Quirky Critters with Colored Pencil

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring colored pencil and Quirky Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

Quirky Critters with Colored Pencil

Sometimes I make cards tailored for other people or for special occasions. This one was made just for me, using one of my new favorite stamps, Quirky Critters, and some of my all time favorite techniques. I hope you like it, too!

My Favorite Techniques

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring colored pencil and Quirky Critters stamps from Stampin' Up! Color inspiration: Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Lemon Lime Twist, Emerald Envy, Island Indigo

This card uses three of my favorite techniques.

The first is making fun colored embossing paste. I shared some tips on how to mix embossing paste colors last week. On this card I also sprinkled some very fine glitter on top of my embossing paste before it dried. Can you see that fun sparkle?

The second technique is ombre stamping, where you ink up a stamp in one color and add another color with a sponge for a multi-colored stamp image.

Finally, the third technique is coloring with colored pencil. The trick, though, is coloring on colorful paper and still having bright and vibrant colors. I’m covering this technique in depth today. To find out more, read on!

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring colored pencil and Quirky Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

How to Color on Any Color Cardstock with Colored Pencil

You can color with colored pencils on kraft, on navy, or even on black cardstock and still have colors that show up bright and vibrant.

It’s really simple.  Add a layer of white behind the colored pencils. You can use either white craft ink or white colored pencils. I used a combination of both on this card for a no-lines effect.

This technique is sometimes called “Black Magic” but it actually works on every color of paper, and it isn’t really magic. It’s science!

The Science Behind Your Colored Pencils

Colored pencils are made of wax, which, for many colored pencil colors is transparent with some colored pigment flecks mixed in. When you color on white paper, light shines through the layer of colored wax, bounces off the white paper like a mirror, and back through the colored wax again to your eyes. The flecks of color in the wax absorb colors that aren’t their color, and let only their color shine through. All this light makes the colors look bright and vibrant.

Colored cardstock only reflects part of the light back, in whatever color the cardstock is. The rest of the light is absorbed. If you have navy blue cardstock, for example, the cardstock will absorb all the light except for blue, which it will bounce back through the colored pencil. The colored pencil is also going to absorb any light that is different from it’s color. So if you’ve got red colored pencil on blue cardstock, only blue light is going through red colored pencil, and the red colored pencil is absorbing most of that. Almost no light is allowed to get through because it is absorbed either by the cardstock or the colored pencil.

Adding a layer of white ink or white colored pencil behind the colorful colored pencil allows more light to shine through the colored pencil layer and makes the colors look nice and bright again.

Don’t go overboard, though. Your paper can only hold so much colored pencil wax. As you add layers and layers of wax, it sticks to the bumpy texture of the paper, and eventually fills up all the bumps and gets a smooth, flat surface on the top. At that point, you can’t add any more color, because it doesn’t have anything else to stick to.

Coloring too hard with your white colored pencil will leave you without anywhere for your colors to stick! You’ll get the best result by layering the colors a little bit at a time. Use a light layer of white first, then start adding your color. If you need to, you can add a little more white in a subsequent layer to get the right balance.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring colored pencil and Quirky Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!

Card Base Directions

  1. First, cut and score an Emerald Envy card base.
  2. Second, cut a Lemon Lime Twist layer 1/8″ (0.3 cm) smaller than the card base.
  3. Next, cut an Island Indigo layer 1/4″ (0.6 cm) smaller than the card base.
  4. Lay the Island Indigo layer on a protected workspace. If desired, hold it in place with washi tape. Place a stencil on top. Again, use washi tape to hold it still, if desired.
  5. Mix some Emerald Envy and Lemon Lime Twist embossing paste. I mixed my two colors together before applying it for a subtle marbled look.
  6. Use a palette knife to apply the embossing paste to the Island Indigo layer through the stencil. Remove the stencil and clean it promptly.

    My favorite tool for cleaning embossing paste off of my stencils is a toothbrush. Not the one I use for regular brushing, though! You can usually get an extra one for free at the dentist’s office.

  7. For added sparkle, sprinkle some extra fine glitter onto the embossing paste while it is still wet!
  8. Cut a 1″ (2.5 sm) wide strip of Lemon Lime Twist patterned paper from a Memories and More card from the Perfect Days Card Pack.
  9. Once the embossing paste is dry, adhere the strip to the embossed layer, trimming off any excess.
  10. Tie an Emerald Envy Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon around this layer, lining up the ribbon with the bottom edge of the Perfect Days strip. Trim the ends of the ribbon at an angle.
  11. Adhere the three card layers together.
  12. Ink the sentiment using Lemon Lime Twist ink and sponge a little Emerald Envy on the top and bottom edge. You may need to mask off the quail with washi tape, if you have not separated your sentiment from the main image stamp.
  13. Stamp the sentiment on Whisper White cardstock.
  14. Die cut a circle around the sentiment, so the sentiment is located in the upper right portion of the circle.
  15. Stamp the quail image from Quirky Critters on Lemon Lime Twist cardstock with Whisper White Craft ink.
  16. Color the quail using colored pencils. Use a light layer of white first over the whole image, then add layers of color. Add additional white as needed between colored layers.
  17. Fussy cut out the quail.
  18. Position the white circle and the quail on the card. The white circle will be tucked behind the ribbon. Cut off any excess that will appear below the ribbon.
  19. Adhere the circle flat and use dimensionals to adhere the quail.
  20. Add Clear Faceted Gems as an accent.

To Separate or Not to Separate?

The images in the Quirky Critters stamp set come with an animal and a sentiment as one stamp. If you have the clear block versions and think you will most often use the images and sentiments separately, you can use a regular scissors to separate the animal image from the sentiment. Later, if you want to stamp them together, you can stick them to a clear block nestled right up next to each other and they will stamp together just fine.

If you don’t like to separate your stamps, you can use the masking technique to cover part of the image with washi tape before you ink it up.

I don’t have a hard and fast rule about whether I separate stamp images or not. It depends on how easy it is to mask versus how easy it is to cut apart. It also depends on how many times I foresee wanting to stamp the sentiment and images separately.

Homemade card by Natalie Lapakko featuring colored pencil and Quirky Critters stamps from Stampin' Up!


Cardstock: Emerald Envy, Lemon Lime Twist, Island Indigo, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Memories and More: Perfect Days Card Pack (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Whisper White Craft, Lemon Lime Twist, Emerald Envy, Lemon Lime Twist Reinker, Emerald Envy Reinker (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Quirky Critters (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: Layering Circle Framelit Dies(c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: colored pencils (I used Prismacolor), Clear Faceted Gems, Emerald Envy Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon, embossing paste, palette knives, dimensionals, extra fine glitter

Click on the images below to see the materials  used to make this card in my online store. Each purchase you make there helps support Stamp Witch Blog!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Stamp Witch Blog Natalie's hand painted signature

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