Every beginner at art journaling is sure to feel somewhat overwhelmed when starting out.
This is why you need to be aware of these art journaling tips for beginners will make sure you know everything you need to before getting on with your journey.
At first, looking at other people’s art journal pages will excite you to get started on your own but when you actually do get to it, you might feel a bit lost and confused about where to begin.
Although art journaling is quite simple and incredibly theraputic, there are a few useful art journaling tips any beginner will need.
There is no ‘right’ way to art journaling but you can use these ideas when you need a boost of creativity or inspiration.
Tips For Decorating The Pages
1. Type of Journals That Are Great For Art Journaling
Before you begin art journaling, you must be wondering what kind of journal you should use.
Of course, you would want to shy away from those that have too thin paper and where it will be difficult to stick many things in it.
You also would not want a journal where the pens bleed through or the pages can’t hold itself.
Depending on what you prefer, you can use a lined journal but the prelined papers might become bothersome for you when you want to draw something.
Which is why using a blank page journal is more preferred for art journaling.
If you are planning to use paint mediums like watercolors or acrylics, then using a watercolor journal will be more preferred since this can hold the weight of these mediums.
Otherwise all you really need to art journal is a proper, heavy weight journal.
2. Keep It Simple Or Be Bold And Daring
With art journals, you can do literally anything. There’s zero rules and you’re encouraged to be as creative as possible.
So, you can either keep your pages really simple with maybe a few drawings and cutouts or you can go extremely bold by creating layers of paints, pictures, drawings, words, and more.
Depending on the mood you’re in or what kind of page you want to create, this will give you a good idea on how to go about it.
If you’re working on a page about things you love, you can keep it simple by writing down a list.
Alternatively, you can find pictures, receipts, or even draw things to represent those things.
There’s a variety of ways to go about it but the best way will be the one that describes you best.
3. Create A Color Scheme
If you want to create an overall cohesive look to your art journal pages, then try going to a color scheme.
These are really easy to create and you can get loads of inspiration online from searching color scheme ideas.
These are sure to boost your creativity and help you out if you’re experiencing an art block.
Similarly, you could also limit the colors you have and find ways to use only those colors for instance 2 or three colors and this will definitely help you think of new ways to go about using them.
4. Work In Multiple Layers (Stacking)
Have you seen those chunky art journals? That’s what attracted me most to art journaling. The idea of filling a journal with so many things that are meaningful to me to create these beautiful chunky journals.
The process of doing is usually referred to ‘stacking’. This means working in multiple layers and adding things over each other a few times.
For example, you could use multiple pieces of paper to create these layers or you could use things that will create texture in your journal.
After doing many pages of this technique, your art journal will soon be on its way to becoming chunky. It’s really a fun process that is also satisfying in itself.
5. Use Gesso Or Stick Pages Together
If you’re having a tough time with the pages of your journal bleeding through or the paints not going on easily, then you can try to use gesso.
This is usually used to prime a canvas before painting so that the paint has an additional layer and it makes it easier to work on the surface.
Using gesso is a great way to have an extra layer to work on.
If you don;t have gesso, then you could try gluing two pages together to make the page strong so that it can hold the weight of the paints.
6. Use Different Materials And Mediums
There’s no problem in using only a pen to write and draw with however, this won’t be as fun as really using different supplies.
When you use different mediums like paper, beads, and pastes to create textures, there’s a whole new feel to a spread.
You can also make pages standout when you create abstract art with acrylic paints or you can create bold splashes with watercolor paints.
Using a bit of glitters and stars will give your art journal pages a pop and you’ll fall in love with the little details.
You can also use stickers and stamps if you’re planing to go for a more vintage theme.
But if you want to keep things simple, then using supplies like cutouts from magazines, stencils, stickers, and pens to draw with is the best one’s to begin with.
Remember that although all these supplies can create gorgeous pages, you don’t actually need all of them.
If you have a limited amount of supplies, work with what you have and I promise you that you will still be able to have fun and create gorgeous pages too.
7. Make A Mess
One of the most fun things I discovered about art journaling is that you don’t only need to be neat but letting go sometimes can be incredible!
I highly suggest you try it for yourself and make a mess in one or two spreads.
You can do random things like drop different paints, glitter, stickers, and draw weird lines.
Try doing it without thinking too hard but just go with what feels right. Making messy pages like these are so worth it.
8. Draw Cute Things
If you want to slow down from using all those different supplies or maybe you want to fill in a few blank spaces, then how about drawing cute things.
These will instantly uplift your pages and you can also go for drawing cute things when you run out of ideas.
There’s hundreds of cute things to draw but here are my favorite cute doodles to use:
9. Include Real Leaves And Flowers
Another idea you can use when art journaling is to include personal objects that you may have.
This could be pressed flowers or leaves from your garden or a walk that you recently took. You could also add personal notes, movie tickets, receipts, and more.
This will add an extra special touch to your art journal making it feel more personal and unique.
10. Draw Borders Around Pictures
If you would like to have a picture, title, heading, or certain section of your art journal page to stand out, then try drawing a wide border around it.
This will instantly draw attention to it and make them pop.
You could also use highlighters, pens, or use a different colored piece of paper below the picture to frame it.
11. Writing Creatively
Another fun thing you can do in your art journal is to include a bit of creative writing. This could be writing about your feelings or random thoughts that pop into your head.
If you want to let go of things or struggling to cope with something, writing down your thoughts onto the paper is just as helpful.
It also adds a bit more depth to your pages and acts as a more creative way of keeping a diary.
To add an extra flair to your pages, you could learn to write in script or cursive as well.
See also: What Do You Write In An Art Journal?
Things To Remember While Journaling
Here are a few more tips that are necessary to know when working on your art journal pages:
The Pages Don’t Need To Be Completed At Once
I’m sort of an impatient person and like to see things completed in one sitting but when you’re talking about art, it’s necessary to slow down and take your time with it.
With art pages, since you are bound to work in many layers, it’s going to require time for things to dry especially if you’ve been gluing many things or used paint that takes long to dry.
Also, you don’t necessarily ahve to complete an entire spread at once. You can always come back to it when a new idea pops into your head and keep adding things to this page until you feel satisfied with it.
Don’t pressurise yourself to finish it all at once but rather work on them at a slower pace or when the mood is high for it.
Focus On The Process
It can be super easy to get caught up in the details and start worrying about how you’re going to decorate the pages or what kind of theme you should do.
The best tip is to just go with it and focus on the process rather than the end result.
An art journal page does not need to look amazing at the end. If it looks like a complete mess, that’s a good thing too!
It’s just a representation of your mind or feelinsg while you were engrossed with the process.
The less you overthink these things, the better the experience will be for you.
Decision To Share It With Others
An art journal can be really private to a certain extent and showing others your inner most thoughts or feelings can be a scary thing.
The good news is that you don’t need to share these pages with anyone.
However, if you would like to share other pages that don’t contain too specific personal details, then that’s a great idea too.
It’s completely up to you whether you would like others to see them or not but sharing your new ideas can be a great inspiration for others.