There are so many ways to journal your inspirations.  So here I made a list of suggestions and supplies that have been tried and are favorites.  One can get really bogged down with the amount of “things” you can get.  It can be overwhelming, and kind of exciting.  You have all these ideas and then just don’t know where to start. This article is for the basics that you need to begin. In the next article, I will go over some really neat supplies to advance you in your creativity.

 The first thing you need is a good sketchbook.  I like the wirebound, multi media paper.  Or a good watercolor sketchbook is good too, because of the weight of the paper.  You are going to be using inks, paints, collage, and mediums ( will explain that later), and you need a book that will support those.  Get a sketchbook that is about 8 x 10.  This is a good size to start.  Smaller books are good for travel or carrying around every day and sketching thoughts.  Larger books can get to be overwhelming if you are new to this.  

Now you have to be able to prepare the pages.  While you can paint, write, collage right on the page, sometimes you need to give the paper a little help.  Gesso will become your best friend.  There are so many ways to apply this product, and it never gets stale.  You can apply gesso to anything that you want to paint--boards, craftwoods, paper, matboard, furniture, anything you need to prepare the surface for you paint. You will also use it to glue pages together for a firmer surface to journal. Use a brush or old credit card, or you can cut up matboard.  Later we will learn how to add to gesso to make rough surfaces, textured preparations, etc.

The same goes for Mod Podge.  Get a jar. It never goes bad, and you will use it for all of your collage work. Part 2 article we can go over gel mediums ( there's that word again!) as a solution to your collages. You will apply Mod Podge with a brush.  I keep a brush that I don't use for anything else but Mod Podge.  It washes out with water.

Now for some Paint.  Crafters have some great paint sets that will be nice for your journal.  They come in small bottles and in a zillion colors and types, like neons, glitter, metallics, etc.  You can have a lot of fun here.  They are very inexpensive.  Acrylics are the best to use.  They are very versatile, water soluable, and can be used in so many ways. In our class, we go over many techniques using acrylics.  Get a good set of brushes too.  I like a one inch flat brush, a nice round brush, and I use a lot of detail brushes too.  Detail brushes come in sizes by numbers. 2, 3, 4, are good sizes for small detail work.

You can also use a starter set of watercolor paint, or gouache.  Gouache is between watercolor and acrylic.  It has wonderful properties, can be heavy and dark, or light and watery.  You can find watercolor in pre set pans, or they both come in tubes.  You press out a small amount onto your palette.  I use a foam paper plate, or I wrap wax paper over a small cutting board.  Real high tech here!  You can also use watercolor and gouache together, another technique we can go over in class.  If you want to try them, get a starter set.  For beginning your journal, the acrylics are fine! But here are some suggestions for you:

And finally you will need some marker or pens.  I love the Micron pens for general drawing, or fine details I may need in my journal entry.  I like just about any kind of marker for a bold color line.  Sharpies are great, but they can bleed through the paper.  Paint markers work well if you want to write over the paint you already applied to your paper.

Now we are ready to create.  The next blog will go over some other materials, and some inspirations for your journal.  In the meantime, JUST CREATE!