Traced Doodling

by Mel McCarthy

Using any kind of pencil, pen or marker to trace images and create a doodled or hand-drawn sketch look.


  • Neutral cardstock
  • Light colored ink, Colorbox Frost White pigment ink, Soft Sky ink by Stampin' Up! used here
  • Stamps, BasicGrey Ambrosia Butterfly Bitsy stamp, Hero Arts & BasicGrey Sweet Threads stamp used here
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Eraser
  • Coloring mediums, Copic markers, Prismacolor scholar pencils, Sakura white Soufflé pen, Sakura glitter pen used here
  • Stamps


  1. Step 1

    Stamp the image in a light ink and let it dry.

    There is no need to get the stamping perfect; it will just serve as a guide for doodling. Choose a shade of ink that compliments the look you want in the finished design. For instance for a red butterfly, you could choose a very light pink.

  2. Step 2

    Add a little depth to the stamped image with a matching marker.

  3. Step 3

    Color in some outlines and shapes with a pencil or pen.

    You don't need to follow the design exactly if you don't want to. Add any sort of shape that strikes your fancy.

  4. Step 4

    Deepen the colour using pencil crayons. They won't smudge the pencil lines.

    Tips on using coloured Pencils:
    Wax-based pencils like Prismacolor pencils are easy to build up blended colour with because they are smooth. However, you can use any type of pencil crayon to blend shades if you apply a soft and even pressure on the pencil, then layer different colours by working in small circles.

  5. Step 5

    Continue to add more pencil crayon in a contrasting color for a watercolor style.

  6. Step 6

    Add details with white gel pen and a little glitter pen.

  7. Smudge glitter pen with your finger tip to make it more sheer and subtle.

  8. Step 7

    Cut the doodled focal image out and embellish it.

  9. Step 8

    To make a traced doodle background, stamp in light or white ink. Let ink dry.

  10. Step 9

    Trace shapes in colored pencil.

    For smooth even lines, draw with your hand resting on a solid surface like your work desk. This keeps your hand steady & helps prevent shaky lines. Move the paper around to make it easier to reach the different areas of the design as you doodle.

  11. Step 10

    Doodling is a very forgiving technique, since the 'flaws' make it look more hand done and you can use an eraser when you need to - even with pencil crayons. TIP: for easier to erase lines, use a relatively light pressure when you draw.

  12. Step 11

    Put it all together on a card.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Traced Doodling. 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.

This turned out so pretty. TFS.
Beth Norman  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 3:09 AM
Mel, this is a gorgeous technique. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try it myself.
Linda Eilers  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 3:39 AM
Very beautiful and something I never would have thought to do! I love the paper you chose because it is a bigger pattern and seems to be a little easier to trace. I'm going to try doing this technique today.
Kathy H  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 3:48 AM
love this idea and your card is so fun and whimsical. thanks for sharing your tutorial.
Meg McAlister  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 5:30 AM
OH! the possibilities---thank you Mel.
prissequito  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 6:32 AM
What a great technique! Your card is lovely in its softness! Thanks for sharing this:)
Julie Hall  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 6:49 AM
Love this technique and your lovely demo card! TFS!
KT Hom  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM
LOVE this technique - can't wait to try it!
Margaret Clark  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 8:28 AM
This is WONDERFUL! Great tutorial, Mel. Thanks so much for sharing with us. smile
Bev Rousch  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Mel! Another fabulous creation! I've GOT to try this technique!! Pretty pretty pretty!!!
Tiffany  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 9:18 AM
Gotta try this beautiful technique again. First time through was NOT successful. It was because the paper I chose was WAY too smooth! Suggestion: Use cardstock not specialty stamping paper
Priss  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM
I think this is awesome! I can't wait to try it!
Toni Storie  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 1:32 PM
thanks for this wonderful free tutorial. I'll try this technique-hope I'll be sucessfull.
HAve a great time
crissybaer  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 2:36 PM
This is lovely. Is it possible to use Tombows instead of copics.

Thank you
sedg  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 5:04 PM
BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! smile Will HAVE TO try this FOR SURE!!!!!!!!!!!! smile THANKS FOR SHOWING US!!!!!!!!!!!!! smile
Becky Green  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM
Hi 'sedg' Yes, you could absolutely use Tombow markers instead or anything you have. Thanks for asking! grin
Mel McCarthy  |  Wed May 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM
Wonderful tutorial! You can bet I will be trying it out! Thank you.
Bridget Keenor  |  Thu May 2, 2013 at 6:31 AM
As a newbie, I just love finding this site. I love this technique. I think I can even try this. Thank you.
Lucille Sanford  |  Sat May 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM
Hi all, maybe I didn't read every word in enough detail, but I don't get it. It just looks like you are coloring the image, and maybe adding a little extra detail or lines to the design.....? I wish there was a video... thanks for sharing
Ginny Pender  |  Sun May 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Thanks for the inspiration!
DJ  |  Wed May 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

You need to be logged in to comment


Splitcoaststampers's privacy policy