19 Feb 2015

Art Journal: Getting into it . . .

This year one of my resolutions was to keep an art journal to both document the year and allow me to try out different creative techniques and such. It's something I started last summer and really enjoyed but slipped behind on at the tale end of the year. So it was with renewed enthusiasm that at the beginning of January I started a new art journal (something about starting a new sketchbook always gets my creative vibes going!). So far I've documented a few family events, but what I've enjoyed most has been just having a go at things like watercolours and detailed drawing that I haven't really done properly for years. Above you can see my first attempts at watercolours in a very long time (the bee and flowers) and below, a series of old glass bottles that I had a go at representing - I think the middle bottle is the best, and surprise surprise it was the last I did when when I feeling more at home with the medium . . .

I find Pinterest a brilliant source of inspiration for journal pages and sketchbook ideas - and you can follow my 'Journals' board if you like. I've also been loving certain blogs such as Dispatch From LA and her visual journal posts. When I'm working on my journal, I try to remind myself that not everything has to be perfect - just give it a go! That's a mantra I've really tried to embrace since I visited the wonderful Charleston Farmhouse last summer. I suppose the quirks and imperfections are what give you your own style, in a way. I'll try and be brave enough to share some finished pages from my journal here in the future, but hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into a work in progress! 

Some useful tools if you're thinking of starting an art journal:
- I find Moleskine notebooks make great journals. I'm using this one.
- A self-inking date stamp can add a nice finishing touch to pages.
- A corner cutter can give cut-out pictures a more pro look.
- Tracing paper has so many uses - I love to layer it over a page with a title written on it in an attractive font using a white gel pen or paints.
- Coloured pens and pencils. You can even get tonal-specific sets geared towards drawing trees, nature, skintone etc so you can avoid having colours you won't use.
- A good set of watercolours or acrylics, or both!
- Individual letter stickers - I love these for giving a page a title or adding little notes.
- Glue stick, scissors and a pencil - of course!
- A drawing book and watercolour paper to try out ideas on. I often work on separate pages that I stick into the journal when I'm happy with them. This also avoids paint etc showing through a page of Moleskine.

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