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

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