for art journaling.
In case you are new to art journaling, or would like to begin the adventure, I thought you might like to know what my most used materials are. Things I think are the basics.
- Gesso. I gesso nearly all my art journal pages before I even begin the page. I find it helps the paper cope with the abuse art journaling gives it. Nearly everything works better on a gessoed paper.
- Acrylic Gloss Gel Medium. This is what I use to adhere the stuff to the page. (I mentioned Yes! paste in another post. That is what I use to make the actual art journal book.) I bought the gel in a gallon size from Dick Blick. You can get it in gloss or matte. I will be buying it in matte next time.
- Modeling Paste. I make my own and use it on nearly every page.
- Stencils. Used primarily with the modeling paste, but you can smear heavy gesso through them too. Or use them with spray inks, water colors, trace them onto chipboard and make embellishments. There are many uses for stencil. And you can make your own. Here’s how.
- Water-soluble media. This could be watercolor paints, watercolor pencils, water-soluble crayons, DIY metallic shimmer, etc.
- Paper. This could be tissue paper, cardstock, patterned paper, old book pages, magazine pages, junk mail, wall paper, wrapping paper, or any other type of paper you find around your house. I use ripped papers on the backgrounds, I cut images from paper, make titles and embellishments with them, paint on a picture or face on old paper and attach it to the art journal page. I make paper beads. The uses for paper are limitless and this is a very important ingredient in art journaling.
- the Journal is an essential item. You need a surface to journal in or on. You can make lovely journals from old books or magazines you find around the house. No need to spend big bucks on a journal. My preference for store-bought art journals are the Strathmore Visual Journals. I buy the 90 lb or 140 lb. watercolor paper journals. These work well for me, hold up to anything I can think of to use and they are sturdy. These journals will not fall apart.
- Acrylic paints. I use the inexpensive 2 oz. bottles of craft paint for my art journaling projects. They work great and cost less than a buck for a bottle. You can mix the paint with your gesso and have a very soft colored wash to go over your page. I water down brown and black and use them to antique or age my page. Hundreds of options with acrylic paints. You can use them with rubber stamps if you clean the stamp really well afterward.
- Pens. I prefer black pens which are water-proof. I also have gel pens, paint pens and white pens. Start with a good quality black pen and add the white gelly roll pen when you can. Build up from there.
- Credit or Gift card scraper. This is how I apply the gel medium. I often use them to paint a background or to smear gesso over the page. A credit card scraper will get air bubbles from beneath your layers, can make marks on your pages like branches or grass, and is my most used tool. Seriously.
Here are some things which are not essentials, but really nice to have:
- Stamps and an ink pad. I find I use backgrounds and alphabets more than any others. Get a black ink pad which is waterproof, like the inks from Ranger. I bought mine from Hobby Lobby. If your stamp is an image you can color it in with acrylic paints, colored pencils, watercolors, markers, crayons, whatever you have on hand. Then cut the image out and attach to your page.
- Spray Inks. I just made some yesterday. Here’s how I did it.
- Shimmery pots of color.
- Chipboard. I use boxes from cereal and mac and cheese. Cut into what ever you want.
- black gesso and clear gesso.
- metallic rub-ons
- embellishments. Tags, emphemera, buttons, trims, beads, glitter, fibers, die cuts, lace, fabric, metal pieces, wood, flowers, feathers, 3-D stickers, etc.
- Markers. Either alcohol based or water based. Can be used with the stamps too.
- Colored pencils. I use these often.
- Paint brushes/palette knives
- baby wipes