Today I have what I think is my last Christmas card of the season and I went with pencil on kraft for this detailed scene. The stamp set is from a new to me company called Colorado Crafts Company and they have a range of stamp sets which concentrate on people’s legs. I thought this Lovely Legs, Santa Is Coming set was a fun take on a traditional scene. I’ve linked all supplies at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used.
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NO-LINE PENCIL COLOURING A DETAILED SCENE
The image in the Santa Is Coming set is very detailed and I first thought I would stamp it in black on watercolour card and create loose watercolour washes over the top. However, in the end, I decided that I wanted to give it a go with pencils on kraft instead with a no-line colouring style. I must admit I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be able to get the definition between one area and the next with the no-line coloured pencil look for this detailed scene but I started out and kept going and I love how it turned out!
Although the Toned Gray from Strathmore is more of a paper than a card, I love using it for colouring pencils due to the smooth texture of the paper and also that knocked back grey appeals to me rather than a traditional warm kraft colour. I placed a piece of the Toned Gray card in the Misti, lined up the image in the centre and then stamped in clear embossing ink from Simon Says Stamp for a tone on tone look to give me an outline to colour and the lines disappear as you apply the pencil. It did take a few stamped impressions to get a clear outline of all that detail on this image to work with. I used Faber Castell Polychromo pencils. I prefer the harder lead these pencils have to the softer Prismacolor pencils as this enables me to get a sharp point on the pencils and they don’t break as often as the Prismacolor ones. A pack of these would make a great Christmas present to yourself.
As far as colouring goes, initially, with my tentative start, I lightly blocked out colour in all the areas and then once I had that down I went back in to create shadows and highlights in each area. With pencils and especially when working on small sections, I tend to start with a dark colour and work towards the highlights using the pressure of the pencil to blend from one shade to the next. Often I’ll go back in later on and deepen the shadows and add more highlights to get the impression of dimension and bring the colouring to life. It helps to have sharp pencils too when colouring so a good pencil sharpener is a must. Also, and for no-line colouring, I find it helpful to have distinct colour changes from one area to the next. So for the fireplace surround, I aimed for a sandstone look with a terracotta red brick inset and then a soot-blackened wall behind the fire. So the colours from the outside of the fire inwards were quite different from one another and helped to create the definition I needed.
After colouring, I added a bit of sparkle with Copic Spica pens. I have these pens in a range of colours and they are great for adding a little tone on tone sparkle. I also used a Sakura metallic gold pen to add detail to the buckle on Santa’s boots and also a few gold baubles on the mantle wreath. I used a white gel pen for added bright highlights and this pen certainly helped me to get more definition on the bows of the presents which up until that point were looking more like white blobs.
I trimmed the piece down to be slightly smaller than an A2 card base and then I picked out Pumice Stone Distress Ink and a blender brush from Picket Fence Studios (would make another great Christmas gift) and I lightly blended the ink around the edges. This colour tones particularly well with the Toned Gray paper and dulled the edges down creating a vignette that focuses the eye on the central scene. I felt the piece needed a few more highlights and so I squeezed a little white gouache on my craft mat and picked it up with a wet brush and splattered over the panel. I guess it gives it a snowy winter look which is a bit weird for an indoor scene but I liked it and I also used a small brush to pick up more of the gouache and dot some brighter white highlights around too. The gouache is certainly a brighter more opaque white than the white gel pen. After I finished adding the paint I dried the panel with a heat tool and then added foam adhesive to the back and added it to a side folding Ivory card base. I did test out a white card base but found the Ivory was a softer more natural pairing with the Toned Gray.
On hindsight, I thought the lovely script Merry Christmas sentiment from the Santa Is Coming set would’ve looked great heat embossed above the fireplace. However, the From All Of Us greeting also caught my eye as there are five of us in our family and that fitted really well with the five stockings hanging in front of the fire. I took a scrap piece of Ivory card and placed it in the Misti, treated it with an anti-static powder bag to prevent embossing powder randomly sticking everywhere and then stamped the sentiment in clear embossing ink before sprinkling with Antique Gold embossing powder from Simon Says Stamp and heat embossing. I trimmed the sentiment to a skinny banner and added foam adhesive to the back and adhered it to the card with the aid of a T square ruler to ensure I had it on straight. I then added a trio of sequins around the sentiment and held them in place with Gina K Connect glue.
You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or shop icon to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my affiliate and product disclosure here. I genuinely appreciate your support.
Summary of the project which gives all the views of the card in one photo :D I’d love if you pinned and called by on Pinterest :D