Maps, cityscapes, landscapes… they’re not just for travel journals.
There are many ways you can include them in your personal art journals, too.
First, here’s Brie Hatton demonstrating urban sketching in her art journal. For many people, this is the easiest way to draw and paint local scenery in a journal. You can go for a walk, or sketch what’s outside your window.
The full video is about six minutes long, but I’ve set this to start at the four-minute mark. At that point, she’s done a light pencil sketch and has started using a marker over it, for her final lines. That’s what interested me the most: how she completed her sketch as a finished art journaling page.
Maybe drawing isn’t what you had in mind, but you’re still intrigued by landscapes.
If you’d like to create fine art abstract landscapes in your artists journal, I think Cathy Mevik’s demo will inspire you. If you’re not a painter, don’t let this scare you; I think anyone can create landscapes like these.
The video a little over 11 minutes long, but – for those who’d love to paint like this – it’s time well spent.
If you’d like to explore making maps, this book looks fascinating. As soon as I saw this review video, I ordered the book. (The video is eight minutes long, but you’ll get the general idea in the first two or three minutes.)
I thought it was okay, but I’ll admit it didn’t inspire me as much as I’d hoped. Here’s the Amazon link, anyway. Use the “look inside” to decide if it’s your kind of book: The Art of Map Illustration
If drawing and painting aren’t your strong suit, don’t despair. You can still bring maps and architectural designs to your journaling.
Here’s a landscape-y, map-y kind of art journaling demo. It’s by Carolyn Dube, and she uses a stencil, some acrylic paint, and a pen. The video is about four minutes long, and – once you get the idea – you can fast-forward through it to see how she completes it.
At first, Blythe Scott’s work may look like modern landscapes but, close-up, you’ll see mixed media elements. She’s using some materials that never crossed my mind, and they could go into a mixed media artists journals, too.
This five-minute video includes breathtaking outdoor scenes, how her art is inspired, and some great insights about studio work, using drawing, painting, and mixed media elements.
Need a quick jolt of inspiration for your art journaling? These brief videos can help… a lot!
Danny Gregory is an icon of art journaling. His artists journals were among the first to go viral, starting with his art journaling website and his books, including The Creative License – Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are.
Danny’s art is diverse. Watching these videos, I was inspired to break out my pens & paints, and start randomly journaling my day.
Here’s a brief (less than one-minute) video noting how drawing makes you see better. I like that he’s not super-finicky about things being perfect. Everything is suggested, and gives you a sense of what he’s drawing. It’s not intended to mimic a photograph.
And – also from Danny Gregory’s YouTube channel, here’s a brilliant, short video about learning to watercolor in three minutes. This demo is by Felix Scheinberger and I picked up some really useful tips. (I’m not so sure about using a lighter to dry the art faster, but – other than that – I’m ready to try some of his ideas.)
If you’d like to see how Danny Gregory uses pencil + watercolor in a journal – following Felix’s tips – the last couple of minutes of this next video add more insights about this technique. That’s why it starts around the 3:56 mark.
(The full video is worth your time, but I’m mindful of friends who want to get to the art instruction, ASAP. So, if you want more insights, just pause that video & start it from the very beginning.)
In the next video, artist Robert Burridge – in a “BobBlast” – shares how he layers his collages. His video is three minutes long and filled with ideas for using paper elements, gel medium, paint, and stencils.
Anne Bagby created some amazing mixed media work, including art journals. Her layered collages and journals have an extraordinary depth. In many of them, her use of cut paper unifies her designs. This five-minute video shows how she used quilting supplies to cut paper strips for a crisp, even effect.
To learn more about Anne’s techniques – with lots of photos from her gallery work – this 17-minute video is inspiring. It’s sort-of an illustrated podcast. (Don’t be put off by the opening. The video is filled with photos of her mixed media art. Absolutely astonishing. I kind of drooled over my keyboard, watching it.)
And, finally, here is an intriguing video by collage artist Michael Madzo. He’s working with his own paintings, paper elements, and gel medium, he’s also using sewing to bring added depth and meaning to his work. Though many artists don’t work with their own fine art paintings, Madzo’s techniques and concepts might spark some of your own collage ideas. The video is about five minutes long.
Finding and curating these videos, I found myself being tremendously inspired to revisit some of my own past paintings (ones that I wasn’t happy with) and see if some of these materials & techniques might bring new life and fresh energy to them.
Also, I’ll admit that I’m looking at some framed canvas images – posters, sort of – that we’d bought at IKEA, just to decorate the walls, short term. They might make wonderful starting points for mixed media embellishments.
Does your art journal begin with a background? Do those colors and mood spark your creativity? Ooh, take a look at what others are doing…
For many of us, background colors and textures inform everything else we do with the page.
These artists videos are short and fun and… wow!
The first is by Purdy Creative Things. I love the variety she achieves, so quickly and with such simple techniques.
Next, this 8-minute video by Mercurial Milk presents some juicy colors and varied ideas, with useful tips for five different art journaling backgrounds.
The next video is by Maremi’s Small Art, and she shows how to create a textured, magical art background. This video is nearly 10 minutes long, but worth watching, even if you skip ahead as you understand each step.
The next video is by that same artist. It includes several one-minute background techniques. All of them are simple and use just a few colors and tools.
The video is about 7 1/2 minutes long, if you watch it all the way through. The techniques are repetitive, but each background is unique. I think the variety will inspire you to try some of her ideas, yourself.
And, in Mark Montano‘s video – about 4 1/2 minutes long – he assembles completed artist’s journals pages.
I’m including this video because many of his techniques are fast and easy ways to create vivid, unique journal page background, too.
After watching these, I’m ready to work on my journal. I hope you’re excited about these materials and techniques, too.
Instead of white glue, I recommend something like Golden acrylic medium (Soft Gel, Gloss). I apply it gently with a sponge brush. Then I place the paper where I want it to stay. After that, I leave it as it is.
Do not smooth it, or you’ll stretch the damp paper and it will stay bubbled after it dries.
(I learned that technique from collage artist Claudine Hellmuth, when we both taught at Artfest.)
Also – from my experience – I have better luck letting the collage air-dry, instead of applying heat. (Your mileage may vary.)
Or, you could try gluesticks, as Jenn does in the following video. It’s about 10 minutes long, and she shows you exactly how her two-page collage came together. It’s from the “One Magazine Challenge.”
This video is longer than the others – a little over six minutes – and filled with ideas. In some ways, it’s similar to Cathy’s video… but this is simpler. Also, unless you attach a couple of these – back to back – it produces an art journal with fewer pages.
I love this concept if you’re starting with scrapbooking paper, or sheets of paper ephemera.
Altered books are a great way to create an art journal. It’s recycling, in a way, but with lots of added benefits.
Drink up these videos for ideas!
The next one is a lovely demonstration by Art by Silas. It shows how to create a mixed media artist’s journal. It includes torn paper collage – one of my favorite techniques. And it’s a good way for a beginner to get art journaling ideas. (The video is about five and a half minutes long.)
Here’s the video:
If you like this video, be sure to see Silas’ other videos at YouTube. She has a delightful sense of style.
The next video features a style almost 180-degree different from Silas’ style. Dana S’s altered book is somewhat dark, Steampunk-ish, and a bit Goth. I love the variety in it!
And here’s Karen Gaunt’s “lazy” tips to altered book art journaling. If you want to cover pages quickly, her tips can be very useful.
And finally, if you want to go extreme with your altered books, check this next clever concept… a book with added drawers!