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★ ART JOURNALING | Technique Tutorials, Inspiration and Prompts ★

Tips for Keeping an Illustrated Journal

An art journal is where you combine some writing with illustrations, painted backgrounds, magazine collages or other art. The writing can be a day-to-day diary, a scrapbook for your travels or life, favourite quotes, poems, to-do lists or life goals, or absolutely anything else you'd like to keep a record of!

This page provides lots of inspiration, ideas, prompts and techniques to help you broaden the range of techniques you use for embellishing the journal pages, and to keep you going through the motivational and creative barriers.

Art journaling is a great creative outlet and a fun hobby, and I hope that this page inspires you to give it a go, or experiment more with your existing journal!

Sketchbook Project Entries

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Photo and journals by LKG Photography.

If you want to enter your own journals into the 'Sketchbook Project' this year or next, check out this link.

Journaling Materials & Art Supplies

There is such an amazing array of art materials available to buy, and experimenting with new media is very inspiring - and also lots of fun of course! The more different types you try, the quicker you'll find what your favorites are.

An Introduction

Art journaling is a fantastic hobby for people who enjoy being artistic, and when you finish a journal it is so satisfying to look through the beautiful and varied pages you've created. I especially love journals that incorporate a wide range of media and texture experiments because these journals are literally bursting at the seams and are so fun to look through!

You can use a huge number of different materials in your journal, and you can really let your creativity run free without judgement. The most popular materials are pens (markers, felt tips, micron pens etc) and paints (acrylic, watercolor, oil etc), although I've seen everything from salt to tea bags being used!

More materials you can use include: magazine pages, recycled book pages, ephemera, crayons, pencils, photos, pastels, newspaper, inks, different kinds of paper (tissue, crepe, parchment etc), leaves, and thin fabrics like muslin and cheesecloth.

I find experimenting with art techniques to be the most fun part of this hobby. Images and patterns can be printed onto paper with rubber stamps, with methods like potato or lino printing, with textured materials like bubble wrap, or with stencils. You can make your own stencils or buy them, and they are extremely popular for adding patterns to backgrounds. People also like to embed memories into the pages by sticking in maps, notes, tickets, receipts and other paper souvenirs.

Further techniques you can use include embroidery and collage. Building up multiple layers of paints, papers and other media give a luxurious feel to the journal pages.

Art journals can simply be a notebook and a pencil, or you can make use of several different techniques on one page. It's completely up to you; nobody is going to see the journals unless you want them to ...so just go for it!

If you are planning to use paints on your pages you will need a journal filled with thick paper so that the paper won't warp and tear under the liquid paint. You can use thin paper with some paints though as long as you add a base layer of gesso (see below for info). Pick a journal filled with thick watercolor paper if you are going to be working with this medium.

And remember...every page does not need to be a masterpiece. Just relax and enjoy!

Art Journaling Videos

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Mixed Media Art

Art journaling can use so many different media, from magazine cuttings to book pages, paints and inks - so experiment!

Art journaling can use so many different media, from magazine cuttings to book pages, paints and inks - so experiment!

Gesso

A popular product for journalers is Gesso, which is a primer used as a base for (usually) oil and acrylic paints. It's ideal for using on pages which aren't thick enough to carry paints very well, and it's also great when working with layers.

Gesso can be added on top of a layer