Stamping is one of the most versatile crafts around because there are so many different options that you can use to enhance even the most basic stamp. When you look at some colored stamped images, you may be overwhelmed by how beautiful they are. Some look like works of art that have been meticulously painted by tiny little brushes. For a beginner, or even intermediate stamper, they make look overwhelming. The truth is however, that coloring stamped images does not have to be difficult, and it does not require any special artistic skill.
Chances are if you are already involved with stamping, you have enough creativity to color in your stamped images beautifully. There are a number of different tools that you can use to color, and the most popular ones for stampers are pastels, or chalks, watercolor pencils, markers or ink pads.
Chalks are a great way to color in stamped images because they are inexpensive and versatile. You do not have to spend too much money to get a full set of chalks that you can use for a very long time. Most chalk sets will come with an applicator or two. These applicators look similar to eye shadow brushes. Other tools that work well to apply chalks are cotton swabs or cotton balls, small sponge brushes, or clean eye make up brushes. It is always a good idea to practice on a scrap piece of cardstock before you apply the color to your image.
Practice blending shades of chalk together to achieve the desired result. Press very lightly for a softer look, and a little bit harder for a strong, sharper color. Shade with the applicator for effect, or hi light certain areas of your image. You can mix chalk colors directly on the cards stock or image, or you can mix the colors on the applicator before applying to your product, whichever you prefer.
Watercolor pencil crayons are one of the most versatile coloring tools that you can find because there are so many different techniques that you can create with them. If you want a strong colored image, apply the pencil crayons directly to the image just as you would with regular coloring crayons. However, if you want water colored look, you can use a blender pen to create that effect. Simply color along the edge of the image with the pencil, and use the blender pen to "pull" the color into the desired area.
Another way to apply color is by rubbing your pencil crayon on a piece of scrap and "dipping" the blender pen into the color before applying. This will create a softer effect. Another way to watercolor is by using your ink pad. With the lid shut, push in the middle of the pad to create a pool of ink on the lid. Then you simply dip your blender pen into the ink and paint into the image. By doing this, you can create a stronger coloring effect.
Markers are also a popular choice for coloring in stamps because of how easy they are to use. Simply color in the stamped image. If you have watercolor markers you may be able to use a blender pen to mix the colors, or create a softer look. Whatever color method you choose, it is generally a good idea to use a spray fixative to secure the colors. Do not use hairspray for this job because over time it will yellow the images and the paper.
Melanie Brown is an avid card maker and Stampin Up demonstrator. Go to her stampinaddict.com card gallery to view beautiful cards and submit your own creations while enjoying articles on the many techniques of creating cards with rubber stamps.