A fun thing to do in the garden is to paint various animals on rocks and place them strategically in various garden spots.
Step 1: Gather Your Rocks
The best rocks to use for this craft are very smooth "river rocks". Rocks that have been polished over time by eons of water rushing over them. The goal is to have a very smooth surface on which to paint. Semi-smooth rocks can be used, but will require more finese in the painting process. Try to pick rocks that resemble your cat, or mouse, or dog, etc.
Step 2: Assemble Needed Painting Supplies
I used regular acrylic craft paint since I have many colors available. Acrylic paints dry rapidly, and are my art media of choice. You will need brushes, of course, and you can use liners, rounds, flats, shaders, etc. I use the liner brush for fine details.
Step 3: Sketch Picture on Rock
Here I've shown the steps in picking, and sketching a cat on a rock. The rock has been primed with white paint so that your pencil lines will show up in contrast. From here, it's on to the actual painting of the rock.
Step 4: Paint Rascal of Choice on Rock
Now the fun part begins! Using your painting skills, paint your pet picture on the rock. Pay attention especially to the eyes, as they can make the entire picture/sketch.
Step 5: Finish Rock by Painting on Clear Acrylic
The final step would be to protect your pet rock by applying several coats of varnish, especially if the rock is to be placed outside. I have had these rocks outside for 10 plus years, and have re-applied varnish only once, just a few years ago. They may be needing another coat this year, however. Enjoy!