This cold February weekend calls for cozying up with your watercolors to create some cheerful and quick mail art. In this tutorial, we’ll take on a fun hanging plants concept that comes together in just a couple of steps!
1. Paint Planters
Begin by using a size 000 paintbrush to paint planter shapes in alternating locations on the top half of a white envelope. To paint these planters, I used the following colors from the Winsor & Newton Cotman palette:
- (Watered-down) Alizaron Crimson
- Lemon Yellow
- Intense Blue
- (Watered-down) Cerulean Blue + Cerulean Blue
2. Add Leaves + Embellishments
Wait for your watercolor pots to dry completely. Then, use your paintbrush and various tones of green to paint different types of leaves above and — in some cases — on top of each planter. Have fun playing, and keep your favorite types of plants in mind as you paint!
Once you finish with the leaves, you can use more watercolor to embellish some of the pots with patterns. (Use the watercolor calligraphy technique to load watercolor on a nib in order to “draw” on your pots with precise lines.)
3. Draw Strings
Now, use a straight pen + Nikko G nib and the watercolor calligraphy technique to load red paint onto your nib. Use that red paint to draw little hooks along the top edge of the envelope above each pot. Then, use various shades of watercolor to draw strings that suspend the plants from the hooks.
Feel free to add a couple of beads to your strings for visual interest.
4. Add Calligraphy
Once you have drawn the planters, write the recipient’s address. I used Kaitlin Style calligraphy, and I justified my address to the right. Of course, the calligraphy style/orientation you use is up to you! Kaitlin Style is very loose and free, so it complements the envelope’s bohemian feel.
If any part of your envelope is looking a little empty, you can add in a couple of large green leaves, as I have done here. I used Bleed Proof White ink to write “enviada a” (“send to”) and to add veins to my leaves. The leaves are optional, though!
To finish, add a stamp that looks good with the plants’ color scheme. If you’re concerned about moisture affecting your art or calligraphy, use Microglaze or a finishing spray to waterproof it. Then, send the envelope on its merry way and get ready for a delighted recipient!
I hope that you enjoyed this quick mail art tutorial. It’s a little less involved than most other TPK mail art concepts, for sure, but it’s every bit as cool! If you use this concept to make something, I’d love to take a look — just tag TPK on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!