Hello Wonderful, Creative You:
It’s always fun to know what supplies other artists are using, isn’t it? Working with new materials gives me such a kick of inspiration. Does it work that way for you too? And if you are new to art journaling, it’s comforting to have someone you know give you some ideas about what to buy. (Even if we only know each other in that internet-art-buddy kinda way – it’s amazing how much you can truly connect this way. I’ve made some real friends on the internet because of art – you know who you are!)
I’m sharing my favorite art journaling supplies. Of course, the materials I use rotate a bit – keeping things fresh is part of what keeps me inspired, but I wanted to share some of the goodies that are consistently in heavy rotation in my art journaling work.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been into mini journals for the last few months. This weekend I started experimenting with watercolor patterns too, you’ll see those below. You can see more of my 2-inch mini journal process in this video.
For these tiny works of art, I used simple materials: inexpensive but intensely pigmented Artist’s Loft pan watercolors, Micron pen in size 01, and Sakura Gelly Roll gel pens. Whether in paint or pen, doodling is just so darn much fun, isn’t it? I think it’s a great way to give yourself permission to experiment. Each little square is a chance to try something new. The paper I used to cut the squares is Strathmore Mixed Media – it’s nice and stiff and stands up well to hole punching, watercolor, and liquid acrylic.
In my tan paged journal, I frequently work with liquid acrylics and gesso. I only discovered liquid acrylics within the last year or so, but they have changed the way I do art. I just love the fact that I can drip, smudge, scrape, and wipe them to layer over pages that aren’t quite working, or as a way to create a background onto which I can overlay text, images, or paintings.
The blobs that appear help my imagination run wild and I love watching what I can create. I use the high flow acrylics from Golden and apply them with credit cards, brushes, or my fingers. Working in my tan paged Strathmore journal with these paints is so satisfying because it stands up even to rather wet pages, and I like the intensity of the colors against the sandy color of the journal.
Did I mention that the liquid acrylics are fun? No? Well, I really can’t get enough of them! If you’d like to learn to use some of these intuitive journaling techniques, you might enjoy my online class, Art Journaling 101 Online.
When I need to glue paper, cloth, string, beads, or other objects, I use gel medium and apply a thick coating with a brush.
Another technique I love using is hand-cut stamps. I often stamp on a page as a way to get a background or pattern going, then layer in paint, doodles, text, or images.
For the two photos on the left, I used a high quality carving block called Moo Carve and my Speedball carving tools, but the shape on the right was cut from craft foam. I’ve made some of my favorite stamps this way. Using inexpensive materials to make beautiful art is really satisfying and makes experimenting in an art journal really accessible to everyone. I love that.
If you want a journal with white pages or that sits open without using binder clips, you might also like this accordion fold from moleskine, or a spiral bound notebook. If you’d like to make your own journal, there are several techniques I feature in this post, many that are quite simple.
Finally, you can also take an old book, with or without words, with or without pictures, and paint, draw, write, cut, paste, and sew your heart out all over it. I have a Pinterest board on altered books that will help give you lots of ideas.
If you want to get started and feel overwhelmed, or you need a good dose of inspiration, check out one of my online art classes you might enjoy my online mini class, Freeing the Muse. It will help you get past creative blocks to uncover your unique, magical images.
Here’s me with only a few of my journals, some store bought and some handmade. I *may* have a little journal acquisition problem. I promise I use them all eventually!
If you are looking for a list of even more supplies I love, you’ll find them on this post about gifts for the artist in your life.
What supplies can’t you live without in your art journal? Tell us about it in the comments! Let’s get creating!
*The links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to click on them and purchase something, you’ll be supporting the work of Mindful Art Studio at no extra cost to you. Thank you!