Using Coloured Pencil on White vs Kraft Card Stock

Today I wanted to explore the differences between using pencil crayons on white & kraft card stock, so I decided to stamp out the same image onto both types of paper and then use the same colours on each to get a fair comparison.

The star of the show today is this gorgeous, huge flower arrangement by Gina K Designs x Hero Arts. I got it recently for my birthday. I am head over heels with it and I just want to use it on everything!


There are a few key considerations to make when you want to colour on a darker surface; you need to use good quality, highly pigmented pencils. But, good quality doesn’t always have to mean expensive. I used a mixture of pencils for these images, I did use one Polychromos but the rest of my pencils are from two inexpensive sets purchased on Amazon, and I will link them below.

The other important thing to note is that you have to consider where you want your highlights to be; any colours that you use will not appear as bright on a darker surface, so you have to help to lift that a little in order to get the same depth of colour.

The best way to do this is with a white pencil crayon; before I started adding colour to the kraft card I applied white to the areas I wanted to be brightest. You need to put down enough pigment to be able to make a difference, but you need to make sure not to burnish the paper, or you will be unable to add any further pigment on top.


Burnishing: The process by which pigment is laid down, in many layers or by firm & continued pressure, until no tooth (texture) of the paper is left visible. Once burnished the area will look very smooth and have a high shine. Once the paper has been burnished it is unable to accept any further pigment.


I found that the easiest way to plan where you will need to lay down this white pigment is by colouring the image on white paper first; this allows you to naturally discover where the shadows & highlights need to be. If you do not feel confident with placements then the easiest way to decide is that the darkest areas will be where the petal attaches to the flower and where any two petals meet.

I added a much deeper red in any areas I wanted to create depth and shadow; in Nature, in any areas of shadow you would find a deeper tone rather than just a darker version of the petal’s colour. So for this example I added a Burgundy into my red petals..


I love both examples and I am struggling to decide which I prefer, which has really surprised me! I expected the Kraft version to not have the same colour payoff but it really does. I am definitely going to try this more often, it is so satisfying when you find a new technique that allows you to use materials from your own stash in a new & different way.


I don’t own the die for this stamp set, so I just drew a faint pencil line around the image and then cut it out with my ultra sharp, fussy cutting scissors. It really didn’t take long at all because it’s quite a simple shape and I wanted a border of the card stock to show around my image.

I do like to get some of the matching die sets, especially for intricate or fiddly images, but it’s just a fact of life that I could never afford to buy them all so I have to compensate for that.


For the white card I die cut a simple ‘love you’ and stacked a gold pearl one on top of three white ones in order to create some dimension and help it to stand out a little more.

I used one of the sentiments from the Friendship Blooms stamp set for the kraft card, heat embossing it in gold and popping it up on some foam adhesive to give that dimensions.


I created the two backgrounds with a thin stripes stencil and some specialist pastes from Nuvo by Tonic Studios; I used Glimmer Paste in the shade Moonlight straight onto a kraft card base, and the sparkle you get from it is just divine. For the other card I cut a sheet of warm grey paper and applied Glacier Paste in Golden Era through that same stencil. The Glacier paste creates a totally different effect than other pastes I have used; it is not a glitter or sparkle, it dries to look more like Gold Leaf, a flat, metallic shine. It is a gorgeous effect.


I assembled the cards using a combination of matte medium by Ranger, double sided tape and double sided foam adhesive. I added a few pearls and red hearts to the white card and I had both of them finished.

I’m really happy with them both and I will definitely be using coloured pencils on kraft paper more often! I am planning on trying them on a number of other coloured card stocks too. Will you be giving it a go? I’d love to see your creations if you do.


Thank you for visiting my blog today. If you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.

  • Neenah Classic Crest – Solar White
  • Wilko’s brand Ink Cartridge refill
  • Copic Ciao Markers
    • BV00
    • BV04
  • Winsor & Newton Pro/Brushmarkers
    • Hair – Y747, o324, 0345
    • Belt/Wand Tip/Necklace/Head Band – V735
    • Skin – O729, O618
    • Wings – CG1, CG2
  • Uniball Signo Gel Pen – Silver
  • Wink of Stella – GL. Clear 999
  • Versamark Watermark ink pad
  • WOW! Embossing Powder
    • Metallic Silver – Superfine
  • Distress Oxide – Peacock Feathers
  • Unbranded make up blending brush
  • Altenew – Skylight Stencil
  • Nuvo Glimmer Paste – Moonlight
  • Ranger Matte Multi Medium glue
  • Unbranded double sided adhesive tape
  • Anita’s – Silver Mirror Back Gems, various sizes