Magnolia Stepping Stone

By  Sue Beckerton 

Step into a garden of floral bloom! Paint one or several ordinary stepping stones with beautiful magnolia blooms to create a pathway of utter beauty!

  • Magnolia Stepping Stone
  • Painting Steps


  • Cement stepping stone, 14" or 16" (available through your local home improvement stores)


  • FM Dynasty brushes: Black Gold, Series 206: Shader, #4, #10, #14; Flat Wash, 3/4"; Dagger, 1/4"; Chisel Blender, #8, #10; Round, #1, #14; Script, #2; Liner, #20/0; Fan, #4; Filbert, Oval Wash, 3/4"; Decorator Collection: Mini Mop, Series 400, 1/2"; Dry Brush, Series 200, #10, #12
  • Foam roller, 2"
  • DecoArt: Americana Acrylics: Asphaltum, Espresso, Light Mocha, Mink Tan, Mississippi Mud, Soft Black, Warm White; Traditions Artist Acylics: Burnt Umber, Chrome Green Hue, Hansa Yellow, Light Violet, Pine Green, Raw Umber, Red Violet, Titanium White, Yellow Green Light, Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Multi Purpose Sealer
  • Exterior varnish, satin

Basic Supplies

  • pencil, transfer paper, sandpaper, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern - Magnolia Stepping Stone

  • Artist's Tip
  • 1. All drybrushing is done using chisel blender. Use shaders or flat wash to do most floats; pounce mop brush over water's edge to soften. All line work is done using liners, thinned with water and blotting tip to "sharpen" point. To "damp and tickle" highlight, dampen surface area with water; while wet, tickle with liner and allowing paint to dance in water.
  • Preparation
  • 1. Sand top of stepping stone with coarse sandpaper to remove rough edges; wipe dust. Heavily seal all sides with multi-purpose sealer, making sure to get into all crevices and dents; allow to cure overnight. Sand lightly.
  • 2. For faux stone background, squirt out squiggles of Lt. Mocha, Mink Tan, and Espresso directly onto surface top. Use foam roller to spread and blend slightly to achieve a mottled look. Let dry. Hold fan brush 12" from surface and spatter fine mist of thinned Soft Black and Lt. Mocha over surface.
  • 3. Print out pattern; transfer basic pattern lines onto surface. (Transfer details as needed.)
  • Paint Mixes
  • 1. Dark Green Mix = Yellow Oxide + Chrome Green Hue + Pine Green (1:1:1)
  • 2. Medium Green Mix = Yellow Oxide + Yellow Green Lt. + Hansa Yellow (3:2:2)
  • 3. Light Green Mix = Medium Green Mix + Warm White (1:1)
  • 4. Very Dark Green Mix = Dark Green Mix + Raw Umber + Asphaltum (2:1:1)
  • 5. Very Light Violet Mix = Titanium White + Lt. Violet (2:1)
  • 6. Soft Violet Mix = Titanium White + Very Light Violet Mix (4:1)
  • 7. Brown Mix = Burnt Umber + Yellow Oxide (2:1)
  • 8. Dark Violet Mix = Lt. Violet + Burnt Umber + Red Violet (1:1:1/2)
  • 9. Dark Plum Mix = Red Violet + Burnt Umber (1:1)
  • 10. Refer to worksheet.

  • Stones
  • 1. Use #2 script liner to pull soft thinned Lt. Mocha veins: lay brush down parallel to stone and pull sideways to achieve interesting shapes. Use 20/0 liner to add tiny Mississippi Mud and Lt. Mocha veins; add bold Soft Black cracks. (Note: Light source is coming from left.) Float shades around all stones with Mississippi Mud; darken right side. Use Mississippi Mud to drybrush highlights on left side of each stone; brighten with hit or miss float.
  • Grout
  • 1. Base with mix of Mississippi Mud + Espresso (1:1). Float Soft Black all around each stone onto grout; darken right sides. Drybrush soft highlights through center of grout with brush mix of Mississippi Mud and Lt. Mocha.
  • Basecoating
  • 1. Base branches with Brown Mix. Base large leaves Dark Green Mix, medium leaves Medium Green Mix, and little sepals Light Green Mix. Base top flower Very Light Violet Mix, lower flower Soft Violet Mix, and both buds Lt. Violet.
  • 2. Cast shadows on stones behind flowers and leaves with soft washes of Raw Umber. Float some crooks and crannies to darken.
  • Shading and Highlighting
  • 1. Branches: Use brush mix of Brown Mix and Warm White to add little dimples. Shade with brush mix of Brown Mix and Asphaltum. Dry brush Warm White highlights.
  • 2. Leaves: For little sepals, shade Medium Green Mix. For medium leaves, drybrush Dark Green Mix down center; darken with float. Drybrush Light Green Mix highlights; brighten with damp and tickle Warm White highlight. For large leaves, drybrush Very Dark Green Mix down center; darken with float. Drybrush Light Green Mix highlight and again with brush mix of Warm White; brighten with damp and tickle Warm White final highlight. Paint all veins with brush mix of Very Dark Green Mix + Asphaltum (1:1)
  • 3. Top Magnolia: Float Lt. Violet to separate petals; drybrush dark center veins on two front petals. Use Dark Violet Mix to shade inside of flower; float highlights with brush mix of Soft Violet Mix + Warm White (1:1). Brighten with Warm White float.
  • 4. Lower Magnolia: Wash two front under petals with Very Light Violet Mix. Base flip turns Warm White. Use Lt. Violet to dry brush shading inside larger petals; float to divide petals. Highlight petals with brush mix of Very Light Violet Mix and Warm White. Darken inside crevices with Dark Violet Mix and again with Dark Plum Mix. Outline petals with brush mix of Soft Violet Mix and Warm White.
  • 5. Buds: Shade Dark Plum Mix. Dry brush Very Light Violet Mix highlights; repeat with a touch of Warm White.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Apply several varnish coats. (Note: It is recommended to store stone indoors during winter months.)