A typical misconception about art journaling is that you need a ton of materials to start. You do not. In fact, you can use whatever you have available. Yet trying brand-new materials is a key factor for art journaling. So I believe that a few special materials will add lots of passion to your pages and also drive up the enjoyable meter. Go ahead and give them a spin if you’re brand new to art journaling! These tools and embellishments are budget-friendly and easy to use. They’ll make you fall in love and have a deep, long lasting connection with your art.


Pronounced, gwash. This paint acts like a watercolor as well as acrylic paint. It shares some features with both, yet is its own color medium. It has a matte surface, unlike acrylic paint, so it won’t make your pages stick together. These dynamic paints have a unique look, so they’re absolutely great for art journaling. While evaluating the Holbein Artists’ Gouache tube paints, I discovered the learning curve short and the outcomes wonderful.

Colored Gesso:

White and clear gesso are staples for lots of mixed-media artists who utilize it as a base for paint, as a texture or design, and also as a medium for transfers. Gesso comes in even more than black and white. They’re also available in shiny metallic gold and silver, plus every shade of color imaginable. Try one new shade to see exactly how it functions as your base. Then try producing patterns for texture and/or stamping.

White Pen:

You ‘d be surprised exactly how vital an excellent white pen can be to a collection of art journaling materials. There is no better means to include highlights to a page, whether for mark making, text, or drawing on dark surface areas. White pens come in various forms: markers, paint pens, gel pens, and pigment pens. Of course, artists have their favorites. Try out a few to see how they work with a variety of surfaces and how they respond with other mediums.

Danielle Donaldson likes the white Uni Posca Extra Fine Pen. She utilizes it often in her art work to add lines and dots.

white pen on monochromatic piece from Danielle Donaldson's book The Art of Creative Watercorlor
Danielle Donaldson uses a white pen in a monochromatic piece from her book The Art of Creative Watercolor. (Photo by Christine Polomsky)

Hand-carved Stamps:

Carving stamps is simple, satisfying, and thrifty. From one sheet of carving material, you can make loads of stamps that will last for several years. Also nobody else will certainly have them. You can even try the Silhouette Mint Stamps. They can be expensive over time. However, with their available library of designs from their store, it might be worth it. You can use stamps for backgrounds, focal images, text, marks and/or repeating patterns.

Artist Crayons:

These are not the crayons you grew up with. Artist crayons are water-soluble pigment sticks that are exceptionally flexible. You can draw with them or mix them together with your fingers or a damp paintbrush. They can also be utilized with stencils and gel plates.  There are a selection of styles and colors, such as Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels, Dina Wakley Media Scribble Sticks (Ranger), and also Tim Holtz Distress Crayons (also Ranger).

art journal page with artist crayons
The use of artist crayons make this page so vivid due to its saturated pigments.

Masking Fluid:

Artists have utilized this medium for decades, yet given that it’s not that glamorous, it’s frequently neglected. Masking fluid (or frisket) can produce a layered result. It comes as a fluid that can be brushed on or as a pen which can then be utilized for drawing and writing. After the liquid dries it works as a base for anything put over it. Therefore, added layers of paint won’t stick.

Below, Rae Missigman utilized this medium to develop layers.

masking fluid technique on a mixed-media piece by Rae Missigman
Rae Missigman used a masking fluid technique to create this mixed-media piece. (Photo by Rae Missigman)

Specialty paints:

The paint world for crafters and artists is exploding today with paint offering more than just color. Color shift paints have a two-tone impact, revealing different colors in various angles and also light. Glitter paints feature glitter fragments that have tons of sparkle. And marbling paints offer true marbled effects with very little hassle. All of these can be used on art journal pages, where half the fun is trying out to see what can be made.

Washi tape:

This little roll of creative joy has actually been around for years. Washi tape is a light-weight, generally translucent, low-tack decorative tape that can be found in tons of layouts and widths. It has a zillion applications. You can use it as a border for a page, a grid, or a frame. You can also make banners and tabs, as well as, develop patterns and backgrounds. The possibilities are endless. Warning: You may find this tape extremely addicting– in a great way.

washi tape is a fun art journaling material to work with
Washi tapes come in a variety of colors and is a fun art journaling material to work with.

Dip Pen and Ink:

You don’t have be a master calligrapher to use a dip pen in your art journals. You don’t need to recognize calligraphy in any way. When utilized with ink, dip pens can be made use of to create the most gorgeous lines– sophisticated and graceful, fashionable and natural, or classic and traditional. Write with them or draw with them. You can see just how the organic nature of the lines is entirely different from an artist pen or marker. Nib holders, nibs, and also ink are rather economical. One container of ink will certainly last a long time. Permanent inks are excellent. Since they are water resistant, they can be used with watercolor. Likewise, some non-waterproof inks have their appeal, as lines can be obscured and discolored with just the light touch of a wet paintbrush.

Transfer foil:

Even if you’re not a fan of bling, transfer foils include a gorgeous touch of shimmer that takes an art journal page from good to amazing. You will probably not add foil to every page. However, there will certainly be times when your art work requires something, and foil might be it.

Brush some adhesive on the page. Specific adhesives must be used or you can try acrylic medium, adhesive pens, as well as an adhesive stick.  Burnish the foil and wait till the adhesive dries. After that, draw off the aluminum foil sheet. One sheet goes a lengthy way. You can also use transfer aluminum foils in every color, plus different blends. Add a foil background layer to highlight a focal image or to attract focus to a quote.

These embellishments as well as tools are economical, simple to make use of, and they’ll make you drop in love and also have a deep, long-term relationship with art journaling.

All of these can be used on art journal pages, and half the enjoyable is exploring to see what can be done with these color mediums.

transfer foil adds just the right flare to your journal
Transfer foil adds just the right flare to your journal page.