greeting cards

Blackberry forager

The time came around again to make a card for my mum’s birthday. This year is a “big number” year, but I knew that putting the number anywhere on the card would not be appreciated. So I decided to keep it simple and just come up with an interesting image instead.

A couple of months ago I came across Simon Dell’s mouse village YouTube channel when someone tweeted one of the videos of the mice and some blackberries. Given my mum’s love of both mice and blackberries, I just knew I had to create my own version for this year’s card.

I had watched a lot of the Lifebook 2023 taster sessions and one of them, by Kaaren Poole, was a watercolour journal page with an image of a mouse holding a dandelion clock. It’s a really lovely drawing of a mouse and although I didn’t want to use it with the dandelion, I did think I could do something with it. I ended up combining it with some Power Poppy berries (though I redrew the druplets on each blackberry as the originals were quite small and densely packed) and added my own flowerpot background.

The base colouring was done with my trusty Copics — I did have a quick try at doing it in watercolour but quickly abandoned that as a very bad idea — and then I added detail shading and highlights with coloured pencils. The pencil work made a big difference, especially on the blackberries. I just love how the berries turned out.

I haven’t listed all the individual coloured pencils I used for the refinements on this image, mainly because I didn’t keep track of them and I just grabbed whichever one seemed most appropriate for the area I was working on.

Once I was happy it was finished, I die-cut it out with a stitched border and added a simple sentiment. I didn’t have any suitably coloured card for the base, so I found a marker that supported the colour scheme and coloured the border of a white card base. Then all I had to do was assemble it and get it in the post. Job done, and my mum loved it.

Copic markers:

blackberries, main colour – BV08, BV20
blackberries, pink tinge – R85
blackberries, deep shadows – BV29
blackberries, cast shadows – N5
calyx & stems – YG23, G24, YG95
leaves – G29, G46, G24
mouse, light – E40, E41, E43
mouse, dark – E43, E31, E35, E37
mouse, pink – E11, E50
mouse, cast shadow – BG72
ground – E40, E42, E43, E44, E87, E89, G94, YG67
flower pot – E50, E11, E13
background – BG90, YG61, E0000


  • stamps:
    Tim Holtz – crazy talk
  • dies:
    Create A Smile – double-stitched rectangles
  • coloured pencils:
    Derwent Lightfast pencils
  • colour:
    Albrecht Durer watercolour marker – 172 earth green
  • inks:
    Ranger Archival – majestic violet
  • paper and card:
    Neenah solar white 216gsm
    Hunkydory Matt-tastic Adorable Scorable – soft white

1 thought on “Blackberry forager”

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