Inspire Me Monday: Confession Time!

HEY FRIENDS! I'm back today for Inspire Me Monday with something really different for me. And I'm going to start with a confession: I've been bored lately with my Copic markers. GASP! I know, but it's true. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one for whom the past year was tough. But as things open up around here, I'm feeling a weird combination of languishing, but at the same time wanting to find a new way to express myself creatively. So it was time to try something different.

Actually, I think I'm bored lately with cardmaking in general. Or maybe just overwhelmed. I feel like I have two of everything and it doesn't help that I suffer from full set syndrome. In addition to having a full set of Copic markers, I also have three full sets of colored pencils - Prismacolor Premier, Faber Castel Polychromos, and Caran d'Ache Luminance. Full sets! And I rarely use them, mainly because I've struggled finding a paper that I like. So I decided to set my Copics aside for now and experiment with my numerous colored pencil sets.

Like Copic markers, you can't just use any old paper with colored pencils and expect good results. Here you'll want a paper with a bit of tooth that can grab the pigment off the pencils. Paper is such a personal choice and I tested A LOT of papers before I found a pencil/paper combination that I liked. 

My current favorite combination is Prismacolor pencils with Stonehenge Drawing Paper, especially the toned papers. The paper is 100% cotton with a slight tooth. I tend to have a heavy hand (I need to work on that!), but the paper can handle several layers of color, which is what gives colored pencil drawings their rich color and blend. I bought one of the Stonehenge Multi Pads which includes papers in warm white, natural, cream, fawn, and pearl gray. Although I started with the white paper, I found it easier to work with the pearl gray paper. 

So to be really different - I pull a holiday stamp - Season's Greenings. I love the Santa image and I never got around to coloring it when the stamp was released. Since I was using the polymer set, I stamped the image with VersaFine ink. For those of you who prefer digital, the image is also available in the Planta Claus digital stamp set

First, I'll show you my finished card.

And here's what I learned along the way:

  • Allow lots of time to color. This is going to take a lot longer than coloring the same image with Copic markers. So settle in and enjoy the process.
  • Experiment with some of the toned papers. As a Copic colorist, I tend to automatically reach for white paper, but colored pencils provide a perfect excuse to try out other colors.
  • Work in layers. For the first layer, I tend to block out where I want the shadows and highlights and use the subsequent layers to refine placement and blend the colors.
  • Keep a light hand. If you press too hard on the first layer, you'll flatten the tooth and the paper won't be able to take on additional layers.
  • If your hand is getting cramp or sore, you are gripping the pencil too hard so loosen your grip. If you hold the pencil further back rather than close to the point, you will automatically lighten up on your grip and pressure on the paper.
  • I prefer a sharp pencil so I had to experiment to find a good pencil sharpener that created the point I wanted. So don't be surprised if you have to test more than one sharpener to get the perfect point for you.
  • Most of all, just have fun. Experiment with pencil combinations. You can always find suggestions on Pinterest, but use those as a starting point. You'll get to know your pencils better if you just grab some and experiment with the blends.
Thanks for joining me today! I haven't ditched my Copics entirely so be sure you check out my Power Poppy coloring videos on YouTube.


  • StampSeason's Greenings Clear Polymer Stamp Set. Image also available as Planta Claus digital stamp set
  • Paper: Stonehenge Drawing Paper (I have the 9"x12" Multi Pad)
  • Ink: VersaFine Clare in Nocturne
  • Prismacolor Premier Pencils
    • Greens: Spring Green (PC913), Apple Green (PC912), Grass Green (PC090)
    • Reds: Carmine Red (PC926), Crimson Red (PC924), Crimson Lake (PC925), Tuscan Red (PC932)
    • Yellows: Canary Yellow (PC916), Yellowed Orange (PC1002), Mineral Orange (PC1033)
    • Greys: 30% French Grey (PC1070), 50% French Gray (PC1072), 70% French Gray (PC1074)


Aimeslee Winans said...

Beautifully colored card, thanks for those tips, too! xoxo

Henriƫtte Creatively Happy said...

Beautiful colouring Nancy, I love your card!
I can so imagine that you sometimes want to do something else.
I love colouring with pencils, I don't have Copics, but also with my Distress inks and both are a lot more time consuming than markers.
Both mediums are not made for making a quick card.
Hope to see more coloured pencil images from you.
Thank you so much for sharing, stay safe and have a wonderful week.

Kim said...

Love your card, but I love all of your work! I also suffer from full set syndrome. I have a full set of copics, PrismaColor pencils and Polychromos pencils. I want to use my pencils more, but really struggle with the blending of colors. If I can find the same image and same pencils with step by step tutorials, then I can practice so I feel more confident. I have a few Kit & Clowder classes already purchased, just need to make myself dive in and do them! I just get bored going thru the same classes over and over and need to scour the web/youtube for more tutorials that are free as I now have to really watch my pennies!

Camille Short said...

I love how you shaded his cap - it looks amazing!

Camille Short said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy E. said...

I hope that everyone is ok at Power Poppy, since we haven’t heard from anyone in a few months.

Camille Short said...

Miss you all! Hope all is well.

Lagene said...

Wow, awesome shading.