April Showers Sketch Pen Printable

April Showers Sketch Pen Printable

Happy Silhouette Challenge Day!

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This month’s theme is Spring.  I love spring!  But, I’ve got to tell you, I had a really hard time getting inspired this month.  Maybe it’s because around my parts, spring usually looks a lot like winter.  Last year this time, we had a blizzard.  Thankfully, that’s not the case this year!  Instead, it’s all dreary and drizzly with a few really nice days interspersed.  The best part about all of this has been the bird songs.  Thinking back, I probably should have done a project that incorporated birds.

That’s ok though, I used the rain for my inspiration!


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Ok, let’s go through the process of how I made this.  I’ll be linking to some of my other tutorials, but that means that I can include some of the creation process here first.


Blue Watercolor Paint {affiliate link}
Watercolor Mop Brush {affiliate link}
Thick Handmade Paper (I bought mine from Micheal’s)
Silver pen (You can use the Silhouette silver, or any other silver pen with one of the Pen holders)
Silhouette Pen Holder – (I use Sensory Emporium’s)
Black marker {affiliate link} (I used the bold  from the linked set ~1.5mm)
Green Marker {affiliate link}
Marvy Caligraphy Pen {affiliate link} (black, 2.0mm)
Free Cut file (sized to 8.5×11, but you can re-size it yourself if you want in a graphics program or Silhouette Studio).

Of course, I also used my Silhouette.  I have the designer edition of Silhouette Studio and have not yet upgraded to version 3, for those who are interested to know.

Don’t have a Silhouette?  No worries!  In the download file, I’ve included a free .pdf that you can just print and frame.  There’s one both with and without the watercolor, so you can even paint your own watercolor background if you want.

Designing the Project

I knew I wanted to do line art, and the first thing that comes to me when I think of line art is vintage line art.  So, I went rooting around The Graphics Fairy to see what I could find.  She provides oodles and oodles of vintage prints for free on her site!  Love that site.  Anyway, I was really looking for an umbrella, but I came across this cute alphabet print of some little kids playing in the rain.


It would need a lot of work to turn into a sketch file, but I was up for the challenge.

First, I fiddled around with the fil e in Photoshop using some of the tips and trick in my Photoshop Magic 1 & 2 posts.  I cropped the image and separated the file into two basic images:  The line art that I would make black, and then the area that I would use the sketch feature on in Silhouette Studio.


I also played around with the text a bit (I used the Eternal Call font) to seperate the swirly bit from the black, and created 2 .jpgs to trace in studio for the April part.

Untitled-5 april

To turn the line art into single stroke lines, I used Illustrator to trace the image.  Then, I imported the sketch area and the single stroke lines into Studio.  Don’t have Illustrator?  No Problem!  Try WinTopo or Autotrace – both free programs that can do single stroke tracing!  Kay Hall from Clever Someday has one on Rapid Resizer you could try as well!

Creating the Sketch Fill

Ok, now that all the parts were in Studio it was time to fill in the sketch part.  First I traced the image.  Check out my Sound Wave art or the Gallifreyan Notepad Holder for more info on how to do that.  That set me up with my outline to fill.


I just kind of played around with the settings until I found something I like.  Adding an offset helped the most.  There are a lot of lines here though (which I was ok with, since I wanted that kind of an effect), but be aware that it *WILL* press down pretty hard on the paper after so many strokes, and may press your paper into the mat (thus adhering it so it will rip when you remove it).  Having a thicker paper and using the pen holder to pull the pen up a bit helped with that.  Click on the images below to enlarge them and see the fill settings I used.

sketch sketchSettings

Laying it all out

Then it was just a matter of laying it all out, as the title of this section suggests.  I aligned and grouped the words and the drawing, just for layout purposes.  The watercolor you see in the file I made using Photoshop, but as you’ll see below I actually painted my own watercolor.  You can use that, or you can make your own.  Here’s the file with all the parts in their place.


Once they were in their place, I made separate groups of the “April” text, the “April” flourish, the line drawing, and the sketch shadow.  This made it easier to sketch out later.

Watercolor Fun

Next up I painted my thick handmade paper with some watercolors.  Kaylee even helped by tipping over the water pot to create the darker splotches you see here.  At first, I was a bit annoyed, but it works, and it’s just a watercolor background, so all is good.


Sketching with the Silhouette

Then it was time to sketch.  I sketched in this order:  sketch background (with a silver pen), line art (with a bold artist pen), floral flourish (green metallic pen), April text (calligraphy pen).  Wait.  Did I just say calligraphy pen?  Yep.  I’m pretty happy with the results too.  You’ll need to use one meant for scrapbooking that looks like a marker, but it works!

TIP:  Because there was so much silver, some of the ink was picked up by one of the rubber stabilizing rollers.  They are a bit difficult to move around, but you can move them.  I recommend doing them for a project like this where a lot of ink is laid down at once.  You’ll notice a line going up the middle of the print: that’s where it came from.

The key to sketching multiple colors is to make sure you don’t remove the mat between switching pens.  For more detailed instructions, check out my Christmas card here!


Finishing Touches

Then it was just a matter of trimming the image, matting it, and framing it!  I had an 8×10 frame, so I sized my sketch to 7×9 ahead of time.  To trim it, I scored the paper with my Fiskars cutting board {affiliate link} and then hand tore around the edges to keep the handmade look.


Then I matted it on some grey paper, realizing maybe I ought to have made the print just a little smaller (next time).


And finally I framed it.


I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty happy with this little spring print.  Maybe eventually I’ll make one for each month and switch them out, kind of like my calendar that was still sitting on February until a friend pointed it out.  Yeah… (and you wonder why I don’t decorate for the seasons…).

Thanks for checking out my challenge project!  Don’t forget to check out some of the other awesome projects my Silhouette Challenge buddies made this month as well!

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Spring Cleaning - Custom Canisters I Love Paris In the Springtime Etching for Sping - Mug Personalization for the April Silhouette Challenge WHEELY excited about spring No-Sew Fabric & Burlap Peter Cottontail Banner Narwhals, plus friends Gold Fern Easter Eggs Mr and Mrs Easter Egg Head Easter Bunny Plate Welcome Spring - A Sign From Tile Paper Flowers Wall Art DIY: Bunny-Stamped Goodie Bags for Easter Inspirational Window Now We Have Everything Nursery Art Spring' and Flowers Paper Banner Glitter Jars with a Happy, Hoppy Bunny Made with the Silhouette + Free Cut File! Mother's Day Wreath Decorate A Watering Can With Vinyl! April Showers Sketch Pen Printable Spring Wreath Burlap Garden Flag with Heat Transfer Vinyl Pretty Little Herb Pots Peter Cottontail Door Hanger Spring Has Sprung Spring Has Sprung - Subway Art Bloom And Grow Sunflower Bouquet for Teacher Appreciation Sharpie Easter Eggs Tear Open Easter Egg Cards Look what's Blooming! ~ Silhouette Challenge Everblooming Paper Bouquet Silhouette Challenge: Spring Polish Swap Card [B] is for Bloom: Scrap Lumber Flower Vases Tulip Time - Fridge Magnets Neon Paper Pinwheels {tutorial} A Happy Spring Card Sketching Just Got Easier! Spring Bunny Baskets Bird Nerd Easter Eggs Easter Peeps Treats with {FREE} Printables and Cut File Garden Bench Update

1. Dream a Little Bigger // 2. So Much Better With Age // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. Creative Carnival // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. feto soap // 7. One Dog Woof // 8. The Experimental Home // 9. From Wine to Whine // 10. Architecture of a Mom // 11. Grey Luster Girl // 12. Minted Strawberry // 13. Designed Decor // 14. Tried & True // 15. Silhouette School // 16. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 17. Weekend Craft // 18. Practically Functional // 19. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 20. McCall Manor // 21. unOriginal Mom // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. A Tossed Salad Life // 24. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 25. Kate’s Paper Creations // 26. Simply Kelly Designs // 27. Cutesy Crafts // 28. Persia Lou // 29. Whats Next Ma // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. The Frill of Life // 32. Nearly Handmade // 33. Get Silvered // 34. Ginger Snap Crafts // 35. Life After Laundry // 36. The Sensory Emporium // 37. Monograms & Cake // 38. The Thinking Closet // 39. My Paper Craze // 40. Chicken Scratch NY

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32 Responses to April Showers Sketch Pen Printable

    • Thanks! I think it’s really fun how the markers stand out so crisply against the simple watercolor background.

    • Thanks so much Meredith! You know, I almost didn’t participate this month because Earl didn’t really like how it came out? I’m glad I did, since everyone else seems to love it!

      I would be ecstatic to see what you do with the cut file!

    • Thanks Laura! Using a vintage print helped, I’m sure. And be careful if you use a calligraphy pen, if it’s too close to the paper it can “smoosh” the tip. I love how it came out though!

    • Thanks Michelle! I was so happy when I found it at Micheal’s. The heavy texture and the feel of it was just right for a watercolor. 🙂

  1. Wow, Kristy! I love reading your posts because it gives me a glimpse into how your brain works – – which is so not how my brain works – – and it gives me SO much respect and admiration for you! Seriously. So much creativity and technical prowess went into this project, which if you think about it, is true of most of your projects. The watercolor has stolen my heart. Plus the graphic and the swirls and the “April” text. So, yeah…that’s pretty much everything.

    Definitely let Karen over at the Graphics Fairy know that you did this! I know she’d love to see it!
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Bird Nerd Easter EggsMy Profile

    • Aw, thanks Lauren! I’m so glad everyone loves it! And here I was, going to stay out of the challenge this month.

      I have to say though, every time someone says that I think differently, I always want to know how they think! It’s like.. “but.. that’s just how I think.. how would you think any differently?” Too bad there isn’t any technology that let’s us do just that!

    • Thanks Emily! I love the sketch pen ability of the Cameo. I can’t draw for the life of me (though I’m trying to get better), and having the pen holder opens up a world of possibilities for me.

    • They do work together well! I actually have the whole CS5 suite (yay for student discounts!), so I mostly use Illustrator for my vector program. I have played around a little bit with Inkscape in the past, and if I recall it’s actually pretty close. There are a few differences (no center line trace for instance), but the thing that always gets me when moving from Adobe to freeware is that the logic is always so different. I can never find anything where I expect it!

      Good luck with it, and let me know how it goes!

    • Thanks Lisa! I had a lot of fun adding the watercolor background – it felt like I was a kid again! 🙂

  2. I missed this last month…takes forever to get through all the posts so I don’t always get through them. But I saw your name on my etsy stats, so I had to figure out who is blogging about me. Thanks so much for featuring my pen holder! The project looks amazing!
    Brooke recently posted…Metal EtchingMy Profile

    • There are so many sometimes, it’s hard to keep up! Glad to see that I’m sending traffic your way – I love the versatility of your pen holder!

  3. This is too cute! Only, I would love the cut file and it seems the link isn’t working! It’s too cute to pass up!

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