Kim says:

“Knowing I would be using alcohol markers, I headed straight for my pad of Bristol board cardstock. It's very smooth and as it can take coloured pencils very well, it always achieves an effortlessly blended finish.

When stamping the face, I left the eyelashes until the very last stage to give them a greater impact. My colour scheme was inspired by the ethereal digital portraits of illustrator, Anna Dittman. To achieve a similar, soft and delicate finish, I decided to use coloured pencils. The trick to using coloured pencils is burnishing them, I always use white coloured pencils for this task, it blends colours and knocks back any harsh pencils lines.

I always use three or four colours for the hair when choosing my markers. A highlight which is the lightest, a mid-tone which is the colour you want to achieve overall, and a shadow which is the darkest on the colour scale.

I could spend way too long colouring hair, I would quite happily lose myself adding layer after layer. Make sure you maintain the lightest touch with your pen nib, this will ensure more realistic looking hair”



Stamps Kim used...

  • Paperbabe Stamps: Female Face Mini; Butterfly Peiredae

Other materials...

  • Paperbabe Stamps Mixed Media Templates: Mermaid; Wavy Bunches; Rag Tails; Head; Torso
  • VersaFine ink: Onyx Black; Smokey Gray
  • Copic Markers: BV20; BV23; BV25; BV29; V21; V91; E50; 0
  • Prismacolor pencils: Purple; Parma Violet; Carmine Red; Blush; Jasmine; Ultramarine; True green; Light Aqua; Cool grey 70%; Black
  • Uni-ball Signo pen: White
  • Bristol board: 250gsm













1 Draw hairstyle using the Mermaid mixed media templates. Stamp face using grey and black inks.   2 Use coloured pencils to shade the face. Burnish with white coloured pencil to smooth harsh pencil lines.












3 Starting with the medium shade, use flicking motions to layer colour in the mid-tone areas of the hair and the parting.   Use the lightest colour to blend out the mid-tone in the same feathery motion, keeping the white highlights uncoloured.












Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the rest of the fringe adding dense colour in areas to define curves and hair movement.   Now use the darkest colour. Add ink to the parting and any areas that would be hidden from the light.













7 Keep layering colour in the direction the hair would flow. Maintain the depth of shaded sections and leave the lightest untouched.   Go back to your mid-tone colour and colour over the dark shadows so it will blend seamlessly into the rest of the hair.












 Follow steps to add depth to the back of her hairstyle, you will probably only need your mid-tone and darkest colours.  


To finish the project: I have used V21, V91, E50 and 0 copic markers to create a misty ethereal background. Use the colourless blender to blend the colours around your finished girl. Next, stamp a few butterflies in similar colours and fussy cut out. Adhere image to a 5" x 7" card front and add butterflies with a little dimensional adhesive foam.


This project was first published in the August 2016 issue of Craft Stamper