Category Archives: Colouring Tutorial

Aquatint background

This is a really fun background to make with the advantage that there really is no right or wrong result – marvellous!

I am using:

  • SN Aquatints no’s 02, 15 and 56
  • Sheena Stamping card
  • Water

Step 1 – Start with your blank card.

I have cut this down to bigger than I need partly so that I can tape it down, but mostly so that I can be sure of the design going all the way to the edge without any finger prints sneaking in.


Step 2 – Spritz!

Lightly spritz the card with water. This means that you will already have a movable base layer and is also another reason for taping the card as this will reduce the curve in the card (once wetted) while you are working on it.

Step 3 – Swirl

Use a paintbrush to start adding the colours to your card. They can be in any order and layered as many times as you need. The main aim here is to make sure that you end up without any hard edges.

Step 4 – Spritz again!

Another very light layer, this is to keep the tints mobile for step 5

Step 5 – Smoodge

Okay, so not technically  a real word, but I don’t care about that! lift the edges of your craft mat (I use a glass mat which stays rigid) and tilt the card. The tints will slowly run into each other creating some nice patterns and swirly bits.

Step 6 – Spritz again!

No really – assuming you are happy with the smoodge you can either add in more tints and re-smoodge, or just add more tint where you want the colour a bit stronger; as long as you have blended the edges another smoodge is optional. This final spritz is to add the dot texture. For this particular background I have not gone in with kitchen roll to lift the colour, I have just spritzed and then left it alone, which gives you a lighter version of whichever colour you have laid down producing a nice mottled effect.image

At this point you can either leave it to dry naturally or cheat with a heat gun. I cheated for this one because it is for a specific card and I wanted to get cracking with the rest of it 😉

This tutorial was specifically for the background so I will leave it here; I may talk about what I did next in another post.




Twinkling Lights

This is a quick and easy card, but very effective. Please note the picture is slightly brighter than the original as I had to use the flash on my camera to take a halfway decent image.

Kit List:

  • Sheena Stamping Card
  • Twinkling lights embossing folder
  • Twinkling lights Die
  • Distress inks
  • Sentiment stamp
  • Black Card
  • Versamark/embossing powder
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Dry wet-wipe
  • Spectrum Noir pens
  • Tag Dies


1.) Run your Sheena stamping card through your embossing machine. I had already cut my card to size because I already knew what I wanted to do with it, however if you want to play it safe, use a bigger piece of card so that you can line it up to the hinge edge of the folder and then cut is to the required size.

2.) Do a blanket ‘wash’ of background colour. I have use Antique linen and applied it using a soft brush, this is just to take away the stark whiteness of the card to give it a more rosy glow.

3) Using your dry wet-wipe, apply circular areas of colour to each of the lights. Remember to dab off the excess before applying to you card; for each one I started on the light itself as this was where the colour needed to be strongest and then moved outwards to where I wanted the lighter glow. The colours I used, were: Candied Apple; Lucky Clover; Pumpkin and Chipped Sapphire. Bear in mind that to keep the colours separate you will need to change which bit of the wet-wipe you are using when you change colour!

4) Ink up the light strings. There are lots of different ways to do this, however I chose to highlight the stings a little with Hickory Smoke distress ink. I have also kept in uneven rather than a flat colour to indicate light and shade. I haven’t done anything extra with the mini-lights although one could use gilding wax or foil to make them shine.

5) Warm up the edges. I have used Honey and Black Soot distress inks just to go around the edges to warm them up and draw attention to the centre of the image.

6) Apply Ranger Glossy Accents to each of the lights which will give them an authentic plasticky texture – leave this to dry!!

This card was inspired by one of Sheena’s design team samples on hochanda when these embossing folders were released

7) Die-cut your twinkling lights die. The colour it, I have used my SN markers as the idea was for the die cut to be a stronger set of colours than the background. I have also then applied the Glossy accents to these lights as well.

SN Colours:  DR2,7; CT1,OR2; GT1,3; JG6,2

8) Stamp and heat emboss your sentiment. I have used gold embossing powder, again for warmth, and then distressed the edges of the tag die-cut and layered it against black.

I have used a black card base which reduced the number of layers needed to create the same effect as a white card layered with black; looking at my picture, the white outline is actually the envelope and not part of the card 😉

9) Stick it all together!

Twinkling Lights

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, remember, even if you do not have the same items that I have used, the technique can be carried across to a variety of projects!

Hisbiscus Fun

“Apologies” notwithstanding, I have put together a little how too for this next card. Technically it is part of our die-cutting challenge, but the guide is specifically for the colouring.

20160922_122745.jpgThis has been created using primarily Heartfelt Creations Under the Sea range of stamps and dies

Colouring Mediums:

  • Spectrum Aqua Pens
  • Spectrum Clear Sparkle Pen
  • Spectrum Aquatints
  • Distress inks

Heartfelt Creations Under the Sea Range:

  • Hisbiscus Bouquet (stamp and die set)
  • Under the Sea Stamp Set
  • Under the Sea Die Set


  • Ferns at the bottom (pretending to be seaweed)
  • ‘Just for you’ Stamp and die set (this was the members gift from create and craft)

Tattered Lace:

  • Goldwork Lace Floral

Other Items:

  • Sheena Stamping card (background and dies)
  • Lace ribbon
  • Gems
  • Blue stickles
  • 3D foam tape and pads
  • Pinflair 3D glue

Colouring Tutorial:

Stamp your image

Make sure that if you intend to use watercolours that you are using a cardstock which can take the water. I recommend either Sheena Stamping Card, or if you prefer some texture, Crafter’s Companion watercolour card. If you have neither of these, but you do have some single sided Crafters Companion centura pearl card, then you can use the back of this too.

I have used Stazon to stamp my image, however you can use any ink that is not waterbased if you intend to use watercolours

Add aqua pens

Next, using the fine tip end of your spectrum Aquas, add colour to all of the darker areas of your stamp. Follow the lines, as in most cases the artist who drew the stamp will have added lines in areas that are likely to be darker. You will notice that I have added thicker colour to certain areas; these are the places where I want the colour to remain quite intense, however bear in mind that it is much easier to add more colour if you find it is too pale than to take it away if you added too much!

Draw out the colours

Once you are happy with your initial lay-down of colour you can start drawing it out.

You can use a brush and some water to do this, however I used my Spectrum Sparkle Pen

Sparkle pens (and wink of stella) are waterbased which means that they can be used in the same manner as a waterbrush, but with a much more controllable flow. If you are intending to use a sparkle pen, don’t worry about using a brush and water first because you will over-wet the card to no purpose. If you are using a sparkle pen you will notice that some colour will transfer to your brush nib; to clean it off just scribble it out on a scrap. When you start drawing out the colour, think about where you want the two to blend; if you want the green to be dominant then draw out this one first as it will then be the base colour for the blue. In my image, the largest flower is green to blue, and the 2nd largest is blue to green. To avoid having a tide mark make sure that you are drawing the colour in from the furthest edge rather than from the near edge.

If you find this has diluted the colour more than you wanted, lightly touch in some more using the brush nib of the Aqua pen

The water that you have already applied to the card will draw the colour on out so you will not be left with solid line.

Die Cut your image; theoretically you card should only be damp rather than wet, however if you have concerns do dry it off a bit before you run it through your die-cutting machine – bearing in mind that it is better for the card to still be a bit damp for the next step

Shape on the reverse

There are lots of ways to shape flowers, with this particular set the flowers are flat rather than layered (I.e. several petals individually cut and then stuck together) however as you can see from the reverse side of my die-cut there are several separation lines cut between the petals of the two larger flowers. In this case, the die has done it for me (hurrah for Heartfelt) however this is also a good technique to use for any flat flower that you have either fussy cut, or was cut as an outside edge only using a die. What this means is that when I emboss the reverse side the petals have a great deal of flexibility and as a result look much more realistic. It is my habit to then flip the flower back to right side-up and emboss those areas on the front which would be lower, for example the dividing line between the two open flowers. This just prevents the finished item from being a dome shape.

Ta Daa!

As you can see from the shadows on my mat, the finished item has a lot of height 🙂

Putting it Together:

The background is one that I did when I was doing the Sportastic card because I wanted to use up the Aquatints that I already had out. I have used x2 of the Hisbiscus Bouquet for the large corner arrangement, the bottom one is stuck down with pva, but I feel I should also mention that if you have gone to the trouble of shaping your flowers, don’t then stick them down flat 🙂 generally I will put whatever glue I am using only on the points that will actually be touching the card base. The second die which is partially layered over the top I have used stacked foam pads for as I wanted quite a lot of depth to then allow for the sea creatures being amongst the flowers. The card is then finished off with the other accessories. I hope you all like it