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Watercolour Nautical Cards

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Painting on greetings cards is great fun – here we share four varieties for summery seafaring designs

Watercolour Nautical Cards

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You don’t need to be an artist to recreate these watercolour cards by Francesca Vignoli – phew! Let your stamps guide the way or use wide brushes to create washes of colour. It’s easy, we promise. Clear sequins imitate shimmering waves and colouring pencils provide detail, then there’s another hero product that elevates these greetings further, would you believe. We’ll forever be indebted to you, coordinating dies.

Paint palette at the ready
Francesca has used watercolour paints both on the backgrounds and toppers. The result? Soft colours and imperfect edges, ideal for her nautical theme. If you’re new to painting on cards, we recommend practising until you get a feel for the different colours and brushes. For the toppers, the motifs are stamped with Memento inks, which aren’t actually water-resistant – it doesn’t matter too much, but if you’re unsure, you could use Tsukineko Versafine which would ensure no bleeding.

Try another way, we won’t judge
If you’re struggling to colour in your stamped motifs, we’ve got a trick up our Breton-striped sleeve. Stamp with Versafine ink and heat-emboss with clear powder; the raised lines will help contain the water, making the experience easier. If you’d like to avoid watercolours altogether, you can actually use Distress Inks! Apply onto a clear block or plastic sheet, add a little water, and off you go. Our projects are merely starting points, we love to see how you adapt them.

Tricks of the trade
Blink and you’ll miss the level of detail Francesca puts into her greetings, but that’s the beauty of classy cards. Make the motifs stand out more by drawing details with colouring pencils, use clear sequins and droplets so the watercolour hue shines through, invest in coordinating dies for totally perfect cuts, use a white gel pen to frame your focal… there’s plenty to take away from this inspiring quartet. She’s even used a dark brown ink for the sentiments instead of black, for a more delicate, complementary touch.

You Will Need:
Stamps, Pretty Pink Posh Nautical
Dies, Pretty Pink Posh Nautical
Watercolour paper, Fabriano
Watercolour paints, Watercolor Confections Pastel Dreams by Prima Marketing
Watercolour brushes
Colouring pencils
Cardstock, light grey
Memento inks: Toffee Crunch, Rich Cocoa, Teal Zeal
Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins Mix, 4mm Clear Droplets
Gel pen, white
Adhesives: liquid glue, 3D foam pads, strong double-sided tape
Paper trimmer and scoring board  
Die cutting machine

Watercolour Lighthouse Card
1. Create a top-folding 10cm x 12.5cm light grey blank. Stamp a lighthouse onto watercolour paper in Toffee Crunch ink and a sentiment with Rich Cocoa. Colour in the lighthouse with watercolour paints. Leave to dry, then die cut both elements with the coordinating dies.

2. Use the wet-on-wet technique on a 5cm x 10cm watercolour panel to create light coming from the lighthouse: add some water to the paper, then while it’s still wet add some yellow watercolour on top. The paint will run onto all the wet areas. Once completely dry, adhere just above the centre of the blank with double-sided tape. 

3. Add some details to the lighthouse with colouring pencils, then fix it to the left of the greeting with 3D foam pads. Adhere the sentiment bottom-right, also with 3D foam pads. Draw a frame onto the grey sections with a white gel pen. Apply clear sequins to finish.

Watercolour Nautical Card
1. Make a top-folding 11.5cm x 14cm light grey blank. Cut out a 10.5cm x 13cm panel of watercolour paper and paint three wide stripes of watercolour onto it; we’ve chosen blue, yellow and dark pink. Leave to dry completely.

2. Stamp nautical motifs on top using Toffee Crunch ink and fill in parts of the images with colouring pens. Secure the panel to the blank with double-sided tape. Stamp a sentiment onto watercolour paper with Rich Cocoa ink, die cut, then add to the greeting with 3D foam pads. Finish with clear sequins. 

Watercolour Sailing Boat Card
1. Cut out a 10.5cm x 13cm panel from watercolour paper and stamp waves multiple times towards the bottom with Teal Zeal ink. Colour below with watercolour paint and leave to dry. 

2. Stamp boats and seagulls onto watercolour paper in Toffee Crunch ink and colour in with watercolour paints. Once dry, add some details with colouring pencils and die cut. Stamp a sentiment onto watercolour paper with Rich Cocoa ink and die cut.

3. Add a light wash of yellow watercolour to the top of the panel to create a sunny sky. Allow to dry, then fix onto an 11.5cm x 14cm light grey blank. Adhere the boats, seagulls and sentiment with 3D foam pads, then complete the design with clear droplets.

Watercolour Anchor Card
1. Stamp two anchors and a wheel in Toffee Crunch ink onto watercolour paper and colour with watercolours. When completely dry, add some details with colouring pencils and cut with the coordinating dies. Stamp a sentiment with Rich Cocoa ink and die cut.

2. Cut out a 10cm square panel from watercolour paper. Apply watercolours towards the top, starting with a light blue at the top and working down to two darker shades of blue.

3. Leave to dry completely, then adhere the panel to an 11cm square light grey blank. Add the other elements with 3D foam pads, then finish with clear sequins.

- Make the background the star with wide painted stripes
- Use 3D foam pads for dimension and layered loveliness
- Keep your colour palette simple for a sophisticated look

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