Mementoes In Time

Stamping Basics Part 4 - Colouring Your Stamped Image

 There are probably as many ways to colour in your stamped image as there are rubber stamp designs and you can combine different methods to get an endless range of different colouring effects. For the purposes of this article, we will look at just a few of the more common ways of colouring in stamped images and the ones I tend to use the most.


Brush Pens/Markers



You can find brush pens everywhere and these are a very popular way of applying ink to a stamped image. You can use the brush tips applied directly to the stamp and this is a really great way of getting different colours onto your stamp. You can use several colours, adding a different one to each part of your stamp. As this takes a while to build up the colour, the ink can dry out, so you can just breathe over the stamp before you apply it to the paper, to reactivate the ink.





You can also use a mini-mister to wet the ink but this does tend to produce a less defined image, a bit like a watercolour.



You can also scribble with the pen onto a piece of acetate and use this to apply colour to your stamped image. I tend to use a water-brush with this method as the ink will dry onto the acetate quite quickly and you need to reactivate it with water. A normal paint brush and some water has the same effect.



Due to their versatility, brush markers are a very useful addition to any rubber stamper's box of tricks!


Watercolour Pencils

Watercolour pencils are a bit like coloured pencils with the difference that they become soluble when water is added to them, giving a lovely soft watercolour result. This is probably my favourite form of colouring stamped images.





You can use them in different ways but I like to colour in my image with the pencils and then blend in the colours with a water-brush.




You can also paint directly from the pencil by putting your waterbrush on the end of the pencil and using this to colour your image.



Watercolour Crayons

These work in a similar way to watercolour pencils but are in the form of a crayon. Unlike pencils, I don't apply the crayons direct to the stamped image, as you can't control them to get the detail you need.



Instead, I will either apply my water-brush directly to the crayon or rub the crayon onto a piece of acetate and then add water to get a paint mixture to be applied with the brush.





Ink pads

You can use your ink pads to colour in stamped images by rubbing the ink pad across a piece of acetate to transfer some ink, add a little water to create a wet ink mix and then use a brush to apply it.



I tend to just use my water-brush rather than a normal paint brush and in this case you don't need to add water as the brush will do that for you.




This is a lovely way to apply colour but can be a bit messy to control. Dust on the chalks with a small applicator. You can then just seal it with some hairspray or fixant (if you don't the chalk will eventually rub off). You can even brush over the chalk and blend it in with a waterbrush.



You can build up some nice colour effects using chalks. You can also put some chalk onto acetate and add water to get a mix which you can paint onto your image, just like with inks, brush markers, watercolour pencils and crayons.



Watercolour Paints

Before we had the big range of colouring mediums we have now, we always had watercolours and a lot of people still prefer to use them to colour their stamped images. Watercolour paints are fairly forgiving and if you are used to using them, you won't need to rush out to buy other types of colouring mediums.  You can get lovely watercolour effects or use them in a more concentrated form, as you wish.




Twinkling H20s

These are solid form and high pigment paints, which you activate by adding water to before using. They produce a wonderful strong and shimmery finish and are great for when you want to get a really eye-catching finish to your project. There are more than 100 different shades, I have quite a few as you can see!



They can be used on lots of different types of surfaces too, which makes them popular outside of stamping. You need to activate the paint before use, by spraying them with water and letting them settle for a while.



You can then either use them direct from the pot or put them onto some acetate and water them down. I tend to use a brush and paint my stamped image but you can apply the paint directly to your stamp if you wish.



 Copic markers

These have become a very popular, if expensive, way of colouring stamped images. They are like colouring pens but produce a lovely even finish when you colour with them. They come in lots of different colours and tones. I only have 48 but this is more than enough for most of the things I have to do. 



The key is to get three tones in each colour, so that you can give your stamped image dimension on the page by blending lighter and darker colours. We'll be looking more at colouring with Copic markers in another tutorial. 


When you use normal pens and colour over something you have already coloured, it produces a darker line but this does not happen with Copic markers. They can be blended together and used to build up colour from light to darker tones, which allows you to add shadows and highlights, which produces very realistic images.


Gelly Roll/Sakura Pens

These are another great way of colouring in stamped images. They come in lots of different types and each will give a different effect. They work on all kinds of surfaces too, so you can use them on acetate and glossy finishes and they will show up on dark cards too, depending on the pen you have.



We'll have a look at these pens in more detail in a separate article.


Metallic - works on light and dark papers, glossy and matte surfaces

Moonlight - vivid fluorescent colours, great on black papers and will work on vellum

Stardust - contains sparkle powder and works best on light coloured or matte papers

Shadow - glimmer effect, best on white porous surfaces

Glaze - 3D glossy ink, good on light backgrounds, plastic, glass, ceramic and metal. Will give an effect like stained glass, great if you are stamping on acetate. Gives a raised effect on non-porous matte surfaces.

Souffle - 3D opaque pastel inks, good on dark backgrounds, will give raised effect on non porous, smooth surfaces.


Glaze pens give a stained glass effect on acetate


These pens are great because they are in a pen form which makes them easy to control for fine detail. The downside is that they can be quite expensive, although you can buy them in sets to save a little money.


I hope you have enjoyed this article on colouring stamped images. There are many other ways and we have just covered a few of them. In our next article we will be looking at heat embossing, so check back soon!


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