SAF 2016: Starry Night with Amy Sheffer

By July 23, 2016Stamp-a-faire

Inspiration 1

(artwork credit)

Inspiration 2

(artwork credit)

Inspiration 3

(artwork credit)

Amy Sheffer brings you the magic and mystery of Van Gogh this morning. Check out this video that tells a little bit more about his life and his work.


Amy says, “Vincent van Gogh wrote about the technical challenge of depicting a night sky: “It often seems to me that the night is even more richly colored than the day, colored with the most intense violets, blues and greens…. It’s clear to me to paint a starry sky it’s not nearly enough to put white spots on blue-black.” In this tutorial, we’ll apply a range of colors to create a rich and variegated night sky background. We’ll begin with ink blending, follow with watercoloring, and finish with acrylic paint. I’ll also show you how to create tree silhouettes along a horizon line for an easy way to complete a night scene.”



  • STAMPS: Inspired: Faith
  • DIES: Inspired: Faith
  • INK: Enchanted Evening, Aqua Mist, Mint Julep, Winter Wisteria, Pale Peony ink pads; Enchanted Evening re-inker (optional); True Black re-inker
  • PAPER: watercolor paper; Soft Stone and Stamper’s Select White card stock
  • OTHER: ink blending tool and foam; watercolor brush, round #6 (or whatever you have on hand); white acrylic paint; metallic silver watercolor paint (optional); make-up wedge or small (1″) foam brush; clear sequins, assorted sizes; silver star sequins; white thread; clear Wink of Stella pen (optional); fun foam or foam tape
  • 1 top-fold white A2 card base (4 1/4″ wide by 5 1/2″ tall)
  • 1 watercolor panel, 4″ wide by 5 1/4″ tall
  • 3 Soft Stone Inspired: Faith die-cuts, stacked
  • 1 length of white thread, approximately 18-24″





  • Use an ice cube tray to hold water when watercoloring. That way you’ll always have clean water handy.
  • When adhering the dots to the i’s and j’s of your word die-cuts, lay the die-cut negative back over the die-cut so that you can see exactly where the dots should be adhered.
  • Label your reinker lids with hole-punched circles of the coordinating card stock for quick and easy identification.
  • Mount watercolored panels onto card bases with a layer of foam, such as foam adhesive strips or a panel of fun foam. This helps to both flatten and disguise any warping of the watercolor panel.


–Now it’s your turn!  Create a starry night sky background for a project.  You can choose to re-create the exact project from Amy above or design your own using the same concepts. Your project must also incorporate at least one Papertrey product.

–Post your project on your blog, in your gallery or on any other photo-hosting site (such as photobucket or flickr).

-Add your project to the InLinkz list below.

–You will have until 7am ET, Tuesday, July 26th, to add your link to the list to be eligible to win. One project per person please.


–As a reminder, you will have until 7am ET, Tuesday, July 26th, to add your link to the list to be eligible to win. 

–TWO randomly selected winners will be chosen from ALL the entries within this list on Tuesday, July 26th. The winners will be posted on our Tuesday night Stamp-a-faire winners page after 9pm ET.  The randomly selected winners will each get a $25 PTI gift certificate to spend however they like!

Thanks for joining us!  We look forward to seeing your projects!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 51 Comments

  • 1
    AOK says:

    Wow what a brilliant tutorial.

  • 2
    katevdp says:

    Amy – I think that’s the best card tutorial I’ve ever seen! What a stunning technique, and beautiful card. Thank you!

  • 3
    Nancy Ward says:

    Such an amazing tutorial and so inspiring. Listening to the film of Van Gogh brought tears to my eyes.

  • 4

    What a fabulous tutorial, Amy! You make this look so easy but your tips leave me feeling hopeful to give it a try. Beautiful card! Thank you

  • 5
    Mary W says:

    I can’t move past this section – it is enlightening. I loved the VanGogh video. I finally realized what he meant about “painting” the night sky. He didn’t mean just put down some dark colors but actually paint a beautiful piece that presents the night sky in it’s glory – to actually paint the night sky. Will get busy making your card and will keep it for myself as it was a wake up call to me and I’m singing “Starry, starry night” in my head with new meaning.

  • 6
    GinaEgg says:

    The vanGogh video was moving. Thanks for sharing it, Nichole. I’m always amazed by his works – they are amazing!!

  • 7
    Amy Sheffer says:

    Thank you so much!

  • 8
    Amy Sheffer says:

    Thank you so much! I’m so glad you like it!

  • 9
    Amy Sheffer says:

    You can do it! I wasn’t at all sure how it would come together until I began. It’s such a forgiving technique!

  • 10
    Bev says:

    I find Van Gogh fascinating and I love his Starry Nights. Amy, your video was excellent and your card is beautiful. Thanks for the wonderful lesson.

  • 11
    Penny J says:

    Amy’s tutorial was wonderful and makes me want to get creative. Loved her technique for the tress. What a beautiful card!
    The Van Gogh video was excellent! I am always inspired by his work and this video will make me see it in a different light now.

  • 12
    Pat Whitley says:

    Amy your tutorial was inspiring. Beautiful cards.

  • 13
    Jen M says:

    Amy – this was an incredible tutorial – it must have taken a lot of trial and error to develop. Thanks so much for doing so!

  • 14
    Teresa Currie says:

    The Van Gogh video was enlightening. Such a personal look at this artist, his struggles and his gift. Thank you so much for including it today!!
    Amy, your interpretation and tutorial were really lovely. Thank you for the terrific step-by-step instructions. Your encouragement and cautionary notes along the way are so helpful!! Many many thanks.

  • 15
    BEV W says:

    Amy thank you for the tutorial! I can’t wait to get home to try it. I’m in the car on the way back from Cape Cod and am being inspired by watching you!

  • 16

    Love this tutorial and card. Van Gogh’s Starry Night is one of my favorite painting.

  • 17
    Beth M. says:

    Such a sad story for such a talented artist. Amy I think you captured the night in your card- very impressive

  • 18
    Greta H says:

    You truly created a masterpiece which I’d have never tried without your wonderful video! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • 19
    Julie C says:

    I loved this whole segment! Van Gogh is a personal favorite, so I loved the video and inspiration. And Amy’s tutorial was great! I can’t wait to get home so I can try it and hopefully do it justice!

  • 20
    Linda Miles says:

    Great video tutorial! Thanks so much!

  • 21
    D.Ann C says:

    Thanks so much for the fab lesson! So beautiful – and you made it look so easy!!

  • 22
    Dana Kirby says:

    What a great tutorial! I am not the best at ink blending and water color but your video gave me the confidence to give it a try! I can’t wait to keep practicing this technique as I love the look. Thanks So Much!

  • 23
    MaryAnn says:

    Gorgeous samples and wonderful video

  • 24
    Cynthia Rose says:

    I really enjoyed learning a bit about Vincent Van Goth. Your technique and tips are great.

  • 25
    Karen Ramsey says:

    Beautiful job Amy!! I look forward to giving this a try, you make it look so easy.

  • 26
    Ohhh Snap says:

    I had no idea the secret to a great night sky was mint julep, pale peony, and winter wisteria : D. Great tutorial!

  • 27
    Mary W says:

    I had so much fun doing it I made 5 cards! They are just beautiful and I’m so glad you had this card – perfect for several friends struggling with cancer and other life threatening diseases. It is sometimes difficult to find a nice encouragement card to fit the situation but this is absolutely perfect. Thank you so much. I love my Faith set.

  • 28
    JanetB says:

    I’ve been waiting all morning to watch your video, and it was well worth the wait. I learned so much. Thank you for sharing your night sky technique and beautiful card!

  • 29
    Coastal Crafting says:

    Awesome tutorial, I thank you so much for sharing. Eager to try out this technique. Love how you added the tree line – very clever!

  • 30
    Linda (LSN) says:

    Amy this was the challenge that I was most looking forward to! Thank you for sharing how to do this with all of us.


  • 31
    Megan N says:

    Love the pops of pink you used! Really breaks it up and looks more realistic!

  • 32
    Helen F. says:

    Thank you for your very detailed video Amy! This was an awesome card to make and I will definitely try this technique again 🙂

  • 33
    Cindy says:

    This was an awesome challenge! Love how everyone is capturing Van Gogh’s vision!!

  • 34
    Carmela Hubler says:

    Great tutorial! I loved how my sky turned out. Need to work on the trees however!:)

  • 35
    Renee Lewis says:

    Well, my starry sky looks wonderful but my dark hill and trees do not. I need more practice, but not right now. I have to move on to the next SAF project. I wish I had time to make a lot more cards. I am very slow. I appreciate all the hard work you all have done. Thanks.

  • 36
    Sue McRae says:

    Amy, your card is spectacular. You’ve really captured the essence of the evening sky! Thanks for all the tips and tricks!

  • 37
    Katrina Cunningham says:

    Die cuts “Silent Night, Holy Night” would made a beautiful and unusual Christmas card with this background.

  • 38
    Karen says:

    Stunning card and wonderful tutorial! Thanks!

  • 39
    SabineV says:

    That is so pretty! Thank you for the tutorial!

  • 40
    Holly Saveur says:


  • 41
    Kathy Mc says:

    Loved Amy’s card and tutorial, but my trees need lots of pruning! I tried a 1″ foam brush first (Walmart was out of make-up sponges) and then a narrow paint brush. Don’t have time to redo now but will definitely try this again. Thanks, Amy, for inspiring us!

  • 42
    Traci Major says:

    Amy, thank you for a wonderful video!! Your card is beautiful and you make it look so easy!! I am so glad to learn a very inspirational technique.

  • 43
    Barbara M says:

    This was a very helpful and encouraging video, and I wanted to thank you so for all your effort you put into this. I did learn from this and posted a card! Thanks again!

  • 44

    I love the night sky. I think Van Gogh was right when he said it was more beautiful than the day. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is one of my favorite paintings. I don’t know if ya’ll are too young to remember but Don McLean had a song “Vincent” that was so beautiful. Thanks for bringing up great memories.

  • 45
    Donna Gourley says:

    Amy, I had to “stretch myself creatively” and probably learned more from your session than any of the others today (not to say that I didn’t learn something from them all!) Many thanks for all your work in bringing this to us. I will definitely try this one again.

  • 46
    Noelle says:

    I’ve never made a night sky before. It was fun to try this out! Thank you Amy.

  • 47

    Such an amazing way to start our day, Amy! Your tutorial made it possible to create my nighttime sky background, using seven different colors. I’m already thinking of more cards that would be perfect with a Starry Night background. Amy, I will never look at the nighttime sky in quite the same way again! ♡

  • 48
    Amy G says:

    What an amazing project! I watched and re-watched this video as I created my project. Love the results!

  • 49
    Karen W says:

    I love this technique and will definitely use it again. Such a great idea! Thanks for this wonderful challenge.

  • 50
    Carmela Hubler says:

    I was so looking forward to this class when I saw the SAF preview posts. I love the technique and am planning to try it for some Christmas cards!! Thank you.

  • 51
    Emily M. says:

    Lov e this tutorial! I had never thought to use so many colors in a starry night sky, especially the mint shade…. So creative, but realistic, too!

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