Study the shape and shade of a rock for clues to its inner nature. When you are ready to design, begin by arranging the rocks until the figure looks just right.
- White cement glue
- Non-drying clay
- Coffee stirrers
Glue stones together before painting them, attaching small-stone features, such as eyes or feet, to body parts before joining larger parts (attach tails, if using, after painting). Use cement glue for the strongest bond, but make sure a grown-up applies it in a well-ventilated area. White glues are safer for children to use, but they are less durable and best used for rock animals that will sit on shelves.
While the glue sets, support the animal parts with little cushions of nondrying clay. To make the alligator, cut-up coffee stirrers are glued to the fellow's underside for stability and painted to match the stones.
Before you start painting, sketch out a plan with pencil on paper. When it's time to paint the rocks, both tempera and acrylic paints work well; tempera looks chalkier but any messes wash off easily. Acrylic paint has a glossy finish.