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…







  1. Jane Crisci says:

    Thanks again Elaine! I really look forward to your posts on Mondays. Please keep them coming.

  2. Denise I says:

    Great tips! Love market geek Monday’s !

  3. J. Ferreira says:

    Thanks for the great tips, love my pencils for more control.

  4. Lynne in NI says:

    Thanks Elaine! I love my pencils so it was great to see you using them. How about watercolour pencils maybe some time in the future? 🙂

    • Elaineabella says:

      I won’t rule out the possibility, I do have watercolour pencils, I just haven’t ever used them a great deal. If I do find some time to play, they may find their way into a post. 🙂

  5. carol says:

    Fabulous showcases and excellent tips about combining markers and pencils, as well as paper choices! Feeling good…learned some important things here! Your chicks: charming x two! I love my polychromos pencils!
    Thank you!

    • Elaineabella says:

      Glad you enjoyed, Carol! Polychromos pencils will feature in an upcoming post, they happen to be my preference, but I think the majority of stampers that use pencils probably use Prismacolor!

  6. Gail Plaskiewicz says:

    I like how this looks! I’ve done the chicks in different colors like green or pink or blue even though I love, love, love, love yellow because sometimes I love to experiment with different colors. In my world everything is very colorful. I could do them with yellow and then shade in the some of the other colors. I want to try this!
    I got my stamps and I can’t wait to try them out! I know I am going to have tons of fun with my new stamps!

  7. Susan G says:

    Thanks for the detailed instruction. Very clear. Will try this.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been trying this lately and really like the look! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

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