Want to start an art journal? Don’t get overwhelmed with so many tools. Listed here are the 10 art journal tools for the beginner.
Writing a journal is something that I love to do. It is my way of pouring out my thoughts and emotions. But it is the type of journal that I’d rather keep private.
Actually last year I started doing a bullet journal, wrote tidbits of my life and shared it on Instagram but I felt uncomfortable sharing it. So about half of my journal I only shared mostly my artworks – the border paintings of my weekly journal and only written quotes from God Whispers an email I receive every day as a member of Truly Rich Club. By the way, Truly Rich Club is an amazing group where you can learn to earn passive income and spiritual abundances.
But because I love to create and IG is honestly a great platform where I can share and grow my skills, I decided to do an art journal in a mixed media form of art. I’ve never tried it but it is something I’d love to explore. I was actually inspired by Alisa Burke – I am in love with her artworks that I thought I’d copy her but in the process of my journaling I found my own style.
What is Art Journal?
There is no specific definition for this but it actually depends on what the artist wants to do. It is either a journal of collections of art technique, palette, records of inspirations, or simply a creative expression of feeling through art or even adding some words.
That’s what I like about keeping art journal because I am a person who changes interest most of the time and as much as I want to put everything inside my brain it is still better to document it on an art journal. This at least will keep the ideas and can be checked anytime.
10 Art Journal Tools for the Beginner
As a beginner, I only used the materials that I have on hand. I don’t want to get overwhelmed with so many stuff. Listed below are enough for me but I don’t limit myself to this tool. I know, eventually, I will explore another medium too.
1. Mix Media Paper. I am currently using Canson Mix Media, my first ever mix media pad. It’s 98lb paper measured 7 in x 10 in and 60 sheets. Quiet big. I was actually thinking of cutting it but decided to use the whole page instead. Plus the price of this brand is reasonable. At first, I underestimated the thickness of the paper. I thought it cannot hold much paint as I am working layers and layers of paints. But to my surprise, it is actually a good material. I even used back to back of the pages, so it’s a win because I have 120 pages all in all. I read the review at Amazon and some say it bleeds when you use alcohol inks. I haven’t used this medium so I cannot attest to this.
Or you can create your own journal; check my blog post on how to create a stylish mini jotter, perfect for your travel journal.
2. Pens. My choice is Sharpie and Pigma Micron Archival for black pens. But the Micron pen isn’t good for writing on the surface painted with acrylic paints. For white pens, I love the Uni-Ball Signo. Really works well in both acrylic and watercolor.
3. Inks. I rarely use ink. I only use it to cover some area that I feel like needed to be covered with these colors or for drawing random patterns. I am using Moon Palace Sumi Ink for black and Dr. Ph Martin’s Pen for White.
4. White Markers. Posco white marker is my favorite. I have used it for signboard lettering and the color really pops-up. Also good for mix media art.
5. Acrylic Paints. Cheap acrylic paints are good to start. I have Decoart Acrylic Paints that I am using in my journal and I have no problem with it.
6. Watercolor Paints. My favorite medium. But honestly, I prefer watercolor paper for this medium instead of mix media paper.
7. Palette. I have a separate palette for acrylic and watercolor. I am using the plastic palette from Dollar Store for acrylic and ceramic sauce plates from an Asian grocery store.
8. Paint Brushes. Santa Fe Art Supply brushes are great. I got it for free about 2 years ago and still working fine. It comes in different sizes and not too expensive.
9. Pencil. If I like to add illustrations I usually sketch a figure lightly. Or add lines for a guide on writing a phrase.
10. Eraser. If you are using watercolor it’s also best to slightly erase those sketches. I like the kneadable special cleaning rubber eraser from Staedler. It won’t ruin the surface of your paper.
When doing art journal you don’t need to push yourself hard on creating something beautiful. Just trust your instinct. You don’t even need to buy all of the listed materials above. Use whatever materials you have on hand.
What you actually first need is that you yourself, if you really want to jump on board on the journaling world and discover the hidden creative works you have in store in yourself.
Personally, I enjoyed the process of just applying the creative juices I have in my mind. I don’t give myself boundaries and limitations. Sometimes I just scribbled on it, put dots and draw lines, or apply paints layers and layers and till I am satisfied with the outcome.
If you have an art journal or any kind of journal please let me know in the comment below. I’d love to check it.