How to start a Journal: Tips for Beginners – Featuring PanPastel and Aquapastels

So you have a new art journal… A few questions come out of no where to haunt you… Where do I start? Will I ruin my journal? Can I fill all these pages? Well, have a little faith! That’s the first ingredient. And then, I’d tell you to relax and have fun, but I know it’s not always easy… Let me tell you what my experience was!

Well, yes, I’ve finally started art journaling… First on my journaling bible (see that post here) and now on a proper art journal… I’d say the process starts even before having the actual journal… Remember that there are many kinds of art journals out there and each of them was made for a different purpose. I’d say you should go for the one that you can afford, a journal that holds the media you plan to use well and of course something you feel comfortable with (meaning size, paper color, paper texture, etc.) I, for instance, enjoy a hard cover, small journal (reminds me of old books). In this case I went for a Strathmore 500 Series Softcover Mixed Media Art Journal, 5.5″x 8″. I chose a mixed media kind because I know I’ll be using it for everything…

I recommend that before starting a journal you try to watch a few videos here and there to see what you like the most, that way you can start gathering supplies and ideas to help you express yourself freely on your new journal. I was ready. I have been flirting with the idea of art journaling for what seems to be too long and I have gathered more than enough supplies to start. It’s been a slow process but a steady one and now I know exactly what I want to draw and write and decoupage, etc. on my pages.

This is my first page. It’s not really a page, it’s actually the inner cover of my journal. One thing I suggest if you plan to do this too is to prep the page with matte clear gesso… I didn’t do that and the page suffered in consequence… But I love it anyways and that’s an important reminder… When you pour your heart into a page, you will always find something to love in it, so be encouraged, you can do this!

The day I started my journal I was feeling a bit tired and I needed to just sit on the couch and relax. So I decided to grab my journal and a pencil to sketch some detailed flowers on my journal. Being relaxed and knowing always that this book is only mine gave me the freedom to play until what I was sketching became something else.

When I was done with these flowers, somehow I could almost see a girl with flowers on her head floating on my page. The process came about so naturally that all I can really tell you is to be yourself, draw and do what you love and you will be filling your pages in no time.

Adding a Shimmery Finish with PanPastel
If you follow me you know that I’ve been into drawing faces this year and I’ve been strongly influenced by my teacher -as I call her- Jane Davenport. I used her new Aquapastels (watercolor crayons) to color my girl and I just love that raw and bold touch they gave her. But I wanted to add some shimmer to the image and I had just the perfect medium for that: White Fine 011 Pearl Medium PanPastel. This PanPastel color is translucent and very, very shimmery… I used my fingers to directly apply and distribute some White Pearl on the pink part of my girl’s hair. I love Pearl PanPastels so much I also ended adding some 953.5 Pearlescent Red to her cheeks too!

I used Micron pens to trace my flower sketch and afterwards for this girl illustration. But I also used an Inkredible pen by Jane Davenport on the face and hair outline to have the ink melt a bit with the watercoloring.Β I kept the detailed flowers in their original form, with no coloring, to remind myself of how this page actually started… I never thought these simple flowers will bring to life this sweet girl. That comes to show how spontaneous art journaling can be and I totally encourage you to feel free within the pages of your journal to experiment, play, learn and create a beautiful artistic outlet for yourself.

 

Thanks so much for taking a minute to read this post. If you’re new to art journaling I hope everything I shared helps you in one way or another. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any of my future art journaling posts! I’m sharing them every Friday when I can. So stay tuned! Until next time.

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Crafty wife and mom / Blogger / Stamp Designer / Lover of all things paper / Deco Foil addict. Find out more about my creative world at www.gracielliedesign.com

6 thoughts on “How to start a Journal: Tips for Beginners – Featuring PanPastel and Aquapastels

  1. I love the way you did this. I am new to art journaling also. I am trying to learn to draw, but I'm not very good at it. I hope to be someday. Your girl, the flowers and the colors you used to color the girl are beautiful.

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  2. Hi Karen… I know what you mean but be encouraged. Each of us has a particular style and that is what you need to start searching for. Drawing is just an outlet and a journal does not have to be perfect! Just go for it! Artsy hugs.

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