Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend

A great feature with Spectrum Noir markers is the ability to blend colours together. The “Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend” technique is easy to learn and gives amazing results. With this method, you can easily colour a darker marker shade that will gradually fade into a lighter marker colour.

Before you start

Like any other colouring or blending technique, you will want to practice. This tutorial shows how to apply dark green marker to the tip of a light green marker, then colour with it. The end result is a beautiful green ombre effect.

Tip-to-Tip Blending is also a great way to colour small areas that regular blending techniques would be difficult to do. Try this technique using the fine bullet nib to colour with.

The Tip-to-Tip Technique

To begin, open the broad chisel nib end of your CG3 marker. Then, using the fine bullet nib end of the CG4 marker, touch it directly to the chisel nib of the CG3 marker as shown in picture.

Hold it there for about three seconds. As shown in the sample picture, the darker ink will begin to transfer on the nib of the lighter marker. The longer the marker tips are touching, the more ink that will transfer to the lighter marker.

You will be colouring on to the paper with the lighter coloured marker.

Before you start colouring, think about where you want the darkest colour. That is where you will begin colouring. The darker ink will transfer to the paper first, and then begin to fade to the lighter ink colour.

This spot was coloured by stroking the marker back and forth. Try colouring several “green ombre” patches, following the same process of adding dark marker colour to the light marker nib, and colouring back and forth.

Will it hurt my markers?

Tip-to-Tip blending does not ruin or cross-contaminate Spectrum Noir markers. Simply scribble onto some scratch paper until the darker colour comes completely off.

This can also be done anytime during the coloring process, if you applied to much dark. When you are finished colouring, always remember to clean the marker nib by scribbling onto scratch paper until it returns to the original ink colour.

Make a project

Now that you have some nice green ombre patches of colour, die-cut some shapes to use on a project.

When die cutting the four hearts, position the bottom tip of the heart in the darker green area.

Use the hearts to make a 4-leaf clover. Notice the nice fade from dark green in the centre to lighter green.

The little “pocket” was die cut from black cardstock and will be used as a pot. What a great way to stretch your supplies!

More ways to use this technique

Here’s another version that was made into a note card.  The blending possibilities with your Spectrum Noir markers are endless with the Tip-to-Tip Marker Blend technique. Try using the Blender marker for a fade from colour to white. Alternatively, try using markers from different colour families, such as red and yellow. Have fun!

Tutorial credit: Lori Barnett

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!

Supplies used to complete these projects:

  • Spectrum Noir Markers – CG3 and CG4
  • White Cardstock
  • Kraft Cardstock
  • Crafter’s Companion Little Angel Signature Collection by Sara Davies – My First Outfit Die Set
  • Crafter’s Companion Shimmering Cardstock – Black Pearl
  • Gemini Die cutting and Embossing Machine
  • Sequins and Rhinestone
  • Dimensional Foam Adhesive
  • Liquid Adhesive
  • Foam Blending Tool
  • Distress Ink – Gathered Twigs

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

Create an Outdoor Scene

This tutorial will share how I created this fun camping-themed outdoor scene. My husband and I enjoy camping and doing things with the kids outdoors, so I thought this was the perfect idea behind a sweet card to give him.

I started with a simple piece of the Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock cut to 4×5-1/4. I usually use this size for all of my card panels I create.

It’s a little smaller than the card size, which is 4-1/4×5-1/2 folded down. It leaves a nice thin border all around my main panel.

Create the Night Sky

I started off applying ink with a craft sponge in a swirling motion. This will create my night sky.

After I apply the lighter blue, I come in with a darker blue and craft sponge blending them together. I go back and forth using the lighter and darker blue to blend them until I achieve the color I like for my night sky.

It did dry a bit darker than what you’ll see above, which is exactly what I wanted. Keep in mind that I’m going to cover up the bottom portion so you won’t see the uneven color at the bottom.

Since this is a night sky, I applied some spray mist in white and flicked that on to my night background. I dotted on some larger “stars” with the end of the nozzle wand.

Open up the bottle and load the end of the nozzle wand with the paint. I tap on that to flick the dots on to the background. Let this dry completely before moving on.

Colour the Clouds

The next step is to stamp the clouds and the camper onto the Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock.

Tip: As you can see, I used a piece of scrap that I had in my stash. It helps to keep smaller scraps of the cardstock in your stash for small images like these.

After I stamped them, I used a glitter pen and lighter grey color from my Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers to create the depth in the clouds.

Use Spectrum Noir Markers to Palette Blend

For the green on the camper overhang, I chose two different greens. The darker of the two is quite a bit darker, so this is where the palette blending method comes in handy.


Take your darker color and use the broad end to color a swatch onto an acrylic block.

What you’ll end up doing is taking your lighter color and picking up that darker color from your block and use that to blend together on your paper.

As you can see, the green isn’t as dark as it actually is if you were using the color straight from the marker.

I did this for the brown on the door and the aqua for the top of the camper.

It’s a great way to blend your colors!

I colored in the chevron pattern and the remainder of the little elements on my camper with the Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers.

Next, I cut out the clouds and camper leaving a thin white border around each of them.

All the elements are complete, and I can start to assemble the card.

I freehand cut the green hill at the bottom of the card. I glued that down and will use the foam adhesive to adhere the clouds and camper the card. The sentiment was stamped off the side to allow placement for the camper. I laid it out before I stamped the sentiment to maker sure it was going to fit where I wanted it

And here is the finished card again:

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!


  • Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock
  • Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers: GG1, CT2, GB5, DG2, DG3, IB1, FS5, CR1, BGR1, GR5, BT1, BT5
  • Memento Ink: Nautical Blue & Tuxedo Black
  • Versafine Ink: Onyx Black
  • Mister Huey’s Spray Mist
  • Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass
  • Sweet Stamp Shop, Campout Stamp Set

Floral Images Can Sparkle!

Add sparkle to your floral images with Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens. This tutorial will share how to design a fun and easy reverse “z fold” card to display your colouring. It will also create a card base showing embellishments in detail.

Watercolour the images similarly:

To begin with use two identically matched stamps to create a front and an inside image for your z fold card.

The stamps are different sizes to add detail and interest to the project. Apply your stamps to Rock-a-Block (or preferred) stamping mounts.

Then apply VersaMark clear ink to the stamps and print images onto watercolour card.  Sprinkle with Embossing Powder and set with a Heat Tool.

Creating shaped images:

In addition the images can be cut to the shape/size that you require, as can be seen.

Colouring the petals:

First add the Aquamarine marker to the bottom of the petals, this is the darker pigment. Then add the Moonstone over the Aquamarine before this dries.

This will blend the colours and create a colour gradient from dark to light. Apply the pigments straight from the pens to the stamped images.  Shake the pens well before use to disperse the pigment.

Colour the flower centres:

Next Harvest Moon pigment adds a deep orange glow to the base of the floral centers. Working toward the edge of the centers add the Moonlight marker to blend, shape and lighten.

Colour the leaves:

Finally a soft green tonal effect created for the leaves and stems. Blending the Peacock Blue and Soft Jade markers in like manner.

Completed coloured images:

The coloured stamps side by side so that matching colour palette displayed, as shown above.

Display your images:

As can be shown adding a sprinkle of sequins over your colouring increases the visual impact .   Mounting onto co-ordinating mats adds further sparkle and definition.

Create the z fold card base in detail:

Start with a piece of A4 card.  Score at 7.5cm and 15cm on the longer length.   Cut 3 pieces of matching designer papers 1 piece 14cm x 20cm and a further 2 pieces measuring 6.5cm x 20xm.  

Apply to designer papers to each white panel as shown in the picture.

Instantly adding depth to your card base:

Extra depth and definition can be added to your card base with the addition of another layer of  mats and mounts.

Cut 3 white mats measuring:  1 x 13cm x 18.5cm

2 x 6cm x 18.5cm

Cut 3 layers of designer paper:  1 x 12.5cm x 18cm

2 x 5.5cm x 18cm

As can be seen the addition of the mats and layers across the project lifts the card to another level.

Adding your reverse z fold detail across the bottom of the card:

Next cut a strip of A4 white card of a depth to fit the die cut of your choice and a strip of designer paper.  Here the white card is 5cm deep and the paper is 2cm deep. Fold the strip in the same manner as the card base scoring at 7.5cm and 15cm.  

Reversing the z fold strip, with the longer panel attached to the card front. Attach the smaller panels on the inside of the card.  

Additionally apply die-cut detail and designer paper to the card strip and add to the bottom of the card.

Decorate the finished project:

Finally apply the coloured panels to the card base.  

Further decorate with die cuts and detail including flowers or ribbon to create a uniquely individual creation!

In conclusion a closer view of the finished stamp, demonstrating sparkle detail. All in all a creation full of glimmer and shine!

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: Laine Webb


Spectrum Noir Sparkle Markers:  Moonstone, Aquamarine, Moonlight, Harvest Moon, Peacock  Blue, Soft Jade.
Larger Stamp – Everlasting Love – Leonie Pujol
Smaller Everlasting Love stamp from free set including in Crafter’s Inspiration Magazine Issue 13
Crafter’s Companion Watercolour Card, Sheena Douglass Stamping Card, Coredinations Card
Sara Signature English Country Garden Designer Papers 12 x 12
Various Crafter’s Companion Cutting Dies
The Big Score Board
Ribbon, sequins and flowers are from personal stash

No-Blend Shading with Spectrum Noir Colorista Markers

Create gorgeous effects with shading

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to incorporate shading into your coloring? This tutorial will show you several ways to add shading without blending when coloring with your Spectrum Noir Colorista Markers.

For each step of the tutorial, the area in reference will be highlighted with a blue circle. The Colorista marker colors used for this tutorial are Leaf Green and Pear Green.

Learn the technique

Begin by coloring a base layer of Leaf Green. It’s perfectly fine if some areas end up a little darker than others, this will add some natural shading. Let this area dry for a few minutes.

Proceed to color alternating sections of the leaf with the same color, Leaf Green. This second layer will build upon the first layer and will become much darker. If you wish to, you can let this dry and and then color over these areas again to make them even darker.

For the next leaf, begin by coloring alternating sections with a base layer of Leaf Green.

Color in the remaining sections using Pear Green. This will give the illusion of shading while adding a pop of color at the same time.

The final shading method will again begin with coloring a base layer of Leaf Green.

Using Pear Green, color on top of the Leaf Green in each alternating section. This will create a deeper shade of green with a mixed hue of both colors. Have fun playing with different combinations of colors layered on top of each other to see what new shades you can create with your Spectrum Noir Colorista markers.

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: Jodi Clark

Project Details:
Spectrum Noir Colorista Exquisite Florals Premium Marker Pad with colourable glitter
Colorista Markers
Leaves – Leaf Green, Pear Green
Flowers – Rose Red, Nectarine, Gold

Introducing Spectrum Noir Colorista Dark

colorista dark 1

New for adult coloring enthusiasts

Colorista Dark is the new addition to Spectrum Noir’s Colorista range, with luxurious metallic pencils and co-ordinating paper pads for adult colouring enthusiasts.

colorista dark 1

Colorista Dark Pencil Pads

There are three new 16-page pencil pads in the range! Two are 6″x6″ and one is a tag-shaped pad, all of which feature artist-quality black paper with thick-spot UV.

colorista dark 3

Metallic Pencils

The metallic pencils are packaged in a 12-pencil tin. They create a dramatic effect on the black paper designs, with shimmering results that can be used for cards, tags, gifts and more.

colorista dark 4

When can you get Colorista Dark?

This exciting new range will be available in the UK from Monday, 27th February – you’ll see it live on Hochanda in the evening! The range will make its US debut on HSN Wednesday, 8th March.

See more inspiration

Our design team has been hard at work creating amazing samples to share!

Check out more on our Pinterest board:

And make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more sneak peeks!

Adding shimmer to embossed backgrounds

Spectrum Noir Shimmer background tutorial 1

Create a shimmer background

This tutorial will focus on how to add shimmer to embossed backgrounds with Spectrum Noir AquaTint inks.

Gather your supplies

First, get all of the supplies you nee din one place, to make crafting easy!

You will need Gold or Silver AquaTint inks to recreate this project.

In addition to this you also need a piece of foam or a sponge of some kind. You also need an embossed piece of cardstock. If you would like to color your background like I did you can use any kind of dye inkpad with some ink blending foam.

Watch the video

Other ideas with AquaTint inks

The metallic AquaTints are favourites among the design team and many artisits & colorists. I personally use them to splatter over my cards for shimmery dots.

Spectrum Noir Shimmer background tutorial 2

I also use them to mix with different watercolour mediums to add shimmer and I sometimes like to add stripes or to dress up the edges of my cards.

Supplies: AquaTints: 70

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: Maya Isakkson

February Challenge & January Winners!

New challenge for February

Ready for a brand new challenge? Color up ANYTHING you want using your Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, Sparkle markers, blendable colored pencils, watercolor pencils, Spectrum Aqua markers, or AquaTint inks, put it on any card or project, and you can play along with us! Share your work with us, enter below and you’ll be in with a chance of being chosen for our Card of the Month or Top Three spots!


Want to be in with a chance of winning $30/£30 in Spectrum Noir or Spectrum Aqua products? Color a project using our bonus theme, like our Design Team did, and you’ll be entered to win loads of coloring goodies! Please remember to use only Spectrum Noir products for coloring; you may enter up to five times. Keep reading for details on how to enter!

Card/Project of the Month – January 2017

Ready to see all the wonderful inspiration from challenge colorists from January?

First we’ll start with our Card/Project of the Month. Congratulations to Barbara Ann! Such beautiful coloring with our colored pencils!

Top Three – January 2017

Second we’ll show you our Top Three honorees (in no particular order)!

Esther Heinze actually created five different cards with her colouring page – see them all on her blog!

Leigh Walters did an amazing job colouring her altered album for a very special occasion- what a lovely wedding gift!

Nikki Davis coloured up this darling elephant!

Random Winner

The month’s randomly selected winner of $30/£0 in Spectrum Noir products is Jan Connor – see what she made here!

Congratulations to all of our winners! Please email and let us know which prize you won so we can send you the blinkie and other prize details! Just click the email address to email us!

Play along with our current challenge

We hope to see everyone playing along in this month’s challenge! Enter here: .

Coloring Fair Skin Part Two

This is the second part of the coloring Fair Skin and Hair tutorial.

Part 1 of this tutorial can be found HERE.

Coloring Red Hair Tutorial

In coloring red hair we will be using Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers TN7 TN6 and OR1.

Start by applying the darkest color, TN7 in the shadow areas of the hair.  Once all the shadows are drawn in, add a few small flicks of color further into the hair area.

The more of this color you add, the darker the final hair color will be. In order to get a lighter red I used very little of the TN7.

Next add in some of the TN6. Follow the same flicking motion as in the previous step, leaving spaces between the flicks for the next color.

Finish the hair with OR1. Use the same flicking motion as before, filling in the leftover white space. Also try to the keep some space between the “flicks” to allow the color variation to show.

After finishing with OR1,  go back with the Tn7 and darken up the shadow areas if needed.

Other Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers used on this project:  FS9 FS4 FS2 TN1 CR2 TN2 GG2 GG1 BT5 BT4 BT2 GB9 GB7 GB4 DG2 CG1 LG2


Watercolored Three-Tier Gift Box

This watercolored gift box set uses just one Spectrum Aqua Marker. An easy to make project that is sure to impress!

How to watercolor the box lids

First, trim two sheets of 8 1/2” x 11” Spectrum Aqua Watercolour Cardstock as shown in picture.

Then apply anti-static powder to each panel, if desired. On the three lid panels, use VersaMark ink to stamp flowers. Heat emboss with white embossing powder. On the left-over scrap panels, stamp and heat emboss more flowers. These extra flowers will be used to embellish the boxes.

Next, to watercolor the box lids, color Kingfisher Aqua marker randomly around the flowers.

After that apply a wet watercolor brush to an uncolored area, and then work the brush into the ink color. The ink will begin to flow into the wet areas, and you can continue to brush the color around as desired. The goal is to create a watercolor background around all the flowers.

How to watercolor the flowers

First, color the flower centers, and then blend out with watercolor brush.

Next color the flower embellishments with the Kingfisher Aqua marker in the areas you want darkest.

Then apply a wet watercolor brush to uncolored area, working the brush up to the ink. The ink will flow into the wet area and create beautiful watercolor flower petals.

Finally, set aside the panels to completely dry. Once dry, trim out all the flowers from the scrap panels and add a pearl to the centers. These will be used to decorate the boxes.

How to make the lids using The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Board.

First place the lid panel onto The Boxer Board with one edge butted up against the “Box Lid” sidebar. Score at the 1″ line. Repeat this on all edges of all three panels.

Next cut a small v-shaped notch in each of the corners, where the scored lines intersect. The first cut should be along one of the scored lined, and the diagonal line should be cut from the excess corner piece. Fold and crease along each of the scored lines and adhere the corner tabs to form the lids.

How to make the box bottoms using The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Board.

Start by creating the bottoms using three panels of white cardstock (measurements below). This time butt them up against the “Box Bottom” sidebar to score the lines. Cut corner notches, crease, and adhere the same way as the box lids.

Box bottom cutting and scoring measurements:

  • Large box bottom – 11 1/2” x 11 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/2” Box Bottom score line.
  • Medium box bottom – 9 1/2” x9 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/2” Box Bottom score line.
  • Small box bottom – 7 1/2” X 7 1/2” panel, score at 2 1/4” Box Bottom score line. (Note: The side tabs may need trimmed off a bit on this box bottom before adhering.)


Finally, assemble the boxes by stacking on top of each other, adhering together if desired.

Tie ribbon around the stack and embellish with cut out flowers.


Tutorial Credit: Lori Barnett

Supplies used for this project:

  • Spectrum Aqua Watercolour Cardstock
  • Spectrum Aqua Marker – Kingfisher
  • Crafter’s Companion Sheena Douglass Groovin’ 60’s Collection – Bloomin’ Sixties EZMount Rubber Stamps
  • The Ultimate Crafter’s Companion and The Boxer Score Board
  • Watercolor Brush
  • Anti-Static Pouch
  • VersaMark Ink Pad
  • White Embossing Powder
  • Heat Embossing Gun
  • 12” x 12” White Cardstock
  • White Pearl Stickers
  • White Ribbon
  • Dimensional Foam Adhesive
  • Adhesive