I might be a little obsessed with colorful glazed tiles. In our house, we’ve been known to add them to stairs, put them on tabletops, and even draw them on the walls! Glazed watercolor tiles were bound to make their way onto a piece of mail art or two. Today, I’m going to show you how to draw realistic-looking tiles with the help of a handy free printable.
1. Gather Your Supplies
For this tutorial, you’ll need a few key supplies. You can find links below this photo:
- Embellished Tiles Printable (it’s free)
- Winsor & Newton watercolor palette (or your favorite palette)
- Ziller Soot Black Ink
- Bleed Proof White Ink
- Straight pen fitted with a Nikko G nib
- Size 2 paintbrush (Any small-ish size of paintbrush will work)
- White high-quality envelope
2. Trace the Tiles
First, place the tiles printable on a light box, then put the envelope on top. Use the Soot Black ink and your dip pen to trace over the tiles, which you should be able to see shining up through the envelope.
If you don’t have a light box, you can use a bright window as a makeshift light box. If you choose to go that route, you’ll need to trace your tiles with a pencil, then trace over the pencil lines with your Ziller ink.
As you trace, be sure to “cut” the middle two tiles in half. The top halves should feature the tile design, while the bottom halves should remain empty.
When you’re finished, the envelope should look something like this:
3. Write the Recipient’s Address
Now, use your dip pen and ink to write the recipient’s name in the left blank tile. Then, write the recipient’s address in the right blank tile.
4. Add Watercolor
Next, use a light blue tone like Cerulean Blue Hue to fill in the portions of the tiles shown below:
Then, use Cadmium Red deep hue to fill in the portions shown in this photo:
Use Intense Blue to fill in the remainder of the large design elements:
Then, use Cadmium Yellow Hue to fill in any lines on the tile designs. Once you’ve done that, use watered-down Payne’s Gray to outline the tiles with the recipient’s name and address.
5. Add Highlights
To finish up, use a paintbrush and Bleed Proof White ink to add wavy, inconsistent lines of highlights to the outside of each tile. Doing this will add that ceramic/glazed effect that we want.
Once the white ink has dried (give it a good hour or two), you can add Microglaze to the envelope, if you want to. You don’t have to apply Microglaze, but Microglaze will protect the envelope and give it a slightly shiny look, which adds to the “glazed” effect!
Using Watercolor Tiles as Home Decor
This watercolor tile technique doesn’t just have to be used for envelopes. It looks just as great when it’s framed and used as home décor. You can take the tutorial a step further and use it to make all-occasion greeting cards or gift tags!
No Time to Make This Mail Art?
If you love the idea behind this mail art, but you don’t have the time to make it, I’ve got a tiles mail art printable envelope! It’s part of the TPK Tutorial Printable Mail Art Templates collection. To use it, you just cut, fold, and glue. Easy-peasy!
I hope that today’s tutorial inspires you to try making your own glazed watercolor tiles! They’re a little time-consuming, but also very relaxing and fun. The perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a lazy summer day! Happy creating and enjoy.