Painting is typically seen on canvas, panel, or wood. But not in the case of Japanese artist Akie Nakata. She applies her masterful skills to rocks, resulting in 3D paintings that fit in the palm of her hand. From cats and dogs to birds and even tigers, she magically transforms smooth stones into adorable animals.
The key to this craft is using the natural shape of the rock as a guide. This means rendering the subject along its natural curves and angles. While that may sound limiting, Nakata uses it to her advantage and makes the shape of the rock the inspiration for her art. For instance, a pebble that has an asymmetrical slant is cleverly painted to resemble a blue-eyed kitten tilting its head to the side. Its luxurious fur coat covers the rest of the surface, highlighted by numerous brushstrokes in varying gray hues.
In another piece, Nakata highlights the multi-dimensional experience of rock painting by showing the front and back views of a bird. On one side, she utilizes the protruding top to create the head and beak, whereas on the back she painted a pair of folded wings and a small tucked tail. Likewise, Nakata was able to tackle a more complex subject—a tiger—by sourcing a stone with a long, somewhat triangular shape that could be converted into a big cat folded into a seated pose.
You can see more creative rock paintings by following Nakata on Twitter.
Japanese artist Akie Nakata creates lifelike rock paintings.
Each one resembles a palm-sized animal.
Rocks of different sizes are transformed into cats, dogs, birds, and more.
Akie Nakata: Twitter