I have to say that I was nervous about making an art journal. Which sounds crazy, I know. But I think I had built up this is bizarre expectation around what I would be able to do and would have started but not been able to finish. Then I had to shift the mindset I had cultivated years ago away from the finished product and towards the act of getting to that product.
I bought a Canson mixed-media sketchbook, mostly for the weight of the paper it had. It can hold up to many different mediums. I had a hardback sketchbook already but the paper quality isn’t very good.
I covered the Canson mixed-media sketchbook cover with black paper because seeing the printed cover bothered me. I find it impossible to keep paint off my clothes so I can not explain where the smudges came from.
I did not know how to start an art journal page so while I was thinking about what to do I tried adding some watercolors to plain water on one page and on the other I tried to use more of the pigment.
To be honest it looked like some kind of a mess.
It was surprising to me to find out how long I could sit up and how long it would take me to add watercolor to a page. By now, my neck was starting to hurt even though I did not feel like I had gotten much accomplished. I figured I would leave this to dry and get off my spine.
Following a tutorial I had seen online for watercolor brush markers, later on, I intended to make sections of different colors. I already had a set of Arteza brush markers. But I had not used them for over a year. When I first made marks on the paper they were entirely dried out and only left streaky marks behind. I tried to revitalize them with a water brush but when it dried they looked like a bigger mess.
I ended up throwing those markers out. They have a wide range of colors though so I may have to buy them again in the future.
I wasn’t ready to give up on watercolors but I did not know what I could do with them. I thought maybe I could do a couple of pages of mirror images? since I already intended to test out some alcohol markers, I got out my big tattoo coloring book. If you intend to add colored images to your art this is the book to use.
I picked an image of cats with curly whiskers. I colored it and when I went to cut it out I discovered that because my dexterity was so bad I ended up cutting off most of the whiskers anyway. I tried to paint one full page with the watercolors then used one corner of another ripped out page to try the dots of watercolor on too. When it was all dry I added the cats to the pages but it ended up looking rather bare. In an effort to help that I added some flowers from a Tim Holtz ephemera pack. Unfortunately, the glue I was using made the alcohol ink bleed.
Well, my first attempt at a two page spread in an art journal didn’t look anything like some of the beautiful spreads I could find on Pinterest. I didn’t much like it and felt like adding the flowers was a bad idea. Maybe I needed to try to use a different medium?