Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last Week's Mail

Last week was a busy mail week: I did three postcards and two envelopes, and received a hand-illustrated postcard as well.

Postcrossing postcard mailed to China on June 22, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015


Illustrating an envelope with a recognizable portrait is quite a challenge of my drawing abilities. I usually spend a fair bit of time finding the right reference photo, and then make at least one practice sketch before tackling the envelope. Here are the few portraits I've done on envelopes:

Charles Dickens. Mailed Aug. 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Food makes a good subject for envelope illustrations, and Postcrossers often express an interest in the card sender's local cuisine. Here are some food-themed illustrations:

Mailed Dec. 11, 2011

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Panzón's Collections

A pen pal sent me a copy of Blackstock's Collections, which inspired me to draw my own much simpler collections on a few envelopes:

Mailed Dec. 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hand Illustrated Envelopes and Cards I've Received

Over the past five years, I've received scores of decorated envelopes, cards, and other pieces of mail art from several wonderful mail artists using different media and techniques, including hand illustration. Here are some of the first hand illustrated envelopes and cards I received.

Etegami received from DosankoDebbie in Oct., 2010

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Last Week's Mail

Last week, I illustrated one envelope, and received two etegami:

The heavy rains we had in May turned the chicken yard into a jungle.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Postcards from San Antonio

In 2012, my wife and I visited San Antonio, my favorite Texas city, for a few days. I did a little sketching and took some photos, and later used the sketches and photos as references to illustrate some postcards and envelopes:

The Tower of the Americas, built for Hemisfair '68.
Postcrossing postcard mailed to Poland on July 7, 2012

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Postage Stamp Inspired Illustrations

Usually I try to base envelope illustrations on something in my letter, or on something in the letter I am responding to. Sometimes, though, I get an idea for an illustration based on the stamp I chose for the envelope.

The stamp depicting Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird inspired this sketch of a
mockingbird (with dialog courtesy of Kurt Vonnegut). Mailed June 4, 2011

Monday, June 8, 2015


I often write in my letters about what I've been doing, and what I've been doing often includes lots of chores around the place. I've found that chores can be good subjects for an illustrated envelope:

Mailed Aug. 17, 2011

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Last Week's Mail

Last week I illustrated an envelope and a postcard:

All the rain we had in May brought a boom in mushrooms. Mailed June 3, 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015

Local Fauna

I live out in the country, and sometimes write in my letters about the wildlife I see out here, or the farm animals, both of which make interesting subjects for envelope illustration. And Postcrossers often request cards depicting local fauna as well.

Jackrabbits have returned to the area. Mailed Mar. 7, 2012

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Inky Things

I try to do an envelope illustration based on something in the enclosed letter, or on something that was in the letter I am responding to. And for Postcrossing postcards, I try to do an illustration based on information provided in the member's profile. I often write about drawing in my letters, so I often illustrate envelopes with a a sketch of drawing implements. Pens, pencils, brushes, and bottles of ink also make good subjects for Postcrossing postcards.

The recipient of this card mentioned "inky things" as one of her interests. Postcrossing postcard
mailed to Iowa Apr. 21, 2014

Monday, June 1, 2015

Postcrossing postcards

I had been a member of Postcrossing for nearly two years, and sent out over 500 postcards before I finally committed myself to hand-illustrating all future postcards. Needless to say, my rate of sending dropped significantly, since it takes time to design and complete the drawing for each member I am assigned, and I usually work on only one card at a time. I try to base the drawing on the information in the member's profile, though sometimes there's not much to go by. Here are some of my first postcards:

Mailed to Russia May 16, 2012