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


Coloring Light Blonde Hair

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Hair color combinations are one of the most popular tutorial requests we get here at Spectrum Noir! Did you know we have a whole section on the site dedicated to coloring hair with markers and/or colored pencils (see it here) and a downloadable hair chart featuring our alcohol markers you can grab for free as well (get it here).

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This tutorial will feature coloring light blonde hair with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers TN2, GB2 and TN1.

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The first step is to add the darkest color, TN2, in the shadowed areas of the hair.

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After all the shadowed areas are finished, add some tiny flicks extending from the shadows toward the highlight area.

Using less of this color will leave a lighter color, if you want the hair to be slightly darker, just add a little more of this color.

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Repeat this step with GB2 extending a little further into the highlight area.

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Repeat the above step one more time with the lightest color TN1 extending the rest of the way into the highlight area. If you fell you’ve lost some of the depth in the shadow areas you can go back in and add a little more TN2 in those areas.

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!

Other Spectrum Noir Markers Used: BT3 BT2 BT1 CR2
Image by Bugaboo Stamps, printed and colored on Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Cardstock.

Tutorial credit: Mari Kocjancic

ColourBlend Pencils on Kraft Cardstock

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Coloring on kraft cardstock is fun and using the Spectrum Noir ColourBlend pencils produces a subtle, soft effect when applied.



For this project (which I have used Neenah Desert Storm kraft for) we will look at coloring the skin and hair of the image using the Spectrum Noir ColourBlend pencils. A digital stamp from Tiddly Inks has been printed onto the kraft cardstock using a draft setting.  

The Ginger pencil has been used to add areas of shadow and depth of color as shown in the picture. Some extra detail has been added to create the nose and eye sockets.


A warm rosy glow has been added to the cheeks with the Antique Rose pencil.


The shaded area on the skin is extended with the Cider pencil. Blending solution has not been used for this coloring as the pencils easily blend themselves and each other.  

The Antique Rose and Ginger layers have been blended using the Cider pencil. The pencil is applied with a light touch and a smooth round direction.


Further definition is added with the Spice Brown pencil round the area of the hair, and to accentuate the nose and eye sockets.  

Also in the areas of deep shadow on the arms and legs.  

The Cream pencil is applied over all of the colored layers to further blend and to add highlight to the areas of skin which catch the most light.


This image has thick hair which has been drawn with many layers and areas where light and shade can be created with your pencils.

Starting with the Ginger pencil, hold the pencil in an upright position and apply the color pigment using sweeping flicking strokes. Leave areas of the hair where the light is reflected uncolored.


Add interest to the color blend with the Russet pencil.


The Auburn pencil is used to create depth and shadow and applied near the hair parting and in the deeper layers of the hair.


Lighten the color blend by again applying the Ginger pencil.


A layer of shine is added with the Cinnamon pencil and Daisy is used to color highlights in the areas of hair which are uncolored.  The Black pencil redefines the outine and layers of the hair and is used in areas of deep shadow, at the parting and under the face of the image.


The coloring is completed with the coloring of her dress, shoes and cake. The background is also created.

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The completed coloring is mounted onto a layer of Core’dinations cardstock and  Crafter’s Companion kraft cardstock.

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!

Spectrum Noir ColourBlend Pencils:  
Skin and hair:  Ginger, Antique Rose, Cider, Spice Brown, Cream, Russet, Auburn, Cinnamon,  Daisy, Black  
Clothes, cake and background:  Velvet, Sea Urchin, Pink Violet, Daisy, Cherry Red, Sea Foam, Stone, Black

Tutorial Credit: Laine Webb

Coloring Blue-Gray Hair


This tutorial will show you how to color blue/gray hair. I will be using Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers in the following colors:

IG1, IG3, IG7


The image featured in this tutorial is “Grand Couple” by Some Odd Girl.  

Color in just the shadowed areas on the gentleman’s hair with IG7 (using very small flicking motions).

Tip: use very little of this color if you want the hair to be more gray than black.


Repeat the same step as above with IG3 and extend the flicks a little further into the highlight section.  

Do the same thing again with IG1 and this time extend it all the way through the highlight area of his hair.

Leave some small bits of white between the flicks of the IG1 if you want the hair to look even lighter or shinier.


Using the BGR5 color in the shadowed area of the lady’s hair with the same flicking motion used before.

Her hair is a little longer so the flicks are a little longer. Again just a little bit of this dark color is used so that her hair appears more gray than black.


Add TB2 using the same flicking motion. Extend it from the shadowed area all the way through the highlight, leaving just a few small bits of white paper showing through.


Add in BGR3, flicking toward the highlighted area and extending them a little further than the BGR5.  

Repeat this step once more with BGR1.


You may see that some of the darker shadowed areas have been a little diluted by the other markers. If you want to darken them up again, just repeat the first step with BGR5.

You can use the same technique to color in the eyebrows as well.


Since gray hairs often have an almost silver shine to them I added just a tiny bit of Clear Sparkle Pen to her hair just to give it that little bit of shimmer!

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!

Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers used on this card:
FS2, FS4, FS9, TN4
BGR5, BGR3, BGR1, TB2, IG7, IG5, IG3, IG1
CR7, DR7, DR6, PP5, PP4, PP2
DG3, CG4, CG2, LG5
GB6, GB4, CT2, TN7, GB10, GB8, EB2
Clear Sparkle Pen

Tutorial Credit: Mari Kocjanic

Focus on Folds

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This tutorial looks at coloring with the Spectrum Noir AquaBlend watercolor pencils.  There are various ways to use this coloring medium.

For this project we will apply the pencil color directly to an image and disperse the color with a moist, but not to wet, paintbrush.


This is a digital image printed onto watercolor paper.  The image is given a light coating of clear embossing powder immediately after printing and heat embossed to seal the ink lines. Decide where the light will be hitting your image.

For this coloring this would be from the front and slightly to the left of the image.

Starting with the Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Hyacinth pencil, apply a thin layer of color to the areas where you wish to create the most color and depth.


Using a moist paintbrush which has been dipped in water and dried lightly on a piece of paper towel (kitchen roll), spread the areas of color towards the center of your pleats.

The pencil pigment moves easily with the added water.  If you need to lift some areas of color, add more water to your brush, apply to the area and dab with dry kitchen roll.


Apply Hyacinth pencil to all areas of the dress and shoes as shown in the picture.


Repeat the process to spread the pigment using your almost dry paintbrush. This is high quality pigment and requires the slightest moisture to assist with spreading and blending.


To create extra depth and definition to the folds add Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Wild Ochid.

This is a darker color pigment and will add shade and tone to your coloring.

Spread the pigment from the edges to the center of each fold and the top of the dress using your moist paintbrush.


The final shade for coloring the dress is Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Aubergine.  Apply to the image as shown in the picture and disperse pigment with your moist brush.

You can then adjust any areas of color as your require by moistening you brush, applying this to the area and dabbing with paper towel (kitchen roll).


Apply Spectrum Noir AquaBlend pencil – Straw to areas of skin in shadow and spread pigment using your paintbrush.


Extra shade and tone is given to the skin with the use of Spectrum Noir AquaBlend pencil – Ginger, applied directly to the image.

Use where the crease lines and shadow would naturally be on the skin. This in worked into the image gently with your moist paintbrush.


Warmth is added to the skin with the use of Spectrum Noir AquaBlend pencil – Coral.

This is applied to the cheeks, under the eyebrows, lightly round the hairline and where the knees would be.

Again blend with your moist paintbrush.  You will see the skin of the image looking more rounded and appear to rise from the background card.


Light strokes of Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Clay pencil are added to the hair area and blended with your moist paintbrush.


Beautiful rich color and tone are added to the hair with Spectrum Noir AquaBlend Cherrywood, applied directly over and blended into the Clay.

Cherrywood is also used to color the ribbons on the parcel.


Bright Green Spectrum Noir AquaBlend pigment is applied to the parcel area and blended with your moist paintbrush.


The background detail is created with Spectru Noir AquaBlend Skyblue and Cherrywood.

Pencils are applied directly to the card round the image and blended with your moist paintbrush.

Your coloring can now be reviewed and any areas of color and light added with pencil or removed with your moist brush and paper towel (kitchen roll).


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Cut, mount and decorate your image as required.  Here you can see the smooth blending on the areas of her dress and skin.  These pencils are a delight to work with.  Enjoy your coloring!

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!

List of materials used:

Spectrum Noir AquaBlend watercolor pencils – Hyacinth,  Wild Orchid, Aubergine, Straw, Ginger, Coral, Clay, Cherrywood, Bright Green, Sky Blue.
Crafter’s Companion Watercolor Card.
Image is from A Day For Daisies – Fashion Presents.
Coredinations Card for Mat.
Crafter’s Companion Kraft Card for card base.
Sequins are from my stash

Tutorial credit: Laine Webb

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

Sepia Coloring using Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils


This tutorial will focus on using Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils to color with a sepia-toned effect. Coloring with sepia tones creates a wonderful nostalgic feeling in a piece of artwork.

For the clothing (and landscape as well), I chose the following colors: 100, 094, 090, 088, 008.

Always use a light touch with the pencil coloring throughout the tutorial until reaching the “burnishing” stage, which is when we will use a light-toned pencil to do a final blending and smoothing of the colors.


I have tamped my image on watercolor cardstock. To begin, use pencil number 100 to add a touch of color in areas where darker shadows would appear. Here I have added shadows around the arms, sleeves, neck line, and shorts as well as some of the landscape elements that would have shadows cast onto them.


Next, using pencil number 094, color over and then extend past the previous coloring out towards the white areas.


The third layer of color will be created using pencil number 090. Repeat the process by coloring lightly over the first two layers of color and extend the 090 past those out into the white areas.

You can see that the white, or “highlight” areas are getting smaller as we add more color.


Using pencil number 088, color using the same procedure as the previous two steps, filling in most of the remaining white areas of the objects that are being colored.


When you have completed the first four layers of color, repeat the entire process using the same four colors (100, 094, 090, 088) in the same order, coloring over the top of the existing coloring.

This will add more vibrancy to the coloring as the layers of color build up. You can see in my picture here that I have done the second layering of all four colors on the shirt, but not yet on the rest of the image.

SepiaStep6Once you are happy with the way your shading looks, the final step will be the burnishing. Using pencil number 008, color over the areas that you have completed, pressing a little harder to blend the colors together and smooth out the texture of the paper that still shows through.


For the hair coloring, I used the same four colors – 100, 094, 090, 088 but then used 005 for the burnishing. Also, instead of working darkest to lightest, I reversed the sequence and worked lightest to darkest.

To begin, use pencil number 088 to draw in “strands” of hair by drawing some lines in the open areas.


Next, using pencil number 090, draw in more lines in some of the remaining white areas.


Repeat the process of drawing in lines, this time using pencil number 094, in more of the white areas that are left. Some of these lines can cross over strands that have already been drawn in.


Take the darkest color, pencil number 100, and draw in lines only where the shadows would be. For this image, I followed the artist-drawn lines that were part of the stamped image.


Repeat the entire process of coloring the hair, beginning again with the lightest color (088) and working your way up to the darkest color (100) until the hair is mostly filled in.

Some white areas left are desirable to give the effects of highlights, so it isn’t necessary to have it completely filled in.

When you are happy with your hair coloring, use pencil number 005 for the burnishing.


Finally, we have the skin tones. For these, I used pencil numbers 089, 088, 006, 005.

Use pencil number 089 and color only in the shadow areas.

In the photo above, I have colored in at the edge where the arms and legs meet the clothing, as well as the undersides of the arms and legs and wherever other elements in the design would be casting a shadow on the skin.

SepiaSkinStep2Next, using pencil number 088, color over the first layer of skin color and extend the 088 out past that layer into the white areas a little bit.


The final layer of skin color will be colored using pencil number 006. Color over the first two layers of color and extend the 006 out into the white areas.


Using these same three colors in the same sequence, color another layer over all of the skin areas to build up the color and create vibrant sepia skin tones.

When you are happy with your skin tone, use pencil number 005 to burnish and blend the colors.

I hope you will give this technique a try! 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! Please feel free to leave your comments below, we very much appreciate reading them.

Tutorial credit: Fiona Robertson

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

Back to Basics with Spectrum Noir Markers – Part One


For this two-part tutorial we will work through coloring an image from start to finish.  Focusing on coloring the skin, hair, clothes and background/detail, working with Spectrum Noir markers.


This image is a digital stamp from Elisabeth Bell, printed onto Neenah Classic Crest card (in the US, you could also use our Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth cardstock).

A draft and grayscale setting was used on the printer and the image was left to dry overnight.

For this coloring the light is hitting the image from the right-hand side and areas to the left will be in shadow.

Starting with the Spectrum Noir marker FS2 color the skin as shown, leaving areas in most light clear.


To define shadow Spectrum Noir marker TN2 is applied as shown in the picture above. This gives roundness and depth to your image.


Spectrum Noir marker FS5 is applied over and round the TN2 to create a color blend for the skin and blended out with FS2.

Some definition is left in areas which would be in deepest shadow. This would be the back of the neck, under hair folds, nose and mouth, at the back of hands, arms and into wrist and finger detail.

On the back of the leg, shadow from dress, under knee and into the foot as shown.


Warmth is added to the image with use of Spectrum Noir marker FS6.

This is added to the cheek, back of neck, under arm and wrist areas and on the back of the outstretched leg and under the heel.


Spectrum Noir marker FS2 is applied over all areas of skin to blend and add shade to skin.


A reminder of the Spectrum Noir markers used to color the skin of the image.


To color an image you can work from light to dark or dark to light, there is no right or wrong way to color and it depends on the colorist’s personal choice.

For the hair of this image we start with the darkest shade, Spectrum Noir marker GB10, and color the sections of the hair which would be in most shade, as shown in the image.


Further shade and depth is added with Spectrum Noir marker GB7. A flicking motion is used to apply the color, either with the fine nib or with a brush nib.

Areas of light and shadow are being created by the application of color.


Spectrum Noir marker GB6 is next used.


Finally the lightest shade is applied, Spectrum Noir GB3.  The hair is now colored.

Notice that some areas have been left uncolored, this is where the hair would catch the light.

If you color beyond the edge of the image with your flicking strokes, this can be removed by your blender pen or blended into your image outline.


A reminder of the Spectrum Noir markers used to color the hair of the image.  A second layer of color can be applied to the hair if you wish to create more contrast and depth.

I hope you will find this tutorial useful.  There is a lot of detail to cover and I have split the tutorial into two parts. The second part of the tutorial, coloring the dress and background, will be posted later in the month.

Spectrum Noir markers used:

Skin:  FS2, FS5, FS6, TN2

Hair:  GB2, GB6, GB7, GB10

Image:  Music Box, Elisabeth Bell

Tutorial credit: Laine Webb


Single’s Day Card and How-To Video

I have a card I made using the paper piecing technique.  I made my paper using water color paper and the new Spectrum Aqua markers.  You can see this technique in my last video, Spectrum Aqua Techniques.  It is located at the Spectrum Noir YouTube Channel.

It features several techniques using the new Spectrum Aqua markers.  To make my paper I airbrushed the Spectrum Aqua onto the waxed paper, misted it with water and then let the fun begin by pick up the color with my piece of water color paper.

It is a fun and simple technique and it really allows you to customize your paper for any paper piecing project or to use as background paper for a card or 3D project.


I will demonstrate how to stamp your image directly onto the homemade designer paper.  I will then fussy cut it out and use it on a portion of my stamped image.

In the video below you will see several products from Crafter’s Companion in use.  I have included on my card embossing from an Embossalicious embossing folder (also available from Crafter’s Companion UK) and coloring with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  My sentiment and image are from SP and Company Stamps.

If you are going for a more feminine look to any card or project, you can add a doily.  I always pick them up on clearance after Valentine’s Day. I find that they really make a card dainty and are always a nice addition.

The card I am making in the video utilizes the doily and embossing folder to achieve a card that is still CAS (clean and simple) yet makes a great statement.

I love the sentiment as it can be used any day of the year.  I added it to a tab die cut out of the same homemade background paper.

Hope you like this card and video.  Also take time to visit our YouTube Channel for more tips and tricks from the Spectrum Noir Design Team.

Thanks for visiting!

Video and card by Jenn Cochran