Creating Festive Sparkle with Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens

Adding some sparkle and shimmer to your creations just got easier with the addition of the Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens to the Spectrum Noir family.

For this card I have used two stamps from the Sheena Douglass ‘A Little Bit Festive’ collection. The image, background, and detail are created using the Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens and extra shimmer and glitter has been added, with the use of various glitters and gilding wax.

1 robin

The robin image from the stamp set is mounted and stamped onto the watercolor cardstock of your choice,  here Versafine Ink has been used.  The ink dries quite quickly and then you are ready to color.

Lay down the first layers of color to his bright chest and head,  starting with Sparkle pen ‘Moonlight’ and then an over-layer of ‘Harvest Moon’.

These pens have a very fine flexable nylon brush and are ideal for use with the ‘flicking technique’.  Hold your pen close to the nib and with a quick ‘flicking’ action add fine lines of color detail. The ink is applied straight from the pen to the image here and has a rich pigment, with lots of sparkle.

2 robin

To increase the depth to his bright red chest use Sparkle pens ‘Solar Red’ and ‘Red Berry’, using the same flicking motion.


As these pens are water-based they are very flexible when using. If you find you have added to much pigment to your coloring this can be easily removed by adding a touch of water and blotting up the excess with some tissue.

You can then reapply your color detail as required. If you color over the lines of your image, this can be removed with use of water and tissue.

4 robin

When you are happy with the color of his breast and head you can go on to coloring the feathers.

I have used ‘Smoked Quartz’ for this.  The pigment in this pen is really rich, dark and very shiny.

For this layer I applied the marker to my palette and watered down lighly and applied to the image using a fine nib brush. A second layer of more intense pigment can be added to create shadow where required.

5 robin

For this coloring I wanted the robin to be sitting on a tree branch.  I added some ‘Smoked Quartz’ and ‘Inspired Violet’ to the palette and blended these together to draw the branch.

I went back with some of each of the pigments to create depth and detail to the branch.

6 robin

The background for the image was created using ‘Aquamarine’  The pigment was again added to the palette and applied with a moist paintbrush all over the background.

As you move outward from the image add more water to the ink, so that the color area becomes lighter.  When you have colored your background, scrunch some tissue or paper towel/kitchen roll, dip this lightly in water and apply to the sky area of your image.

This will create your cloud detail.

7 robin

The finished colored main image. Some clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle medium was added to the branch to blend the color and to add further sparkle detail.

leaf 1

To decorate the card, the holly stamps from the set were used.  These were also stamped onto watercolor card.  A layer of  ‘Moonlight’ ink was added to the outside areas of the leaves.

leaf 2

Next ‘Soft Jade’ was applied to create some color tone. To color the leaves the Spectrum Noir Sparkle inks were added straight from the pens.

leaf 3

Definition is created with a layer of ‘Emerald Green’.

leaf 4

Shadow and tone are created with ‘Holly Leaf’ used in areas of shade and to create central definition on the leaves.


To create the colors for the bright holly berries ‘Solar Red’ and ‘Red Berry’ were used.  Light detail was added with small areas of white gel pen as show above.

IMG_7089pm_zps0ztkz7xa (2)

The finished image and holly detail added to a card.  Here you can see the sparkle detail, caught by the camera, particularly on the chest area of the robin and on the holly leaves.

Other glitter mediums were added to the image to add to the fun festive sparkle.

Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens used: Moonlight, Harvest Moon, Solar Red, Red Berry, Smoked Quartz, Inspired Violet,  Aquamarine, Soft Jade, Emerald Green, Holly Leaf,
Stamp Set – A Little Bit Festive – Sheena Douglass

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: Laine Webb

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