Artist Markers on Colored Cardstock

by May Sukyong Park

Hello, Altenew friends! Norine here, with a simple and easy, but effective technique for using cardstock as a color base with your stamps and markers. It seems obvious and I don't know why I don't do this more often, but after today I think I will!

Altenew DT2 June19 20I needed a stack of sympathy cards, which is never a favorite reason to send a card but is still a fact of life. I prefer to make sympathy cards in muted tones and this technique suits that desire perfectly.

Choosing a Colored Cardstock

To begin, I selected a variety of colored cardstocks from my stash. Some of the Altenew cardstock colors that come closest are Lavender Fields, Real Gray, Rouge, Lagoon, and Forest Glades. Next, I selected several assorted stamp sets with large, open designs, such as Sketchy Floral, Leaf Canopy, and Persian Motifs.

On each of the A2-sized cardstock panels, regardless of color, I stamped images to create an overall design, using Morning Frost Ink. As you can see in the photo below, it is a pale enough ink to not stamp in a strong color that could show through, and it still shows well enough to use as a coloring guide.

Altenew DT2 June19 28Once I have my images stamped, I began to color them, using a selection of the lightest shades of the alcohol-based Altenew Artist Markers. I started with the darkest marker first and color in the shadows; the bases of flowers and places that are over-layered in the image.

Altenew DT2 June19 29The photo above shows the first ink layer along with the first layer of marker coloring and the photo below shows the completed cards after all three layers of coloring has been completed and the second layer of stamping and heat embossing is done.

Altenew DT2 June19 21It is important to note that, while you could do this technique by the old school method of stamping by hand with an acrylic block, it is far easier to stamp twice and achieve a perfect look, with a stamping platform such as the MISTI.

Altenew DT2 June19 22

Altenew DT2 June19 23The necessity for stamping twice is because (it has been said that) melted embossing will ruin the tips of alcohol markers, and for sure, the markers will color the embossed lines no matter how carefully you color – and that was not a look I was going for! So let the markers color the background and introduce the harmful (?!) heat embossed outlines last!

Altenew DT2 June19 25Next, I stamped my first layer with colored ink for the purpose of seeing where to color, and when finished with my coloring, I put the cardstock panel back into the MISTI and re-stamped with clear embossing ink then heat embossed with a choice of different colored embossing powders. Even though I used three different stamp sets, I had to work on each pair of cards individually, not removing the stamp from the MISTI until I had colored the card panels and completed the 2nd stamping.

Altenew DT2 June19 27For many of the colored areas of the designs, I layered 3 of the palest color shades onto the cardstock. Because we are coloring onto colored cardstock, our images are essentially already colored so all we are doing is adding a tint to the color of cardstock. For the papaya-colored card, I used markers Coral Berry, Frosty Pink, and Blush, and for the teal-colored card, I used Dusk, Mountain Mist, and Sea Glass.

These next two cards were stamped with the Sketchy Floral stamp set and colored with Dusk, Mountain Mist, and Sea Glass for the blue-toned card and Olive, Parrot, and Frayed Leaf for the green-hued card. You will note that even though I used the same three markers for the teal card above and for the gray card below, they look entirely different because we're combining the alcohol tints with a different base color of cardstock.



Altenew DT2 June19 17As with most alcohol marker coloring, you add the darkest of the markers selected into the shaded areas of the leaves and petals, then extend the darkest color with the medium shade. At that point, it looks alarmingly dark so it's best to set it aside for a moment to let the alcohol evaporate and then when you can see where the color is, come back and fill in the entire shape with the palest marker color, adding more of the primary or secondary shades as needed.

Altenew DT2 June19 19At this point, you can put the card panel back into the MISTI where the stamp still remains from the 1st stamping and re-stamp with clear embossing ink. I liked the sharp contrast of the white embossing and felt that it really showed the depth of the color in the flowers.

Altenew DT2 June19 6These last two cards were done in the same manner as outlined above, the only difference being in the marker choices for the coloring. Rather than sticking to shades of markers that exactly matched the cardstock, I introduced a few shades that were similar but not exact.

Altenew DT2 June19 4For example, I used the Mountain Mist marker on this olive-toned cardstock, along with the more aptly chosen Parrot, Forest Glades, and Frayed Leaf. The blue of the Mountain Mist marker blends and adds an extra vibrancy.

Altenew DT2 June19 5For this card, I stamped the second stamping and the sentiment from the Floral Garden stamp set with clear embossing ink and heat embossed with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

Altenew DT2 June19 8For this card, I did the same as outlined above and used a mix of Dusk, Caribbean Sky, Sea Glass, and Arctic, starting by laying down some depth and shadow with the darker colors and filling in the shape with the lighter shades.

Altenew DT2 June19 9For the blue card, I heat embossed with Platinum Embossing Powder.

Altenew DT2 June19 7I love the ease of this technique and in the interest of turning out a stack of similar cards, I kept it simple by finishing the coloring and 2nd stamping, then adhering the card panels to a card base and only adding a few rhinestones or coordinating enamel dots to complete the cards.

I hope you are as intrigued by the beautiful simplicity of this project and find that creating them is as satisfyingly easy as I've suggested. If you post on social media, please tag me so that I can see how you've translated this project and leave you some love!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


Sketchy Floral Stamp Set
[ ALTN ]
6x8 20Leaf 20Canopy e92a2326 9df9 4465 92e9
Leaf Canopy Stamp Set
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Persian Motifs Stamp Set
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Real Gray Cardstock 960b24ff 6823 4067 b74e
Real Gray Cardstock (10 sheets/set)
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29d54171 9f94 40b7 ba0e 8d9d53412386 48045e76 f4af 4df7 bd98
Rouge Cardstock (10 sheets/set)
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7f459eab e21d 4f47 b0c9 aac99cd25fbe b20a7eea e189 4ebf 9fc9
Forest Glades Cardstock (10 sheets/set)
[ ALTN ]
7524a9bc 2b86 4d06 b3fe e02d2bbcc6f0 e898e957 1f34 42cc b408
Lavender Fields Cardstock (10…
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f8365e9b b385 4838 bbe6 0477521ebe9c b4bc3f77 30ca 442c 8d66
Lagoon Cardstock (10 sheets/set)
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Oval Morning Frost 8286c57c 1737 43bf b651
Morning Frost Crisp Dye Ink
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96e1cd5e a467 4d5f ad7a b10fe224edb6 1924470d 8c89 4745 8870
Crystal Clear Crisp Embossing Powder
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Embossing Ink Clear 929f015a 53ca 4e84 9201
Embossing Ink
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25f47928 ed8c 4af6 a581 b5bf151204fe 4b6d5e9b a8f4 4936 86e6
Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder
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a7e6952f 47b2 40d3 b2ef 873263b30c96
Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder
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3e1b5b87 216c 4f4f b32f 36aba6d30b57
Platinum Crisp Embossing Powder
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4bcc3cd6 d2c9 4c2d ab4e fd2b7cdbfcf1 e9a0ef28 a04c 41e3 bf1b
Artist Markers Cool Summer Night Set
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Artist 20Markers 20Glacier 20Caves 3675b3de 488a 4130 ba3c
Artist Markers Glacier Caves Set
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fca8cbf9 d807 4499 8fd8 d99b2510197f 4d843632 d52f 4cd9 b11c
Artist Markers Green Fields Set
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Artist 20Markers 20Red 20Sunset 7259ddac e8d8 4d2c b53f
Artist Markers Red Sunset Set
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b66af258 8a02 453d b26d 1a97739bdc00 b63deaeb 090c 4ffd 9b82
Artist Markers Red Cosmos Set
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Artist 20Markers 2036 20Color 20Set ad767f38 470a 4f5e 8f50
Artist Markers 36 Color Set
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438535bf e332 450b 9fb5 af7ab2f00022
Artist Markers Set D
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My 20Sweet 20Petunia
My Sweet Petunia MISTI – Original
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Sandy Booth June 30, 2019 - 10:28 AM

Beautiful cards! Thanks for an idea I had never thought about!!!! Can’t wait to try it!

Linda BL June 30, 2019 - 10:42 AM

Your designs and colors have created some elegant sympathy cards!

memalagene June 30, 2019 - 10:50 AM

Absolutely GORGEOUS cards, I love your technique of coloring on colored cardstock then heat embossing! Thanks for the details!

Patt H. June 30, 2019 - 11:05 AM

Such beautiful cards, Norine! Love this technique & your Leaf Canopy sympathy cards have moved that stamp set to the top of my wish list!

Sharon Brand June 30, 2019 - 11:15 AM

These cards are beautiful! I must try your method!

Ruth Gibbs June 30, 2019 - 11:24 AM

I have used this technique before but had completely forgotten how beautiful the results can be. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing your lovely cards with us. I will definitely use this technique again.

carol ann June 30, 2019 - 11:27 AM

I almost NEVER make sympathy cards because I struggle to create while grieving. After seeing your creations, this looks like my answer. Thank you for that! Definitely a much better idea to make small batches and file away for if/when the time comes to send one. Your cards are truly beautiful.

BeverlyBL June 30, 2019 - 11:51 AM

I thought all of your cards were lovely. I’m going to try this technique and your make ahead idea. Thanks so much. Thank you also for the detailed instructions.

Nancy Dempsey June 30, 2019 - 12:46 PM


Helen June 30, 2019 - 2:08 PM

These are fabulous cards. Like the monochromatic look these markers give to the embossed designs. tfs

Maureen Reiss June 30, 2019 - 2:41 PM

Wow!!! These are Stunning!!!!

Billie A June 30, 2019 - 2:54 PM

Beautiful cards and stunning colors. I will be giving this a try for sure. Thanks for the inspiration

creativemidlander June 30, 2019 - 2:58 PM

Delightful cards! This is definitely a “must try” technique for me. I love the subtle elegance of all of these cards.

Henriëtte June 30, 2019 - 4:27 PM

Ohh my Norine, this is fabulous. I love all the cards! I don’t now why but I use never coloured cardstock to stamp on when I wanted to colour the image. I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you so much for this great inspiraing tutorial.

Kenni Eberlin June 30, 2019 - 4:55 PM

These are beautiful & I love the colors and how well you blended them.

Tricia Podmore June 30, 2019 - 5:38 PM

Wow,love it. Super inspiration. Thanks

genmil June 30, 2019 - 9:52 PM

Pure beauty thank you for the inspiration

coffeegoddess42 July 1, 2019 - 4:11 AM

All the cards are stunning.
Thank you for all the detail you provided.

Penny Pynnonen July 1, 2019 - 10:30 PM

I LOVED seeing these. I had only a few days before wondered how the markers would work on colored paper. Thank you, thank you , thank you.

StarSpry July 3, 2019 - 12:25 PM

These cards are just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing all of your color examples. It’s neat to see how different markers look when used on different colors of paper. I’ll have to give this a try. :)

Kari D July 8, 2019 - 10:39 AM

These cards are perfect….just the right blend of muted color to match the somber reason for sending the card and lightness to help celebrate the life of the individual who has passed. Thank you for sharing.


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