Thursday, July 16

Let's Talk About Art Journals!!

When using any water media to create art in a journal - like watercolor, acrylic, watersoluable pencils, and sometimes gel or glue - the kind of paper on the pages becomes the most important aspect of the art journal.  At least 140lb. watercolor paper, 400 series paper, or sturdy mixed-media Bristol papers are the best.  An 80 or 90 pound paper will buckle.  A thin, writing journal paper will not stand up to much more than dry, graphite pencil, pastel, or colored pencil - but even these mediums deserve a quality, sturdy paper.  For pastels, a Canson pastel paper in different colored pages will improve your pastel work all by itself.  And, the same goes for the other kinds of art journals.  So, often, artist's make their own art journals.  It's more than just a product you derive from making  your own journal - you also get the benefit of creating the surface on which you create art.  I don't know the reasons or the metaphysics, but all artist's should go through this process at least once - and some never create art without having had some part in the creation of the surface it rests upon.

If you are going to make your own journal, and would like some step-by-step tips and instruction, I have put together 2 videos for Easy (no bindery) and Crazy Easy Art Journals to make from scratch.

Make An Easy Mixed Media Art Journal
Make A Proper Artist's Journal

During the making of these videos, quality watercolor journals became so low in price that I started this website - no pressure to buy anything - because I wanted to share the info about where I found these journals.  For busy people who don't want to make their own, or those who have and now wish to buy them, here are a few that I've found.  I use because that is where I found some very reasonable prices, they ship internationally, and shipping is often free for orders more than $35. Such a deal!!

Strathmore Softcover Watercolor Journal, 7.75 by 9.75-Inch, 48 Pages
Strathmore Softcover Watercolor Journal, 8 by 5.5-Inch, 48 Pages

the watercolor journals

First off, let me say that I have 2 videos tutorials about making your own, handmade journal with 140lb. watercolor paper, because back before I made the first video - I could not find the kind of paper in any watercolor journal that was not $65 or shipping from a shop out of Canada.  After the videos, I found these super-affordable journals on Amazon with 140lb. watercolor paper.  I hated the kind of journals that would trick me into how beautiful their covers were, and their bindings only to have my journaling entries buckle and bleed into one another.  These won't and although they aren't leather bound, one does have a traditional book binding.

One of the spiral bound journals has Arches paper, which is usually expensive because of it being traditionally 100% cotton and very well made.  I swear these were never this affordable before, or I might not have ever started making my own!  Making your own, however, can be an important part of the artistic process for many creative people in their journaling experience.  I still recommend it, highly.

The Strathmore watercolor journal is a large, art worthy size: 8.5" x 11", and is a traditional, book bound journal with 400 Series 140lb. paper.


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