Graphite and Versamark Resist technique

Remember pencil rubbings? Maybe you still do them, but mostly I did them as a kid. That is untill recently. Heidi and I decided we wanted to have a Rubber Stamp set that feature an alphabet that was made from Grave Rubbings (see out small Halloween Rubber Stamp set at, which features that alphabet). That got me back on my love of graphite and the simple pencil! I have used graphite powder with some of my experiments with encaustics, and I used pencils to do rubbings on embossing folders.

But the other day, I was wondering if pencils and graphite and charcoal powder would work with Versamark ink. Boy, did they ever!! The technique is simple- use a Rubber Stamp and stamp with clear VersaMark ink onto paper.  If you are using a pencil, just rub the pencil over the stamped image. Using the side of the pencil is better than the tip. The pencil will show up darker on the stamped portion of the paper than on the un-inked portion.

If you happen to have graphite or charcoal powder, you can do something similar- use a Rubber Stamp and stamp with clear VersaMark ink onto paper, and then with a cotton ball or paper towel (or fingers &#59;)) dipped in the powder, rub it over the inked image. It is just magic to see the stamped image resisting the graphite/charcoal. Wipe away any excess powder.

Note that if you use the powder, you should spray the finished piece with a fixative, so that the powder doesn’t smudge or wipe off.

So, give this new twist on pencil rubbings a try! Here are some examples I did quickly in my studio. I will embellish with some pe work, or die cuts or other embellishments.  Enjoy!!!


Here are some samples done with a pencil, and charcoal powder using the VersaMark Resist technique.


Pencil Versamark Resist


Here I used a white and black charcoal pencil with the VersaMark Resist technique.


White Charcoal Pencil and Versamark Resist Technique


Here I used a white charcoal stick with the VersaMark Resist technique. This is a bit heavier than the pencil, so I found it looked nicer if I spritzed lightly with water on the background (outside of the stamped image) AFTER I rubbed the charcoal, and wiped away excess powder.


White Charcoal Stick and Versamark Resist Technique


Here I used Graphite powder through a stencil.


Graphite Powder with Stencils


Here I spritzed the paper with a little bit of water before I used charcoal powder through the stencil.


Graphite Powder with Stencils Wet Paper


    Hi, when you use versamark resist and stamp to put image of stamp on paper and use
    Graphite powder, can you erase the image or parts of it. Is the surface of versamark greasy or slippery ? Does it need to be sprayed with fixative ? What is the archival effect on paper ?

    Hi Ricky! Sorry for the delay in answering! It is really hard to erase the graphite with this technique. You can lighten it possibly, but you will end up with a ghost. And yes- spraying with a fixative is the best. Any techniques with powder do better with a fixative.

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