• Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    If you want to make pretty mail art that comes together in minutes, try this tutorial! In it, you’ll use black ink and gold watercolor to make smudged illustrations that are casual and elegant all at once.

    Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    If you don’t switch up the styles and types of projects that you take on, things will start to feel very stale! With that in mind, I decided to create this inky envelope with a hint of an abstract feeling to it. It was inspired by the motif featured in this tutorial, but with a bit of a cleaner look. Dancing, delicate florals are anchored by dramatic smudges of sumi ink and glimmering hints of gold, and half of the artwork is created with your finger!

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    In order to complete this mail art tutorial, you’ll need the following supplies (a list follows the photo):

    2. Write the Address

    This mail art looks best with a quickly written, no-fuss address! To that end, I’d use sumi ink to write the recipient’s name in Kaitlin Style calligraphy. Then, write the address in choppy uppercase letters.

    Handwritten Address
    I used an oblique pen to write the recipient’s name, then I switched to my straight pen to write the address.

    3. Sketch Flowers and Leaves

    Use your straight pen (+ Nikko G nib) and sumi ink to draw an amoeba-like shape as shown below.

    Sketching Flowers

    Then, before the ink dries, use your index finger to smudge the ink from left to right.

    Ink Smudge
    If you want to keep your finger clean, you can dip it in water right after making the smudge. Then, dry your finger with a paper towel.

    Next, use your dip pen to draw petals as shown below. It’s okay if your petals don’t look exactly like mine! As long as you include some stroke contrast and lines for shading, your flower will look fantastic.


    Then, add a wavy stem with a couple of groups of tiny lines to represent hairs. Draw various shapes of leaves, then use your finger to smudge the edge of at least one of them.

    Adding a Stem

    Continue to draw various leaves like the ones shown in the photo below. Smudge several of the leaves for contrast.

    Making Progress on This Mail Art

    Use your leaf and flower doodles to fill up the area around the address.

    Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    Once your envelope is filled with botanicals and smudges, you’re finished with the sumi ink portion of this mail art project!

    Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    4. Add Gold

    Finish up this mail art by using your Moon Gold watercolor and a dip pen to write over the recipient’s name. Next, use your paintbrush to make a dot of gold at the end of a leaf. Then, smudge the watercolor with your finger, just like you did with the sumi ink. Repeat this over several leaves. Then, use your dip pen to outline a couple of leaves.

    Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    Once you’re happy with how the envelope looks, you’re finished!

    Chic Inky Poppies Mail Art Tutorial

    I hope that you enjoyed this inky mail art tutorial! This casual, artistic style is fun to make, so I hope you give it a go. Just remember not to use a waterproof black ink! That way, your finger will be much easier to clean as you make smudges.

    Thanks very much for reading, and have a wonderfully creative weekend!


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