My Favorite Art Journaling Supplies

My Favorite Art Journaling Supplies

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!)

Favorite Paints and Gel Pens

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.

Watercolor Minis with Pens

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.

Liquid Acrylic Journal Fun

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.

Journal Spread Liquid Acrylics

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.

Collage Journal Page

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.

Stamping on Journal Pages

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.

Mountains of Journals

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!

Creatively Yours,



*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!

The BIG Power of Working Small

Big Power of Working Small

If you’d like to learn more about working this way and finding your creative voice through art journaling, you can find my classes page here.

If you are new to Mindful Art Studio, be sure to sign up for my mailing list so you get your free Guide to Creative Self-Care.

Many folks have asked about the supplies I used, you can find the mixed media paper, square hole punch, and liquid acrylics by clicking the links.*

I’d also love to hear what you think in the comments.

Creatively Yours,




*The links are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to click and purchase something, at no extra cost to you, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio. Thank you!


Shared Journal Reveal

A video tour of two artists' correspondence in pictures

Hey There Wonderful, Creative You!

Today I got my shared journal back from Cait Sherwood and I can’t wait to show you what she’s done! I’ve been taking you along on this journey as much as I can, so I’ve opened this sweet little package on camera so that we could experience it for the first time together. (If you can’t wait any longer, just click here.)

Art journaling for me has always been a free and open space where I can express and explore my feelings without expectation. As I’ve delved more deeply into book art in the last few years, however, I’ve also made it a space for exploring new styles, techniques, colors, and materials. It might seem like this is a purely aesthetic or more superficial pursuit, but I’ve found that this kind of exploration has two benefits: 1. I broaden my ability to accurately express my feelings and explore my inner world, and 2. the broader my art “vocabulary,” the more joy I experience in art making. Isn’t the joy you feel in art making the real healing power of art, after all?

Sharing a journal with another artist is way to expand my artistic repertoire, AND share it all with another artist on the same journey. The part I love the most about this is that Cait and I never would have connected if it weren’t for the power of this great, big lug, the internet.

I hope you enjoy seeing the lovely changes Cait made to the journal. If you want to see what the journal looked like when I sent it to her, you can find that post here, or what I did with her journal, you can find that here.

You can find more information about how to express and de-stress through art journaling on my classes page, and sign up for my mailing list so you don’t miss a post, workshop, podcast, or class!

Watch the video here on my Youtube channel.

Thanks so much for being here!

Creatively Yours,