No Line Coloring with Colored Pencils

No line watercolor is very popular right now, but I really wanted to try some no line coloring with colored pencils. I really love coloring with my colored pencils so to be able to achieve a no line look is really a lot of fun and great way to get a new look with an old tool. A few things to note about this technique **It does take quite a lot of time, just like any other no line technique** and also **You don’t have to use OMS (Odorless Mineral Spirits, Gamsol, whatever you want to call it) with this technique but it is VERY helpful with layering colors.** To hep explain my process for this card here’s the video tutorial.


I started with a full A2 sized panel (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) and using two Two Paper Divas (“Branching Out” & “Bless Your Nest”) stamped out a scene with several bird houses. I tried to make sure the panel was nice and proportionate so some were stamped on branches, others on wooden post. I used a Colorbox Dye Ink in the shade of Putty, which is VERY light, to the point it is hard to see on the paper. You can of course use any light ink you might have, just make sure it is easily covered with even light colored pencils.


With my scene stamped out I started to color. The majority of this card is coloring and there really isn’t a lot of explaining to do, but I can give you a few tips.

  1. TAKE YOUR TIME – As I said above, this technique takes time, and quite a bit of it. If you rush through the coloring you won’t get a nice result
  2. GAMSOL, OMS, ETC. ISN’T NECESSARY BUT IS BENEFICIAL – When doing no line coloring with colored pencils the only way to achieve great results is to layer and build up color. After awhile, no matter how light a touch you use, wax bloom will happen. Gamsol can cut down on this and you can build up several more layers. It also helps blend your colors together and smooths your pencil marks for a nice smooth finish.
  3. USE VERY SHARP PENCILS – To be able to get nice fine detail in your images, sharp pencils are a must! I spent a few extra dollars and got a nice electric pencil sharpener. I keep this right next to me while I am working so I can sharpen frequently.
  4. TEST YOUR COLORS BEFORE APPLYING TO YOUR PROJECT – Sometimes the colors in the pencil are a bit different from their casing. Have a piece of scratch paper next to your while working and test blending groups to make sure they’ll work together.
  5. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO APPLY YOUR COLOR – If you start with your lightest and work towards your darkest or the opposite, there is no right or wrong way to color. Do what works for you and have fun while you do it. The only rule I would suggest following is always come in with a darker color when finished with an image to highlight lines.


With all that being said I will explain how I do my coloring briefly, but please do not think this is the only way to go about achieving this look. So I usually start with the lightest color and put down a base layer. I then work towards my darkest color. Once I have one layer of my colors down I blend out with Gamsol and a blending stump and then come back in with lighter or darker colors as I think the image needs, I will also blend out again and keep adding coloring until I’m happy with the blending and intensity of the color. I will move onto another section and once I know that the gamsol has completely evaporated I will come back in with the darkest or maybe even a shade darker than I had used and outline the image once more for more definition.

I finished coloring in my entire scene and then, because I just want to cause stress to myself, put my panel into my trimmer and cut 3/4″ out of the center. I then adhered a piece of taupe card stock to an A2 white base where I knew the opening would be that I had cut out. I then stamped my sentiment onto the taupe card stock, again, making sure it was where it would show through the cut out portion. It was then time to attach both portions of my scene to the top and bottom of the card base with fun foam and double sided adhesive.

To finish this card off I attached a scattering of Moonshine sequins from SSS. I used Alene’s Tacky Glue and my Quickstik tool to make applying them a snap.


I hope you too will give this no line coloring with colored pencils technique a try! It truly is worth all of the time and effort!

If you’re interested in any of the supplies that I used on the card today, they’re all linked below for your convenience!

“Bless Your Nest” Stamp Set – Two Paper Divas

“Branching Out” Stamp Set – Two Paper Divas

Stampin’ Up! “Crumb Cake” Cardstock

**Putty Dye Ink from Colorbox has been discontinued – I have given three different alternatives that would work just as well!

7 thoughts on “No Line Coloring with Colored Pencils

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