Meet The Maker

Meet the Maker: Sandy Allnock, Creative Block, and Copic Coloring

Hello friends! I’m excited to be part of Ellen’s launch of a “Meet the Maker” series – this will be such fun to make new crafty friends!

If we haven’t met yet – I’m Sandy, and I color all the things!

I’ve been a blogger and YouTuber since 2007 or so after being a graphic designer and illustrator for many decades…I’m the creator of the Copic Hex Chart (and others!) I teach classes online as well since I just love to help folks at all levels take their next creative step!

If you haven’t tried coloring because you thought you were incapable, I have news for you: I’m jealous, because you’re at the beginning of a wonderful journey! I truly believe everyone can color. We’re all at different levels, but you can do it.

I use any and every medium I can think of, since I’m very much like my pups … I see something shiny over there and I run to go try it! In college my specialty was colored pencil so it holds a special place in my heart; I fell in love with Copics about 15 years ago…watercolor came along….and then pen and ink, and pastel, and….well who knows what’s next!

A few things about me and my creative process:

  • To keep track of creative ideas that I can’t get to yet, I do screenshots on my phone of things I see online, adding finger-scribbles in the camera app so I remember what I liked. All that ends up in a folder for days when I need something new to shake up my brain.
  • The most unusual non-art tool I use: a tea strainer! It grates pencil (both graphite and colored pencil and even watercolor pencil) into a fine powder to use to color.
  • What everyone else loves that I just don’t get: glitter! Ha. It’s such a mess, I just rarely bring myself to use it.
  • The medium that has been hardest to master – watercolor! For a long time I just sploshed color and was ok with it bu controlling it enough to make a picture or scene was so hard! It wasn’t til I decided I wanted to teach some basics to help others get started that I knuckled down and learned – and went through lots of paper while I did. 🙂

A gift for you from me – this weekend only!

I have a coupon code just for you, Ellen Hutson readers! (pssst you can share it with your friends, that’s ok!) A few recommendations I can make: The Winter Wonderland class is a mini intermediate class that’ll teach 5 different ways to make trees and snow. Mini Autumn Scenes in pencil is also intermediate (there’s also a watercolor pencil and copic version) – 5 more tree scenes and way fun techniques in colored pencils. And the newest class is Winter Copic Enchantment with more advanced scenes than the mini classes, but if you’re game for it, there are ten fabulous lessons to create winter magic on your holiday cards!

Use coupon code EllensFriends at for 25% off any adult class that is not already on sale. Cannot be combined with other coupons. Offer ends at 11:59pm Pacific on 10/24/2021.

Snowy Scene Tutorial

For today’s project, I thought I’d use these snowmen from Colorado Craft Company; not only will the video talk about how to shade a snowman, but how to make the simple trees in the background fit with the angle of the scene!

Colors used for all three of these cards are the same….

Check out the video below and then scroll on for lots more fun!

The angle of this first snowman from the Snowman and Bunny set is a direct side view; the trees are therefore upright. The light is coming from the upper right, so the highlight is on the right side of the snowman’s face – and there’s a shadow underneath the hat as well as that carrot for a nose. Use plenty of nice big chunky snowflakes with a gel pen (and if yours are stuck, try the tips here!)

The angled picture is different – you can tell we’re looking from the bunny’s point of view, upward; that means the trees are also angled upward. Pick a point above the snowman where the angle of the left and right sides meet above his head, and that’s where the tree trunks “point”…and be sure to add that cool shadow under the rabbit’s arm – people will think you’re a genius!

The Best Sledding set is anothere with mostly a side-view of the snowman; it might be possible to pretend in your imagination that there’s a vanishing point above his head, but for a card like this – I kept it much simpler. The way cool shadow here? Offsetting the rungs of the ladder! I realized too late that I didn’t give the colors for the darks on this card – B97 and B95.

Other tutorials

I’ve created lots and lots of Colorado Craft Company tutorials; they’re compiled here for a rainy day! I picked out a few to share with you here – the first one is a brand new one today. Yep, I did TWO videos today!

Fall and Winter Forest Colored Pencil Scenes

The sketchbook seen here was a video I created last fall, so I made a card with Lots of Love using that scene when I was creating the Autumn Scenes class…then decided for this video, I’d turn the same scene into a wintry card! And the cool thing here is that it’s a Valentine’s stamp – so this set has lots of use for months to come. I love it when I can get a lot of use out of it! Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

The Happiest Accident: Recovering art from a (gasp) liquid spill!

Sometimes a big old spill teaches me something totally COOL and … once in a while the camera is on while I do! Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

Easy Tape-Stripe Watercolor Backgrounds

Watercolor doesn’t get easier than this! No, really. It doesn’t. Just try it 🙂 Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

Comparing papers for watercolor pencils

I love to explore different mediums and papers and see the differences supplies make.Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

Color Block Doodling Cards

I’ve been creating a series of projects that are inspired by children’s illustrators – this one is from a book by Isabelle Arsenault! I combined watercolor (could easily be done in Copic or other mediums too) and added a bunch of doodling that I found in the book. I created these with Home Sweet Home, Hedgehog Day, Coffee House and Watch This (with the dogs!) Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

Inks for no-line coloring

If you ever wondered about using the no-line coloring technique, I tried it here with three different mediums – Copic, colored pencil, and watercolor! It’s kinda fun to see them all together. Tap the picture to see the tutorial.

Fun on social media!

I do hope you’ll join me over on Instagram; I post short videos every 2 or 3 days, like this one using the Happily Ever After set – once I colored the image I went over the dress with a white uniball pen and it looked like sparkling lace!

This a holiday card, and you can get a peek at what my studio looks like among all my crazy lights! The stamp set here is Gingerbread House.


The Colorado Craft Company stamps shown in this post:

The supplies used in the video project with the snowmen:

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  • Reply Meet the Maker – Winter Scene Coloring - Sandy Allnock October 22, 2021 at 3:00 am

    […] other portion of Meet the Maker is over on the Ellen Hutson blog today – Copic coloring, chatting about creative block, plus some other featured fun! Click to […]

  • Reply Pat J October 22, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Very good instruction! Sandy is so clear and explains the why behind how she does her shading and highlights. Thank you!

  • Reply creatingincolors October 23, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Love Love those snowy scenes with the giant snowman and little rabbit!

    P.S. I’m with you on the glitter. Also, as many times as I’ve seen you use the tea strainer to grate pencils, I haven’t tried it yet, and you have reminded me I need to do it.

  • Reply gabmccann October 26, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Sandy is such a great teacher … I love how she explains so well why she is doing each thing! Love these finished cards!!

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