Shining Spheres

by Helen Hannum

Learn realistic shading for inked moons, bubbles, pearls, and more.


  • Dark, smooth cardstock
  • Makeup brush or other soft stencil brush
  • Black ink (Stazon Jet Black used here)
  • Metallic ink (Brilliance Galaxy Gold used here)
  • White ink (Brilliance Moonlight White and Stampin’ Up! ink used here)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Circle stencil
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (Stampin' Up!® cardstock, sentiment generated with Silhouette Cameo)


  1. Step 1

    Place a circle stencil on dark cardstock.


    If you don’t have a stencil, punch or die cut a circle from cardstock or stencil film.

  2. Step 2

    Brush white ink through the stencil opening with a soft brush, making one side of the image a little heavier with color. Also, highlight around the edges.

  3. Step 3

    Remove the stencil. With a cotton swab, use black ink to add a shadow to one side of the image. (Either side is fine.)

  4. Step 4

    Soften the lowlight with your finger tip by gently tapping or smearing.

  5. Step 5

    Using a second cotton swab, add a highlight with the white ink, then gently tap or use your finger tip to soften any hard edges.

  6. Step 6

    Place the stencil back over the image.

  7. Brush metallic ink over the image to give it a little more color and dimension.

  8. Step 7

    Remove the stencil to reveal the image.

    Repeat the process if desired, to add more spheres to your design.

  9. Step 8

    Use the panel to complete a card or other project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Shining Spheres. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Helen, thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial - very clear instructions and great results! Loved it! I do plan to try this soon.
Cindy H.  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 5:23 AM
Awesome! I'll have to try this!
Cindy Gilfillan  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 5:29 AM
Can't wait to give this a try. Thank you SO much for sharing this great tutorial.
Susie Williams  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 5:38 AM
Beautiful, and I can't wait to try this!
Karen Knegten  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 5:42 AM
Thank you for your very informative tutorial.
Dori Umlauf  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 6:09 AM
Thank you for the lovely tutorial. You explained it Very well!
Joan Spevak  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 6:34 AM
WOW...that is pretty amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Mary  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 7:01 AM
With different colors, that technique could be used for balloons, balls, any round object. Going to try it today. Does wonders for a flat circle.
HOPE MITCHELL  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 7:18 AM
Very cool! Can't wait to try this!
Charlene  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 7:32 AM
Beautiful! Wonderful tutorial as well!
Jean Chaney  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 8:03 AM
This is really cool!! Awesome technique! Thanks for sharing how to do it! Can't wait to go get a make-up brush now!
Vicki  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 8:22 AM
Helen....great tutorial! Very clear instructions and great results. Thank you!
Mason  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 8:39 AM
Thank you for the inspiration! Just what I was looking for today. grin
Susi McDonald  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 9:43 AM
Thank you for this tutorial. It is beautiful and looks fairly easy. You rock!
Tiffany  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 11:26 AM
Brilliant! You make it look simple. Off to give it a go.
Traci Brennan  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 12:51 PM
Incredible, love it.
Susan Pyra  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 1:01 PM
Wow, I just finished three Bokeh cards. This really adds to the dimension of the circles. So well done. TFS. Must give it a try.
Beth Norman  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 3:10 PM
Oooh I love this. Great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing.
JoAnne Rebello  |  Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 5:55 PM
Oh, Helen, what a wonderful tutorial and video! I LOVE this technique, and you've explained it well. And how fun that these supplies are easily available. Thank you so much for doing this, and I hope we see more of your amazing work. I saw two more cards you've added! Excited! Hugs!
Cheryl Scrivens  |  Thu Jun 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM
Very cool! TFS!
Nancy Williams  |  Sat Jul 2, 2016 at 4:32 AM

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