greeting cards

Birthday: Port Talbot docks

Port Talbot

Time for another masculine card; this one for my other half’s dad. Luckily he, my other half that is, even came up with an idea for it, though it was definitely outside of my comfort zone.


First find your inspiration. After trawling through Google images for pictures of Port Talbot and finding a couple of options, I finally settled on a view of the docks.

I cropped the photo in Pixelmator on the Mac, ran a sketch filter over it to simplify it a bit, and printed it out. With the original photo for reference, I used my light box and the sketch version to create a hand drawn ink outline that I could colour.

I wasn’t really sure how to approach colouring this — it’s a bit of a change from the usual flowers and cute critters — so I just dived in and started with the ship, the only real bit of colour in the image. Once that was done, I was a bit happier and continued with the water. Not putting off doing all those cranes at all. In the end, the cranes weren’t that hard, just pick a grey and colour a bit, pick another one and do another bit… there is very little blending needed, just a steady hand for the fiddly bits (that would be all of them).

The finished piece was trimmed down and I made a dark frame to inlay it into on the card base. I wanted to keep the card design simple, so the sentiment was heat embossed directly onto the frame in white.

Port Talbot detail


  • stamps:
    WPlus9 – whole lotta happy
  • pens:
    Copic multiliner 0.3 and 0.05
  • inks:
  • embossing powder:
    Wow! – super fine – white
  • Copic markers:
    E13, E15, E97 on the ship, a couple of BGs for the water, B0000 for the hint of sky and lots and lots of greys for everything else.
  • paper and card:
    Neenah – solar white – 216gsm
    Papermill Direct – plain – navy
    Papermill Direct – linen – ivory

4 thoughts on “Birthday: Port Talbot docks”

  1. This is truly a piece of art! I think your colouring is amazing, especially the ship – it’s just like the red rust hulls you get. I think it’s a fitting reminder of what great things came out of Port Talbot given what it’s been going through lately. I bet your other half’s Dad loved it! xx


    1. Thanks! I’m really happy with how the ship turned out. He did really like it too, though there were associated memories, like the time he was called out to the docks (he’s retired police) after one of the cranes collapsed and someone was killed… erk…


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