Basic Pleats with Illustrator Markers

I just love the new Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers! This tutorial I will show you a simple technique for making pleats and shaded regions.

I will use two sets of three markers from the Vintage Blue and Brown Orange specter to color this image in a surprisingly interesting colour combination of orange and blue.

Gather your markers

This image has been coloured with:
Skin: Rose (FS1), Dusty Pink (FS2), Portrait Pink (FS3), Eggshell (FS8), Ivory (FS9), Pale Tan (TN1), Honeydew (TN2), Cream (FS6)
Hair: Green Grey 1 (GG1), Green Grey 2 (GG2), Green Grey 3 (GG3),Green Grey 5 (GG5), Honeydew (TN2)
Coat: Smoky Blue (VB1), Vintage Blue (VB2), True Blue (TB4), Ice Grey 2 (IG2);
Scarf: Vanilla (BO1), Mango (BO2), Green Grey 2 (GG2), Green Grey 3 (GG3), Green Grey 5 (GG5) Gold (GY3)
Fox: Dusty Pink (FS2), Eggshell (FS8), Ivory (FS9) Pale Tan (TN1), Honeydew (TN2), Green Grey 2 (GG2), Green Grey 3 (GG3), Green Grey 5 (GG5), Vanilla (BO1)

Create pleats on the Coat

If you are beginner it’s better to start with the widest portion of the image (here it is the coat). I usually go and cover it with the lightest shade – VB1.

It is just a basic coat so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

The next step is to mark the deepest/shadiest regions with the darkest shade – TB7.

Then I widen the shade with the middle color (VB2). The trick with this step is to blend in and out the three colours together.

And all that is left is to take the lightest shade and blend all together from outside to the inside of the pleat.

Colour the Scarf

The same four steps we can use for the scarf  with the lightest (BO1) – all over.

Marking the deepest regions with the darkest – BO3.

Blending them out with the middle shade – BO2.

And smoothing everything together with the first colour – BO1.

If you are not satisfied with the result yet you can repeat the final three steps over (and over) until you you like it or you can add some grays (here I used GG3 or GG5 on the scarf) to emphasize the shades.

Complete the image

Finish colouring as desired!

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re colouring!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Quick & Easy Christmas Tag


Short on time this festive season? This tutorial will give you an idea how to use pre-colored images on an easy Christmas tag and utilize another thing that there is always an abundance of in any crafter’s stash –  scraps of patterned paper.


The materials you need are:
– a colored image
– tag base (from some leftover pieces of CC Kraft Cardstock )
– frame and snow slopes (from Snow White Silver – Centura Pearl which is perfect for Christmas projects)
– some scraps of designer paper in the same palette as the colored image
– and whatever your favorite Christmas embellishments and decorations are.

The colored image has been previously colored with Illustrator markers:
Skin: FS3, FS5, FS7, FS9
Hair and Boots: BO1, BO2
Coat: YG1, YG2, YG3, CG3, CG3
Hat and Scarf: AP1,3 PP2, DP2

Arrange the tag base, the frame, the front piece of paper the image and the snow slopes (you can cut them by hand if you don’t have dies) to lay out the front as desired.

Since it’s a scrap project you can use whatever dimensions your paper pieces are – these are approximately 8/15 сm.


Cut the top sides into tag shape.

Make it symmetrical by using some of the first cut pieces as a model to trim the second edge.

Distress a bit the edges of the paper then glue all the layers together.


The fun part is in the back! Use some thin strips of paper that are usually left from making cards.

The base is an additional piece of paper that is approximately half centimeter smaller then the tag base in every direction.

Arrange the strips in any order that and glue them on this base.


The only thing left is to cut the spares from the back.


Tip: to add a personal message on the back, place a die-cut shape on top of the patterned paper.


Put some decorations like thousands of snowflakes, some ribbon, twine and lace and the tag is ready to be the centerpiece of a perfect Christmas gift! It would look marvelous wrapped in kraft paper. How easy was that?

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

How to match the wrapping paper with your card


In this tutorial I’ll show you a quick and easy way to make a beautiful gift set.

I love to match the wrapping with the card on which I write the birthday wishes on. That’s why I always keep a pack of simple kraft paper in my stash because it’s very easy to be modified.

One of the easiest ways to make it colorful is to take a stencil (or two) and to apply different patterns.


I usually go with some acrylic paints which I apply with a makeup sponge.


Then when I make the card I stick to the same color scheme (kraft and green) to color the central image.

Here I used my favorite Spectrum Noir markers to color the trousers in khaki with EB1, EB2, GB8, and GB11.

For the brown coat I used TN2, TN3, TN4, TN5 and EB3, EB7 and added the contrast blue-green vest (BT4, BT9; GT2, GT3) and scarf (BT2, BT4; GT1, GT2).

Then I stenciled the same patterns on the designer paper on the background and added some more hexagon shapes using Crafter’s Companion dies to unify the whole set.


Wrapping and tying with a simple brown string and it makes a stylish gift for one of the boys in your life, don’t you think?

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Coloring a Watermelon Slice


What is your favorite thing about summer? The sweet and juicy watermelon is one of my favorite fruits and in this tutorial I’ll show you how to color a slice of it with the Spectrum Noir Markers.


My image is called Anna Belle Sweetness from Tiddly Inks.

I’ve colored the skin with TN2, TN3, TN4, FS4 & FS9 and added some rosy cheeks with FS6 & FS8. T

The hair is colored in BG1, BG3, BG5, BG7 & BG10. The dress is colored with GB3, GB9, CT2, CT3 & CT4.


Now it’s time to start with the watermelon slice. I’ve colored the darkest parts with DR3.


Next, almost two-thirds of the way in, is the layer of DR1.


Then you color all the rest with CR7 or CR6.


The secret of making it natural is to add some dots – in the darker regions with DR6 and DR3 and in the lighter with CR5 and CR3.

Add a little bit of shade with BG1 on the inner part of the watermelon rind.


The rest is a an outer layer of LG2 and finishing the shoes (DR1, DR3 & CR7) and the hairband (LG1, LG2 & LG3).


I mounted the image in my art journal to celebrate the sweet taste of summer.

Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavolva

Doily Shaped Card


This tutorial will show you how to make one of my personal favorites – a doily shaped card. Shaped cards are really fun and easy to make, and provide a fun element to handmade papercrafts!



The materials that are needed are pictured above. The only two really necessary things are a doily shaped die and an image cut in a circle.

I colored the little fairy with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers (Skin: FS2, FS4, FS6, FS8, TN3, TN5; Hair: PP1, PP2, PP3: Crown: GB3, GB4, LY2; Wings: DG1, DG2, DG3).

I finished the rest with adding a pink flowery dress (see this tutorial: Paper Piecing and Coloring) and a delicate background (see this tutorial: Quick Background Around Your Image).


When all the coloring is done I usually add a little bit of sparkle with Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens.

Here on the wings I added Crystal Clear and on the dress Rose Quartz.

The card base was created with two doilies cut from a colored cardstock.


Cut the base of the card with the same die that was used to cut the image.

Use folded-in-half cardstock and don’t forget to leave some of the edge inside the circle as you can see on the picture.


Make a smaller circle from patterned paper for the inside of the card where  good wishes, happy thoughts, and handwritten notes would go.


Glue all of the parts together, carefully positioning all the elements  – the folding part on the side and the card should step on two neighboring parts of the doily.



All that is left is to choose your embellishments. I recommend not using very heavy ones because the card is not so steady and it may tip it down.



Have fun! Share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir tag) – we’d love to see what you’re coloring!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Using Spectrum Noir Markers in Art Journaling


This tutorial will show you several different ways of using Spectrum Noir markers in your art journal pages. Recently I have been dabbling in the colorful and infinite world of Mixed Media Arts, and using my markers has made it so fun and easy!


I made the background here using tissue paper, white gesso, some acrylic paints, a couple of texture stamps with permanent inks (Archival, StazOn) and structure paste with a stencil.


When all of this is ready and dried out (preferably overnight) you can use digital or real stamp to be the center figure of your page. I chose this Gorjus girl and I stamped it several times because I’ll do “paper piecing and coloring” (You can check my previous tutorial with this technique).


This is the time that can use your Spectrum Noir markers to do their coloring magic on the parts of the images that you are going to use.

Legs and hands on the first one are colored with FS4 and FS9, socks with DR7, CR7, CR11, BG1, BG3, BG4, and BG5.

The dress on the second image is colored with DR7, CR6, CR7, CR9, and CR11.

The hair on the third part is done with BG1, BG3, BG4, BG5, BG7, BG10 and the crown has LT1, LT3, and GB4.

Then you carefully cut the parts of and paste them together with some white PVA glue.

Of course you can use a whole colored image and the perfect part is that the Spectrum Noir alcohol markers’ ink dries permanent and cannot seep through whatever finishing medium (acrylic varnish, gel medium etc.) you use to seal your page.

The second use of the markers in the journaling projects is to color the letters for the sentiment of the page. I sometimes use die-cut letters to emphasize the big words or to write the entire phrase.


You cut them from whatever scrap paper you have and color them with the markers in all available colors.

After the image and the letters are ready I glue all the parts down and cover the entire page with some gel medium.

When it dries out we can add some more details like those stamped little hearts and to color them directly on the page with a marker.

You can use them to write on your own the quote or sentiment if you have calligraphy skills or beautiful handwriting (nothing like mine!).

Again you have to had in mind that the ink is permanent and the only way to make corrections is to “sacrifice” one of your blender pens and use it as an eraser (It cleans the mistakes by lifting the ink from the sealed page and gets “dirty” along the way).


This tutorial has shown you only three of the ways you can include Spectrum Noir markers in your mixed media projects. I hope you’ll find this tutorial useful and whenever you’re in doubt the things that you’ve created just look at the sentiment on the page and smile.

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Quick Background Around Your Image

In this tutorial I will show you a quick and easy way of making beautiful background around your colored images.


I chose this sweet little image from Tiddly Inks and I colored the skin (FS2, FS6, FS7) and hair (GB6, GB7, GB9).


The next steps are the clothes and the little hearts with (BT2, BT4, BT6) and (PP2, PP5, PP6).


When the image is ready we pick a cutting dye and adhere it with non-permanent tape.

This is very important step because we need the cutting dye to remain like that because it will help us to create an interesting white rim at the end. Be sure NOT to remove the dye from the image after we cut it out.


The next thing we need is a make-up sponge and some ink for the background. I scribbled some of the Sea Green Aqua Marker on an acetate sheet (as a palette) and then dabbed the sponge into the ink.

You can use some other not-quickly-drying ink like Distress as well.


Then with circular motion we apply the ink around the image and we can build up the intensity of the color by adding several layers or different inks as well.

The magic happens when we take the dye off because it gives nice and perfect white rim on the edge. You can experiment with some intricate and ornate dies for even more interesting results.

I put this little sweetie with some frames on a color box and with some embellishment it made a perfect way of giving a pretty girly present.



Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Creating Multicolored Hair


In this tutorial I will show you how to make a beautiful multicolored hair. I use this technique often when I make fairies and other magical ladies but it can give an extravagant effect on other projects as well.


I used this drawing (called Keep In Faith from Ching-Chou Kuik) because every strand of hair is separately drown and easy to color. I colored swiftly the face with FS2, FS9, TN3, TN5 and the sunflowers with EB3, EB7, TN3, TN5, GB3, GB6, GB7, LY1, LY3.

I will show you the basic steps with two color families – Cool Grays and Lavender – and you can upgrade from there.


First I usually begin with marking the shadiest regions with the darkest color – IG6.


Then with the lighter IG4 and IG1 I color the rest of the hair and the only trick is to not color all the way and leave lot of white spaces.


The next step is to switch on the lavender shades and color over some of the dark regions with the LV2.


And then with the LV1 you can add more color in the white spaces.


The final touch is the background.Here I used GB11 and LY1, LY2,  and LY3.


The same technique could be used with two different hues. In this fairy image on the foundation of a “brown-gray” hair I added strands colored with “blue-turquoises” and “green-turquoises”.

Hope you’ll try this and have some fun.

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Coloring Pink Baby Skin


Coloring light and/or pink skin tones can be tricky. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to easily color baby’s skin with the pink-ish shades of the Spectrum Noir flesh-tone family. Don’t you love the sweet little babies and their chubby arms and legs?


I usually start by marking the most shaded/deepest regions with just some dots of BG3. You can use HB as well, as Dilyana suggested in her tutorial Adding Skin Shades with HB2.


Then with FS8 (the shade I usually use on cheeks) I go over and expand the shades and emphasize some other regions. Don’t forget to make all your streaks curvy by following the natural body lines.


Then I continue to enlarge the colored regions with the lighter pink color (FS6).

The last step is to blend all the colors and make the skin a little bit more natural with some of the lightest shades of the FS family – FS1 or FS2.

I usually leave the most convex regions completely white and shiny.

I finished coloring the rest of the baby with:
Hair: GB1, GB3, GB4, GB8, EB2, LY2, LY3
Rug: GB1, GB3, GB4, GB8, LY2, LY3, OR1
Rabbit: FS2, FS6, FS8, FS9, IB1, IB2, BT1


And after all the coloring was done I thought I could give you an idea how to make a quick and easy present (I did this one in less than 5 minutes).

All you need is some pieces of patterned paper, baby themed die cuts, rhinestones and a white picture frame. You can make the gift even more personal by spelling the baby’s name.

Share a card or other project you make using this tutorial with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua) or on Twitter (@SpectrumNoir)! We’re also on Pinterest so tag us there as well for a chance to get re-pinned to our Colorist Creations board!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova

Blonde Hair Coloring with Spectrum Noir Markers


In this blonde hair coloring tutorial I’ll go “back to basic” and show you a simple way to color blond hair with Spectrum Noir markers. You can use it as a groundwork for all types of hair and I’ll even give you a couple of ideas how to upgrade your skills. I used the sweet digital image from the Scruffy Little Kitten collection called – Olivine-Mist.


First we’ll do simple blending.

Start by covering (almost) the entire hair with the lightest shade – GB1.


Next add the darkest color, for this type of blonde it will be GB9,  in the most shaded regions – on the top of the head and on the both ends of the tails.


Lighten the color by overlaying a lighter shade (GB6) and gently blending both colors using plain strokes.

When lightening the nuances don’t forget that every new layer should go slightly into the darker region, but not all the way.


Another layer of even lighter color (GB4).


And now blend the difference between GB4 and the first coat of color with our lightest – GB1.


If you are beginner and the hair seems all right to you, you can leave it like that – it looks wonderful!

For a more interesting and realistic view you can add some texture with the special brush nibs of the markers. With simple flickering motions you add the darker (GB10, GB9) and then some lighter (GB4) strands of hair.


And if it’s still not enough depth (I never get enough with coloring) you can use the Spectrum Noir blendable pencils to add even more texture to the hair (014, 084,085).


Hair: GB1, GB4, GB6, GB9, GB10
Skin: TN1, TN2, TN3, FS2, FS4, FS8
Clothes: BP1, BP2, BP7, PP6, DR7, LY1, LY2, CT3, CT4
Pencils: 014, 084,085

Hope you enjoyed this blonde hair coloring tutorial. I wish you a perfect crafty day!

Share a card or other project you make using this tutorial with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua) or on Twitter (@SpectrumNoir)! We’re also on Pinterest so tag us there as well for a chance to get re-pinned to our Colorist Creations board!

Tutorial credit: Kalina Pavlova