Monday, April 22, 2013

Colour Love

Hello everyone! This week we are all about colour and colouring at Simon Says Stamp and Show, with our challenge 'Colour Love'. Don't miss all the tips and tricks from the design team members this week.

I did a colouring tutorial, using one stamp and colouring it with six different mediums: dye ink, watercolour paint, watercolour pencils, alcohol inks, coloured pencils and distress markers. I wanted to show that you can achieve both different and similar results with the colouring medium you have at hand, and decided to use similar colours on all the examples. I ended up making eight cards. Let's get started:

Dye ink on glossy cardstock:

I want to start by showing my favorite method of colouring these types of scenic stamps, and also the method I use for most of my scenic stamping pieces. I stamped the Darkroom Door Country Cottage on glossy cardstock with Archival Jet Black ink and coloured it with dye inks, using a Colorbox Stylus tool, which is a really great inking tool. Although I love my Tim Holtz ink blending tool and use it every day, for more precise colouring in smaller areas, the Colorbox Stylus Tool works great. The tool has two ends and can be used with a range of differently shaped sponge tips that are easily exchangeable. My favourite is the oval tip. The sponges are high quality, hold a lot of ink, and last a long time. It's a real gem of a tool.

This photo was tricky to take since I was alone and my camera is very hard to use holding it only in my left hand. Always start with the lighest shade of dye inks and gradually build up darker colours. You will not get the same result, and it will be much harder to get an even inking, if you start with a dark ink. I like using the Adirondack Lights inks for my first layers, but a colour like Distress Ink Tumbled Glass would work well too. Start off the edge of the scene and dab or drag ink onto the scene. Don't place the tool in the middle of the area you want to colour and press down because all you will get then is an impression of the shape of the tool. Turn it on your side and you can ink a very small area precisely. I have another tutorial for this here.

This layer of ink is very light, and that is what we are looking for, it gives a base for the other darker inks.

Continue the same way with a slightly darker blue ink. I used Adirondack Stonewashed (or try Distress Ink Weathered Wood or Stormy Sky). Don't cover up all the inking you did in your previous layer.

Continue with a darker blue ink, I used Distress Ink Faded Jeans, only around the edges, since I wanted this sky to be a bright spring sky.

Continue with the grass and tree areas, starting with a light green dye ink. I like to use Adirondack Willow as my first green layer.

Continue with two darker shades of green ink. I used Peeled Paint and Forest Moss. The latter ink has a brown tone, which often looks nice on grass and trees. I applied Forest Moss to the large tree too, but used a Ranger craft nib for that. 

To colour the cottage, I used brown inks for the cottage and blue inks for the tinned roof, using the same principle of starting with the lightest ink: Antique Linen, then Frayed Burlap, Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain. I used the craft nib on the cottage to create the look of wood planks. Here you can see it with its holder, making it a great tool for the tiny places.

After the ink dried, it goes a bit paler, and I like to go over it again with some of the colours, to give it more punch. After that, I often add highlights and flowers with gel pens, which can really bring life to a scene. I made two of these.

Finally, I often dry brush a bit of white pigment ink onto the scene, to create mist and also some shine. I made a few clouds with it and added some underneath the cottage and at the base of the tree. A light hand is important, dab off the ink on a paper towel first. I mist these scenes with a fixative when I am finished.

The second finished glossy card, I mounted the scene on a white mat.

Distress Markers on Specialty Stamping Paper:

This type of detailed stamp looks great stamped with Distress Markers. I used Ranger's Specialty Stamping Paper, which is a matte coated paper. The inks sink underneath the matte coating, giving them a sort of misty and dreamy look.

Apply Distress Markers to the stamp, starting with the lightest shades. Hold the marker on its side as shown, to protect the tip from the texture of the stamp. I used quite many shades of green and brown to get a varied impression.

To make sure you have applied ink everywhere, hold the stamp up at an angle to the light and make sure it is shiny everywhere.
Huff on the stamp to activitate the inks and stamp on Specialty Stamping Paper. I particularly liked the varied greens in the grass. If you want to, you can sponge on a bit of blue ink in the sky, but I decided to leave it the white of the paper.

Alcohol ink on acetate:
Stamp the cottage on acetate or clear packaging with Archival Jet Black or Stazon Jet Black ink.

Turn the acetate around, since the stamped image will smear if you apply alcohol inks on top of it. I used an Ranger alcohol fillable marker to apply the ink. I only have one pen, so I dropped a few drops of each colour alcohol ink into a palette and picked the ink up from there. To get lighter colours, also pick up a bit of ink blending solution. Also use ink blending solution to clean the nib between colours, but if you start with the lightest colours, this is only necessary when you switch between different colour families.

The finished scene, I listed all the inks I used in the supply list.

The finished alcohol inked card. I mounted the acetate panel on script paper, since it wouldn't have looked good directly on the kraft-core background.

Watercolour paint on watercolour paper:

I stamped the image on watercolour paper. Because the paper is textured and this is a detailed stamp, the texture shows through the stamping.

Mix the colours of paint that you want to use in a palette. I like to use watercolour pans, especially for these small projects. You can get a similar result by smearing distress inks on your craft sheet and misting them with water.

Start by wetting the sky area with clean water, using a clean paintbrush. Then drop in blue paint, making it a bit darker at the top. Hold the paper at an angle and see the paint spread on the wet paper. Leave some of the paper white for clouds.

Wet the grass with clean water and paint with different shades of green. One of the important things with watercolour is not to fiddle around too much, paint quickly and leave to dry. Paint the cabin with brown paint.

Paint the roof blue and brown and paint the tree green and brown. Use a fine brush to add some colour to the thin branches of the tree.

I made two watercolour cards, this is the second one.

Watercolour pencils on smooth paper:

For this card, I stamped the image on smooth white paper and coloured with watercolour pencils. After colouring, I used clean water and a paint brush to create a watercolour look. I took care not to use too much water and not to go over an area many times, since this paper would not be able to handle that much water.

Coloured pencils on smooth paper:

The final card was stamped on smooth cream cardstock and coloured with coloured pencils. I blended the colours slightly with a white pencil and an eraser.

To finish all the cards, I stamped a sentiment from Tim Holtz Simple Sayings set (love it), on Tattered Banners that had been die cut from ledger paper. Each card got a different sentiment. For the backgrounds, I embossed kraft-core cardstock in different embossing folders and sanded to reveal the kraft.

Join us this week and show us projects of one or more methods of applying colour and you could be the lucky one to win a $50 gift voucher from our great sponsor Simon Says Stamp.

Thank you for stopping by!

Happy colouring!


Stamps: Darkroom Door Country Cottage; Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz Simple Sayings
Embossing folders: Sizzix: Bottlecap & Rulers, Bricked & Woodgrain, Bubble & Honeycomb, Bookcovers, Distressed Frame & Postal, Dot Matrix & Gridlock, Travel Signs Set    
Dies: Sizzix: Tattered Banners
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black; Adirondack: Aqua, Stonewashed, Willow; Distress Ink: Stormy Sky, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Walnut Stain, Faded Jeans, Antique Linen, Gathered Twigs, Frayed Burlap; Colorbox Frost White
Markers: Distress Ink markers: Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Forest Moss, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky
Alcohol ink: Ranger Adirondack: Lettuce, Pesto, Meadow, Stonewashed, Sailboat Blue, Latte, Ginger, Espresso, Ink Blending Solution
Surfaces: Ranger Glossy cardstock; Ranger Specialty Stamping paperCore'dinations Tim Holtz kraft-core cardstock; acetate; Neenah Solar White cardstock; watercolour paper; 7Gypsies Postale Ledger 8x8 paper pack
Embellishments: Hemptique natural hemp twine
Pencils and Paint: Derwent Artist coloured pencils; Derwent watercolour pencils; Daler & Rowney watercolours
Tools: Colorbox Stylus Tool; Tim Holtz mini attacher; Ranger Alcohol ink fillable marker, Ranger Craft Nibs, Ranger Craft Nib Holder


  1. Fantastic cards n coloring and Such a detailed tutorial !Thanks for sharing combination of different type of colors on various papers ,it is very helpful for starters like me.

  2. These are so beautiful! It's amazing how different the same stamped image looks based on your coloring techniques.

  3. What a fantastic exploration of the colouring mediums, Anna-Karin, with your always impeccable technique and attention to detail... a wonderful, inspirational, informative post - thank you!
    Alison x

  4. Beautiful scene! Love your tutorial showing the different types of coloring you can do and how it looks. Love them all!

  5. Fabulous scenes and cards! Thank you for this amazing tutorial on different inks and papers- very very informative!

  6. Anna Karin...your card...actually all of them are gorgeous. I love the variance in colors and applications that you've so beautifully done on this post. Thank you for the in depth tutorial. I learned alot! I love your techniques. This card is absolutely gorgeous. I so love how you've blended the colors to create such a serene scene. <3 Candy

  7. What a fantastic tutorial Anna-Karin! I love all of the cards you made and especially love the snowy look of the first card using the white pigment ink! Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

  8. They are ALL so very beautiful. Thanks for explaining all the details!


  9. Fabulous tutorial and wonderful colouring techniques. Absolutely love your scene and the different colouring techniques . Wonderful. Tracy x

  10. amazing how you show it to colouring.
    thank you for that.
    you made beautiful cards with the stamp and different technique.
    wow, really great done.!

  11. Really beautiful coloring, Anna-Karin! I love the way you framed these pieces too, so cool!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  12. Awesome work! Love all of your different ideas for this image. Also love the cards you made with this stamp. I just had to come on over to your blog after seeing you on Simon Says Stamp. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  13. Ohh Anna-Karin! This is amazing! All the different ways of coloring in that stamp! You're so good at all those techniques! Fabulous! Thanks for the detailed tutorials! Hugs, Sandra

  14. Really fabulous cards! They all turned out wonderfully.

  15. What a wonderful tutorial. This was very helpful. Thank You for sharing.

  16. THANK YOU!
    This is wonderful, appreciate you taking the time to share all these tips with us!
    Sandra ltb

  17. Thank you for wonderful information and beautiful inspiration!

  18. Ok, you are AMAZING!!! I seriously thought it was a photograph when I saw it on the SSS blog. I was baffled. You are one very, very talented lady!!! Holy cow, these are just mind boggling good! :)

  19. You are such a talent and wealth of information Professor!!! I love all the different samples here and different media you used for the color! The image is fabulous and your coloration of it is exceptional! You spin a scene like no one else! KUDOS!!!!

  20. Totally stunning! And thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  21. you just blow me away - every. single. time!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!