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Paper Crafts sketch

Published on March 20th, 2015 | by Kristen Swain


Beginning Your Art Journal

Art journaling has been around for a while.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

What is art journaling?

Basically, you use a sketch book and create art in it, add words, phrases, anything with personal meaning.

It’s about expressing yourself through your creativity without worrying too much what you end up with.

To me, it’s about making mistakes, and seeing what happens when I play. I don’t often use words in art, I want to add that into my art more often.

I used to draw a lot in high school. Not so much anymore.

I enjoy art, watercolors, paint, texture.

I enjoy quotes and sayings that apply to me, or I think are funny or appropriate.

I got a cheap journal.

It was like $2.

And I am determined to play with it, on occasion, to forget rules and just have fun.

I am hoping it will be relaxing.

When beginning your art journal, spend as much as you want to spend.

You can keep supplies cheaper, or buy art-quality supplies.

It’s up to you.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

I looked at several journals. This one had some nice thicker paper. I chose it knowing I would be painting in it, and using markers.

I found that I skip pages between to keep the second paper clean and unpainted or unmarked.

I love to sketch on book pages, in fact, I use several books in working my craft projects.

Some people see this as destructive, I see it as new life for the books.

Let’s start out with an easy page.

Tear out a page, tear along the sides, then add some watercolor to the page. I used a light purple.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

Adhere this to the page of the sketch book.

Next,we are going to start out the easy way.

I simply drew on book page. I drew a few doodled flowers, adding some color with watercolors, then letting them dry.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

Once the paper is dry, cut out the flowers, cut out the leaves. (You may be more worried about the direction of the book print. Me?  Not so much.)

Now place them on your page as such. I leave edges and sides unglued, so to have more dimension on the page.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

At the end, I wrote the word delight, then cut that out and added it to the page.


For a little more advanced page. Let’s try that Blackout Poetry.

Blackout Poetry is essentially taking a book page, and creating poetry with the words that are already there.

You can circle your poetry, add boxes, or simply just use a black marker to obscure the other wording on the page.

I am going to give you the cheat method.

I am not great at watercolor. I have little patience and never allow the paint to dry long enough. I almost always end up with blended and painted images that I didn’t do intentionally.

I did a poetry sheet, then ended up with my poems words bled on to. So I decided to cheat.

I let it dry, then cut out my images, the flowers below.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

When I was finished adding the flowers to the page, I had disjointed wording. So I took another page, and cut out phrases and words to create my poem again.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

I love that, I make a mistake, and it’s not a whole page ruined. That was the hard part for me. Adjusting to mistakes on the page, felt like it didn’t work for me.

Now I have a textured and fun page, with things I can live with.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

I honestly love how these pages turned out. I love adding to the page, instead of trying to work the whole page perfectly.

Beginning Your Art Journal - CreativeMeInspiredYou.com

I hope you will give this a try, and see what you can come up with.

By the way, I highly recommend giving some pages to the kiddos to see what they come up with. I usually send them back to add in more words a couple times. I have found out what wonderful poets  my minions are!






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7 Responses to Beginning Your Art Journal

  1. Carol says:

    I was delighted to run across this post. I also like to put dimension into my art projects, regardless of what type they are – whatever I start, be it oil painting, a journal page, a coloring page, eventually I will decide it needs layers to bring it to life. I had not thought to bring printed words into the mix, that opens up a whole new perspective. How fun! Very happy to discover a kindred spirit! Love this – Carol

  2. Connie says:

    Hiya! Found you through Pinterest and so glad I did! I’ve been looking at all sorts of tutorials, yearning to take the leap, but intimidated with the ‘I gotta work the whole page??’ ideal. THIS post however gives me the gradual introduction I needed to start off with adding things to a page, and using an old book for pages and words has really been calling to me, so I’m giddy with excitement to start!! Thank you , thank you!!

    Connie :)

  3. Jeanette Jones says:

    How did you adhere everything to your page? Did you use a glue stick or Matt medium? And did you cover the pieces with Matt medium? Whenever I collage water colored attachments with Matt medium the colors run. I am new to art journaling and really need a step by step guide.
    Thank you

    • cmiy says:

      Hi Jeanette, I use scrapbook glue/adhesive. It is really best for paper, and I don’t seal my journal pages with any medium like mod podge etc.

  4. Pingback: 10 Art Journaling Ideas | Dawn Nicole Designs™

  5. Pingback: 20 Reasons Why Making Art Is A Powerful Form of Self Care for Parents

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