Over the last week I’ve been working to try and get our cobblestone (well, technically I think it’s flagstone) method just right. I’ve tested out a ton of different methods, so I thought I’d post up everything I’ve done up to this point so you can see all the iterations. I’ve tried drybrushing, washing, tracing with markers, priming/not priming, adding texture, and more. I think I finally got something pretty close to what we want, though there are still a few things to try out. I was quite surprised at how well something as simple as a gray marker has worked. I’ve been using it to add depth not only through coloring the grout, but to force a deeper imprint and fix up some areas that didn’t stamp so well.
The first thing I tested was using spray primer on the foam. I knew that this would eat away at it, but I was hoping that a light spray would eat away just enough to add some nice texture to the stones. I primed first and then used the stamp to imprint the cobblestone. As you can see, I sprayed too heavily on the sides here and it ate into the foam way too much. The middle section was “usable” but the texture from the spray was too porous and didn’t look very good. I also tested out tracing grout with some paint markers here.
On the other side of that block I tried out several different methods. For the top left section I stamped it, outlined the grout with a marker, attempted drybrushing and dabbing with a sponge, and then outlined the grout again with a grey marker. The top right section I painted black and then washed with a gray. For the bottom right section I traced the grout lines with a paint marker, painted over it with gray, then tried various drybrushing/washing techniques. I painted the middle right black, drybrushed with 2 shades of gray, and then outlined the grout with a gray marker. Finally, the bottom right section I pressed a stone into for texture, then painted it black, drybrushed gray, and outlined some grout with a gray marker.
The next several photos show a few stages of my next attempt. I traced the grout lines with a gray marker first. This helped me clearly define where the stones actually were. Also, for sections that didn’t make a deep enough imprint or where large/odd shaped stones showed up I simply hand drew a pattern in making sure to push hard enough to imprint the pattern. After that I just painted over it with black as a base.
After that I drybrushed on two shades of gray. I didn’t drybrush enough or use light enough colors, because it still looks black.
And finally, I traced the grout on the right half here with the gray marker again. You can see the difference it made. The grout lines stand out more.
I based another corner of that block black (after tracing all the grout lines). I decided to try my hand at some washing. Here are several different washes with various consistencies and colors across the two blocks.
The last three photos are a series of photos showing off the drybrushing and grout tracing after the wash. This first one is after the first drybrush with regular gray and a second drybrush with a lighter gray.
This photo shows after a third drybrush with a near white gray. I think this went a little too light.
And finally, I traced some of the grout line with the gray marker to make them stand out more. I’m starting to like the look of the marker, though I want to try washing over this with a dark gray to darken the grout some.
I think I kind of like that final test, although there are still a few things to try. I want to try the original wash with a darker gray, as well as washing a second time AFTER drybrushing. I also want to try out various shades of lighter and darker gray during drybrushing to see which ones look best. While this piece looks good, it’s just a little bit too bright. And finally I’d like to try out adding some more texture by pressing some stones on the foam before stamping it.
As always, let us know if you have any suggestions!