I absolutely love getting mail! Not your run of the mill bills, notices, and spam, but actual real cards and letters. Granted, with email, evites, and ecards the need to send hard mail has really decreased. However, there is something to be said for sending and receiving something that has been carefully picked and made out to you or whomever you are sending it to. It’s that human touch, that connection to one another that seems to get lost in the shuffle of daily life and our “digitally connected” worlds.
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you will know that my sister was recently very ill and in the hospital. I received countless words of encouragement and prayers for her and clearly it worked because now she is home and (slowly) recovering! Unfortunately I am a state away from her and while we text, snapchat, FB, facetime, and call on the daily, I wanted to make her something special so she new that she is always on my mind. With that said, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to create a tutorial for you all! This floral envelope art is so stunning and eye catching that it will surely wow anyone that receives it. I have broken down the steps below so you can replicate this on your own in simple steps. Take a look and try it out!
First, you want to start off by penciling a rectangle in the center of the front of your envelope. I used a ruler for this, but you can also eyeball it. Just try to get it as centered as possible and make sure you are leaving yourself enough room to write the person’s name and address.
Next, you will want to draw a banner on the top part of the rectangle. This will be where their name goes. Start with two parallel curved lines.
Connect them with two vertical straight lines. Then add the banner ends as shown. Be sure to use light pencil marks since you will need to erase this later.
Next, you will want to letter in the person’s name. I like to first write it out in pencil to make sure the spacing is good.
The next step is creating the flowers. For this style of flower, I like to really capture the ruffled texture of the petals. You begin by making a curved oval. Keep it small, as this is the center of the flower. Next you will start to add petals in a circular motion. They should be wavy lines curving around the oval and then around each subsequent petal. Make sure that they overlap and do not complete an entire circle. Continue this until you have reached a size you like. As you can see, I began in the top left corner of the envelope. I made this one rather large so it takes up a nice portion of the corner and is a great visual. I also played with line weights and decreased in weight as the flowers got smaller. Here, I used Micron pens in size 08 for the largest, 03 for the medium size, and 01 for the smallest size.
At this point you can begin to letter in the person’s name. Here, I used the Tombow Fudenosuke soft brush pen. It is such an wonderful pen for creating tight lettering and achieves beautiful thick and thin strokes. If you do not have one, feel free to use faux calligraphy!
Next, using your thickest Micron pen, outline the banner. Because the L in Laura has a descending flourish that comes off of the banner, I made sure to leave space where it intersects. This gives the letter a chance to shine without taking up too much attention.
From there, you can begin to add flowers, varying in size around the envelope. Be sure to avoid the inner rectangle so you can still have room to write in the address. I like to have my flowers slightly overlap into it so as to keep an organic feel to the flow.
Next, you’ll want to add leaves. You begin by placing a petal as if it were coming out from behind the flower. Add some fine lines for detail. Then, organically go around the frame of flowers adding petals where you see there is an open space. I typically add two petals per flower. You don’t want to completely use up all of your white space here because we will be adding another filler in later. Like you did with the flowers, be sure to vary the line weight of the petals.
Once your petals are complete, erase your pencil lines.
Now, is where you get to play with color! I used my pastel Tombow Dual brush pens here because they have such a beautiful soft pigment. Alternatively, I also used Kuretake Zig brush pens for a few bold pops of color. As you’ll see in the photo below, I first used the brush side to fill in the majority of the flower. Then, I used the fine tip to go over certain areas and add some more pigment. This gives the flowers some dimension so there are highlights and shadows within each flower.
Another fun feature of the dual brush pen is that since it is a water based color, you can blend colors very nicely. I added some orange tones to the yellow flower to mute it a bit so that way it blends nicely with the color scheme I have going. Have fun here, experiment, try color combinations that make YOU happy!
When it came to coloring in the leaves, I used the same method of painting first and then going over with the fine tip to add dimension. I also chose to blend the green and blue together for some leaves so that they vary in color and don’t look too flat.
Here is where we add our vines to fill in that extra white space and add some more texture to the design. Starting at the same top left corner, add a curved line going from one flower to the other. Continue this all the way around in a somewhat non-uniform pattern so that it looks as though the vines are just floating behind.
You will then add small leaves along each vine. To make these, you simply make tiny ovals coming on either side of the vine and fill them in. I chose to make the outer vines point up in a clockwise direction and the inner vines point in a counter-clockwise direction. This way, they feel more natural and aren’t all facing the same way.
Below you will see how the vines flow in different directions.
And voila! There you have it! A beautiful work of art ready to be mailed off to a very lucky person. One thing I like to note here is that when adding your address, I find it is best to keep the font clean and simple. Because there is already so much going on with the envelope, you want the address to be clear and legible. As you can see, I also added a bit of grey shadowing to the banner to add a little more dimension. You can do this also if you like with a pencil or colored pencils. For this I used a Tombow Fudenosuke twin tip pen in grey.
Whew! That was a long one! I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I loved working on it. Please let me know in the comments below if you found this useful, what worked, what didn’t, or anything you’d like to see from me in future posts! I love your feedback and want to bring you all something that you’ll enjoy.
Have a wonderful day!