Artistic Expression with Jane Allen – Mane Squeeze

Before we get to today’s post, we have our randomly selected Doodled Blooms Card Kit Launch winner. Our lucky winner has won a $50 Voucher to the MFT boutique. Enjoy!

from Joy’s blog: Shelly

Once you finish ogling Jane’s project this month, you’re definitely going to want to learn more about the class she’ll be teaching in person at our Eustis, FL location next month. Learn more HERE.

Hello all, Jane here with my latest Artistic Expression feature and this month I’ve decided to put my Copics to the side and use my coloured pencils, selecting the newly released Lions and Tigers stamp set for the main image on the card.

Jane Allen

I was curious to see how my coloured pencils would work with MFT Kraft Card Stock…the answer is brilliantly – in fact it’s one of the nicest kraft surfaces I have used in a while.

Now, one thing I’ve learnt as I have been teaching myself to colour stamps whether in Copic, pencil, or paint is that it’s advisable to follow one simple rule: “Google, don’t Guess!” What do I mean by that?  Well, in this particular case I am intending to colour a lion and it’s not a creature I come across every day, do you? So I went online and searched for lion images settling on this guy. Handsome boy, isn’t he!

Panic not! No need to copy him exactly – you are merely using this image as reference to add a smidge of realism to your stamp. However, I like this boy so much I may be tempted to create a fine art Copic piece featuring him – crikey, did I say that out loud?

Here is a break down of how I approached certain areas. Erm, I got carried away again and forgot to take photographs mid process, oops. So I quickly re-stamped the lion on some spare card and produced the following…shhhh, no one will notice Jane!

I started by stamping the lion on the card stock with Gravel Grey Hybrid ink – it’s perfect for no-line colouring on Kraft as it is dark enough to see clearly, but subtle enough not to stand out as you add your colour.

One thing I noticed in the photograph was that the lion has a beautiful blonde goatee. As you can see from the image above I used white pencil to give my lion a stylish little beard!

Next, I shaded his muzzle, referring again to the photograph to make sure I put the highlights in roughly the right place. Remember, no one else ever sees the photograph so they’ll never know if your version is not an accurate depiction.

Then came the fun part, adding colour to his mane. Following the bumpy lines on the stamp but mindful of the way it looked in the photograph, I mapped out my mane. I tend to start with the lighter tones and go darker, just like with Copics – it’s far harder to add highlights later than it is shadows.

You can see how I am building up the depth around his face whilst remaining true to the original stamp. I’m just using thin lines of colour rather than a solid lump…make sense? Zoom in if that helps 🙂

One of the things that stood out for me in the photograph were the lion’s eyes – this is where coloured pencils give you an edge over Copics. Even though the stamp has a solid dot of ink for the eye I was able to colour over the top with a beautiful shade of amber, adding the strong white and dark brown markings around it. I would never have known to do that if I’d not done my research first!

So, to re-cap:

I stamped my lion image on to MFT Kraft Card Stock using Gravel Grey Hybrid Ink.

And set to colouring my lion, using the photograph as reference to add a touch of realism to my work!

Here he is fully coloured. The background was drawn freehand, but again, you can easily find images online to help you.

As for the rest of the card, I used the new Blueprints 31 for my card base, cutting the pieces out of various muted shades of MFT card stock. Instead of leaving them plain, I opted to give them a little extra something, stamping mesh and tribal designs onto the card stock using MFT background stamps and ink.

Mesh Background and Gravel Grey Hybrid Ink:


Etched Tribal Background and Latte Hybrid Ink:

When you put all of the above elements together, this is what you get – I had a roaring time creating this card!

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

For information here are the colours I used:


L (Caran D’Ache Luminance), P (Caran D’Ache Pablos)

Sky: P – 151, 371

           L – 001, 661

Greenery: L – 225, 736, 846, 015, 732

Eyes: L – 034, 009

Body and Mane: L – 001, 842, 242, 836, 037, 906, 832, 407, 872

                                     P – 037, 045

Nose: L – 589, 906, 001

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you’ve found this informative and it’s spurred you on to give pencil colouring a try.