Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge – Team Power Poppy!

I’m here today as part of the Power Poppy hop promoting The Daily Marker’s 30 Day Coloring Challenge. The Power Poppy design team was asked to show what goes on behind the scenes in the coloring process. So I have a work in progress for you to illustrate all the random and not so random thoughts that go into my coloring.


In reality, I am a frustrated watercolorist. I love the look of watercolor florals, but I just don’t have the same control with a brush and water that I do with a Copic marker. Part of what I love about watercolor is how the colors spread and blend, creating new colors that add texture and interest. So I’ve been experimenting with a looser Copic style that mimics the look of watercolor.

For today’s challenge, I selected Marcella’s Daffodils Bouquet digital stamp. I also decided to push my boundaries by trying my hand at no line coloring. Since I will be trying out some new techniques on this illustration, I decided to enlarge the image so that I wouldn’t struggle with coloring a lot of tiny details. My paper size is 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches and the image size is 5 inches by  5.3 inches.I printed the image on X-Press It Blending Card by Copic, switching the image color to gray and reducing the saturation to 30 percent. While the lines are no longer black, they are still a bit darker than I intended. I decided to use the printed image and figure out the printing issue at a later time.

When I have a new image to color, I start by finding reference images on Google. I particularly loved the colors and style of this watercolor by Marilyn Fuerstenburg as well as this one by Varvara Harmon. Both captured the light but colorful style that I wanted to achieve. I decided to go with a similar color palette.

I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do with the finished image. It will fit on a 6×6 card so that might be the end result. I would normally start with the background, but I’m also thinking that I might fussy cut this for the card front. So for now, I’m going to leave the background alone. I can add a background later . Not the best way to proceed, but a decision that I’m going to live with for now.

And We’re Off to color!

Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy I find yellow to be a particularly difficult color to use, mainly because you can’t create any sort of depth just by adding darker shades of yellow.  I find that I usually have to underpaint with a shade of blue or violet. Here, I applied  yellow (Y11) on the petals over multiple shades of blue (B000, B00, B60) to get the petals to appear to bend and accentuate the ridges. The added benefit is that applying yellow over blue creates shades of green that add to the overall effect.
Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy I decided to start working on the stems and leaves so that I could start balancing other elements in the bouquet.  Originally, I selected markers from the YG family, but switched to the G color family to better compliment the cooler tones throughout the bouquet. I underpainted the greenery with BV23 and then applied G46 and G43 over top.  The combination of BV23 and G46 gave me a more realistic shade of dark green than I could achieve by adding  a higher value marker (i.e. a marker where the second number was greater than 6). And it had the added benefit of creating a realistic blend from dark to light while using only two G markers.
Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy At this point, all the daffodils are complete (except for the stamen) as well as all the leaves and stems. It’s now time to start on the grape hyacinths. This is a real challenge because I have to create delineation without the help of black lines. I may have to come back later with colored pencils to add detail that I can’t achieve with a marker.

As you can see, I’m going to have the same problem with the stamen in the daffodils. For now I’ve colored them with G40 and G43 but they’ll probably need a little colored pencil as well.


At this point, I need to set this aside and so I can get ready for a quick getaway trip (because there are other things in life besides Copics!). I still need to add some colored pencil to help delineate the grape hyacinths and the stamens in the daffodils. I may have to clean up some of the lines with colored pencil as well, but I’ll have to be careful – I don’t want to go through this whole exercise just to add outlines back into the image.

Rowhouse Greetings | Daffodil Bouquet by Power Poppy

While there’s always room for improvement, I’m generally satisfied with my progress so far.

What Have I Learned?

While I’m happy with the overall result, here are a few things that I learned along the way:

  1. Black lines hide flaws in my technique. When done well (or done right), no line coloring produces such a realistic image that it will appear as if you drew the image yourself. That would be quite an accomplishment for me since I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. But no line coloring requires having a solid grasp of how to create depth with layers of color. Without the black lines, your eye has to fill in the blanks to understand the image – including its edges and shape – and I have a tendency to keep adding more layers. Which leads to my next point …..
  2. Know when to stop coloring. Some of my daffodils are looking a little overworked and heavy. When coloring a complex image, I have to learn to set it aside and give it (and me) a chance to rest. As the ink fully dries, the colors change – the yellows get a little brighter, the greens a little deeper. Instead, I kept adding layers of color, deepening a petal edge to push it back or trying to lighten/brighten another to pull it forward. After awhile, there is a point of diminishing returns. I would have had a better chance of seeing that if I had set my project aside for awhile and returned later with a fresh eye.
  3. Spend more time in advance planning out the color palette. As my students will tell you, I’m notorious for using a lot of markers in a project. Planning out the palette in advance would have allowed me to reuse colors better. For example, I probably could have reused BV23 to underpaint the wrapper instead of introducing three new markers for a relatively small element in the overall image.

Need some more inspiration? Take a look at what my Power Poppy team mates have in store for you!

Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Tosha Leyendekker
Barb Walker
Nancy Sheads (that’s me!)
Elizabeth Zaffarano

Below are the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. All items were personally purchased except those marked with an asterisk (*) . I never share a product I do not like. Read more.


Paper: X-Press It Blending Card by Copics
Stamp: Daffodil Bouquet (*) by Power Poppy
Copics: B0000, B000, B60, B63, Y11, Y15, Y19, RV14 (daffodils); B60, B63, B66, V01, V04 (grape hyacinths); BV23, G43. G46 (leaves); E30, E34, E37 (wrapper)

120 thoughts on “Daily Marker 30 Day Challenge – Team Power Poppy!

  1. WOW!!! First of all, your color combination is AWESOME. I would never thought of mixing those colors together. LOVE how you shaded and blended everything so well together.

  2. Wow…. this is stunning!! I learned so much about how to use yellow and how to enhance it because of your post. I never really thought about how hard it was to use yellow until I read your post and then I was in total agreement because it makes sense! I’m going to file away your tips for the future. Even though I don’t use Copics, I’m guessing the same principles apply so I’ll try it with my watercolors.

  3. I love no line coloring! Especially on floral designs!! You did an outstanding job!!!

  4. I enjoyed your musings on elements of this work. I applaud your trying something new and think the bouquet is awesome and will be even better with some pencil add ons. Thanks!

  5. Great post full of great advice. We all, and especially non talented people like me, so appreciate reading and seeing how to improve our coloring. Lovely bouquet.

  6. Holy moly, some amazing colouring skills here, my dear! Your colouring is simply magical. I can’t even imagine how fabulous it’s going to look once you’re totally finished (even though it looks pretty finished to me already, LOL!).

  7. Beautiful! I love the look of no line coloring but I’ve been afraid to try it. Thanks for the tips. I may get to this closer to the end of the 30 days. 🙂

  8. wow, it’s almost electric! Thank you for sharing what you learned, that is so useful!

  9. Oh Nancy, this is stunning! I am with you on the wc’ing. I love the look but struggle with the actual ‘concept’. I am still learning how to use Copics as well so again, the concept thing! However, I will not give up until I master these things, even the no line technique, love it but need more practice. That is why I love the 30 day challenge as it keeps me motivated to practice and learn.
    You truly have done an amazing job so far and thanks for all of the tips, that is very helpful info.

  10. Love your vibrant colors, I also appreciate that you included a list of exactly what you used

  11. Great tutorial on how you colored your image. Even though you say its not completed its gorgeous already!

  12. SO I really like how you colored the daffodils. The way you added depth by adding the cool blue was as amazing idea. I’m pretty sure I would mess that up! Yours turned out gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your tips and techniques!

  13. This is beautiful! Thank you so for the tips with the yellow. I learned so much from this one post! Amazing!

  14. Love your fabulous flowers even if it isn’t a finished project! Thanks so much for outlining your steps. I’m fairly new to coloring techniques & am never sure how to get the right balance of light so appreciate all the tips.

  15. Gorgeous piece! Thank you for sharing your process and lessons learned. I’m new to coloring and will refer back to your notes.

  16. I’m still a beginner when it comes to coloring so I love all your tips and hints. The yellow and blue is beautiful together!

  17. Very beautiful. Thank you for the lesson on yellow and showing how you use the layers.

  18. This a gorgeous poppy print and love that you decided to use yellow and state how it’s difficult to color with and how to use!! I can’t wait to see your finished card!! Good luck & Thank you!!

  19. Omg the yellows and blues is such a great idea! They look so nice! And your tips are great! I know I always tend to over colour myself!

  20. Wow, your coloring is absolutely gorgeous! Love your color choices too! I hope I can color like this at some point.

  21. As beautiful as your coloring is – it’s hard to believe
    you can’t draw a straight line. I have that same
    affliction (especially upsetting because my parents
    and grandfather were artists). Love the no-line
    coloring. thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks! And I forgot to tell you that I love that you chose yellow for the base color. Its my favorite color!

  22. Awesomeness! Such a beautiful bouquet of flowers, will be looking forward to the final details!💜🤗

  23. Hi Nancy, as I move along this blog hop I am falling in love with the gorgeous array of stamps from Power Poppy. I am new to this stamp company and I find the details are gorgeous, I would like to try the no line colouring. Thank you for sharing how to go about printing a digital stamp.

  24. I have to say if I colored as well as you do I’d be so happy! Your coloring is gorgeous! I’m still learning to use my copics to blend. I’m loving these Power Poppy stamps. I’m goi to to have to get some to play with myself after visiting all of these blogs you have all convinced me of that.

  25. Love your choice of flower and I really like what you’ve done with the blue to give them depth. I would not have thought to use it at the throat of your flowers. Lovely.

  26. Thanks for such a thoughtful article about your bouquet, lots of great tips. I’m still getting the hang of knowing when to stop coloring. I love how exuberant your flowers are!

  27. Nancy, thank you for your time and effort and the summary of what you have learned! Your daffodils are beautiful; and I learned a lot! I have a lot of Power Poppy and have loved them since the beginning! But the large floral bouquet
    are intimidating. You clarified so much by your summary.

  28. Absolutely beautiful! I love your summary. We all want to rush to finish but I think good coloring comes from being patient. Thanks for sharing

  29. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work in progress! I appreciated the tips at the end too.

  30. You colors are beautiful and I really love your coloring. I will agree with some others I really love a lot of these Power Poppy images. Thank you for the inspiration.

  31. My jaw just dropped in seeing this beautiful bouquet of flowers.
    Absolutely gorgeous
    – Michele Lourenço

  32. Hi Nancy! WOW… Yellow is such a bright and happy color, at least I’ve always said that.. and these colors really work well together and make me smile!!! Gorgeous coloring and I cannot wait to see the finished project! I hope you have a fantastic getaway!
    Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration!
    Have a great weekend!
    Jo from the Jersey Shore!
    Jo’s Scrap Shack

  33. Very pretty. I really like the yellows, purples and blues. Thank you for the tips.

  34. Wow! Love your coloring, AND your critique of it. And thanks also for the tip of adding undertones of blue or purple to yellow images!

  35. This is just beautiful!

    I think I learned a lot from the insightful comments you left in the “what you learned”. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  36. This is absolutely gorgeous. Yellow is not one of my go to colours but this has made me think I have to use it more. The tips you left at the end are so helpful.

  37. Nancy, thank you for all the technical information! Wow, your piece is really beautiful and I appreciate all the points you made about your coloring. It really helps coming from the artist!

  38. I think it’s so pretty. But we are our own worst critics. Love the sharing of what you learned.

  39. Beautiful coloring!! Yellows are a challenge to color. Thank you for your tips and advice! Thank you for sharing your coloring technique!

  40. How lovely! Yellow is one of my favourite colours and we get swaths of naturized daffodils along the Parkway here. You’ve done them proud.

  41. Nancy, I absolutely love your coloring of the daffodils! They are bright, cheery and seem to pop off the page. I really appreciate the tips you gave at the end of your post.

  42. Lupines and daffodils ar such lovely spring flowers. I really like your coloring. I guess we learn from every project😊

  43. Thank you for sharing your process and thoughts about this piece…it is beautiful! I always try to be thoughtful before I start a piece, but I’m thinking I need to purposefully review it when I’m done (as you did) to improve. Thanks again. 🙂

  44. I think this was a lovely tribute to the watercolor paintings you linked to. They look like rainbow flowers to me with all those different shades in there. The step-by-step pictures were quite fascinating, and I love the “what did I learn?” section at the end. I think that’s a great idea to do at the end of projects; I’m definitely going to start asking myself this. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely art piece with us; it is a fabulous addition to Kathy’s challenge.

  45. This is gorgeous and really inspiring, thank you. I need to make more time for colouring.

  46. Thank you for your honesty firstly and then for the fabulous TOP TIPs when colouring. I read through these and thought that is me! So I am going to take a leaf out of your book and do more of what your TOP TIPs say to do when I am colouring. Great blog, really loved it! x

  47. I think your piece is so gorgeous!!! I love the loose style you created with your copics, it really does look like it was watercolored, I thought it was until I read your summary. Thank you for sharing your process and your tips and most of all your beautiful bouquet!

  48. I learned so much from your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all of that! I love the look of no-line coloring but always struggle with it. Your bouquet is stunning!

  49. Gorgeous coloring. Love your soft colors and I love the coloring tips Kathy gives!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.