One of my favorite aspects of working at Sparksight is how much we’re encouraged to be creative outside of work as well.  Something I’ve been continuing to push myself in, beyond animation, is illustration and when I learned that our very own (and very tall) Clint Smith was part owner of a wakesurfing company, I offered to do some art for his artist series boards.

A talented local artist named Brian Imler had already done a slew of amazing boards for their artist series that featured traditional surfer and nautical imagery so my piece needed to be different for variety.

I’ve been a fan of the works of Alphonse Mucha, an Art Nouveau painter and illustrator, and decided to design something in a similar style. My goal was to bring a little bit of a classic art look into the piece and refrain from using elements commonly found on board designs.

Poetry_Alphonse Mucha

I sketched the design and scanned it into Photoshop, stitching together different parts of multiple drawings to achieve the line art I wanted. Then I projected the image onto the actual board and traced the line art directly onto its surface.

Board sketch 01

Board sketch 02

Posca paint pens are the most commonly used materials for painting designs directly onto the boards and can even be blended. I utilized them in combination with paintbrushes and fine tip Pitt pens for smaller detail areas.

Workstation with Board

The key to achieving an Art Nouveau look is the thick outline that provides a nice contrast to the finer details. It gives the character a little bit of a comic book styling to it and Art Nouveau is in fact a big influence for many comic artists in the industry.

Girl detail

The last step was to seal the artwork with several coats of Acrylic Clear Coat to protect it from both water and UV damage.

Final Board


Fish Fins Detail

Illustration projects are some of my favorite to work on at Sparksight and I always jump at the opportunity. Check out this link for a time-lapse video I captured of the painting process and even an opportunity to purchase the original board.


6 responses to “Wakesurf Board Illustration Project: Steps and Tips

  1. It’s great to see your written tutorial, but if you give it a video tutorial, it would be good for everyone. Thank you very much for giving a nice tutorial.

  2. Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

    1. Hi Rishikes,

      We’re glad you like our blog! For blog content, we ask our team of talented creatives to show off their skills. We are moving away from blog posts and rather making video tutorials on out YouTube channel. Check out some of our video tips and tricks at

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