Kandinsky Style Envelope Tutorial

Hello Happy Mail Club participants! I'm so excited for this! We had an AMAZING turnout for this first month! I hope you all have FUN and feel so good about the joy you are spreading!


For our first Happy Mail Club tutorial, we are going to be making a Kandinksky Style envelope. Wassily Kandinsky was an artist from Russia that is considered one of the fathers of modern art. One of his most famous paintings was called Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles. He loved trying different color combinations and how colors interacted with each other.





What you will need for the Kandinsky Style envelope:

  • envelope

  • pencil

  • colored markers or colored pencils (markers used were Tombow Dual Tip Markers for the rainbow stripes and Pentel Sign Tip Brush Pens for the lettering)

  • ruler

  • small mason jar or small mug to trace circles

There's just a few things that I want to warn you about with this Happy Mail Club:

  1. If you are a perfectionist, please push back against those urges! (I know it will be hard!) But truly, this is not about sending someone a PERFECT envelope. It's about making someone happy when they open their mailbox. So keep focused on that!!!

  2. One thing I like to do is practice once on a mockup envelope, then do the real deal. That way, I can get all my lettering jitters out and then get on to the beautiful one!

  3. Check the size of your stamp! Nothing would be worse than making a beautiful envelope and realizing the stamp covers up part of your design. So grab the stamp you plan to use and trace it in the corner as a guide. This will save some heartache!


Ok, let's do this thing! Here's a short video of the process. Watch it and then we'll take it step by step!


Here we go!


1. Use your mason jar or small mug to draw half circles on the edges of your envelope.


2. Using alternating colors, draw rainbow stripes . Mix and match on the numbers of stripes you use. I found that odd groupings looked better (ie 3 at a time.)


3. Mark your lines for your address. The first line is going to go right about halfway down your envelope. Then, draw 3 more lines underneath, spacing them equally underneath. (Mine were about 3/4 of an inch apart. Yours may be a little differently spaced, depending on the size of your envelope.)


5. Time for the lettering! So when we look at how this lettering is laid out, I want you to pay attention to where the baseline is, and what is above and below it. The blue lines are going to help you see where the highest and lowest parts are.


You can see that in Julia Roberts, the bottom of the J and the bottom of the R are exaggerated and quite a bit lower than the baseline. In Meryl Streep, the M and y are lower than the baseline and the S and p in Streep. In Emily Blunt, look at the E, y and the B.


The bottom part of the y and the p are called the descenders, and they are any part of a letter that hangs down lower than the baseline. As for the uppercase letters, some of these are not actually descenders, but just letters I've exaggerated to make a more whimsical style. (If this doesn't really mean anything to you yet, that's ok! We'll keep talking lots about how to change certain letters or parts of letters to create our own lettering style.)



6. Time for the address! You'll see that I wrote the number large, and then broke down the street name. Holly and wood stacked on top of each other, and Way followed the curve of the circle on the right. You'll want to sketch out your address and see how you might want to break yours apart. Also notice that I chose to use block lettering to be a contrast with the whimsy of my name lettering. (This also helps the mail office machines to have an easier time reading the address.)


7. The city goes on line 3, and then the state abbreviation and zip code goes on the last line. If you have a longer address with another line of text, you may need to add a 5th line. That's another good reason that you want to sketch out all your lettering BEFORE writing on your envelope.


That's it! You did it! Now all you need to do is write a happy note to your person, and stick it in the mail and send that joy out!


I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see your finished envelopes. Snap a photo and email to me at sparrowlettering@gmail.com. I am going to be featuring these but will edit out street numbers, and city names before posting for privacy!


Thanks for following along! Have a most wonderful day!


-Carrie


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