A guest post for Plan With Hannah - go visit her lovely blog.
Beginning the journey into art journaling can sometimes be scary; not knowing where to start or what tools and equipment you need, thinking it won't be good enough, not having any inspiration... sound familiar? It needn't be. Art journals are a means of self expression and are ultimately for YOU, no one else. So stop judging yourself and get going and go with the flow, you soon won't be able to stop those creative juices from flowing. Read on for 10 ideas to get you started.
1. What do you need to start art journaling?
The first question to ask is what tools and equipment you will need. Well I have covered most of this in my post here Art Tips for Art Journaling, but you really don't need all of that.
Basically you will need:
2. How do I start though?
Don't over think it - EVER! Just get some paint on the page and then add some extra elements to it if you wish. I never plan what I am creating (only very loosely). You may wish to leave it as just the paint or you can add more detail after. See below for some inspiration.
3. Using stamps over paint
Using stamps over you paint (after it is dry of course) is a great way to get started. There are so many pretty stamps available now. Tim Holtz do great ones for mixed media or if on a budget have a browse through Ali Express and search for clear stamps, they are so cheap. I got some lovely ones with vintage writing on and they look amazing stamped on to my painted pages. For the image featured here I added a bit of white pen for extra detailing.
4. Using collage to add interest
5. Decoupage Art
One of the first things I tried with my pages was decoupage. I bought a matte medium gel from Amazon and started by sticking different things down with it, then adding a layer of the gel on top. You can scratch away at it so that it shows through the paint or leave as it is. It is great to add tissue paper to a page or a torn sheet from a book and really adds interest to your page. You can also use one layer of a patterned serviette.
6. Adding words to an art journal page
The hardest decision I had to make when starting art journaling was how to add words and quotes to my pages. Well, the options are endless. You could add printed words, cut words from magazines, use chalk pens or gel pens like the uni ball, use paint pens like the posca ones, use die cuts or ephemera (printed or brought) or paint or stamp them. Don't limit yourself or over think it and don't be put off if your writing is not great... the printer and glue stick are your friends.
7. Adding embellishments
Anything and I mean 'anything' can be added to your art journal pages. Got some scrapbook elements or enamel dots? Buttons lying around? - use them in your pages. Simple and effective. Use a strong glue, glue dots, sticky pads or a hot glue gun to adhere them to your page.
8. Just add pen
Yep, just adding a bit of pen work to your paint can really make the page pop. The posca paint pens or uniball gel pens in white or any colour really are a great way to add detail to paint. Again, don't over think it, just start doodling over the paint for amazing results. Alternatively just a black biro to add patterns or zentangles to a page can really be effective, these could also be used in art journal pages as borders or to frame certain things.
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Disclaimer: This post contains one affiliate link, but it is for a product I use myself and love.
I have had the idea to make my own watercolour journaling cards / project life style cards for a while now, just never had the time to give it a go. So during half term week (I work as a teacher), I decided to give it a bash. I must say I do love the finished result. Credit goes out to http://joannesharpe.com for the inspiration.
Creative Journaling Series:
This post will be the start of one of many in my Creative Journaling Series. After the popularity of the Art Journaling Series I want to focus now on my first love. It will be a mixture of mixed media, watercolour, collage, smash booking and planning / journaling all in one, what could be better? Anyway, I digress... on with the tutorial.
I have converted two of the cards into digital downloads for you to use in your journals (please don't make available for sale or distribute, but feel free to pin on Pinterest). There are two sizes - 3x4 and 4x6 so they can be used in Project Life books. For optimal printing, print as actual size as they were sized correctly in 600 DPI before being converted into a PDF file. I hope you like them and please do share what you have created with me on Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #kmmam - leave a comment below to let me know.
Rubbing Alcohol & Watercolour:
Finally you may wish to try adding rubbing alcohol. (WARNING - Don't do this with the children and be safe at all times, do not put the rubbing alcohol near flames and don't apply too much heat when drying the page). I used a 70% alcohol one. Carefully pour a drop or two into the lid and drip a few drops onto the page. Be very careful and always have something protecting your desk or work area. You can do it this way or use a pipette or cotton bud to drip the alcohol. The effect this creates is stunning and it will keep burning through the watercolour until it is fully dry, so make sure there is nothing flammable near by. Rubbing alcohol can be used to create a variety of effects in paint and there are several tutorials out there. If you missed how to create an alcohol ink spray paint be sure to have a read of tutorial 2 here.
I'm rather sad that the art journaling mini series has come to an end, please be sure to share your creations with me on my Instagram / Twitter and let me know in the comments of anything else you would like to see. Use the hashtag #kmmam
CATCH THE ENTIRE ART SERIES HERE.
I also hope to see you in my art journaling group Kerrymay._.Makes a Mess.
The third instalment in the Art Journaling Mini Series is all about scraping and rolling acrylic paint to create different effects for your mixed media backgrounds and art/creative journals. These techniques are so easy to achieve they could also be done with your children.
So there we have it, get creative on the cheap and try some new techniques. Be sure to check out the other two tutorials in the mini series and check out the art goodies giveaway in post two - now closed, but you can still show me using the hashtag #kmmam (I really do want to see your work and how you have applied the techniques).
Part 1 - Art Tips for Art Journaling (Resources)
Part 2 - Art Journaling Techniques
Tune in for the final series next week (with a Christmas theme - YAY) on:
Ink Pads and Distressing Pages
In the video I have posted below to go alongside the tutorials I have used a Tim Holtz distress ink pad in Antique Linen. Rub the ink pad liberally across the page and then use a cheap make up sponge to blend the ink to the page. Of course you don't have to blend the ink, you can leave it as it is. This makes a great base for creating an art journal page and aging the page. You can use any ink pad to do this.
Adding Salt to Create Texture in Watercolour
Next I applied watercolour to the opposite page in two tone variations using an Aquash Pentel watercolour brush, great for art journaling on the go as you don't need to keep dipping the brush into water. Take a small handful of ordinary salt and add it to the watercolour. This will create texture to the page as it reacts in the water. It is a good idea at this point to either speed up the drying with a heat tool or hairdryer or wait an hour for it to dry.
Adding Talc to Acrylic Paint
Next I chose an acrylic paint and mixed it with talcum powder. Baby powder is actually better than the one I used. Add a fair amount the the acrylic paint with a bit of water in order to thicken up the paint. You could also do a similar technique by mixing it with a thicker matte medium or heavy matte medium.
Make Your Own Spray Inks
So there you have it, a few simple techniques to get you started (make sure you watch the video for a visual tutorial). I can't wait to see what you create - use the hashtag #kmmam on twitter and Instagram or tag me - thank you so much for reading
Be sure to subscribe to my You Tube Channel for the next installment which will be on
Scraping techniques and Brayer rollers.
View the entire series here - Art Journal Series
What paper should I use for Art Journaling?
I am a bit hit and miss when it comes to paper. I started out journaling in a Moleskine Cahier insert for a Travelers Notebook (Midori style tn), this paper seems fine for thicker paint such as acrylic, but is not very good for watercolour as the paper wrinkles. Watercolour paper is the best for any watercolour work (or canvas) and mixed media paper or sketch pad paper for acrylics, or again an art canvas. You can make your own inserts for tn's using a mix of paper. All these papers can bought cheaply from The Works or Hobbycraft and even the Poundshop for sketch paper. Mrs Brimbles has an excellent tutorial here Making Mixed Media Inserts for Travelers Notebooks.
Hi I'm Kerry a Notts UK blogger and drama teacher. I'm also a planner, art & creative journal fanatic. Make a cuppa and browse my tutorials, musings, and crafty makes.