Jane Davenport has inspired many people to create elegant and charming illustrations in their journals. She’s made this easy with how-to books, as well as useful & innovative art supplies.
Here’s her story, in her own words.
I bought one of her books, Beautiful Faces, because I felt like I was getting into a rut with my usual illustration techniques. (Generally, no one is likely to call my journals “cute,” but sometimes I’m aiming for pretty… and needed some insights. Jane’s book definitely helped.)
It’s just one of Jane’s many books you’ll find at Amazon.
Next, in this demo, she shows how to use her die-cut embellishments. Wow! (I can see ways to use them in some Goth- and Steampunk-style artists’ journals, too. Purples, metallics, and so on…)
And here’s Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts) demonstrating some of Jane’s art supplies. She starts with a blank page, then sketches in pencil, and then… well, you’ll see. (I’ve started the video at the 23-minute point. If you want to see the full unboxing, start from the beginning.)
If you like Tamara’s approach, take a look at the sample projects on her “Create Your Life” book page at Amazon. Those ideas may be all you need to start experimenting with new drawing, painting, and mixed-media techniques, right away.
But… no matter what your art journaling style, if you’re including your own illustrations, consider those materials and techniques.
Personally, I’m experimenting with magazine photos, pasting them (with gel medium) onto a painted page, sealing them with more gel medium, and then drawing & painting over them. Lots of layers. Not necessarily sweet or romantic, but these techniques & materials can work for more extreme artists’ journals, too.