Hello, Julie here! Today I’m sharing tip about how to use colored pencils with stamped images on toned gray paper. I used the new Meadow Flower stamp set, but these colored pencil blending techniques would work great on any of the flower stamps in the Greenhouse Society collection. I love the Meadow Flower stamp set because it’s so versatile and looks great in so many different colors. Today I’m going to be coloring it a bit like a California poppy. I’m a California girl, and I love that state flower. Watch the video tutorial, or read through the photo tutorial below, if you prefer.
Using Colored Pencils on Toned Gray Paper
So, I have my image stamped on gray toned paper, using a waterproof ink. And I have my Prismacolor pencils, a small brush, and my ever important coffee mug ;)
Because I’m working on gray toned paper, I’m going to start with a layer of a light color. That could have been white, but this time, I’m going to start the project out on the warm side, and use canary yellow. I’m just going to cover the entire flower with it.
Once I’m done with that, I’ll move on to yellowed orange. This will go in almost everywhere the yellow did, because, of course, it’s going to be orange, like a California Poppy. It’ll have yellow highlights, but will be mostly orange.
Next is a smaller layer of orange. This is going to start out in the shadowy areas for now. Later I will cover more of the flower with this, but I want to start out slow. I find that it’s easier to add more of a dark color later, than it is to try and layer on a lighter color if I get it too dark.
Once I’ve got the shadows started, I’ll move to poppy red (fitting, right?) in the darkest parts of the shadowed areas.
Once I’ve got that, I’m going to go back and forth a good bit to get the colors to balance just the way I want them to. I use the yellowed orange to blend and smooth the poppy red, and then add more canary yellow to blend that, and so on.
This paper is really nice for building up color, but I always make sure I’m using my small circles and thinking about my pressure. As the project develops, it gets harder and harder to get another layer of color to stick, and you may have to use more pressure. Just think about how hard you’re pressing, and don’t go crazy – I try to remember to increase that pressure slowly.
And I’ll keep going until I’ve got all three flowers, a bit like this.
Now for the leaves. Once again, I’m starting with a layer of light. First is yellow chartreuse, all over. With the stems I’m switching it up, and going from the lightest color to the darkest – in this case dark green. I’m just going to go in with a very very light layer, only in the parts I want to be shadowed.
Next is spring green, and I use it to blend the dark green into the yellow chartreuse and to sort of bridge the gap between them. On to apple green, back to dark green, then spring green, back and forth and back and forth with a bit of chartreuse thrown in for good measure.
And here is my finished piece.
It was fun to work with the gray toned paper, colored pencils and stamps because the color really pops, even without a huge range of color. I’m excited about playing with other color combinations, like this blue version, which I’ll finish and make into a card or something soon.
I hope you saw something you can use on your next project. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
PS: If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we shipped the Meadow Flowers to you earlier this month.
Not a member? You can order these stamps and dies individually now. Or, if you'd like to save 25% off the Meadow Flowers stamps (and the matching dies), sign up to become a Greenhouse Society auto-ship member before the end of this month!