Hello, friends! This is Yana Smakula and I am excited to bring you my monthly video tutorial for Papertrey Ink from the “In The Studio with Yana” video series. I am sharing video tutorials on the 24th of each month, you can catch previous episodes here.

I decided to use beautiful Better Together stamp set for my project – I’ve had my eye on this set for a long time as I thought it would be a great one to use for coloring with pencils. I started by stamping image in a light color of ink onto a gray cardstock panel, I used specialty paper that works really well for pencil coloring and did my stamping in Stormy Sea ink.

I used Polychromos pencils from Faber-Castell for coloring as these pencils happen to be my favorite. I used an array of colored pencils along with a white pencil. The white pencil was used for several things – to map out the lightest areas of the image and also, in some cases, to do blending.

Coloring doesn’t happen in one single layer, if you want your image to have detail and look dimensional you need to do coloring in stages. I like to compare pencil coloring to Copic coloring, although it is very different, in many ways it’s also very similar. You start with a light, go a medium and add dark. Next return to the medium and light colors to blend.

I very much like to color with colored pencils on dark papers, I don’t like using them on white paper and this is why I decided to do my stamping on Strathmore Toned Gray paper for this project.

Once I finished coloring my image I put it back into mini MISTI – I kept my stamp there and I didn’t move it after I had stamped the image the first time. I treated my paper with an anti static powder tool and stamped same image again, but using clear embossing ink. Next, I added white embossing powder and heat set it with the help of my heat tool.

I white heat embossed a beautiful sentiment onto black cardstock and this sentiment reads: You are One Of Those People Who Make My Life Better by Just Being in it. And this is actually also a good sentiment to put on the inside of the card.

I trimmed my panel to 4 x 5 1/4″ and foam mounted onto an A2 white card base and I also foam mounted the sentiment piece on top.

To dress this card up I added several clear droplets in different sizes and I adhered them using glue. Finally, I felt like I wanted to add some additional detail to the background so I used a white gel pen and added small white details onto the gray background where I didn’t have the coloring or the sentiment.

Have fun stamping!


  • STAMPS: Better Together
  • INK: Stormy Sea
  • PAPER: Neenah Solar White 110 Lb cardstock, Black Cardstock, Strathmore Toned Gray paper 400 Series
  • OTHER: Polychromos Pencils by Faber Castell, White Fun Foam, Scor-tape, Pretty Pink Posh Clear Droplets (Small & Medium), Tonic Deluxe Adhesive, Mini Misti, Scrapbook Adhesives Black Foam Tape, Sakura White Gelly Roll Pen, Hero Arts White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Anti Static Powder Tool
Heather Nichols

Author Heather Nichols

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Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • 1
    Michele says:

    Yana this is lovely … this gray paper is a wonderful color, but it doesn’t have much ‘tooth’ – is this why you’ve chosen the Polychromos? love the ‘snowy’ background!

  • 2
    Betty says:

    I love to watch you color, Yana – your card is lovely and thank you for all the great coloring tips.

  • 3

    Yana, the card is so lovely. And I agree with you about the common techniques of both pencils and Copic markers. The same principals that guide us with Copics are also used with pencil. One of my favorite ways to use Copics is to add pencil in the end. Where we differ in using pencil is that I like to use pencil on white card stock as well. I learned to use Prisma pencil from Terry Medaris, one of Arizona’s own. Terry showed me how to use pencils boldly without using mineral spirits. He is known for his Native American pieces and those are some of my favorites to color as well. As always, your coloring is divine, and your tutorial instruction spot on! Thank you for the inspiration to branch out into pencil on colored card stock.

  • 4
    Luanne says:

    This is so nice! Best card I’ve ever seen with this set! Thank you so much!

  • 5
    Greta H says:

    Perfect way to start my day–watching you color & turn that stamp into a gorgeous card!

  • 6
    Tammie Koehnen says:

    Lovely card Yana. Thank you for sharing your pencil coloring technique. It’s so much fun to watch you make your cards and I love your coloring techniques.

  • 7
    Sandy S. says:

    Great technique, Yana! The final embossing must make the pencil coloring so much easier, instead of having the pencils bumping into the embossed lines. I will try it.

  • 8
    Susan W. says:

    Just gorgeous, Yana! I usually use my colored pencils on kraft, but I see it looks great on grey CS too. I’ll have to try this. Thanks for the tip(s). 🙂

  • 9
    Deborah S says:

    I very much enjoyed this video, Yana. I find it most helpful to watch how other people color and their thought process. The added bonus in this video was that you added the white dots all over the background – it made all the difference!

  • 10
    Barbara M says:

    Really nice! This should be a Make it Monday! I like the gray base…must try this..thanks.

  • 11
    Bobby says:

    Another great coloring lesson, Yana. I’ve been practicing and am enjoying the process.

  • 12
    Kathy Cooper says:

    What is the name of the stamping tool you use to center you stamp on the card, I am not familiar with it.

    • 12.1
      Heather Nichols says:

      Hi Kathy, Yana used a MISTI to stamp the image on her card. If you do an internet search, you will find information to learn more about it online.

  • 13
    Imke Ludwig says:

    I totally like the idea with the white embossing after coloring. I´ve never thought about but the result is stunning ! Thanks for sharing.

  • 14
    Terri says:

    Great video!

  • 15

    Beautiful!!! I like going back and adding the embossing after coloring and the gel pen dots are nice too!

  • 16
    Wendy Falk says:

    What a stunning card & I love the idea of stamping it regular first. My big question is … do you dampen the pencils to color or blend? I have never seen that kind of color intensity from my pencils. At first I wondered if you had used gel pens!! Beautiful post ~ thanks so much 😉

  • 17

    What a beautiful card, and I love this stamp set. You’ve inspired me, Yana! Hugs!

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