Monday, January 18, 2021

Garden Dirt: Copic Marker Swatches for Power Poppy Stamps, Red Rose


Add realism to Copic Marker blends by underpainting with complementary or opposite colors. Turquoise BG marker creates natural looking shade underneath warm scarlet markers for a beautiful Valentine’s red rose. | | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting

Are you coloring hearts and flowers yet?

Yes, it's that time of year when our thoughts turn to roses, bouquets, and heart shaped boxes full of treats.

It's also the time when I pull out my red Copic Markers and colored pencils.

Valentine's Day is when Power Poppy stamps really shine! So many blossoms to choose from, perfect for declarations of love, devotion, or even simple friendship.

Hello, my name is Amy Shulke and I'm the illustrator and art instructor over at Welcome to another article in my blending combination series here at Power Poppy-- The Garden Dirt.

Why dirt? I know, it sounds like gardening tips or gossip-- but really, it's about dirty color. I layer odd colors underneath bright and happy colors to make the murky, muddy colors necessary for realistic depth and dimension.

I've got a whole series of artistic coloring articles here at the Power Poppy Blog. Here's a quick link to read more.

Add realism to Copic Marker blends by underpainting with complementary or opposite colors. Turquoise BG marker creates natural looking shade underneath warm scarlet markers for a beautiful Valentine’s red rose. | | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting

I love red Copic Markers!

Not just for Valentine's Day; I'll take any excuse to pull out and play with my favorite colors.

I happen to really love red and turquoise color palettes. Red and blue-green sit opposite of each other on the color wheel which makes them "complementary". It's a yin-yang thing, red makes turquoise feel turquoisier and vice versa.

This same complementary relationship doesn't just work for color palettes, it also works for underpainting. Mixing red with turquoise sounds strange but together, they create the wonderful neutral color you'll see in the shady recesses of rose blossoms.

Add realism to Copic Marker blends by underpainting with complementary or opposite colors. Turquoise BG marker creates natural looking shade underneath warm scarlet markers for a beautiful Valentine’s red rose. | | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting

By the way, the image here is Power Poppy's Vital Rose digital stamp which I've printed nice and large, then die cut the fully colored rose into a crisp heart shape.

Power Poppy has several rose images available and many will work as a die-cut. I recommend the digital version so that you can size it precisely to fit your unique heart die.

But back to the color swatch here, I started with BG05, placing it into the shadiest, darkest crevices of the rose, then layered warm reds on top. The golden color isn't just on the petal undersides, you'll also see it kissing just the edges of each red petal.

Red over turquoise sounds yucky but wowzers! It makes for a gorgeous rose!

Add realism to Copic Marker blends by underpainting with complementary or opposite colors. Turquoise BG marker creates natural looking shade underneath warm scarlet markers for a beautiful Valentine’s red rose. | | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting

Let's color roses together!

Today's cut-heart rose project was the class sample from one of my online Marker Painting Workshops. Rosie Gets the Blues is a beginner's challenge level online class.

This class is available now with no wait. Work at your own pace, color it as many times as you want, no expiration.

Rosie Gets the Blues uses Power Poppy’s stunning Vital Rose digital stamp. We use a combination of Copic Markers plus Prismacolor Soft Core colored pencils to underpaint the red rose with gorgeous turquoise.

You can find out more about my Rosie Gets the Blues class here.

And I'll meet you back here on the blog next month with another colorful bit of Garden Dirt.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Inspire Me Monday ~ Just Go For it!


Happy Monday everyone!  I'm Ally and I'm your hostess for Inspire Me Monday this week.

When I went to design something to share with you today, I can honestly say I was a little stumped.  I couldn't rattle anything off of the top of my head.  

So when I'm stumped I generally go to Pinterest to get inspired.  Sometimes I type in a color to strike up an image that will get the creative juices flowing.  Sometimes it's looking at glorious florals or sometimes it's even different patterns someone has drawn in their bullet journal.  

This time, I typed in the word "watercolor".  I scrolled.  But not for long when this image got those mental creative juices flowing...


The looseness of the color.  The cooler, bluer tones with the slight touch of warmth.  I was inspired!

So I started by choosing my medium of choice.  I choice watercolor, just like the piece of art.

So I pulled out my watercolor paper and some ink refills that I was going to attempt to use.

I laid down a lot water all across the paper and just dropped soft color in at will.   Some soft purples, some somber blues with a touch of warm peachy tones... there!

Next I grabbed the large floral heart from the "Always Here" stamp set and stamped right in the swirling pool of color.

I then took all of my blues and purples and peach colors and began to losey drop them into the individual blooms and leaves and berries.  I didn't care if I keep my color inside the lines.  I wanted it to f.l.o.w....

I went a little warmer with my colors by adding a bit more of that peachy color but over all I like the loose, unconfined feeling of the final card.

Thanks for dropping by today!  I hope I've inspired you to create.  Now go... CREATE!

~ Ally ~

stamps: Power Poppy (Always Here)
cardstock: Strathmore Watercolor Paper
inks: Versafine (Black Onyx), Catherine Pooler Designs (It's a Boy, Serenade, Stone Blue, Bellini, Royal Treatment)
sequins: Studio Katia (Crystal Clear Confetti)

Monday, January 4, 2021

Inspire Me Monday: Wintertime Wishes


Hello! Welcome to 2021 and the first Inspire Me Monday of the New Year! My inspiration idea is two-fold. First, I want to inspire you to use some of your Christmas and holiday stamps in non-holiday creations such as thank you notes, birthday cards, and thinking of you gifts. Second, I want to inspire you to USE YOUR PRODUCTS!

I have created a "cool" winter-theme card that could be a birthday card, a thinking of you card, or a thank you note. I used the digital Mittens and Merriment image and a sentiment from the Cozy Cupfuls clear stamp set. Both of these stamp sets are Christmas/holiday style, but both can be used for wintertime wishes!
I printed the image at slightly smaller than 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" using the no-line version. I ended up creating an oval card rather than the standard rectangle. the finished card is 7" x 5 1/4".  The sentiment was stamped in watermark ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder.

To create a wintertime vibe, I used lots of blues, lavender, white, and cool green rather than the tones normally used for Christmas. I have a very pink idea for this image that will be perfect for Valentine's Day!
Now, let's talk about my favorite topic: using your supplies! I am part of many coloring groups on social media, and so many people spend more time buying supplies than actually using them! Myself included! Many folks feel that if they just had "top of the line" supplies they would be a better artist. That is simply not true! Use what you have! Play! Practice! Enjoy the process! Learn! You really do not need a $300 set of pencils to color a great picture!

This image was printed on paper that cost $10.49 for 250 sheets! This is a white cardstock (80lb Vellum Bristol, 175gsm) that is a "normal" weight for cardmaking and has a bit of texture ("tooth" in coloring terms). There is nothing special about this paper! In fact, it is not even my favorite paper, but it is inexpensive, so I can use it up without thinking twice!
The colored pencils I used cost $25.49 for 168 pencils! That is about 15 cents a pencil! (Prismacolor Premiere pencils cost about 63 cents per pencil, for comparison.) The pencils are a VERY budget-friendly, oil-based colored pencil, which work well on my slightly toothy paper! We are in business! 
Because these pencils are a bit on the harder side they hold a fine point for tiny details. They are oil-based, which allowed me to add layers plus the fine details on top of already colored sections. Which is how I colored the ribbon. However, I could also just use a three-color blend, which is how I colored the leaves.
With a blending stump and a bit of blending solution, I was able to color the background with just two pencils! I added a bit of white gel pen to the puff balls and the background. I also allowed the texture of the paper to aid in making the mittens have texture, looking like they were made of yarn.
I did not use any of my more expensive coloring products on this card. I kept true to my own style of coloring and card making, despite using my "cheap" stuff! And I enjoyed myself very much! Which is the most important thing! 
Do not wait to have fun with your coloring supplies! If you have inexpensive tools, you can still color and use all the coloring techniques you are learning! Plus, is you use a lot of paper just experimenting, you only lost $10 of supplies. If you grind up a few pencils, you can buy a whole new set for under $30. If you use some of the student-grade pencils, you can spend even less! I have s set of Crayola pencils that I love to use. (I may show you those next time!)
I confess, I do love my expensive pencils and my Copic markers, but I don't think I have to always use them. I also like to mix and match my supplies. It is true that sometimes the pricey option gives better results, but I am a firm believer in staying within your budget. Learning good techniques is far more important than the price of your supplies!

I hope you are inspired to grab an image and some supplies and just color for the joy of it! Come visit me any time at Scraps of Life Blog!

Paper used: Springhill White 8.5” x 11” Cardstock, 80lb Vellum Bristol, 175gsm, 250 Sheets (approx. $10.49 USD)
Colored pencils used: Wanshui 168 oil pencils (approx. $25.49 USD)

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Inspire Me Monday: Forest Fellas featuring Bernard Bear


HAPPY HOLIDAYS POWER POPPY FRIENDS! Welcome to the last Inspire Me Monday post for the year - and what a year it has been! I'm Nancy Sheads and today I'm bringing you a project featuring the Forest Fellas Clear Polymer Stamp Set. This image is also available in the Forest Fellas: Bernard Bear Digital Stamp Set.

At this point, I'm ready to hibernate and wake up in the spring, but I don't think I can get away with that. I'm been so focused on creating holiday cards these past couple of months that I'm having a hard time switching to something else. 

I flipped through my stamps and half heartedly colored some daffodils but that just wasn't doing the trick for me. I didn't want to color more Christmas stamps, but I felt out of sync coloring spring flowers, especially since it's 25 degrees outside. 

Then I remembered that I had the Forest Fellas stamp set and Bernard Bear was just the thing to color. Wintery, and I could add a nod to the holiday season in the colors of his scarf.

First, let's take a look at this fun image! Bernard Bear with his overalls, fancy scarf and mug of his favorite hot beverage is sure to bring a smile to your face. He's part of a larger set of forest friends outfitted in winter garb featuring sentiments from Marcella and the entire Bloom Brigade. Bernard and his friends are also available as digital stamps in the Power Poppy shop.

Today's project features:

  • Cut card base from from a heavy weight white cardstock to 4.25″ x 11″ and score at 5.5″ for a top fold card.
  • Cut pattern paper to 4" x 5.25"
  • Cut solid card stock to 3.25" x 4.5"
  • Cut white card stock to 
  • Stamp image on Copic compatible paper using a Copic friendly ink.
  • Color image (marker colors listed below).
  • Fussy cut image. Apply foam adhesive squares to back. 
  • Adhere pattern paper to card base.
  • Stamp trees and sentiment on white card stock strip as shown.
  • Adhere sentiment strip to solid cardstock and position on pattern paper as shown.
  • Adhere colored image as shown.
  • For the top border, I used a snowflake border die, but you could achieve similar results by positioning die cut snowflakes and trimming excess as needed.

In a year where hugging is problematic, sending a card with a warm bear hug is just the thing. 

If you missed any of the previous Inspire Me Monday posts, just click HERE to scroll through all the fabulous projects and.... get ready to be inspired! Thanks for stopping by!


COPICS: E30, E33, E37 (bear); B24, B37 (overalls); R46, R59, BG93, BG96, BG99 (scarf); BV23, BV25, BV29 (boots)

Monday, December 21, 2020

Garden Dirt: Merriest Berries, Copic Marker Swatches for Power Poppy Stamps


Deck the Halls with Copic Coloring!

Way back in 2017, I taught a little local Copic Marker and colored pencil class using Power Poppy's Merriest Berries stamp

I remember it fondly because the class fell smack-dab in the midst of the Christmas crazy time and everyone came to class completely frazzled. Who still has gifts to buy? Who really should be home baking right now? Who still doesn't even have their tree decorated?

Coloring can be very calming. While it won't decorate the tree for you, color can soothe your cares away.

So this month, when the tasks feel overwhelming, tell that creepy elf on the shelf to go bug someone else. 

Sit down and color for a while. You'll be glad you did!

By the way, my name is Amy Shulke and I'm the illustrator and art instructor over at You can check out some of my previous articles on the Power Poppy blog here.

My specialty is hiding secret special colors underneath my Copic blending combinations in a process called Underpainting. This is how I create extra depth, dimension, and realism in my coloring projects and class samples.

Let's color festive & dimensional holly leaves!

Today I'm sharing that original version of Merriest Berries with you. Even though I colored it long ago, it's still a project that makes me smile.

You can find the Merriest Berries digital stamp in the Power Poppy shop here but don't over look all the other beautiful holly images Marcella has created. My Garden Dirt recipe can be used on any of them but if you're looking for a quick, last-minute Christmas project try the digital version of Hollyberries. It's sweet and simple!

Garden Dirt? Yep, that's how I think of the secret colors I use to make Power Poppy images really pop. It's the secret underpainting that you'd never know was there if I didn't share the secret here each month.

Under-painting and over-painting?

Hang on, this holly recipe is much easier than it sounds!

Now keep in mind, I always color dark to light. ALWAYS!

Start with Copic B34 and lay that color into your deepest holly zones. Any place that something overlaps a holly leaf or where the leaf is coming out of the cluster? Those are great candidate zones for the magic blue marker.

Then use YG67 to flick over the top of the blue, coming out slightly beyond. You're only 2 steps into the underpainting process and already you should be seeing two distinct greens. The blue under YG makes a deep and shady green. It's a shade of green Copic doesn't even make!

Then finish the blend with YG63 using it to smooth everything out.

Once dried, I kiss the points of each holly leaf with a bit of Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil in PC1030 Raspberrry. This hint of deep red adds interest and complexity to an otherwise standard looking green leaf. Red draws your eyes and makes the leaves something special.

So that's the Garden Dirt for December:
  • B34 as underpaint for YG greens
  • Raspberry pencil as overpaint, decorating the edges
Together this four color blending combination will make your holly very festive!

Want to color Merriest Berries with me?

As I mentioned, I colored this image quite a while ago. I don't even have a recorded class version to share with you.

But I didn't want to leave you hanging without some help!

I've put together a super-helpful Merriest Berries coloring guide for Copic Marker at a beginner to intermediate level range. This booklet has an easy to follow recipe guide, a color map, the original photo references, plus lots of step by step info.

It's everything but the stamp... which you can instant download here.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays too. 

I know it's standard and almost trite to wish each other peace and joy during this season... but this year? Boy, we really need it. I hope you have the best celebrations possible.

And I'll see you back here on the Power Poppy blog in January for another Garden Dirt color tip!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Giveaway Winners Announced

Hi friends, it’s Marcella.

First of all, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts from your WONDERFULLY THOUGHTFUL comments, your stops by the Power Poppy Shop, and your careful CASE's of our Bloomies. What a fun week, with some truly inspiring holiday cards.

I have some exciting news to announce: The winners of the 12 Days of Christmas, and I'm thrilled to award prized to 13 participants over $250 in giveaways. Here we go!

  • GRAND PRIZE: $100 SHOPPING SPREE - HenriĆ«tte Mulder
  • $5 e-Gift Card - Sarita Pyke 
  • $10 e-Gift Card - Mary Anne Fellows
  • $15 e-Gift Card - Sally Dold 
  • $20 e-Gift Card - Pamela Renfroe 
  • FREE US Shipping ($4.50 value) - Gina Linville 
  • FREE US Priority Shipping ($8 value) - Diane Burton 
  • FREE Digital Stamp Download ($6 value) - Cindy van Oorschot 
  • 2 FREE Digital Stamp Downloads (up to $12 value)Debbie A Smith
  • 3 FREE Digital Stamp Downloads (up to $18 value) - Heather Mills
  • FREE Clear Polymer Stamp Set (up to $24 value) - MaryannG / maryann-scrap
  • FREE US Shipping ($4.50 value) - Sue / Suesstampingstation
  • FREE US Priority Shipping ($8 value) - Teresa L Quinn

TO REDEEM PRIZES: Please contact me at and let me know you're a winner, and I will get your prize delivered to you or your email inbox right away!

Thank you each and every one, and Merry Christmas to you,

Monday, December 14, 2020

Inspire Me Monday ~ Take The Challenge!


Hello everyone!  Gloria here!  Today is a special day for Inspire Me Monday!  Instead of just one Bloomie, you get two!  Bloomie Allison and I are having a friendly challenge.  We each sent each other a challenge. We each picked a stamp set, a coloring medium and a sketch for each other!

The challenge that Allison sent me was:

Well, not too big a challenge!  I really wanted to use the Gifts of the Sea image as I live in California and thought a beach-themed Christmas card would be awesome. However, I could not color such a detailed image to fit the small size needed for the card sketch! 


I ended up printing the digital version of Forest Fellas: Maximo Moose to color for my project. I colored Maximo with Copics and Prismacolor Pencils. 


I followed the sketch very closely and created a slimline card (tall and skinny is what we used to call these in the "old days"). My card is 8" tall and 4" wide. 


I had fun digging into my vast stash of 6x6 paper pads for some moose appropriate patterns for my card! I was thinking lumber jacks and log cabins! I love how it turned out!

I stamped the clear version of the sentiment in brown ink. A bit of twine and a few enamel dots finish off the card.

I had fun doing Allison's challenge! I hope the Bloomies can do more of these! Thanks for looking and make sure to visit me at Scraps of Life blog.


Howdy all!  Ally here now!  Isn't Gloria's card creation magnificent!??  I just love that moose paired with that plaid!!!

The challenge that Gloria sent me was:

I chose to use the bloom filled wellies image from the Garden of Gratitude stamp set.  I stamped the image using Antique Linen Distress ink for a no-line effect and then I water colored them using Derwent Intense Pencils.  Then to add all the fine detail back into my image, I used my Polychromos Pencils.

I haven't watercolored in a long time so it was a great challenge that Gloria had me using this medium.  It was super fun to create this holiday card.

I hope Gloria and I have inspired to get creating.  Why don't you take a wack at each of our challenges and join us!??! We'd love to see what you create!  Share with us below in the comments.

Have a great week everyone!

~ Gloria & Ally ~