March 2017 Artsnacks

This month marked Artsnacks four year anniversary and they tried to help celebrate with this months box.  I felt that the box fell a little flat for me.  It contained products that I enjoy using but it didn’t contain any WOW products for me.  Long story short, I didn’t love this month’s box but I didn’t hate it either.  Although I thought that all of the products were good quality art supplies.  Check out the unboxing video HERE!

Must Have Art Journal Supplies

I journal in all types of journals, from watercolor journals to vintage books that I repurpose into art journals.  I keep a journal for watercolor artwork only, I have journals that were made to take all types of media and ones that are vintage books that I prep to be used with all types of media.  This can be done by adding gesso to the pages before you begin your art journaling.  I also keep a daily journal in my Traveler’s Notebook that I use mainly for collage, watercolors and journaling.  Because I practice different journaling techniques, I keep different journals and use different supplies.  I have compiled a list of my Must Have Art Journaling Supplies.  Of course, these may not be every art journalers basic supplies but they are supplies that I go to time and time again.

First and most important supply is a JOURNAL.

journals

As you can see above, there are many options and this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Starting at the top left is my Traveler’s Notebook that I use for my daily journaling, my vintage record book that I have turned into an art journal, a small spiral bound journal, a small mixed media art journal and finally a small pamphlet style journal that I bound myself.  You can use a journal that is stitched or a spiral bound journal.  I prefer the stitched journals because I feel that the two-page spreads are more cohesive whereas the spiral bound journals have a gap between the spread.  Again, this is personal preference.  Once you begin art journaling, you will start to see what style you prefer.  Just be sure  that you purchase or make a journal that has heavier weight paper (96lbs. or more), or paper that can withstand wet media such as watercolors and acrylic paint.

Next supply is a PERMANENT AND WATERPROOF BLACK PEN AND/OR MARKER

permanent-black-ink

If you plan to use wet media in your journal, then a permanent and waterproof black pen and/or marker are a must.  The last thing you want is to have your writing or artwork ruined when you run a wet brush over it.  The two options above, Faber Castell PITT artist pen and Krink marker, are both great options.  There are also many other options out there.  Just be sure that when you shop for a pen or marker that it says waterproof, otherwise, I wouldn’t take the risk.

Another must have art supply is the WHITE WATER BASED SHARPIE PAINT MARKER.

white-sharpie-paint-marker

This supply is great for doodling, lettering and adding highlights because it is super opaque.  You can also find these Sharpie Paint Markers in oil based but I recommend the water based.  They seem to flow and show up better.

Something else that I use in my journals are RUBBER STAMPS

rubber-stamp-letters

and BLACK ARCHIVAL INK.

ranger-ink-pad

I love all types of rubber stamps for my art journals, especially numbers and letters.  You can use the numbers to add dates in your daily journal or letters to create quotes or to make bold statements in your journals.  I strongly recommend Ranger’s Archival Jet Black Ink because it is permanent and waterproof.  They also have many other colors of ink, which I love, but the one color that I use constantly is the black.

And you can’t live without ADHESIVES.

Sometimes I prefer to use matte or gel medium when I’m gluing down collage material and ephemera.  Other times I am just gluing collage items and photos down with a glue stick or a dry adhesive.  (Starting at the far left)  The matte medium is very runny and can be used to adhere papers to a journal page.  The gel medium has a thicker consistency and can be used to glue down heavier papers and other materials.  A brush is used to apply both mediums to your work surface.  Of course everyone knows how a glue stick works.  I purchased the UHU stick at Dick Blick’s and love it.  I also have pictured the Tombow Liquid Glue which I also like because it has a pointy end for small objects and a larger, rubber tip for bigger surfaces.  On the far right is the dry adhesive or also called a tape runner.  It is basically double sided tape.  This is probably the least messy of all of the options.

Of course you need COLLAGE MATERIALS AND/OR EPHEMERA to add to your journal pages.

ephemera

I keep this small bin on my art table that contains all types of ephemera.  Some of it is purchased and some of it is from art projects that I worked on.  I also keep anything that interests me, such as tags from clothing, fabric and postage stamps.

Another supply that is great to use in art journaling is MATTE ACRYLIC PAINT.

matte-acrylic-paint

Why matte paint you ask?  Well, when you use other acrylic paints in your journal that are not matte, the pages in your journal tend to stick together, causing your beautiful artwork to be damaged when you go to peel the pages apart.  I’m not saying that I only use matte paints in my art journal but I strongly recommend them.

I’m currently enjoying working in my daily journal with WATERCOLORS.

daniel-smith-watercolors

You can purchase so many different brands of watercolors and you can find them in pans and in tubes.  I suggest purchasing a cheap set of pan watercolors to see if you like using them before you invest in an expensive set.  The paints shown above are Daniel Smith Watercolors, which are considered extra fine watercolors.  I strongly recommend them if you decide to invest in a nice set.  I also have cheap pan watercolors that I use from time to time as well.  It just depends on what you like.  You may decide that you prefer only acrylic paints and that’s fine.  Or, you may be like me and go through phases.  I may use watercolors consistently for months but the I may switch to using acrylic paints for the next several months instead of my watercolors.  I just go with what makes me happy at that moment in time.

Of course you can’t apply your acrylic paint or watercolors to your journal without PAINTBRUSHES.

paintbrushes

There are all kinds of brands and types of paintbrushes.  The big thing to pay attention to is if you are using the right type of brush for the media that you will be working with.  In other words, do not, I repeat, Do Not, use your watercolor brushes in your acrylic paint.  That will ruin your brushes.  Some brushes are made to be used with acrylic and watercolor, then it is fine.  But if the brush is strictly made for watercolor, be sure to only use it for watercolor.  I really like the Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor brushes and Princeton brushes for acrylic painting.  You can also find cheaper brushes to get you started, which also work well.  I suggest that you purchase a few different brush styles.  Pictured above, starting at the left, is a flat brush, a filbert brush and a round brush.  I would recommend getting several sizes of each, including a very small round brush for detail work.  Of course, as you get going on your art journaling adventure, you will learn what type of brushes work best with your style.

One art supply that I absolutely cannot live without is GESSO.

gesso

You can find gesso in white, black, gray and clear.  I use all three in my art journals.  As I had mentioned earlier, gesso can help add weight and tooth to pages that may be thin.  This will help you to build media on top.  If you like the background of your page and don’t want to cover it up but need to stiffen it up a bit, you can add clear gesso to it.  Just a little side note, gesso is very rough so if you plan to do a lot of journaling or writing on a page, you may not want to gesso the who page or any of the page.  It can ruin your pens with its rough texture and make it difficult to write on.  Of course, if you add paint on top of the gesso, that may help.  Gesso is also really good for applying paint and allowing the paint to be easier to manipulate on the page.

If you are going to work with a lot of wet media in your journal, it is a necessity to have a HEAT TOOL.

ranger-heat-tool

The heat tool will allow you to dry your work in stages quickly so you don’t have to wait for it to dry on its own before moving on to the next step on your pages.

And one of the most simple but most important tools if you want to sketch or draw in your journal is a PENCIL and and good eraser.

artsnacks-pencil

I love to use mechanical pencils but sometimes I also like to use other types of pencils as well.  You will learn which you prefer as you practice.  I also recommend a separate eraser (not pictured).

So there you have it.  The main art journaling supplies that I use and can’t live without.  I hope that if you are new to art journaling, this has helped you in finding a place to start.  I know that it can be so overwhelming trying to understand art supplies and which ones that you need to get started.  Again, every art journaler is different and this is my personal preference.

Also, I wanted to ask for your support in a Pet Portrait contest that I am in for BLICK art materials.  The winner is based on the number of votes and if you would be so kind to vote for my piece, I will be forever grateful.  The portrait is of my English Bulldog, Bentley, that passed away one week ago.

bentley-painting_edited-1

Voting started on February 27, 2017 and ends on March 5, 2017.  You can vote for King Bentley HERE.  Thanks again for your support and for stopping by the blog!

Word for 2017

Every new year, I try to think of a word to guide me through the year.  Last year, 2016, my word was “Curious.”  This word constantly reminded me to stay curious in my art making. For example, I would ask myself things like, “If I take this paint, use this brush and paint it on this type of surface, what happens?”

This year my word is “Patience.”  This is something that is very difficult for me.  I am a very inpatient person with myself and others.  I want to be patient with my art and tell myself that it is okay if it takes me all year to work on my figure drawing.  Most of all, I want to be more patient with my family and others.  That is very important to me.

When I pick my word for the year, I will write it on rocks that sit on my art table in my studio, or on my desk.  I may create something, such as a bookmark, to remind myself of the word every night when I read at bedtime.

word-of-the-year-2016-bookmark

I frequently use the word in my art journal throughout the year as well.

word-for-2017

If you have never chosen a word for the year, I suggest that you give it a try.  If you do, feel free to share!  Thanks for stopping by!

January 2017 Artsnacks

I just received my favorite Artsnacks box yet…the January 2017 Artsnacks box.  I am in love with the supplies.  Interested in seeing what all of the fuss is about?  Check out my YouTube video to watch the unboxing, then see me play with the art supplies in my art journal.  You can find the video HERE.

And don’t forget, you can always check out my previous Artsnacks unboxing videos here on my blog by searching under the tag or category “Artsnacks.”

Thanks for stopping by and always remember to keep art in your heart 🙂

2016 Fave’s

Since 2016 has come to a close and 2017 is upon us, I thought that I’d look back at some of my favorite things that I purchased and/or used in 2016.  So here they are and in no particular order:

PICK #1: ARTSNACKS

artsnacks-logo-with-word

I have to say that since subscribing to Artsnacks in July of 2016, I can only think of one month that wasn’t stellar in my mind, but by no means does that mean that I hated all of the supplies from that month.  Artsnacks really hasn’t let me down since I began the subscription and my subscription will continue in 2017.  If you haven’t heard of Artsnacks, it is a monthly subscription and when you subscribe for $24 a month, you will receive a box of 4-5 high quality art supplies in the mail the beginning of every month.  This is a great way to try new products without having to buy the whole set.  It is also a great way to discover new or new to you products.  Artsnacks now has a shop where you can even purchase past month’s boxes or individual items.  You can find out more about Artsnacks HERE.  You can also check out my previous monthly posts where I unbox my Artsnacks box for the month.

PICK #2:  DANIEL SMITH WATERCOLORS

daniel-smith-watercolors

In 2016 I discovered Daniel Smith watercolors and wow are they ever beautiful!  These extra fine watercolors have amazing, vibrant colors.  Some even leave a gritty looking texture behind from the color that is absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately these beauties come with a hefty price tag but they are so worth it!  You can buy them by the tubes or you can find individuals who sell each color by the pan or half pan.  The ones pictured above are half pans in a watercolor tin.  Some of the half pans I filled myself with tubes that I had purchased.  Others were purchased from an Etsy shop called KATT’S KORNER..  This is a great way to try colors by purchasing them at a lower costs before buying a whole tube at a much greater expense.  I also purchased my tin and empty half pans from the shop.

PICK #3:  MIDORI TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK

I purchased a Midori Traveler’s Notebook in October of 2016 and I love it.  The size is different than what I’m used to but it’s a great change.  The dark brown leather marks up beautifully.  This is the journal that I am currently doing my daily (almost daily) journaling in.  You can purchase this journal HERE.

PICK #4:  PATREON- COURTNEY DIAZ

collage-sheet-sample-of-courtney-diaz-for-blog

In November of 2016, I registered with a website called Patreon.  This is where artists can connect with fans and gain an income.  I am not a creator on this site but I became a patron to artist Courtney Diaz (AKA: Little Raven Ink).  She creates inspirational videos and posts about journaling and mixed media.  Courtney also creates beautiful and quirky collage sheets every month, like the ones pictured above, that are available to Patrons at a certain level.  There are several levels based on the amount of money you contribute.  The more you contribute, the more videos and other material you receive.  She has been a huge inspiration in my daily journaling and continues to inspire me every week.

PICK #5:  LIMITED EDITION ARTSNACKS ALVIN DRAFT-MATIC MECHANICAL PENCIL

artsnacks-pencil

This mechanical pencil was a limited edition Artsnacks product in the September 2016 box that you can purchase HERE.  Artsnacks collaborated with Alvin to create this pencil in the Artsnacks teal color, which is my favorite color to begin with!  It is a 0.5mm pencil that you can use with several different types of lead.  You just twist the top of the pencil to switch the lead type.  It has a stainless steel comfort grip and a small eraser under the metal pencil cap.  I absolutely love this pencil!

So there you have it.  Just a few of my 2016 favorites.  As always, let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to share some of your favorites of 2016.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Raccoon Monster Art Journal Page

I have another video for you this week.  Watch as I create a whimsical raccoon monster in my vintage ledger book journal with the below listed supplies.  As always, let me know if you have any questions and I hope you enjoy the process 🙂

Raccoon Monster Art Journal Page Video

Faber Castell PITT Artist Big Brush Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen (Fine)

Faber Castell PITT Artist Brush Pen

Caran d’Ache Neocolor II

Stabile All Pencil

Gesso (White)

White Signo Uni-Ball Gel Pen (Broad)

Ranger Heat It Craft Tool

Princeton Synthetic Watercolor and Acrylic Brushes

Vintage Ledger Book

Junk Journal Flip Through

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  Hope you are enjoying plenty of food and family 🙂

After over a year, I finally filled up all of the pages in my junk journal.  I used my junk journal to practice techniques, play with art supplies, and wipe away unused paint or ink.  I also used it as a “daily” journal.  I use the word “daily” very loosely as there would be days, weeks, yes, even months, that I would not write in my junk journal.  But I told myself long ago that it was okay if I didn’t write or play in it everyday.  And just because I didn’t get into my junk journal, that didn’t mean that I was playing in one of my other art journals.

junk-journal-video-pic

I recorded a flip through of my junk journal after it was completed.  You can find it HERE on YouTube.  I hope you enjoy the video and find inspiration.  Thanks for stopping by and remember to keep art in your heart!

November 2016 Artsnacks Unboxing

It’s already November and I filmed a new Artsnacks Unboxing video for November Artsnacks.  You can find it HERE.

In this video I will unbox the November 2016 Artsnacks box and test out the supplies from the box. Artsnacks is a monthly subscription of art supplies mailed to your door every month. For more info, you can check them out at http://www.artsnacks.co
You can check out previous Artsnacks unboxing videos on my YouTube Channel.
Thanks for watching!