Tutorials: Sketch pens

Ok I know I have explained a few times how sketch pens relate to the Silhouette but I just love them so I thought I would give you a little more inspiration, to get you excited about the sketch pen possibilities.

I started this card by choosing a shape, today I am using: birds_on_a_wire_C00604_21585.

From this image you can see that I moved my birds off the screen and created the base of my card, which is a 5×5.  So I used my rectangle tool on the left hand toolbar and drew a 5×5 square.  I then used the inset tool to create nested squares that will allow me to mat my project.

Once I had the base of my design I resized the bird to fit, added a little bit of text using the text tool and another bird flying away.

One of my favorite things to do when I am sketching is to cut out the middle of my sketch so  background color can pop through.  I like the texture that is added when I use this technique.  In order to create this, you will need to select the image you want to inset cut and then go to your offset/inset button on the upper right hand toolbar.

Select the inset button and then using the slider you can choose how much you want to have cut.

Now you are ready to prep for sketching. Remove the cap on your pen and replace your blade with the sketch pen of your choice.

When you click on the Cut Style button, all of your lines will be a dark red.  You will want to select everything you don’t want sketched and click the button that says “no cut” the others you will want to make sure say “cut edge”.  Load your paper into the machine and select the sketch pen preset button in your cut settings.

Once you are done sketching do not pull out your carrier sheet.  You will want to go back to your cut style and select everything you want cut now back to “cut” and those that you dont want cut you will need to select “no cut”.

Go to your cut setting and select cardstock or what ever material you are cutting and cut out your sketched shapes.  Make sure you replace your pen with the blade again.

Of course you are now ready to assemble your project!


29 thoughts on “Tutorials: Sketch pens

  1. marcy says:

    hello Traci…
    I couldn’t wait to see what you would do with one of those new bird images… They are absolutely one of my all-time fav’s. I’ve been needing some inspiration for a unique bridal shower invite and I think this would be lovely…
    Well done my dear! M.E.

  2. Brenda Smith says:

    This is so pretty! I haven’t used my sketch pens at all because whenever I do, I get random lines all over the paper. Do you have any solutions for this?

  3. nweames says:

    I have the same problem. I have the Silhouette pens but they only write some of the line and not the whole thing so it looks like a connect the dots/line game.

  4. Lisa says:

    I have a similar problem with my sketch pens. They don’t draw the whole image. They leave some parts out. Am I doing something wrong?

  5. kvawter says:

    super cute!
    what font did you use?

  6. Traci says:

    Ladies as crazy as this sounds, I have found that the original pens wont sketch where I have touched the paper. So, I always rub my paper off with a clean cloth…again it sounds crazy but it has always worked for me. Something about the oils in my hand…I don’t know.? hehe. Try it and let me know. Also the new metallic sketch pens and glitter pens I have never had that experience with, so perhaps they will be a good choice for you.

  7. Jane says:

    what a beautiful card! I can never get my sketch pens to work :(

  8. I just ordered my first set of sketch pens. Can’t wait to try them out!
    P.S. Love the birds.

  9. Thank you for another fantastic tutorial, I’ll have to try the sketch pens also.

  10. Bryana P says:

    I think I’m the one who always asks this question but I’m going to keep asking until I find out :) How do you get your text to look like that? Is it actually an outline of the words and I just can’t tell in the picture?
    p.s. Will there be more sketch fonts available in the online store anytime soon?

  11. Liz says:

    Thank you! I just got my sketch pens last week, but I haven’t used them yet. Now I will!

  12. Debbie W says:

    Love the card. I think I’m sold on the sketch pens now.

    Bryana, sorry I can’t answer the first question snce I’ve never used the sketch pens. The only fonts that I know of for sale are the ones that come with the CDs in the store. One of the things that sold me on purchasing the Silhouette was the fact that I can use any true type font that is on my computer. Any one else have a good answer for Bryana?

  13. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cutting category today [05 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  14. Marcy says:

    Bryanna and Debbie,
    The online store does have quite a few fonts to purchase. Just type in fonts in the search box and you will see them.
    I am addicted to the print and cut feature of my silhouette. If you haven’t tried that yet to print your fonts, it is so easy and fun. I especially love how you can wrap text now.
    The easiest way to see if a font will sketch well is to start on a new page. Type out a few words and keep the size pretty large. I use the no fill color or white fill option, and black lines. Once you have that done, click on it so it is boxed in. Not the double click that lets you wrap, just so that it is inside a box. Now you can go to your font drop down list on the upper right and use your arrows to scroll down your fonts. Your typing will change to that font style. Make a note of the fonts that have lines close together {skinnier letters} and those will work great for sketching. Chunky or bold fonts don’t work as well. When you shrink it down for your project, many times you can’t even see that it is an outline. I know that there are people trying to create single line fonts that would be perfect for this, but somehow they can’t make them true type fonts. It’s all computer jibberish to me, but when it happens, that will be fabulous for us silhouetters!!! I also just found a really fun product at my Archivers store. They are skinny markers that have very glittery ink in them. I use them to free hand over my printed fonts and my printer ink does not run like it would with most markers. I bought the clear and the pitch black. They are called At you Spica from Too Marker Products Inc. There is a website http://www.toomarker.co.jp I don’t have any knowledge of the company, in fact I have never even visited their website, but I do like their markers. Hopes this helps. Have fun, M.E.

  15. Marcy again... says:

    P.S. CORRECTION!!! I guess I should have said that all of the TT fonts work well, it’s just that some look like just an outline and some don’t.

  16. Sasha says:

    Thanks! for another great tutorial, Traci x

  17. Kassie says:

    Thank you for these tutorials. I received my Silhouette a month ago and have slowly been working through each one, getting more and more acquainted with the software. THANK YOU!

  18. Shawna says:

    I love the sketch pens!! Have only had one problem and that was when I was using the white to put ‘snow’ on the mountains of a frame I had cut out and was doing it by hand, not using my Sil, and I think it may have been the problem you mentioned —- oils from my hands, because the pen acted like it was out of ink.

  19. Debbie W says:

    Thanks, Marci. I guess I don’t think about getting fonts from the online store since I have so many already on my computer. Appreciate the heads up. I did break down and ordered the sketch pens. Does anyone have the adapter? If so, have you used markers in them and how well do they work? I’ve only had my Silhouette since November and I’m learning all sorts of fun stuff. If I could afford it, I’d quit my job so I can stay home and play all day with my toy. Alas, I have to pay for my habit somehow.

  20. Keren says:

    I have the same problem as Brenda Smith

  21. I have tried the sketch pens only once, but had the same problem as above – “connect the dots” where it draws the entire thing with all the lines that shouldn’t show as the pen moves from line to line! You didn’t answer that part of their questions about that above.
    I’m wondering – Can you sketch any of the Silhouette designs or ONLY sketch those designs that are called “sketch” when you purchase them?
    Really need some help on this, as it’s NOT in any of the downloadable manuals or any of the FAQ’s. I have a big project coming up that I need to sketch & cut for a wedding shower, so need some help fast!
    Thanks so much – Cathy

  22. Kristie says:

    Thanks for offering so many giveaways this week. I just came over from Fireflies and Jellbeans.

  23. Aubrey G says:

    To everyone with the random line problem. Someone told me to leave the lid open while it is sketching. It worked! The only problem I had then was it missed a few spots unless I did a ‘double cut’, but much better than having random lines all over the page. HTH!!!

  24. Do the sketch pens only work on paper? I can’t get it to work on my vinyl?

    1. jeana says:

      The sketch pens are designed to work on paper. :)

  25. Lorraine A says:

    I have come to see if anyone else was having the problem of the sketch pens drawing lines across the paper. I have used the pens with no problem until today and now they are missing parts and drawing lines all over the place when moving. I have the lid open and have tried the glitter pens too. It is still happening :-(

  26. Laurie says:

    Love, love, love this…

  27. Louise Sutton says:

    I noticed my sketch pens skipped when I was using a cutting mat that was quite badly scratched up. I then tried it on a new cutting mat – worked a dream. I’m going to keep one cutting mat specifically for sketching now so it doesn’t get roughed up.

    1. A. Castilliano says:

      Thanks for posting! I’m having that exact problem and my mat is in pretty bad condition – so I’ll have to use your suggestion and order two :)

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