Art journaling can be a bit confusing for people who have never tried it. It’s a combo of writing / journaling combined with art. The art can include painting, collage, drawing, mixed media assemblage.
Mostly, the media is collected into a book format of various sizes. To use wet media like watercolors and acrylic paints, you need a sturdy substrate a minimum of 90lbs paper to hold up the layers. These days you can easily find mixed media journals at the arts and crafts stores. .
Some of the brands I use are XL mixed media journal by Canson, Cachet by Daler Rowney, Canson Mixed Media (which is better quality than XL,) and Moleskine. There are many varieties to try. Here is a short video I made about art journals and other tools I use:
I mention lots of different markers. I prefer permanent markers that can be used between layers and won’t smear when covered with wet media. The best way to find your preferred tools is by trying a variety of them. If you don’t want to buy the most expensive markers like Copic or Tombow, you can find some that are very good, like Faber Castell, Posca, and Sakura markers. It’s better to invest in some medium quality markers to get better results in your journal. There is nothing more frustrating than poor quality paper and tools.
Brushes: You don’t need the finest brushes for this type of art. A variety of sizes and types are okay. You can even use foam brushes or brayers to spread the paint. I often use an old gift card to cover a page with paint. I mostly use brushes for details, but everyone works differently.
Don’t be afraid to try art journaling. It is so much fun, and there really are no rules! Once you find your favorite tools, you will return to those all the time. Go wild!! 🙂
P.S. I have an e-course that pretty much covers the basics plus some fun art journaling spreads. You can check out Art Journaling Journey here.