Colored Backgrounds


Happy Friday! Today I’ve got a fun trio of cards showing different ways to achieve a black background on a scenic card.

I saw THIS cool print awhile back, and knew I wanted to try recreating it with the Swans and Cattails stamp set. I had so much fun with the idea that I have three different cards inspired by it, showing three different ways of getting that black background.

CARD DEETS – Colored Pencils

The first one I tried was using an actual black cardstock and using colored pencils to color in the images. For this card, I used Hero Arts Midnight layering paper and Polychromos pencils. I stamped the images with VersaMark and heat embossed using black embossing powder.

I colored in the images with the Polychromos, and then heat embossed the sentiment – from You’re So Lovely – in gold .

I topped off the card with an gold glitter embossed strip of paper and some gold gems – my favorite gold gems are the store brand from Hobby Lobby, as they have a nice selection of sizes and also seem to match the tone of most of my gold products.

The white on black might’ve looked a little more striking if I had used some cardstock with more tooth in it (Hero Arts cardstock is pretty smooth), but I still think it turned out pretty cute. However, I did want to try getting a more crisp white color, which brought me to…

CARD DEETS – Colored Background with Pigma Pens

I did the same stamping and embossing in black spiel that I did for the first card, but this time on a white card base. Then I colored the images in with my ZIG’s.

I colored the extra space with my Sakura Pigma pens, first coloring around the images with a liner pen, and then covered the bigger gaps with the brush pen. It might be difficult to tell in the photos, but it’s not a completely flat, clean look – you can see a bit of the strokes. Also, with whatever pigment Sakura uses, they have a bit of glare to them when used in such a large quantity.

I’m not a big fan of the glare, even though it isn’t super obvious to the casual observer, but this card was my favorite in terms of how rich the black was.

I finished the card off with die-cut sentiment – You’re Amazing – from a new-to-me company, The Stamp Market. I die cut the sentiment from both black and pink cardstock, and then pieced them together. It’s way easier to keep this together if you separate the word die (it comes attached with a few little metal binders) and use the overall shape die. It’s pretty easy to place the dies back together with some washi tape, for those who are worried about messing up the placement.

The card was finished off with some Rainbow Rhinestones.

CARD DEETS – Colored Background with Sharpies

I wanted to try the concept one more time, and this time using sharpies, a more common product, and something that doesn’t have much reflective glare.

So again, the whole stamping and heat embossing spiel, except this time I got reaaaaaally crazy and used black sparkle embossing powder instead of plain black embossing powder. In hindsight, I’m not a big fan of the sparkle here (*gasp* shocker, I know!), since it doesn’t lend itself to the seamless look I was going for.

More coloring in with ZIG’s, and then the background with sharpies. Now, I just grabbed these sharpies from around the house, so I’m guessing it was pretty old – a new sharpie would be more pigmented and probably less streaky than mine. However, I did really like that there was no glare.

I then die-cut the frame using the Pierced Rectangles die from My Favorite Things, and adhered the stamped panel to the card base. I stamped a sentiment – a combo from Peonies and Thanks Stamp&Cut – in Pale Tomato on the card base.

For a little extra somethin’-somethin’, I die-cut the pierced frame a few more times from scrap white cardstock, then layered everything together and adhered it to the card base.

Which do you like best?

Which technique do you think turned out best? Which design do you like best? I’m thinking about trying this idea out again, but with different cardstocks and different coloring mediums. If you wanted to try it in black, you could try it with a more toothy black cardstock, or with a different black marker, like Copic multi-liners, markers, or watercolor.

I really want to try it with Copic multi-liners at some point, because I got a set of them recently and I love how rich the black is. I had a little comparison chart all colored up, but I lost it among the mess of my desk, so I’ll add it in here whenever I uncover it. 😉

Thanks so much for stopping in today and God bless!


Card 1

Cardstock: Hero Arts Midnight layering paper
Stamps: Hero Arts Swans and Cattails (Hero Arts | and You’re So Lovely
Ink: VersaMark
Other: Faber-Castell Polychromos; Hero Arts black, gold and gold glitter embossing powder; Hobby Lobby gold gems

Tools: Hero Arts Embossing Gun

Card 2

Cardstock: Bristol, scrap pink and black cardstock
Stamps: Hero Arts Swans and Cattails (Hero Arts |
Ink: VersaMark; ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers ( | Amazon); Sakura Pigma pens
Other: Hero Arts black embossing powder; HAI Rainbow Rhinestones

Tools: heat gun, Cuttlebug, The Stamp Market You’re Amazing die

Card 3

Cardstock: Bristol, Neenah Solar White
Stamps: Hero Arts Swans and Cattails (Hero Arts |, Thanks Stamp&Cut (Hero Arts | and Peonies (Hero Arts |
Ink: VersaMark; Hero Arts Pale Tomato; ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers ( | Amazon); black Sharpie
Other: Hero Arts black sparkle embossing powder (Hero Arts |

Tools: Hero Arts Embossing Gun, Cuttlebug, MFT Pierced Rectangle dies







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