Card making, rubber stamping techniques and project videos for papercrafters

How to Create a Sketchbook Look with Stamps & Pencils: Shading Techniques

Today Melanie will show you to use your stamps, paper and pencils to create glorious sketchbook-like illustrations for your cards and projects.  This is a wonderful way to personalize a stamped image, and the black and white tones on gray paper is so striking and unexpected. She offers tips about different drawing media and demonstrates a few simple shading techniques to try your hand at before making these cards with the realistic hand-drawn images in Stamper’s Favorites.  Start your own practice page like she did and then get busy playing, letting go of perfectionism! The process is like sketching in a garden, and the result will have you feeling like a very accomplished artist. As you should!  Please enjoy!


Purchase Stamper’s Favorites here:



Gina K. Designs Stamper’s Favorites stamp set

Gina K. Pure Luxury White  cardstock, 4 ¼” x 11”, scored at 5 ½”

Toned gray sketch paper, trimmed 4” x 5 ¼” (or GKD Kraft of Moonlit Fog cardstock substitute)

Gina K. Black Onyx ink pad

Spectrum Noir Professional Colored pencils- Essentials tin (you can also try graphite pencils of varying hardness for different shades)

acrylic block, adhesive

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Comment by Melanie, GKD Illustrator/DT on February 19, 2016 at 8:01am

Barbara, I think they will be beautiful! Always love browns. Post your creations on StampTV!

Comment by Barbara Brown on February 16, 2016 at 2:02am

I also bought some of the tan toned paper at Hobby Lobby.  How do you think it will work with that shade of paper?  Thank you for the inspiration.  

Comment by Pat Jandacek on February 15, 2016 at 5:56pm

Thanks for the reply and good news that it doesn't smear! I'll be trying this, the outcome is gorgeous (yours, anyway).

Comment by Melanie, GKD Illustrator/DT on February 15, 2016 at 1:04pm
That is a great question, Pat! Although they are blendable wuth stump, they do they do not smear to the touch like charcoal. :)
Comment by Pat Jandacek on February 15, 2016 at 10:57am

H, Melanie - Beautifully (and quickly) done focal pieces, as always.  Is there any problem with the heavier strokes smearing, and what would you suggest using to prevent that if there is cause for that concern?

Comment by Margaret Jenks on February 11, 2016 at 2:03pm

You make it look so easy and beautiful. Thanks so much for the great instructions.

Comment by Linda on February 11, 2016 at 9:15am

Love the sketchy look, but I never thought of trying it with stamps.  Really loved this technique.  Thanks for the detailed video.

Comment by Ruth Ann Smith on February 11, 2016 at 8:57am

Melanie, this is such an awesome technique.  I actually thought the butterfly was on pop dots, it doesn't look like it is flat.  I have those pencils and I think I must try this soon.  Thanks, you always make the best tutorials.

Comment by Zelda on February 10, 2016 at 7:31pm

Fabulous!!  Love this artsy look.  I was so inspired by your video, I had to try this - you make it look far easier than it is :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Comment by Jan Brazier on February 10, 2016 at 7:14pm

Awesome, Melanie!! Love the look of these cards! Thank you for all your inspiration! Love your work!

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