Thank you for joining me again for another colourful start to the week! If you’re just joining us you may want to check out the previous Marker Geek Monday posts HERE.


Today’s post will be the last pencil related one for a little while. My markers are starting to sulk! If pencils are your thing though, don’t worry, I will be mixing things up again soon. 😉


As promised last week, today I am exploring a more budget-friendly option for colouring with pencils. Perhaps you’re just starting out (or know someone who is) and want to try out the medium before making a larger investment, or perhaps you want a cheaper option for colouring on the go when travelling etc, or like me you have a problem with collecting colouring mediums. This post is for you!


Like me, many of you probably grew up with the Crayola brand. Coloured pencils, crayons, markers, novelty stamping markers etc. If you have children, they probably have a pack or two in their art supplies. It is easy to dismiss them as “for kids” and as such “limited”. Fact is, you can achieve some great results with cheap art supplies. It is definitely nice to have the expensive professional quality stuff, and there are definite advantages, but for colouring stamped images you can get a lot of mileage out of cheaper brands. Don’t feel that because you can’t or don’t want to afford the high end supplies that you can’t have fun or create beautiful coloured images. You can.



In the first example I limited myself to using colours from the 24 pack of Crayola coloured pencils. You can pick these up for around £3 to £5 here in the UK, and from a quick look on Amazon around $5 in the US. In the second and third examples I used pencils from the 50 pack.


I used Zest-It Pencil Blend as a solvent to blend together with blending stumps. Zest-It is an alternative to odourless mineral spirits like Gamsol.


Petunia and the Cool Chicks look pretty good, right? You can see how they look in Prismacolor and Polychromos pencils in last week’s post. The stamp is called “Nice to See You Petunia” and is available along with more Petunia Pig stamps and other adorable creatures in the Woodsies range at Stamping Bella. The “Cool Chicks” have their own section in the store, although they are becoming known for popping up all over the place to make us laugh.


As much as I love my more expensive art supplies, I think it’s also great to try and work with cheaper and more readily available alternatives (it’s also a fun challenge). The fact is, people receiving your cards aren’t likely to notice the difference, and they won’t care that you spent $5 to $10 on pencils rather than $200. The pencils don’t make the magic, you do!





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Thank you for joining me again for another colourful start to the week! If you missed my first pencil related post last week, make sure you check it out HERE to see some tips on using your coloured pencils together with alcohol based markers.


Today I’ve got a little 2-for-1: Stamping Bella’s adorable and fun Nice to See You Petunia stamp coloured using two different popular coloured pencil brands. I chose this image so you would get some colour combo ideas for both Petunia Pig and the Cool Chicks (they honestly pop up everywhere, getting into mischief) whether you’re a Prismacolor or Polychromos lover! You can find this stamp in the Woodsies section on the Stamping Bella website, along with more Petunia Pig images and some other A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E animals.


If you’re a devoted Copic user you may want to refer to the following posts for colour combos:




Prismacolor Pencils Vs Polychromos Pencils


The main difference between the two brands is that Prismacolor pencils are wax based and Polychromos pencils are oil based. Polychromos pencils will not build up a wax bloom and so can be layered more than the Prismacolors. This is probably more evident if you are colouring larger detailed pieces with lots of layering.


As I mentioned in last week’s post, my first attempts in the wonderful world of colouring were made with Prismacolor pencils. I was gifted a full set around nine years ago, and I still have that same set (ditching them for markers does increase the lifespan of your pencils significantly 😉 ). They are great pencils, and I have loved them, except for one thing: breakage. I often feel like I only have to look at them the wrong way and the leads break. Sharpening them has always been an exercise in anger management, and I gather from reading various forum threads and blog posts in recent years that the problems have increased due to what appears to be poor quality control.


Faber-Castell’s Polychromos pencils do not have similarly brittle leads. They are easily sharpened to a very fine point and they hold the point well (obviously if you are very heavy handed, you will break the point on any pencil). This is one advantage that is great for stampers, as we often work in small detail areas. The glasses on the chicks in today’s image would be a good example. Overall the Polychromos are my personal preference and are the pencils I reach for most often.


To keep the images as similar as possible for comparison purposes I used Zest-It Pencil Blend as a solvent on both images, however my general preference when working with the Polychromos pencils is to colour purely with the pencils, using them to blend rather than solvent and blending stumps. This is also very achievable with the Prismacolor pencils, but because of the points mentioned above, I don’t enjoy the process nearly as much.


Join me next week for a fun look at colouring with pencils on a budget. You may be surprised at the results!





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So many of you have requested info on working with pencils, that although markers are my personal “go to” medium I’m doing my best to create some pencil related content for you! I do love using coloured pencils, and in fact many moons ago they were my first love for colouring stamps. I’m quite enjoying getting reacquainted, so although I am not ready to hang up my marker bag watch out for some fun coloured pencil posts here and there.


In this first pencil related post I’m showing you one way to mix your pencils and markers to get great results for your coloured images. I have used one of the most popular pencil brands – Prismacolor – which were the pencils I started with years ago (I still have the same set) together with my Copic markers. NOTE: any alcohol based markers will work for this.




As you can see, because the marker base allowed me to concentrate on shading and detail colouring with the pencils I was able to get some deeper, more vibrant colours overall. In the first example, I was reaching the limit in terms of being able to layer with my pencils, because I had to work fairly hard to get a nice base coverage to work from, this resulted in a less vibrant look.


Using markers as a base for pencil work can reduce the time it takes to colour an image like this with larger open areas for colouring.


When working with Prismacolor pencils I tend to use Zest-It Pencil Blend with paper stumps to blend. This is an alternative to odourless mineral spirits such as Gamsol.


My preferred paper for pencil work varies, but when using a solvent to blend I use a fairly smooth paper like the Winsor & Newton Smooth Surface Cartridge pad (100lb/220gsm) or a Bristol Board. Basically, a fairly smooth surface with a little “tooth”. The more “tooth” or the rougher the paper, the more layers of coloured pencil you should be able to add.


When using alcohol markers purely as a base layer, it is better to prioritise your paper choice for pencil work. If you aren’t doing any marker blending, you don’t need a paper that works well for that but you will want one that takes pencil nicely. The papers mentioned above work really well for this. If you intended to use pencils to enhance or tidy up details on an image coloured mainly with markers, you would need to choose a paper that works well for marker blending.


I hope you have enjoyed this first look at incorporating pencils! Next week I will be showing a comparison of some different pencil brands, so watch this space…






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Some of my very favourite Stamping Bella stamps are from the fun range the COOL CHICKS! Love those little guys, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much character they have. They keep popping up with the Tiny Townies too, in fact you never quite know where they’ll appear to inject a little humour. So, this week I thought I’d share some Copic combos for colouring the chicks. The stamp set I used is Heidi Needs a Hug (this stamp was also featured in my Copic Hair Combos post) and this little chick is a separate stamp, so you can use him to create a scene with Heidi or even let him wander off and offer a flower wherever it might be needed!




While you’re playing with yellow combos, add a little extra detail to your chicks using techniques from my Basic Fur with Markers post (texture doesn’t have to be just for fur y’know). If you check out another sweet chick from the Stamping Bella range – Mimi the Chick Misses You – you will see that I textured her using the colourless blender refill technique. Some of the Cool Chicks are a little tiny for this, but others like Slick Chick would be perfect for getting some extra detail happening!


Have a go and let us know how you got on by sharing your work here in the comments section, over in the Stamping Bella Sistahood chat group on Facebook, directly on the Stamping Bella Facebook page or on Instagram by using the tag #markergeekmonday . We love hearing from you and sharing the enthusiasm for Stamping Bella!





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This week I thought I’d share some Copic combos for colouring the adorable elephant images in Stamping Bella’s Stuffie stamp range. The image I used is I’ll Always Have Your Back Stuffies (is that little baby not the sweetest thing ever?).




I have used combos from all four of the Copic Grey families, but I just had to thrown in a bonus smooshy pink elephant at the end, I’m sure you will understand. 😉


This seems like a great opportunity to chat about the different grey families, so you can either put the markers you have to use, or so you can make better informed choices when you come to add to your collection!


  • The first example shows a combination of Neutral Greys. As the name suggests, these are neutral in tone. I love using the darker Neutral Grey shades for colouring black hair (as seen in my Marker Geek Monday Copic Hair Combos post) as they give a true black look.


  • The second example shows a combination of Cool Greys. These have a blue tone and work really well for colouring and shading cool colours and objects.


  • The third example shows a combination of Toner Greys. These have a slightly brown tone. I often use the Toner Greys for simple grounding of characters etc.


  • The fourth example shows a combination of Warm Greys. These have a really warm brown tone to them and are great for shading warm colours and natural objects/materials.


If you’re just getting started with Copic markers, I’d recommend thinking about the images you’re most likely to be colouring and picking one or two of the grey families to purchase first. I started out with just the Cool and Warm Greys, and was perfectly happy for quite some time. Now, I tend to reach for the Toner and Neutral families more often.


GENERAL TIP: You don’t need every single grey marker in a family (or in any colour family). A great way to build your collection is to leave a gap of one or two shades between the colours. You can achieve plenty of depth and variety by layering the colours together in different amounts.


The little pink elephant that slipped in at the end was coloured using the “smooshy, squiggly” texturing style discussed in my previous Marker Geek Monday Three Ways to Colour a Stuffie Bear post. After all, these little elephants are in the Stuffies range, so why not colour them to look cute and textured like cuddly plushie toys?! You could also use this texturing technique with the grey colours too, to mix the realism with a little fun! A bright or baby blue ellie would be adorable too, pair that or the pink (or a soft yellow version) with an appropriate sentiment and you would have a perfect card for a new baby!


Have a go and let us know how you got on by sharing your work here in the comments section, over in the Stamping Bella Sistahood chat group on Facebook, directly on the Stamping Bella Facebook page or on Instagram by using the tag #markergeekmonday . We love hearing from you and sharing the enthusiasm for Stamping Bella!





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Hiya sistahs!

Here’s today’s Marker Geek Monday!  Enjoy!


Since Spring is here I thought it would be a good time to share some Copic colour combos for the Woodsies range from Stamping Bella. I absolutely love these little characters, they are so soft and sweet yet full of that character and fun we all love Stamping Bella for.


The graphic below shows five different combos for colouring the adorable Petunia seen in the Especially For You Petunia stamp. Of course, these work for any piggy image, including the other Woodsies images and the Stuffies range too.


march 28


You will notice that I don’t necessarily stick to colour families when colouring with alcohol based markers like Copics. By playing and mixing shades from different groups you can get a greater variety of results. Learning what works is a case of trial and error, and a good colour chart like Sandy Allnock’s Hex Chart really helps too (I’ll talk in depth about this in a future post, but go grab one – it is a great investment for Copic colouring).


I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that your results will look different from mine. Not just because digital representations of colour will not be an exact match for “real life”, but because your results will be affected by a variety of factors: the paper you use, how heavily you lay down colour, the amount of layering you do, the order in which you use the colours etc. The aim of these posts is not to get you replicating my results, but to encourage you to try different combinations, play with your markers and gain more confidence in experimenting. The more colouring you do, the more colours you play with and combine in different ways, the better you will become at colouring in your own style!


Have a go and let us know how you got on by sharing your work here in the comments section, over in the Stamping Bella Sistahood chat group on Facebook, directly on the Stamping Bella Facebook page or on Instagram by using the tag #markergeekmonday . You are also welcome to share your own favourite combos. We love hearing from you and sharing the enthusiasm for Stamping Bella!





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it’s Elaineabella’s MARKER GEEK monday!

I love Marker Geek mondays.. do you?  If you do, just take a mo’ (i love that..) to leave a comment down below.. I’m sure it would make Elaineabella feel so good 🙂

Here we go!

There’s more than one way to skin a cat ahem… colour a bear! I’m here to share three simple ways to colour one of Stamping Bella’s adorable Stuffie images. Today’s Marker Geek Monday graphic features Harry the Stuffie Gets Happy Mail . I have coloured him using Copic Markers, but the techniques discussed should work for any alcohol based markers that you have. I have supplied the Copic marker combination I used in the graphic below for those of you that do have Copics.




The first example is, as noted, just coloured and shaded with markers as normal with no special techniques. There is absolutely nothing wrong with colouring your Stuffies or other similar images this way, they look just as adorable like this, but it’s fun to play right? 😉


The second example shows Harry the Stuffie coloured in the same way as the first example, then textured with colourless blender solution (I simply used a Copic Colourless Blender refill) on a piece of textured fabric. The technique is really simple, you apply the colourless blender to the fabric, test and dab off excess on a piece of scrap paper then gently apply to the coloured image.


  • Leave colouring of areas like Harry’s nose to the end, to avoid accidentally adding texture where it isn’t desired!
  • Go lightly and gently, it is better to build up the texture by going back in stages than it is to go heavy with the colourless blender solution and end up with a blotchy mess!
  • Experiment on a piece of scrap paper – see how long you need to hold the fabric to the paper to get the desired effect (not long – tap/dab and wait a few secs as the blender solution works its magic).
  • This colourless blender technique works by pushing the colour around to create light areas. Test out some different fabrics to get different results. I used 16ct aida cross stitch fabric, but a textured rag/flannel works well too. Play around with what you have on hand.


The third example is quite therapeutic and uses just your markers to create a textured look that works really nicely for Stuffies!


  • Rather than colouring with a flicking motion or in smooth circles, try using a loose squiggly motion.
  • Practice on a piece of scrap paper.
  • Create a base with your lightest shade, then using your darkest shade create some dabs and squiggles. Don’t think about it too much, be loose and fairly free with it (practice really helps with this). Work back down from your darkest shade to the lightest, and repeat where necessary. The idea is to create a smooshy, plushy look.
  • You can add extra definition and depth to shadow areas at the end.


That’s it! These are by no means the only ways to colour your Stuffies, but hopefully the examples shown will give you some inspiration to play! Have a go and let us know how you got on by sharing your work here in the comments section, over in the Stamping Bella Sistahood chat group on Facebook, directly on the Stamping Bella Facebook page or on Instagram by using the tag #markergeekmonday . We love hearing from you and sharing the enthusiasm for Stamping Bella!





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Hiya sistahs!  What a great start to the week DONTCHA THINK??

Welcome to Elaineabella’s AKA Markergeek’s blogpost today.. isn’t she awesome?

Last Monday we covered some Copic skin tone combinations and basic colouring tips, so it seemed logical to move on to hair this week! But before we get started, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for their lovely comments and enthusiasm following the first post! I really hope that these posts prove useful and inspire you to give those markers a good work-out. For those of you who don’t use Copic markers, do stay tuned, there will be posts using other brands and mediums that I have available.

Remember, we want to see your results too! Share your Stamping Bella colouring and cards here in the comments section of the blog, over in the Stamping Bella Sistahood chat group on Facebook or directly on the Stamping Bella Facebook page.


In the graphic below I’ve got some of my favourite Copic hair combos for you. The lovely Tiny Townie Heidi Loves Hugs was perfect for showing hair colouring as she has some really nice open areas of hair, plus she’s one of my favourites from the latest release – so cute!




Normally when I colour I tend to start with my lightest shade to lay a base down. With hair I quite often do the opposite, especially on images where the hair detail areas are quite small. With all of the combos shown above I worked DARK – MEDIUM – LIGHT, going back in with the medium and light shades as necessary. Keeping the layering and blending to a minimum in this way helps to prevent the issue of sticky ink which can result in patchiness when you try to correct it, or what is otherwise known as a hot mess (we’ll talk about ways to fix some of these issues another day).


With most of the Stamping Bella characters the hair areas aren’t very large, so sticking to two or three marker combos is generally the best approach. Keep it simple! As with colouring the skin tones, try and avoid doing too much layering and blending. With hair in particular you don’t need to blend out every line, the aim is to create some texture and to have enough variation in colour and depth to create interest.


The amount of layering you do, and the order in which you use the markers will affect the results you get. Play around, see what happens if you add an extra layer of your medium shade, or if you use a much lighter hand with the darkest shade. For example, the blonde combination shown above could be lighter if you use less E44, or if you start with E43 instead, and add in just a very small amount of fine detail with E44. It’s all in the experimentation!


Special Note: don’t be overwhelmed by images with curly hair as seen on the new EDNA stamps (and on Uptown Girls like Savannah has a Star), these can actually be the easiest and most fun to colour. Work with the lines provided by the illustrator to figure out where to put darker shading and be loose and a little messy, creating some variation and texture. Don’t try to create perfect uniform strokes, be a little squiggly and free, the overall effect will look great (remember, the recipient of your card isn’t likely to be analysing it up close with a magnifying glass ? ).


If you try out the marker combos in this post with your Stamping Bella stamps, be sure to share! We would love to see the results and hear how you feel about them. Show off your creations in the comments below and even better, share your own favourite hair colour combos with us. Let’s talk colour!

If you are posting your images using these combos, we would love to see them on Instagram and all the platforms mentioned above!  To make it easier for us to find you , just use #markergeekmonday as a hashtag!  If you have other favorite combos, we would love to learn from you!  Leave a comment below 🙂


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MARKER GEEK MONDAY! New to our Blog!

Hiya sistahs,

We all know how instrumental my Design team is to me and to my company.. OUR company.  They educate da sistahood, inspire da sistahood, and have fun WITHIN da sistahood.  I am SO grateful for them all.

While Elaineabella (aka MARKERGEEK) may not contribute weekly to our Bellarific Friday line up, she is also an integral part to our group.  She colours all of our images that you see online.. she designs and provides our FREE COLORMAPS for da sistahood.. and now she is contributing to our blog every Monday with different colouring techniques that we always wondered about but never quite knew how to do.  She’s sharing her SECRET SAUCE… mmhmmm.  Are we lucky or what?

In this Tutorial, Elaineabella used TINY TOWNIE SALLY and her SNAIL

So without further ADOOOO

Let’s see what she has planned for us today!


“With so many fun character images in the Stamping Bella range, I thought a post about skin tones would be a good start to the Marker Geek Monday post series! You can apply the skin tone combinations below to any of your character stamps.


I tend to lay down colour as follows: Light – Dark/shadow colour – Medium – Light. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and sometimes it isn’t the best approach for a particular combination (with some darker blends it can help to work from Dark to Light). The best way to find out what works for you and any particular combination of markers is simply to practice and experiment!


Skin Combos:




Colouring Tips:?


  • Use a light hand and lay colour down gradually.  It is easier to add more colour than it is to take colour away, and you don’t want to over saturate the paper.
  • Colour in light feathered strokes/flicks rather than in a circular motion.  This will help you to avoid over saturating the paper and will make blending easier.  Practice your strokes on a piece of scrap paper and try to find a grip you are most comfortable with for holding the marker while doing this.
  • Choose a smooth uncoated paper.
  • Don’t give up too quickly! An image will go through stages of looking messy or a little weird.  Persevere and keep colouring, the image will start to take shape and come together.  Most mistakes can be fixed – this will be easiest if you use a light hand as mentioned above. In particular, don’t judge your skin tones until you have coloured the hair – your skin colouring may look too dark at first, but add dark hair colouring and it will look very different.
  • When assessing your colouring and evaluating areas that need more work, hold your colouring at arms length.  Don’t judge your image from very close up.
  • In small detail areas don’t be tempted to over-blend. Less layering will give a better result. e.g. when colouring the skinny arms and legs of Uptown Girls.
  • Varying the amount of layers or the order in which you use the colours will give different looks.


I hope this post inspires you to try out some new skin combos with your Stamping Bella images. We would love to hear from you, so join in and show off your own Stamping Bella colouring using these colours or your own favourite combos in the comments below. If you would like to share your own favourite skin combinations with Copics or other markers, go right ahead!


Join me next week for a look at some of my favourite Copic marker combinations for hair.”







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