Hello my creative friends. Today’s post is about art journalling for beginners. I am going to show you how to start your art journalling journey. I will create a simple art journal page hoping to encourage you to create an art journal page of your own.
Start your art journalling journey
I consider myself a beginner at art journalling and I absolutely understand the fear or uncertainty you may be having. But trust me, it’s easier than you think 😊
Please note that
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I made this video for a lovely friend of mine who has been thinking of starting an art journal for way too long ;P . But actually, anyone who, like my friend, would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin is welcome to join me on this art journalling journey 🙂
So let’s do it!
You won’t need any expensive art supplies for it. What you will need though is:
- a notebook with thick pages – you can buy really nice ones on Amazon
- white acrylic gesso – I got mine from The Works (got a nice deal!)
- and some paints, either watercolours or acrylic, or pens (water soluble preferably), black liner (I recommend my favourite Uni PIN fine liners)
- an image – whatever you like, it can be a stamped and coloured image or a printed one
- black ink (make sure it is the kind of ink that won’t smudge easily, I recommend Nuvo by Tonic Studios Hybrid Ink Pad in Black Shadow as it is perfect for different media)
- some mixed media stamps or stencils (optional, you can go crazy and make some freehand drawings if you like)
- water brush – that’s one of the most usefull tools I have ever bought!
In a nutshell – get ready for your art journalling journey
First, take your journal and spread some gesso over the pages that you want to work on. Using gesso is quite important here – it will protect the paper from bleeding through and it will allow you to create some movement with the medium (in my case – watercolours) as the paint won’t soak into the paper. Let it dry well. I left mine to dry overnight but you can use a heat gun to speed it up.
When it’s completely dry, pick an image that you like, it can be a stamped and coloured one (like mine) or a printed one, it’s all up to you – and that’s the beauty of art journalling ;). Now place your image where you want it to be – it’s going to be your focal point. Then mark the borders of your image with a pencil so that you don’t paint the area that will go under the image.
Once you’re set, take your favourite paints, markers or pens and play with them. From my experience, the metallic markers that are water-based but dry permanent are ok – if you scribble a bit and apply water on them while they’re still wet, you can spread them nicely on a gessoed page. They will work a bit like watercolours. But alcohol-based permanent markers will dry immediately, so better not to use them for this kind of project. So remember: NO ALCOHOL-BASED markers! At least not for what we are about to make 😉
Colours and composition
Try using the same colours as the ones in your chosen image as this will make the composition look harmonious. Of course, you’re not limited to these colours, feel free to add a few corresponding colours to blend or some contrasting colours to add interest.
In this project I am using Viviva Colorsheets – watercolour paints, which seem to dry almost permanent on gesso. Well, this is actually a very good thing, it allows layering (more on that next time). However, you can use inks, pens or markers as long as you work them out before they dry completely, especially if they dry permanent. What does „work them out” mean? Basically, it means spreading them with water – using either a spray bottle or a waterbrush, making them flow and creating movement.
Art journalling – video tutorial
Now grab a cup of coffee or tea, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the video.
It is really easy, it doesn’t just look easy, I assure you! But feel free to ask me any questions that come to your mind – I will do my best to answer them. If you would like me to make a tutorial on something else, please, by all means, let me know in the comments too!
No fear, there’s no RIGHT or WRONG way of art journalling
That’s right, you read it right. I consider myself a beginner at art journalling. I haven’t made many art journal pages. But before I made my first art journal page I read a lot of articles and watched a lot of videos on art journalling and there were many interesting ideas there, a lot of inspiration and handy tips. But the one thing I REALLY wanted to know was how to do it RIGHT. And you know what I found out? You guessed it!
There is no RIGHT or WRONG in art journalling!
The RIGHT way is the way you feel is RIGHT for you, it is YOU expressing YOURSELF through colours, textures, images. So the recipe is:
Do it the way that makes YOU feel HAPPY
The point is to enjoy the process, try out new things, test new techniques, play with different media. It is YOUR art journalling journey. Don’t think about others and how they create their pages, unless you have been inspired by them. Watch tutorials and process videos and don’t be afraid to see for yourself what happens if you do things in a different way.
I made this video for my lovely friend Jennifer, who has been thinking about starting an art journal for a way too long! And I thought there might be more creative people like Jen, who would love to start but feel a bit lost or confused. I hope this little article will help you break the wall that’s keeping you away from art journalling.
In the meantime, have a look at what Jennifer makes – she is such a lovely person and a talented crafter and blogger it would be a shame to miss: visit her blog JEN KRAY – PAPER AND STUFF and see her beautiful creations 🙂
What I’ve used in my project – shopping list
One last thing – all the items I’ve used (or almost all) just in case you need them.
My own art journalling journey
If you’d like to see my other art journal pages, you can see them in this post (with a video). I would love to know which one you like most 🙂
Also, you can see what else you can do with watercolours in this post – with a failed experiment. You may as well be interested in this post – where I’m not experimenting 😉 Or have a look at some techniques that you can use for art journalling, like drawing flowers. Whichever you choose – enjoy! 🙂
Thank you all for joining me today!
And happy crafting!