An In-Depth Look At Painting With Gel Pens (with a colour wheel in hand)

Yahoo, I’m really excited today. Why? There are two reasons: 1) You gave a tremendous thumbs up for my painting with gel pens. Because you did, I decided to take a more detailed look into the technique, 2) I found a format that works well for posting my tutorials on WordPress. Simply by centering my photos, I saved myself one to two hours of work. With the discovery of my new format, I can increase my photos to 10+, once again–giving you better detail.


Gel pens
Paint brush
Versa Mark
Embossing powder
Heat gun

With VersaMark, stamp out image in preparation for embossing.

Heat emboss image.

Pick a main colour for  your image.  When you set your colour wheel, determine what colours are complimentary. Colours beside, or directly across, are considered to be the most complimentary.  My main colour pick was pink, and my complimentary colour pick was purple.

At your starting point, colour a very small area along the edge of the image and quickly spread the colour, in a circular motion, with a damp paint brush.  Do not stop your brush until you reach the end of the image.  It may not appear that there is any colour remaining on the brush, but there is.  If you do not continue drawing out your colour, there will be a visible line.  Once the area is completely dry, Repeat.  Continue repeating until you reach the deep colour achieved to your liking.  I drew over my darkened area a total of 3 or 4 times.

Next, colour over the same area with a complimentary colour.  I picked purple, and deepened the area in that colour.   You can see in this photo the finished sleeve on the right, and the first coat of pink colour on the left.

Opps, a little blurry.  Sorry.   You may choose to stick with the same colour, as I did here, or move on with another colour.  Experiment and play.  Most of all, have fun!   This photo is an example of how I use a variety of colour shades.  Look at the right side of the dress.  See how I deepened with lots of purple?  Now, look at the left side of the dress.  It remains deepened with pink.

With so much pink and purple, I wanted the next layer of the dress to have a new colour, so I pulled out my colour wheel and focused on the colour directly across from the pink.  The green/gold was a nice compliment so I decided to colour with the appropriate colour of gel pen.  To skip ahead a little bit, I used the green/gold for my main card as well.

Again, deepen the edge of your image and keep the opposite edge light.  This will give your image real punch and draw the viewer in.

My image is almost finished, and look how I ruined the cardstock.  Ugh!  There is an easy fix for that–embellishments.  Focusing back on my image, let me point out the ruffles.  Notice how there are areas of very dark purple and pink, and a very pale pink.  Again, a variety of colour and depth.

When deciding on the colours of cardstock, I referred to the colour wheel.  And look, those cute little flowers hid my mistake–wink, wink. There was a lot of white space on the upper right side of the bird, so I added little gems to help balance the card.

Thank you for stopping by.  If there are any questions you have regarding this tutorial, or on the colour wheel, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Supplies:  Stamp:  Odd Bird Planet; Paper:  SU In-colours; Cuttlebug polka dot folder; SU scallop punch; Prima flowers; brads.

Posted on : Sep 30 2008
Posted under Tutorials |

8 People have left comments on this post

Sep 30, 2008 - 09:09:04

Very Cool!!! Thanks for such a great tutorial…I think I should make my own color wheel now! What a great tool to have around.

Oct 1, 2008 - 04:10:41
Penny said:

That’s really beautiful, lovely shading! I like the layout of the pictures now too, it’s much easier to read I think.

Penny x

Oct 1, 2008 - 07:10:10
smallcity said:

What a great tutorial, Your coloring is wonderful. Thanks for sharing, will give this a try.


Oct 1, 2008 - 11:10:52

This is beautiful, my friend – great tutorial and your card is just gorgeous! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

Oct 1, 2008 - 11:10:37
Ila said:

Beautiful card!! wonderful tutorial and coloring!! and Thank goodness for prima flowers!!..Hugs, Ila

Oct 1, 2008 - 02:10:40

Very cool! Your tutorial is very clear and your card is adorable!

Oct 3, 2008 - 09:10:43
Kim said:

Beth- this is beautiful! I love the coloring – great job!

Oct 5, 2008 - 12:10:08

You are just so incredible! This is a work of art! Love the colour pointers. I may actually start using my colour wheel now! Thanks so much for the amazing inspiration! :O)

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