MFT Academy: How-to Add Grounding to Your Images

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Inge is your Guest Professor today and she’ll be showing you how to use Prismacolor Premier Pencils to ground your images in mud, grass, water, and snow.   Grounding your images gives your card a more finished look and ensures that your images don’t appear to be “floating”.
If you’re not familiar with Prismacolor Pencils you can find an introduction to working with Prismacolor Premier Pencils here.  
Supply List:
  • Prismacolor Premier Pencils
  • Paper Stumps
  • Gamsol (solvent)
  • Memento Ink: Tuxedo Black
  • Acrylic Block
  • Big Shot
To begin, we’ll start with PI Prehistoric Girl and add some mud below her feet.
Step 1:  Stamp PI Prehistoric Girl with Memento Tuxedo Black onto Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
Begin by drawing scalloped lines to the left and right of her feet using 943 Burnt Ochre.

Step 2: Dip your paper stump into solvent and blend the scalloped lines slowly using a circular motion. If you’re not familiar with how to blend Prismacolor Premier Pencils, you can read more in THIS MFT Academy Tutorial.

Step 3:  Using 947 Dark Umber, draw scalloped lines over the previously blended lines.


Step 4: Once again, blend with your paper stump and solvent, using a circular motion.
Step 5: Using 935 Black, draw in your scalloped lines again, over the blended area.

Step 6: Once again, blend with your paper stump and solvent, moving in a circular motion. Repeat the process of adding more depth to the ground, then blending, until you’re satisfied with the result.
Your ground is now complete!

Pure Innocence Prehistoric Girl
LLD Document It

LLD Journal It-For the Record

Grounding with grass provides a springy, fresh look to stamped images. The image has been stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.  

Step 1: Using 1005 Lime Peel, lightly shade around the feet using small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 2: Blend using solvent and a paper stump using the same small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 3: The ground closest to her feet will be slightly darker because of the shadow cast by her body. Add additional strokes to create deeper shading using 1097 Moss Green.

Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump, making small, side-to-side strokes.

Step 5: Next, we will add blades of grass using 1005 Lime Peel.  Make small, upward vertical strokes to draw in the grass. Give the grass a more natural appearance by not drawing them identically to one other. The blades should be assorted lengths and thicknesses to give the ground a more realistic feel.

Step 6: Using 1097 Moss Green, draw in additional strokes of grass between and on top of those you’ve already drawn.

Step 7:  Repeat this process using the darkest green, 988 Marine Green, adding darker strokes over and between those you’ve already drawn.

Step 8: Blend very lightly using solvent and your paper stump.  Be sure to maintain the individual blades of grass.
Step 9: Using 943 Burnt Ochre, add some shadows at the base of the blades of grass.  Small, rough, uneven strokes are used here.
Step 10: Blend lightly with solvent and your paper stump.
The grass is now complete!

Pure Innocence Birthday Girl

Jumbo Fishtail Banner STAX Die-namics

Fishtail Flags STAX Die-namics

Dog Tag Die-namics

Open Scallop Doily Duo Die-namics

Blue Print 1 Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Natural 

Heavyweight Card Stock Tangy Orange

Heavyweight Card Stock Bubblegum

There are many other ways you can ground your images. On this card, I demonstrate how to ground your image in a puddle of water.
Stamp the image with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
Step 1: Using 1023 Cloud Blue, draw a curved, irregular line around her feet to create the border of a small puddle of water.

Step 2: Blend with solvent and your paper stump using a circular motion.
Step 3: Darken the outer rim of the puddle using 1103 Caribbean Sea.
Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump using a circular motion.
Step 5: Using the darkest color, 1079 Blue Violet Lake, deepen the edge of the puddle and then blend with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 5: For the finishing touch, add a little shine and reflection to your puddle using Stickles Stardust over your colored area.

Pure Innocence Firefighter Girl

Fishtail Flags STAX Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Rounded Banner STAX Die-namics

Photo Corners Die-namics

Button Border Die-namics

Hearts A Plenty Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Kraft 

Heavyweight Cardstock Tangy Orange

Adding snow to your winter-themed images adds a realistic touch.  Snow is white, but has some grey tones and sparkle.
Begin by stamping PI Warm Wishes with Memento Tuxedo Black on Sweet Tooth Card Stock.
 Step 1: Draw small mounds of snow by drawing in wide scalloped lines at her feet using 1050 Warm Grey 10%.
Step 2: Blend with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 3: Use 1051 Warm Grey 20% to darken the snow mounds.
Step 4: Blend with solvent and your paper stump.
Step 5: Add more depth with 1052 Warm Grey 30%.
Step 6: Blend to soften with solvent and a paper stump.
Step 7:  Make your snow glisten with a touch of Sitckles Stardust.

Pure Innocence Warm Wishes

Traditional Tags STAX Die-namics

Blueprint 1 Die-namics

Jumbo Fishtail Banner STAX Die-namics

Fishtails Flags STAX Die-namics

Say What? Die-namics

Let it Snowflake Die-namics

Hemp Cord

Heavyweight Card Stock Sweet Tooth

Heavyweight Card Stock Natural

Heavyweight Card Stock Kraft

Heavyweight Card Stock Sno Cone

Heavyweight Card Stock Berry Licious

Grosgrain Ribbon Sno Cone


We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to ground your images too!  Use the keyword MFTED7 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations.
If you have any questions, email, and we’ll be happy to help you.

15 Responses to MFT Academy: How-to Add Grounding to Your Images

  1. 1
    Bethany V says:

    Thank you so much for this!! I’ve been wanting to learn more about coloring/shading and have several of the PI sets so this was perfect. Now I just need to practice :)

  2. 2
    Lai-Yoke says:

    Great tutorial on the shading, Ineke!

  3. 3
    Tricia Barber says:

    I love the MFT Academy segments! This is perfect tutorial and covered all grounds! Thank you for providing such great details, I can’t wait to practice!

  4. 4

    These are so fantastic!! I bookmark them on my phone for when I need a quick reference!!! Thanks!!!

  5. 5
    Joni52 says:

    Wow, I will definitely be referring to this tutorial. Can’t wait to experiment.

  6. 6
    JoAnn B. says:

    Fabulous tutorial. I appreciate all the tips for doing different grounding elements.

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