Cupcake Blast

Introduction to colored pencil on black paper: translucent vs opaque color

Join Amy Shulke, a professional illustrator and marker enthusiast for a fun and informative coloring lesson- Vanilla Arts style!

Marker Painting is a completely different approach to coloring with markers. Amy teaches students basic techniques and color theory based on the way artists use paint. Instead of focusing on "how" to color a selected stamp image, Amy shows you the "why" behind color selection, shade, layering, depth, and form. This provides students with the necessary knowledge to color any stamp image in their collection and every stamp they might purchase in the future.

Cupcake Blast requires confident Copic and colored pencil skills.

Skill Level: intermediate level + skills practice for advanced (not for beginners)

This class originally ran as a Vanilla Livestream in July 2019. It was filmed live and unscripted. This is a different style of presentation than the normal Marker Painting Workshops. Amy speaks live and off-the-cuff, so this is a more conversational and less formal feeling class.

Includes an introduction video with the opening of the class and a student Q&A session at the close.

Then in a 9 part series of demonstration videos, students will practice coloring the Cupcake Blast image. Instruction includes all elements, the cast shadowing and pencil details to keep your colors crisp and true on dark paper. A 165 minutes of total video.

Techniques used:

  • Lambswooling
  • Realistic Lens Flares
  • Pencil pressure to create depth
  • Shading to create crisp, true color
  • Detail work with colored pencils

Course includes:

  • 22 minutes of demonstration video - Introduction, Paper & Pencil Pressure Discussion
  • 19 minutes of demonstration video - Fixative & Art Tools, Printing Instructions and Color Discussion
  • 16 minutes of demonstration video - Colored Pencil - Frosting
  • 12 minutes of demonstration video - Colored Pencil - Frosting Cont'd & Candle and Flame
  • 25 minutes of demonstration video - Confetti Discussion, Colored Pencil - Cupcake Wrapper and Q&A
  • 20 minutes of demonstration video - Colored Pencil - Red Teacup
  • 15 minutes of demonstration video - Colored Pencil - Blue & White Teacup
  • 18 minutes of demonstration video - Colored Pencil - Sparklers & Cast Shadow
  • 18 minutes of demonstration video - Fixative Discussion, Buffing of Project Image and Wrap Up Q&A
  • printable full color sample, underpainting guide, detailed color map, photo reference and greyscale photo reference.

Please note: Q&A session was for students who attended the live session

Required Supplies: printable supply list included in class package

PLEASE NOTE- Stamp is a separate purchase from and is not included in the class materials here. We recommend you use Cuppa Cupcake which is the digital stamp version. There is a clear stamp version available called Under Glass however it is a smaller image than the one colored.

  • high-quality Colored pencil friendly paper (Stonehenge Aqua Black is highly recommended)
  • artist quality colored pencils (Prismacolor Premier recommended) - 122 Permanent Red, 208 Indanthrone Blue, 931 Dark Purple, 938 White, 946 Dark Brown, 1002 Yellowed Orange, 1034 Goldenrod, 1067 90% Cool Grey, 1088 Muted Turquoise, 1100 China Blue and 1103 Caribbean Sea
  • Black vinyl eraser (do not use papermate black pearl)
  • Mr. Clean magic eraser (or similar brand)
  • Sticky Tack (White)
  • Hake brush
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Glassine paper
  • Artist glove OR artist bridge (not required but may help with smearing)

Your Instructor

Amy Shulke
Amy Shulke

Amy is a professional freelance technical illustrator with 25 years of experience in graphic arts. Amy began using colored pencils in 1985 and she started with DeSign markers in 1989. Colored pencils with a base of either marker or watercolor is her preferred process for portraiture and scientific illustration. She has a special passion for teaching crafters and shy artists to stretch their boundaries by adding established fine art techniques to their coloring projects.

Join Amy for fun and highly informative lessons which will not only change the way you color but the way you see color in the world around you.

Course Curriculum

  The Printables
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Extra Resources
Available in days
days after you enroll

"It's the OMG moments. That's why Amy's classes rock. She explains things that you've maybe noticed before but never thought much about. I love it!"

"At 62 years of age I have no illusions about becoming a great artist but. I am so appreciative of the change in my perception since taking classes with Amy at Vanilla Arts Co. Now I see the play of colors, the motion and the grace... It's a great way to view the world around me."

"I just love the things I'm learning and can't wait to start the next project. Your images are challenging for me and I like that. I'll never look at another image and how to color it the same again!"

"I warn people when they sign up for your classes-- it's not just Copic, it's sooooooooo much more."

"Thank you, Amy for your generous nature. There are many gifted people in the world but you share your gifts so freely. Your classes are wonderful and I sincerely hope that the new online project allows more and more students to fall in love with your classes."

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
Immediately! As soon as you're through the registration and payment processes, the class material will be automatically opened for you.
How much of the course will I have access to? Do you stagger the release of information?
This course is 100% FULL ACCESS from the moment you join. Work at your own pace and take as much time as you want to complete the lesson.
How long do I have access to the course?
Lifetime access! You have unlimited access to the content for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What skill level does this class require?
This is a challenge level project aimed at intermediate to advanced students. This is absolutely not a suitable class for first timers or beginners. Basic blending skills will not be covered and several of the blends used are very unusual. You must be very competent at blending and other basic Copic skills. You also need to be comfortable using colored pencils at several pressure levels. For more information email [email protected]
Is the digital stamp included or do I have to purchase it elsewhere?
The digital stamp is not included in the class materials. Purchase can be made at, digital stamp is the preferred form.
What if I'm missing markers or supplies from the required list?
I'm very liberal about supply substitutions BUT please understand that not all markers and pencils behave the same way, even if the colors are very similar. Every substitution you make will change the look of your finished project and the more substitutions you make, the harder your project will be to complete. If you are missing a color and want advice on alternatives, email [email protected] for further info.
What if I use a different brand of marker?
I'll be honest, I use Copic because of their brush nib. I've yet to find another maker brand with nibs as springy and juicy. I would suggest that some of my techniques are unlikely to work well without a brush nib... but if you've got other markers and are willing to match my colors to your brand, GO FOR IT. However, keep in mind that I won't be much help troubleshooting any problems you encounter because I won't be able to test your blends myself.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.

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