what you think about the guide. Next in the works is a guide for painting on rocks. I’ll announce it on my Instagram page when it’s finished.

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10 thoughts on “Tips and Tools for Drawing on Rocks”

    1. So glad you like them! As long as you make sure to seal them they should be okay to display outside! Definitely use a spray sealant.

  1. Sweet! Thank you so much for your suggestions. I am fortunate to live near a beach as well, and I have some smooth rocks laying around. I’ve seen the pictures of painted rocks and always wondered how it was done. Now I know, thanks to you and the links you provided 🙂

    1. Yay!! So glad you found some inspiration. I’m working on more rock posts with tips on painting as well as using other art materials on them so stay tuned :).

  2. Love this! I love doing things like this! I want to follow you on the rest of your information on painting rocks!!!

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