Card Spotlight: Vintage Surfboard Inspiration

For this card project, I was inspired by a design pattern from a vintage surfboard. It combines the techniques of masking (which we explored in an earlier project) and the Gamsol colored pencil technique. Again, we play with color and texture to create visual and tactile appeal.

This project uses the following materials:

–white cardstock
–Nick Bantock Vermillion Lacquer
–Sakura Glaze Pen in Black
–Heidi Swapp hibiscus flower mask
–Prismacolor pencils
–Gamsol
–Wooden stick cotton swab applicators
–Kleenex

For the base of this card, I chose a piece of smooth Bazzill white cardstock cut to an A2 size. I used a piece of a Heidi Swapp mask in the shape of a hibiscus flower and leaves. I chose to use a vermillion lacquer from the Nick Bantock Collection by Ranger. For those unfamiliar with this line, the Nick Bantock lacquers are brilliant dye based, acid-free, fade resistant and embossable ink. This was my first time experimenting with them and I was impressed with strong color hues.

After you’ve picked your masking shape, figure out your placement on the card front.

Once your mask is firmly engaged, make sure your work surface is covered with a sheet of scrap paper to prevent ink seepage. Then begin the process of dabbing your ink pad against the card front and go for maximum saturation. The coverage doesn’t have to be complete because some bleed-through from the white surface adds an element of visual interest. To make sure that your color gets into the nooks and crannies of your mask, you can dab a Kleenex (or other tissue/applicator) on your ink pad and rub-on color into those cut-out areas. You can use the same Kleenex to rub down the back of your card to give it a lighter depth of color than the card front.


Allow your ink to set for a couple of minutes before removing your mask and exposing the white surface we will use the Gamsol technique on.

Prior to beginning the coloring of the image, I used a Sakura Glaze pen in black to outline the image to be colored. Not only does this define your coloring area, it creates a tactile border around your image (which is not affected by the Gamsol).

For coloring the hibiscus flower, I chose to use a layer of two colors. Closest to the black edging of the Glaze pen I used a thin layer of Prismacolor PC928 Blush Pink. Inside of the pink, I used a thicker layer of PC1002 Yellowed Orange.


Using the Gamsol and a 6″ wooden stick cotton swab applicator, I blended the two pencil colors to provide a differential shading on the petals of the hibiscus flower. The stamen of the hibiscus were colored in using the black Sakura Glaze pen. I freehanded a few more smaller stamen and pistles to flesh out the outgrowth. For the leaves and stalk of the flower, I used a combination of PC909 Grass Green and PC910 True Green Prismacolor pencils.

For a final touch–and to emphasize the vintage look I was going for–I used two file boards from my Basic Grey tool set to distress some of the card surface and color. I had a bit of the vermillion lacquer smear into part of the leaves and one of the petals during the distressing. It was not intentional, but I think it adds to the vintage feel I was striving for.

Here are a couple of closer looks at the finished design:


Look for inspiration for your card and layout designs from the everyday world around you. You don’t have to choose a large element to be inspired by–a small piece of a design can be interpolated into a beautiful layout. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color. There is a time and place for muted colors. But, don’t shy away from exploring with bright, vivid, loud color. The world needs more color!

Create–and keep crafting!

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