Hello lovelies! Art Journal Summer School starts TOMORROW!!! Eeeeeeeeee, I’m getting so excited! Expect many exclamation points in this post!
To get you a bit more excited and as a little intro, I thought it might be helpful to talk you through the art supplies I’ve got in my toiletry bag. You can watch the video and/or read the supply list with my personal explanations and input below.
Are you joining the course and community of 350 students? Read all the details, download the supply list and register your spot here.
My journal of choice right now is a Seawhite of Brighton A5 journal. It’s SUPER CHEAP. I bought it for £1.25 (that’s less than $2!). The paper is a bit thin but it’s ‘extra wet strength’ which I can confirm is true. It stands up to mixed/wet media remarkably well although it does buckle quite a lot. It’s made in the UK (and also well stocked in The Netherlands) so might be a bit harder to get across the Atlantic.
I tend to use student grade brushes and I buy them in packs because they’re much cheaper that way. The ones you see in the video are Pro Arte Polar and Daler Rowney Graduate. I have one large flat one for backgrounds and bigger areas. One angled brush which I love for shading faces. Finally I have two different round ones for details, writing, swirling, and what-have-you.
The supply list has a mechanical pencil which I do like using, but it brings out the perfectionist in me because you can do endless sketching and erasing, sketching and erasing. Although I love symmetry and perfection as much as the rest of us, it doesn’t tend to make me happy with my process. So instead I love using a Stabilo All pencil. It’s a lovely dark black and it’s watersoluble so you can activate it with water. It helps me be more intuitive, embrace imperfection and really commit to the lines I’m putting down on paper.
I have one square white eraser for large areas and a Tuff Stuff eraser stick for details.
Glue and Scissors
I have a pair of tiny scissors and a small pot of matte medium to glue things down. I am not into collage very much though so I hardly ever use these.
Black & White Pens
I use acrylic paint pens by Uni Posca for most of the writing on my pages. I also tend to use them for pupils, eyewhites and highlights in the eyes. They work really well over mixed media, but it’s important to wait until previous layers are fully dry, or you might clog/ruin the nib. They also don’t work very well on thickly applied Neocolor II crayons. I also use Uniball Signo gel pens for details, it has a bit more of a pen feel rather than a marker. Finally I recommend Faber Castell Pitt Pen in black. This is India ink in a pen, it is waterproof when dry. The brush tip is lovely for adding writing or details on top of mixed media.
Come on, you need this! Washi tape is so fun with all the patterns. Depending on the media underneath it might not always stick very well, in which case you can use glue or brush some matte medium under & over it.
Dylusions Ink Spray
The brightness of the colours are amazing! Beware of three things though: it goes EVERYWHERE when you spray, it will stain your hands for days, it reactivates when you work on top with wet media.
I don’t work with stencils that often, but they can add real interest to your backgrounds or composition. You can experiment with using sprays or paint. If you spray through a stencil, don’t forget to afterwards flip the stencil and press it onto the page to get the negative image.
It’s such a great idea to limit your colour palette. It avoids overwhelm and gives a consistency to the work you create. In my bag I’ve packed a yellow, a bright pink and a turquoise along with black and white. Craft paints, chalk paints or matte acrylics are ideal for working in an art journal. They dry quickly, the pages don’t stick together and they’re usually non-toxic (do check your preferred brand) so suitable for doing art with your kids.
I use Caran d’Ache Neocolor II. They are watersoluble wax crayons. Super portable and non messy while giving you nice bright colours! I packed these colours: apricot, raspberry red, turquoise, white, orangeish yellow, pink, jade, light ochre, ice blue & cinnamon.
These are not on the supply list but I can’t live without them:
I use an old muslin cloth (you know, the type you use to mop up baby sick and when your kids pee on things). It doesn’t take up much space and it’s great for wiping excess paint off your brushes. I forgot this the other day when I went to journal in the park and I ended up wiping my brushes on fallen leaves. It wasn’t very effective. So jus’ saying, having a cloth is quite handy.
Water Spray Bottle
I love having slightly more runny paint so I usually spritz my pages with water before applying paint or while I’m shading a face. I also like making drips which a spray bottle is great for!
I do so hope you will join in on the fun! Can’t wait to see the wonderful artwork everyone creates!