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Lat’s art journal together!
Let’s face it, sometimes getting started is the hardest part of making art. I’ve totally been there, many times!
Whether you are a professional or totally new the blank page can daunting. However, together we can defeat the fear of the blank page and create fun and fabulous pages in our art journal.
These 10 techniques will help you start your art journal and begin your creative journey.
So, grab your coffee your art supplies and let’s get creative. You can read more about art journaling supplies here.
This is one of my favorite ways of starting start art journal pages.
It’s not only fun, but I find it very therapeutic.
The mix and act of mixing papers together, watching them dance on the page stimulates joy and gets my brain going.
You can use old book pages, magazines or paper made specifically for collage.
You don’t even have to have a pattern in mind. Just rip the paper and start putting it down. You can do this intuitively letting your feelings take over and letting your brain take a back seat.
I love to use Matte Medium to adhere my collage down. This way I can still see the paper and I can draw and paint over it without being hindered. Matte medium dries clear and let’s you do whatever you want on top of it.
So, grab some paper and glue and get wild!
2.) Hidden Writing
If you have a lot on your mind this can be the perfect exercise to allocate your thoughts and also start an art journal page.
Grab something to write with that suites your mood. Let yourself have sometime to think and then just start writing on your art journal page. You can write down things that have been your mind, private thoughts, anything at all.
The beauty if hidden writing is that you’ll be journaling on top of it so it’ll be mostly if not totally covered up.
This is a great way to brain dump and get your mind stimulated. You can use it as a way to let go of things that are bothering you while creating a background for your journal page.
Once you’ve don’t some writing you can add some paint or gesso on top. You can also write on top of what you have already written!
You can also write with watercolor pencils or a stabilo All Pencil. Then, when you add water or paint the writing will blur.
3.) Splatter Background
Can we take a moment and appreciate how awesome spattering paint across a surface is? It’s a totally freeing method of getting some color down on your surface. I love starting an art journal page with some unpredictable patterns.
You can use acrylic paint, ink, gesso, even watercolor to splatter.
Here’s some ways I splatter.
One, I use an old toothbrush, dip it in paint and use my fingers to flick the wet paint bristles. I do get my hands and usually my table very messy. I’m completely okay with getting messy.
Two, I use a very liquidity substance, either watered down acrylic paint or ink, dip my brush into it and tap the wet brush onto another brush letting the paint flick on top of my art journal page.
Three, and this most messy if them all, I use a large brush a very wet paint mixture or ink and I dip the brush into the mixture and throw the paint at my art journal. This is best done if with your floor and walls protected. It does get paint everywhere and that’s part of what makes it so much fun!
4.) Color Blocking
Color blocking is a great way to start an art journal page and to explore color. Traditionally, color blocking is about using colors that are on the opposite side of the color wheel to create complementary color combinations. You paint an actual block shape and then paint another block shape. Usually, the colors chosen are bright, are of the same shade, are opposite or close to each other.
This is a good way of exploring colors and learning about the color wheel. I you don’t have one I strongly suggest you pick on up.
Don’t think too hard about your color choices. Keep this exercise light and easy. You may even surprise yourself with new combinations you never thought of before.
Your art journal page will become a fun study in colors. You don’t even have to create anything else on top of the color blocks. The color blocks alone can be your art journal page.
5.) watercolor background
Watercolors can give the most dreamy backgrounds. They are soft, transparent, and fun to play with as they can be beautifully unpredictable.
Watercolor washes are easy to create and you don’t have to be exact. It’s going to be a background, so you might as well have fun.
You can use a flat wash or gradient wash to create your watercolor background.
A flat wash is where the paint is the same color the entire way through. A gradient wash where the paint starts out dark and slowly gets lighter. You can even mix colors as you go.
You don’t even have to be careful, just splash color all across the page however the mood strikes you. Watercolor is a such a beautiful media.;p[=um and easy to draw and paint on top of that it makes an excellent background.
Doodling is a super fun low pressure way of starting an art journal page. You don’t have to even have any specific image in your mind. Just take any type of writing tool and start making some marks across the page.
I love making doodle flowers. They are fun, messy, and pretty. You can also make doodle landscapes, doodle people, anything you want. You can just start making scribble marks and see what happens.
The beautiful things about doodles is that they often turn into pretty fun art pieces. Doodling works super well with watercolor, too. So, you can easily combine the two to create a fun art journal spread. You don’t need many supplies and the results are fabulous.
Stencils can be the perfect starter for any art journal page. There are some super amazing stencils available. I love Jane Davenport’s stencils. They are easy to use and so adorable. You can create so many different pictures with them, as well. I got all of my Jane Davenport stencils from the acrylic paint sets. Each one includes a different stencil.
Here are the sets I bought:
A stencil can be a great jumping board giving you a foundation to build upon.
This is a great option is you are new and still developing your drawing skills. Ir’s also great if you are an experienced artist. You can find a way to turn the stencil into a whole new creation.
Quotes are something I have been addicted to for a very long time. I love quotes. I have books of quotes, notebooks filled with quotes.
Quotes have an ability to succinctly state profound messages with minimal words.
A quote can inspire an entire page. It can also be a page in itself. You can choose a theme, even make an entire journal based on quotes that fill your soul. Then, when you feel down you can go through your journal, read your brilliant quotes, and find inspiration all over again.
Places to find quotes:
9.) Use a new product
Using a new product to start an art journal page is a great way to test and experiment the product. If you don’t like it you can always cover it up. Journal pages are fun and messy and full of play.
Testing a new product can be extremely rewarding. You can test how it interacts with other art supplies you love.
You can also limit yourself only to a few well chosen new products and force yourself to use some critical thinking skills and get even more creative as you experiment.
I love to try new products. I don’t want to get too comfortable with the products I love and get into a rut. Testing a new product can keep things fun and interesting.
10.) Homemade Stamps
Making stamps for art journal pages is something everyone should try at least once. You can make really elaborate rubber stamps if you want. However, here I’m talking about average household items you can use as stamps to make interesting marks in your art journal.
This is a really fun activity because it forces you to go hunting and expands your eye for recognizing ordinary objects that can be used in art.
Things I use as stamps:
- Bubble wrap
- Bottle caps
- Bunched wet wipes
- Flower petals
To use these items as stamps is pretty simple. Just dip it in paint, ink, or other art supply at then press it to your page. Don’t worry about it being perfect. Not all the stamped images have to be neat or completely covered.
Just have fun making marks and discovering shapes and patters.
I’d love to hear from you! Jump on over to my private Facebook Group and share your art.