Bokeh Technique


I would like to share a fun Spectrum Aqua marker tutorial.  We will create a background for an image, using the Bokeh Technique, which takes its inspiration from photography.

The term Bokeh comes from the Japanese word for blur or haze. In this tutorial we will produce a soft focus, slightly blurry effect with circles of color. You can also create your own backing papers.


For this project I have used various sizes and types of paint dabber. These can be purchased ready made, or in the case of the white dabbers pictured above, made from various widths of plastic tube.

Cut sections of cheap foam sponge to create the circular tops. A pencil with a rounded rubber makes a fabulous small paint dabber.


The image used is Dragonfly from Elisabeth Bell. This is a digital image which has been printed onto watercolor card from Crafter’s Companion and dried with a heat gun, to fix the image.

Strips of masking tape have been added round the edges to create a border and to secure to copy paper.  This also prevents movement during the ink dabbing process.

So that you can color over your stamp, the image has been painted using drawing gum. For this project Pebeo Drawing Gum Masking Fluid has been used.

Ensure your drawing gum is completely dry before you start working over your stamp.  Drawing gum must be applied to dry paper/card.

Apply Wildflower Spectrum Aqua ink directly from your maker onto a stamp mount or palette and dip your sponge dabber into the ink.

Place random dots over your selected area. These may appear blurry or fuzzy, this is part of the effect you are creating.

With the Blossom Spectrum Aqua marker – Rose Pink, apply ink to your stamp mount and pick up with a clean sponge dapper. Dab this onto your image, in a random manner.

As you have masked your image with the drawing gum you can apply circles of color, overlapping your image.


Using a different sized paint dabber, repeat the process with Spectrum Aqua marker – Heather.

The use of different size dabbers adds depth and definition to  your creation.

With your pencil pick up the Spectrum Aqua -Blossom, using the rubber end. This makes fabulous small circle detail.

The final Spectrum Aqua marker used is Sunflower. This is again applied with the rubber end of your pencil, which has been cleaned.


When you have finished adding your circles,  gently rub the drawing gum to remove this from your image.


Color the rest of the stamp as you require and peel the masking tape from the edges of your creation to reveal a white border area.


Your topper can then be added to your card. This is a really easy and fun technique.  I hope you will give it a try and share your creations with us on the Spectrum Noir Facebook page.

List of materials used to make this creation.

Digital Stamp – Dragonfly from Elisabeth Bell

Spectrum Aqua Floral markers for background:  Heather, Wildflower Blossom Rose Pink and Sunflower.  Meadow has been used to paint the grass detail.

Spectrum Noir markers/pencils:

Skin:  FS2, FS4, FS6, TN2, + 05, 09, 87

Clothes, flowers, grass and hair:  HB1, HB2, HB3, TB1, TB2, TB3, EB1,, EB2, EB3, TN2, CT1, CT2, LG1, LG2, LG3, GB2 GB4, + 14, 17, 39, 40, 45, 48, 67, 69, 80, 120

White gel pen detail for spots on top.

Papers, ribbon, lace, die cuts and pearls are from my craft stash.  Crafter’s Companion Watercolor card. Pebeo Drawing Gum masking fluid.

3 thoughts on “Bokeh Technique

  1. Thank you ladies. Jodi the dabbers are so easy to make. Julie, this is so much fun and creates such an effective background.

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