How You Can Easily Color the House-Mouse Rubber Stamp Images

Here is a great technique I recently learned from Kim Curry while she and I were at the Stampabilities booth at a CHA trade show. Kim is an expert stamper and she showed the customers how they can easily color the House-Mouse stamps with colored pencils and end up with a smooth watercolor effect. It was so easy that the customers were as excited about it as I was and I wanted to pass this technique on to you if you haven't already tried it. I bought most of the supplies at an art supply store. Kim told me that the type of paper you use is very important, so you will want to invest in good quality paper from a stamping supply store. If you use the wrong paper, the color will come out too dark or not smooth in the end. I bought white "card stock" at our local scrapbooking shop and it worked well. If you experiment with different papers you'll discover how they affect the final outcome of your work. I used Prismacolor Colored Pencils and have listed the colors I used here below just in case you would like to duplicate these colors.

Click on any image below to see an enlarged picture.


Smooth, good quality card stock paper

Colored Pencils

Blending Stumps (made of gray compressed paper)

Sandpaper (to remove color from blending stumps)

Turpenoid (odorless turpentine substitute)

Permanent black ink in your stamp pad (such as Memories Dye Ink)*

*The type of ink you use in your stamp pad is very important when using Turpenoid and Kim suggests using Memories Dye Ink. If you use the wrong ink, such as a solvent based ink, it will smear when you use the Turpenoid
After stamping your image onto smooth card stock paper, lightly and evenly color the image. I used Prismacolor Pencil "cool gray 50%" (pc 1063) to color the furry sections of Monica mouse's body. I colored the face, feet, hands, tail, ears and belly with "blush pink" (pc 928). The egg was done with "lilac" (pc 956). The stripes on the egg were done with "process red" (pc 994) and the zigzag stripe was done with "yellowed orange" (pc 1002).
Next, I used each color to darken and define the edges of the image. For instance, I used "cool gray" to make a darker line around the edges of the mouse, using it to define the arms, legs and edges of the body. I did the same with the edges of the egg, using the other colors. You'll notice that the outer portions are a more intense color than the central portions. This will help give the images a more rounded look in the end.
Finally, I chose a blending stump (they come in different sizes) and dipped it into the Turpenoid about 1/2". You want to just lightly wet the end of the blending stump. Then, take the blending stump and rub it back and forth across the portions that you colored and smooth those streaky pencil lines into a smooth watercolor look. It helps to go in the opposite direction from which you colored. In other words, if your pencil strokes go from side to side, move the blending stump up and down, in a different direction. This helps smooth the pencil lines together. Also, work on only one color at a time--otherwise you'll inadvertently mix the colors from one section onto the next (there's nothing wrong with mixing the colors, however, if you choose to do so). Be sure to remove any color from your blending stump before you use the stump to blend a new color. To do this, rub the blending stump back and forth on sandpaper to get all of the color off.
One thing to keep in mind: It's easy to accidentally dump your can of Turpenoid and to prevent this, Kim pours a little of the liquid into a dauber top bottle (a bottle which has a sponge applicator in the lid). She then uses the sponge to roll the blending stump onto in order to wet it with turpenoid. With this method, if you accidentally tip the bottle, it won't pour all over your artwork.
I hope this method works well for you!

Ellen Jareckie