For the past three months, I’ve taken a day or two to indulge in a few hours of pen and ink illustration. I love using the Nikko G nib and sumi ink to make elegant, detailed pieces! In March, I made a lace butterfly, and April brought a rosy Arc de Triomphe. Today, I’m introducing May’s artwork: an elegant henna-inspired bluebird illustration.
I always start with a pencil draft of my illustrations. Once the pencil draft looks good to me, I go over the draft with a dip pen and ink. Once I finish, I wait for the ink to dry, then I erase the pencil guidelines and digitize the artwork. Next, I make the artwork into PDF files, which can be printed out and used for a variety of purposes. Today, I’ll show you how to use this lovely seasonally-appropriate illustration to make a multi-purpose greeting card!
1. Print + Cut the 5″ x 7″ Henna Bluebird Illustration
You can find these henna bluebird illustrations by clicking here.
Once you’ve printed the 5″ x 7″ illustrations PDF, cut out either of the bluebirds. It doesn’t matter which one!
2. Glue the Illustration to a Blank Card
Cut out an 11″ x 5.5″ (280 mm x 140 mm) piece of black cardstock, and fold it in half to make a card. Once you’ve folded the card, use a glue stick to adhere the henna bluebird illustration to the paper.
3. Add Botanical Illustrations (Optional)
This step is optional, as you could certainly send the card as-is. However, for the sake of embellishment, you can create a continuation of this little bird’s floral perch! To get started, grab some white ink and a dip pen (or a Gellyroll white pen, if you’re not comfortable using a dip pen). Use the white ink to draw an outline of five petals, as shown below.
Once you’ve finished your outline, draw a few lines that originate in the center and curve outward. Soften the ends of those lines with some small circles.
Now, use your pen to fill in the edges of the petals with tiny white lines. You can extend a few of those faint lines down to contour the flower a bit.
Now, add a couple of leaves. To draw leaves, draw serrated almond shapes like the ones shown below.
Next, draw lines downward from the serrated edges of the leaves to the center line.
Finish up by adding some shading along the outside edges of the leaves. Once you’ve done that, you’re finished!
You can put the finished card in a 5.75″ x 5.75″ (146 mm x 146 mm) envelope, which is available at Paper Source. Alternatively, you can DIY a 6″ x 6″ envelope with the template in the Letter Writer’s Complete Resource!
If you are using a square envelope in the United States, don’t forget to add an extra $0.21 to cover the non-machinable envelope cost!
Other Uses for the Henna Bluebird Illustrations
You can also use the illustration as an artistic bookmark.
And, as I mentioned before, this little bluebird makes for great decoupaged mail art!
Additionally, you might decoupage the illustration into your sketchbook or bullet journal. You can cut out several of the henna bluebird illustrations and scatter them across your dining table to add interest to a tablescape (or use them as place cards)! If you (or your kids) enjoy coloring, you can try using crayons or colored pencils to treat the 8″ x 10″ version of the illustration as a coloring book page. What you do with this illustration is completely up to you! Again, you can find it the PDF by clicking here. Alternatively, you’d like to make a bluebird-themed project, but aren’t in love with the henna, you can find a free bluebird outline by clicking here!
I hope that you enjoy this illustration. If you make a cool project with it, I’m always interested to see! You can tag me on Instagram at @thepostmansknock, or, if you’re not on social media, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks very much for reading, and have a wonderful spring weekend!