I should know better than to ask what’s “better.” When it comes to art, there’s not always a “better!” But…..I tried asking AI what I should call this post, and it suggested I start a fight about what’s “better.” Argue away in the comments! ha!

Anyhow – today’s Colorado Craft Company release has two sweet stamps I asked if I could color up – there’s something about shiny metal planes that I love! And since I’m PARTYING LIKE IT’S 2024 (because we have aid going to Ukraine where I have friends anxiously awaiting our help!)…..I made my planes blue and yellow!

Tutorial: What’s better: Black lines or implied lines?

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Black lines

For me, black lines are more on the cartoon side – you can still make an image look dimensional, don’t get me wrong. But in real life there’s no black outlines defining the shapes we see! But some benefits:

  1. Crisper image
  2. Easier for new colorists
  3. Less worry about alcohol markers bleeding

What other benefits did I miss?


Implied lines

In my life as an artist I had always heard “implied” rather than “no” lines – no line coloring is a thing in crafting but honestly, it’s often not “no” lines at all. Even for my yellow plane, the top line by the highlight is still there. It’s just softer. Some benefits of implied line art:

  1. Lines disappear, so artist can alter the design (adding bolts!)
  2. Can appear more realistic
  3. Greater challenge to satisfy an intermediate/advanced artist

What else do you find as a benefit? 

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Cue the disco lights!

Students at Artventure told me just how hard it was to figure out how to sign up for the new class; and though I sometimes feel the ick of marketing (like I’m always shouting to the world that I’ve got a new class out!)……I really stink at getting the word out!

So bold and proud: Brushstroke Flowers is available – and it’s a card class! Pop over to see a preview video, get yourself a Buddha board and other supplies, and let’s get busy making beautiful flower cards shall we? CLICK HERE!

Colorado Craft Company Bloghop

As always leave a comment to be entered into the drawing! You can comment up until Midnight (ET) April 30th. CCC will announce the winners on May 2nd on their blog.

  1. CCC will give away one free clear stamp to a commenter on this post.
  2. If you use my affiliate link to make a purchase you will be entered to win the entire release.



Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art


  1. Jill R

    I like both black line and no line, but I’m not a good enough colorist to go no line so
    i stick to cartoon coloring!

  2. Patricia Vilbaum

    Both Black lines and Implied lines have their place. I like the black lines in your “shiny metal” plane. But the other one – non shiny, looks great with implied lines. I don’t think it would look quite right with the black lines, although it is hard to visualize it that way. Anyway, for me it depends on what look you are going for.

  3. Pamela D.

    I find I need to do the black lines because I am definitely a beginner, want to get to the point I can do implied lines and have it look realistic. Thanks for all the explanation!

  4. Jill Barger

    This is the perfect airplane stamp I’ve been looking for. Greatly appreciate the thorough explanation of the techniques you used.

  5. Alice Turak

    Thank you for the video and your clear instructions.
    Sorry about the technical difficulties.
    Lovely cards.

  6. JeanneK

    These are really cute cards Sandy. I like both of these techniques and I think they both cool techniques.

  7. Bev Gerard

    I happen to like the crisp feeling that comes along with black/dark lines. However, no-lines are a nice change from that norm. Your planes are totally delightful! My fave set this release is Dance in the Rain.

  8. Donna R

    Your coloring of the plane is amazing. So difficult to choose which one….

  9. Tracy Opsahl

    This is a cute card. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. StampsInBlue

    Both planes are fantastic! I feel like I lean towards the “with lines” when I am creating because I don’t quite feel artistic enough to go with implied/no lines.
    Hoping the aid arrives quickly to those awaiting it in Ukraine!

  11. Carla Hundley

    Such fun cards and
    I like the implied lines.
    Carla from Arizona


    I think they are both fantastic… but there is something about the implied lines version that puts it over the top! I appreciate that your cards are of the CCC planes only… without the critters.

  13. Melvin Nieves

    Hi Sandy. I think the implied lines version looks more realistic than the line version. The image looks more define.

    • Shanna

      Beautiful cards!

  14. Sandy Suzuka

    For most images I like the black lines since it is easier for me to color, but for flowers I want to practice using no line coloring. I like the soft look the flowers take on. Very glad about aid going to Ukraine-at last.

  15. Paulette Still

    Hi Sandy!! I love to watch you color w alcohol markers. And enjoy your thoughts while coloring. These planes turned out so cute. I prefer black lines. I just can’t color successfully with no lines. And my brain prefers the crisp balance of the black line. Thanks! Have a Great Day!

  16. Lauryne Cunningham

    I love the bright, bold colors on the planes! Fabulous cards and coloring!

  17. Gab

    You are amazing Sandy – I can’t decide which one I like best!

  18. Tina Wetzel

    Hello Sandy. Both planes were very well done. I’ve tried no line coloring before but it looked horrible. There were lines, lots of unnecessary lines…haha. I can’t thank u enough for making tutorials like this. Ur a real gem, Sandy

  19. Marisela Delgado

    Beautiful work as always.

  20. Pam

    I like both methods. If I’m doing a kid’s card then I almost always use the lines because of the cartoony look. If I’m trying to do a scene then I’ll often try no-line, especially if I’m watercolouring. Honestly I just do what I feel like doing on that particular day! Art is so much fun that way

  21. Barbara Kohn

    Thanks for sharing your colored planes Sandy. As a “struggling” artist, I prefer to color an embossed outlined area, so I’m drawn to my area of comfort=with lines!

  22. Annie Cianciolo

    Love your coloring both ways! The shadows are AMAZING!

  23. Carrianne Banul

    I love the black and no-line coloring. I do love the look of no line coloring though. I have been practicing but need to pick up the correct stamping ink. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Teresa M Harman

    Great colors, beautifully done.

  25. Lissette Long

    I like them both and they both have a purpose. Personally I prefer the “no line” but I need the line as I am a beginner at coloring. The no line coloring is more sophisticated, more advanced, more artistic.

    I love both of your cards and am happy too that Ukraine is getting more assistance. I do wish the war was over so the Ukrainian people could start rebuilding and reconnecting with their families.

    Thank you for all you do Sandy. I haven’t taken any of your classes but I do read your newsletter and intend on taking a class or a few. Right now I’m just trying to get a handle on my health. You are so inspiring and detailed, I love it. Keep sharing your beautiful works of art with us.

  26. Meghan Kennihan

    I LOVE them both! Great colors!… If I have to pick… the no line is amazing!

  27. shelly

    I think both have a place in art. From the images you colored, I do prefer the no-line version.

  28. Pamela Blanchette

    I like both but I’d like to do the implied line more. I love the way you explain where the shadows are and such.

  29. Sherry

    I gave up stamping because I did not like the “coloring book” appearance of the black lines. I joined the Art Impression method and I love it. I don’t think it’s about better but what look does the artist “prefer.” In the case of the airplanes, I actually love both.

  30. Nancy Tuttens

    Beautiful cards. I like the look of the ‘no line’, however the lines I feel I a bit easier to colour (as I have some issues with my eyes). Your colouring is superb. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Bonnie Lynn Schroeder Ratzloff

    I like both of them even thought I’m partial to black lines. Thank you so much for the inspiration today.


    Fabulous cards! I love the look of ‘no lines’ when they are colored to perfection like this!

  33. Denise Bryant

    Love the way you colored these cute planes! Both ways look awesome, but i am drawn to the one with the black outline as my favorite look!

  34. Pam

    Love the colors you used!

    • Ellen C.

      I especially like the look of your no line coloring and your shadows under each plane!

  35. Joanne Travis

    I love both ways. Your coloring is always so exquisite and an inspiration.

  36. Merry Shepard

    These bright colors bring sunshine to my very rainy day! As others have said thank you for sharing your skills. I’m sure Kris Lauren is beaming over the way you all are making her stamps into art pieces.

  37. Sherry W

    I use both. I like the implied line – I think it looks more sophisticated, more skilled. The bold outline, though, seems more fun and is easier/faster for me to color. I guess because I have that line to create the separation, even if I don’t get the shadows just right.

    In case you care, the “fin” in the back is called a vertical stabilizer and that other surface in the back is a horizontal stabilizer. . A lifetime ago I flew small planes and always admired planes like these.

    • Sandy Allnock

      LOL! I knew there was a more sophisticated word for that bit of the plane. Ha! Sometimes I take the time to google for body parts or specific names for things but ran outta time here 🙂 Did you pilot the planes yourself? COLOR ME IMPRESSED!

  38. Christine Healy

    I always love your designs! I especially like the bright color choices for the airplane! Thank you for sharing your talent!

  39. Lucinda Hughes

    As someone who has recently found the wealth of info you share via email, blogs, videos, and classes, I have to say that I am blown away by all you do to share your talent with others. Thank you for all that you do. Regarding the question you posed here, I enjoyed seeing the difference. I too like them both, but think the implied line elevates the image. It looks more “arty”.

  40. Paula Corcoran

    I think that the two styles would be used at different times for the effect is quite individual.

  41. Angy Hughes

    I love both but will continue trying to improve my skills at implied lines. Your coloring is amazing and I love you sharing your process and thought.

  42. Barbara-Jean K

    Great inspiration on each style!

  43. Paula Barclay

    I like the black lines. This card would be great to use for graduations, using school colors for the plane!!

  44. Donna Tuschoff

    Great coloring and love the different looks!

  45. KimberlyO

    I like both versions. I’ve only tried the “implied lines” once. I like how it turned out but I think I’m just so used to seeing the dark lines that I’ve stuck with that. I’ll have to start challenging myself to use this technique. At least I don’t have to buy any consumables to get going since my craft room is bursting at the seams.

  46. Jen Timko

    I like both styles, really for the reasons you posted. Your color choices made me so very happy!! And I’m a big fan of the planes with no critters (the critters are cute but this is just a little more usable for more people). Thanks, as always, for sharing your talent!

  47. Vicki Kroll

    I like the no-line better because the image looks softer and easier on the eyes. The lines certainly give more detail to the image.

  48. Jean Marmo

    A great question. I think there are times I like both for different projects. SUch c ute crads!

  49. Rebekka Reed

    I love them both! Fabulously colored.

  50. roxanne tellini

    I like them both but if you are asking us to pick a favorite my vote would be no line coloring. The glass windshield is the deciding factor.

    • Kristina Hein

      I think others have said this but it definitely is more about what you prefer. Probably even a decision based on the intended outcome as well. If I’m in a bit of a time crunch, black lines make it easier. More time to spend and I’m more likely to try no line coloring. Love the cute planes and the rivets are a nice touch!


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