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

Creating Shimmer Sprays with AquaTint Inks


Stretching your craft supplies is always a great idea… everyone loves ideas to use things in an unexpected way! This video tutorial will share how to create shimmer sprays.

Tip: swap out the Christmas sentiment for a generic winter one and use these throughout the colder months!

Watch the video below showing how I make the sprays and also two cards using two different ways to use them, although there is a lot more different ways in which these can be used, and of course you can mix colors to create your own !

Don’t forget to give the sprays a good shake before using.

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: Tracy Freeman

Creating an Ombre Sequin Look


This video tutorial will show you how to get a sequin look with an ombre color pattern. Not familiar with the idea of an ombre pattern? It means “the gradual blending of one color to another” and usually moves from light tints to dark.

Check it out in this video:

Spectrum Noir alcohol markers used in this project:

Skin: FS9, FS5, FS2, FS1, CR2, CR1
Hair: EB8, EB6, EB3
Reds: DR6, DR5, DR3
Dress: IG8, IG7, IG6, IG4, IG2, IG1
Balloons: GG4, GG3, GG2, GG1, Blender
Crystal Clear Sparkle Pen

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: Mari Kocjancic

Making Plaid Backgrounds with AquaTints


I wanted to share a really fun and easy technique for making backgrounds. Plaid patterns are very on trend at the moment and I keep seeing them everywhere.

Making them yourself is super easy, and adding the metallics from the Essential sets makes them a bit dressed up. Perfect for the holidays.

If you want to go with another theme it’s easy to change the colors. You can make the plaid pattern with any of the Spectrum Noir pens and markers.

Use the broad tip of your alcohol markers or use the AquaBlend colored pencils to draw lines and use a wet brush to spread it out.

You can always go in on top with either the metallic AquaTints or the sparkle pens to dress it up. Have fun with it!

Tutorial credit: Maya Isaksson

Coloring Mummy Wraps and Simple 3D Decoupage Tutorial

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to color the wraps on a Mummy with the EB markers and the Blender Pen. I will also show you a quick and simple way to add 3D decoupage elements to your projects to add just a little dimension.



Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers used:
Owl: EB7 TN7 TN5 TN3 TN2  Beak: Tn6 GB5
Wraps: EB2 EB1 Blender
Owl image is by Kitty Bee Designs.

Tutorial credit: Mari Kocjancic

Wavy Background with Spectrum Aqua

Spectrum Noir Maya Isaksson tutorial september

You can’t really have too many background techniques in your arsenal. Here is one that is really fun to do, and it looks great for any occasion. Just change the colors.

Use good quality watercolor paper for this technique. You work the paper a lot and make many layers and many of the cheaper papers tend to pill when you go over it many times.

Spectrum Noir Maya Isaksson tutorial september detail

This technique is super easy. Just tape down your paper to prevent it from buckling up from the water. Scribble a few waves, add water, dry, repeat.

Take a look at this video for more information and have fun making waves!

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 Aquas used: Rose Pink, Amber, Sunflower, Blossom.
Sparkle pens used: Clear overlay, Moonlight and Solar red.
Stamps by My Favorite Things

Tutorial credit: Maya Isaksson

AquaBlend pencils on Kraft

Maya Isaksson Spectrum Noir foiled kraft tutorial

Experimenting with different kind of paper is a great way to stretch your supplies. The same image colored the same way can look really different by just switching your plain white cardstock to a colored one.

Discovering you could watercolor on regular kraft cardstock without warping or pilling was a happy accident to me but I fell head over heals for the look.

I printed my image using a laser printer and then foiled it with pink foil. This makes the card stand out a bit and the foil also helps with the watercoloring by acting as barriers between different fields so the color won’t bleed as easy if the area next to the one you are working on isn’t completely dry.

Don’t worry about the foil coming off by adding water or drawing on top of it. When you foil on toner from the laser printer it’s not coming off, it’s really stuck.

Here’s a video showing the coloring process. For this to work you have to be careful not to add too much water on paper not made for watercoloring.

A waterbrush helps having more control. Also be careful not to overwork the areas, don’t layer color until it’s good and dry.

Remember that this kind of paper absorbs the pigment into the fibers and you will probably not be able to remove streaks after the paper has dried so work pretty fast to get a smooth blend.

Experiment on a separate piece before starting, all papers are different.

I hope you got inspired to try different surfaces for your pencils. I went for the soft look but if you want to add some more contrast after you are done you can always go back with the ColourBlend pencils and add more shading. Good luck and have fun! 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!

Colors used: Oregano, Petunia, Blue Marine and Brunette.

Digital stamp by Make it Crafty

Tutorial credit: Maya Isaksson

Spectrum Noir Colorista Glitter Paper – Coloring Lilies

We’re joining in on another blog hop today, to get ready for the exciting launch of our new Colorista range of adult coloring products in the UK!

Check out this fabulous video tutorial, then read on for all the hop details (and see how to win more prizes!):


Spectrum Noir’s new Colorista line of adult coloring goodies offers several different paper finishes, including the beautiful, shimmery glitter paper. Certain parts of the design are pre-finished with a shimmery glitter that can be colored on, and the Spectrum Noir Colorista alcohol makers are the perfect companion for these papers. Learn more about Colorista by clicking here!

This video tutorial will show you how to color beautiful flower petals using the Spectrum Noir Colorista alcohol markers on the Colorista glitter paper.

The Colorista glitter pads add just the right touch of glittery goodness to your Spectrum Noir colorings.

Project Details:

Spectrum Noir Colorista Pre-Printed, Pre-Glittered card base
Spectrum Noir Colorista alcohol markers
Pinks – Rose Red, Hot Pink, Blossom
Greens – Forest Green, Leaf Green, Pear Green
Yellows – Gold, Canary, Lemon

Now for the blog hop fun! Want to win an assortment of Colorista goodies? Make sure you leave a comment everywhere you go… the winners from each blog will be announced on the Crafter’s Companion & SN Facebook page on the 9th Sept & the overall winner will be announced by Sara LIVE on Hochanda at the top of the hour on launch day! Be sure to join in on the Watch Party fun by clicking here.

In the US? Don’t worry, you can watch Hochanda online or on catch up at

Crafter’s Companion UK
Laine Webb
Lis Murphy
Nicole Bretherick
Jodi Clark
Alexia Misso
Giovana Smith
Spectrum Noir (you are here)
Annie Wills
Jo McKelvey
Bianca Shervington
Lori Barnett
Dana Warren
Sara Davies

Want even more inspiration and ideas?

Course sign up square US version

Sign up for our FREE eight-week coloring course! Click here to sign up.

Don’t forget to share your work with us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (use our #spectrumnoir tag) – we’d love to see your coloring projects!

Sparkling AquaTint backgrounds

Maya Isaksson Spectrum Noir July tutorial1

Making custom backgrounds is so trendy right now in papercrafting – we’ve been showcasing different ways to make your background unique all week here on our site. This tutorial will show you another fun option to try!

One big advantage with using liquid inks like the AquaTints is that you are able to mix it with different other mediums without risking to contaminate it. I mixed mine with Sparkle pens to make then shimmer but you could also use the very pigmented gold and silver AquaTints mixed in for a similar effect. I just wanted the clear shimmer this time.

I made sure to start by scribbling my Clear Overlay Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen to make sure not to contaminate it in any way and then I added the AquaTints.

I used a wet on wet technique on watercolor paper, so I made sure the paper was taped down to prevent warping from all the water.

Here is a video explaining the process.

I added extra interest to the backgrounds by adding droplets of water on my backgrounds and lifting it off with some dry paper to make bleached spots.

I also tapped my Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens to make spots of shimmer over it. Another idea is to scribble the Sparkle pens on some slick surface and using a wet paintbrush to pick it up and splatter over the background.

In the video I also show how I store my AquaTints in an ArtBin storage box together with the pipettes and a swatch book.

Here is another card using the same technique.

Maya Isaksson Spectrum Noir July tutorial2

Colors used:
AquaTints: 08, 55.
Spectrum Noir markers(for the second card): CR4, CR5, CR6, TB8, TB9.
Spectrum Sparkle Clear Overlay.

Stamps and dies by Lawn Fawn, Winnie & Walter and Mama Elephant

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 Isaksson

Fun Backgrounds with Spectrum Noir Aquablend Pencils

SN June tutorial unwatermarked

I have created a quick video to show you a fun technique for use with your Aquablend pencils.

This technique can create backgrounds as shown in the video, and the cards below. It can also be used to create a textured look, or even to create Cupcake sprinkles….the possibilities are endless and so much fun.

And here is the video showing how to achieve this look.

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: Tracy Freeman