Mother nature is an endless source of inspiration for a lot of artists, among them is the Italian Roberto Rizzo who uses rocks as a canvas for his paintings. Rizzo attended the European Institute of Design in Milan and in the 90’s worked as an illustrator for various publishing houses, painting mainly with watercolors.
He started rock painting as a game many years ago, when he found a rock with an interesting shape and wanted to turn it into a bunny. Since then he has created thousands of creatures of all shapes and sizes: cribs, celebrities, landscapes, flower arrangements, glimpses of small towns, icebergs with penguins, portraits of people, and much more.
Earthwonders reached out to Rizzo to ask him more about his work and fascination with rocks.
“I first met the magic of rock painting in 1996. Rock painting made me discover and explore the potential of acrylic. Currently it’s my favorite medium, even when I work on canvas. Animals are by far my favorite subjects, because painting them literally helps me bring inanimate mineral matters to life. Since 1996, part of my artistic activity is dedicated to rock painting art and in 2004, I published with Mondadori the book ‘Sassi Dipinti’ which achieved remarkable editorial success in Italy,” explained the artist.
His manual consists of tutorials and step-by-step instructions on how to paint different pieces. As an expert on stone painting with a thirty-year career from naturalist illustrations to wildlife art, from painted stones to trompe l’oeils, Rizzo sells his paintings worldwide and his artworks are exhibited in several European art galleries.
” I always loved the plenty of shapes and objects Mother Nature give us. Variety of life represents my main source of inspiration while I’m painting. Animal’s kingdom especially fascinated me since I was just a child. I firmly believe artists, in their expressive and emotional journey, are bound to get back to their childish feelings and passions, because art has to be first of all pleasure and amusement.” said the artist for Earthwonders.
Rizzo walked us through his working process from the moment he finds a rock to the finish of the painting.
“The choice of the shape of the rocks is fundamental. I spend a lot of time walking on the beaches and rivers to find inspiration and choose the right stones. Once back in my studio I clean them and I start choosing a flat base color. Once dried, I start with an accurate drawing of the subject. This is a very important stage of the work. Once I am satisfied with the sketch I start painting the big areas of the body with medium sized brushes, slowly going into more and more detail with retouching brushes. To finish a medium sized piece (5/6 inches) I usually need 2/3 days of work.”
It might be quite a long process sometimes to spend all that time finding the perfect rock to the finish of the realistic painting, but we can say it’s totally worth it. Scroll down below to checkout more of Rizzo’s amazing stone paintings.