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Pencil colouring over coloured backgrounds

Have you tried adding additional coloured detail when stamping on inky backgrounds? It’s a great way to use the colours from your background to highlight and bring out your stamped image and pencils are a perfect way to do this. What’s more, with a textured surface such as distress watercolour paper you have the perfect surface and tooth for the pencil to grab on to. 


This card was the card I gave to my mum on Mother’s day here in the UK which was last Sunday. However, I couldn’t show you it till now as didn’t want to ruin the surprise! It was a perfect stamp though as she loves Tulips


video tutorial

Pencil colouring over coloured backgrounds

written tutorial

Pencil colouring over coloured backgrounds

To start off, I have trimmed a sheet of distress watercolour down into 4 and using one of the pieces for the background.  I have a selection of Catherine Pooler Inks to use, however you can use a variety of inks for this technique – regular distress inks or the oxides would work just as well.

I’m taking each colour and squishing the pad onto a large acrylic block to transfer the ink and I went for an Ombre look. I used Seafoam as the lightest colour, then Garden party, All the Jazz and Daydream as the darkest colour. To help the inks blend, as well as to transfer onto the card and to give the look of watercolour background look, I spritzed the acrylic block well with clear water. Make sure you add enough water to make the inks move with one another.

Then position the block onto your watercolour paper with the ink side facing down. Leave this on for about 15 seconds to allow the ink colour to soak in and transfer for a vivid bold look. Next, remove the acrylic block. Depending on how much water is on the block may mean it will pool as you remove it from your paper. You can use a paper towel to mop up any excess. I also rotated the panel to move the ink around, but I wasn’t happy that look. So I just spritzed with some more water to remove the harsh lines that were forming.

I hadn’t positioned the block straight on my watercolour paper, so to fix this mistake, I just trimmed the panel down removing the white border. Make sure you heat set the panel well or leave to dry overnight before you heat emboss your image. I tend to check if the panel is dry by sprinkling embossing powder over the top and if there is moisture left on the card it will stick to it.

The panel was placed in my stamping platform to get a good impression as the paper is textured so I could stamp it several times for a clean image. I used my clear ultra slow drying embossing ink from WOW! To stamp the tulips and I heat embossed this in Opaque Bright white embossing powder from WOW! The white really pops against the inky background.

Now we’re ready to add the coloured details. I used Faber Castel polychromos pencils as I love how they blend, but you can use any pencils you have to hand or prefer. I’m no expert when it comes to colouring with pencils, but I started with my darkest colour at the base of the petals, adding a basic layer of a dark, medium and light colour before going back with another layer to blend the colours together.

Once all the colouring was complete, I used a white gel pen to touch up my heat embossing where I may have gotten some colour on it. I foam mounted this panel onto a 5 by 7 card base and added a heat embossed ‘for you’ in the label on the boquet – this sentiment is from the Timeless Tulip stamp set. Off screen, I also added a few sequins to embellish the card.

Pencil colouring over coloured backgrounds


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Bumbleberry Papercrafts

wHERE YOU’LL FIND Full details on how I made this card AND LINKS TO SUPPLIES

Supplies sent to me as part of my various Design teams creative work:
  • Timeless Tulips – Mamma Elephant
  • Clear Ultra Slow Drying Embossing Ink – WOW! Embossing Powder
  • Opaque Bright White Embossing Powder – WOW! Embossing Powder
Supplies purchased at my own expense:
  • Seafoam ink – Catherine Pooler Designs
  • Garden Party ink – Catherine Pooler Designs
  • All That Jazz – Catherine Pooler Designs
  • Daydream – Catherine Pooler Designs
  • Faber Castel Polychromos – 101,110,149,167,168
  • Sequins: Let’s Be Mermaids & Aurora Borealis – Lucy’s Cards

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Design team work:


This post was produced as part of my design team work for Bumbleberry Papercrafts have not been paid to make this post, but I am given supplies from Bumbleberry Papercrafts to use. However, I create projects with creative control and produce projects I am proud of and with products that I love.   The information provided is based on my own personal experience – I am not an expert. 

About Me

Hi, I am Verity and I live in the UK.  I love to create beautiful projects whenever I can. My main passion lies with Papercrafting, however, I will always turn my hand to a new project or craft any chance I get.


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