greeting cards

Misc: Picnic penguin

penguin picnic

Where does the month go? I nearly ran out of time to get this challenge card made, which would have been especially annoying as I’ve had the design printed out waiting to be coloured for a week or so. I thought the penguin needed some companions, so I selected a couple of other Gerda Steiner critters to help him with his loaded picnic hamper.


I assembled the critters on my Mac using Pixelmator. I had to extend the grass line under the dachshund by duplicating it and trimming to size, I also had to increase the size of the mat the cat and bunny were on to create the picnic rug — this was done by duplicating the edges of the mat several times, rotating the pieces and tweaking them until I’d built a larger version. Once I was happy with the layout I printed it out onto Neenah solar white card.

I coloured the critters, grass and sky with Copic markers, which just left the rug. I really wasn’t sure how to approach it to start with; I knew I wanted a check-type pattern on it — it is a picnic blanket after all — but it’s not something I’ve done before and I really didn’t want to mess up the whole image by getting it wrong.

So, I picked a couple of light colours — partly because I didn’t want the rug to draw attention away from the critters and partly because light colours would give me some wiggle room to fix it up if I didn’t like how it turned out. I chose blue and green to echo the colours of the grass and sky; similar to the way I took grey and white from the penguin to colour the bunny and cat, orange from the penguin’s feet for the dachshund’s bunting, and brown from the basket for the dachshund itself. One of the things doing the Copic Jumpstart class made me think about more is balancing colours throughout an image.

Brave face on, I started drawing blue stripes both horizontally and vertically on the rug and then filled in the gaps by drawing green stripes in both directions. I didn’t worry about getting the stripes perfectly straight, this is a blanket on the ground. The effect is quite subtle because of the lightness of the colours, but I like it; the pattern is there, but it doesn’t detract from everything else.

The last bit of colouring was to add some grey puddles of shadows under the critters to ground them.

I trimmed the panel so that there would be a small top and bottom border once it was mounted on the card base. Then — extra brave face — I stamped the sentiment directly onto my colouring. I don’t often do this for fear of messing up all my hard work, but I didn’t want to add another element to the card so that was really the only option.

penguin picnic - detail


Gerda Steiner Designs progressive challenge – June


  • stamps:
    WPlus9 – doodle buds (sentiment)
  • digital stamps:
    Gerda Steiner Designs – picnic penguin
    Gerda Steiner Designs – dachshund
    Gerda Steiner Designs – cat and bunny
  • inks:
    Versafine – onyx black
  • Copic markers:
    penguin, white bits – 0, W00, W1, W3,
    penguin, black bits – W5, W7, W9,
    penguin, beak & feet – YR04, YR07
    bunny – W1, W3, W5
    cat – C00, C0, C2, R20
    dog – E53, E55, E57
    basket – E41, E42, E43, E44
    bread – E30, E31, E34
    grapes – G43, YG11
    banner – YR02, YR04, YR07
    grass – YG11, G21, G43
    sky – B0000
    rug – B00, G00
    shadows – W1, W2, W3
  • paper and card:
    Papermill Direct – plain – ocean blue
    Neenah – solar white – 216gsm
  • misc:

4 thoughts on “Misc: Picnic penguin”

  1. It works and really well. The rug is brilliant – I love the stripes and your shadows are in just the right place. Also very brave of you stamping directly onto your card panel, but it looks just fine. Impressed with your digital image skills! Xx


    1. Thanks! I used to play with Photoshop a lot before I started making cards and colouring, so that comes in handy when I need to assemble a digi scene or tweak things like that deckchair the other day. I am always a bit surprised when things turn out as well as this did – I’m just waiting for the day when I have an utter disaster to balance it out 🙂


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