Today I'm sharing the descriptions and uses of the products in my Art Journal Kit. I'll also be sharing some more of the items that I'll be using for my art journal. Just in case you are not into art journals, I play to use all of these products on cards, scrapbook pages, packaging, etc. They're all interchangeable and the sky's the limit when it comes to what you can do with these products I'm sharing today.
Dylusions Creative Journal
This journal was designed by Dyan Reaveley for Ranger. It comes highly recommended by well known art journalers like Dina Wakley. It measures almost 9" x 12" so the pages have plenty of room for artwork. The cover is like pressed chipboard and is very, very sturdy & can be embellished or left plain. It has an elastic closure with a string tie envelope inside the cover for storing little tidbits. It has 64 pages of unlined white matte cardstock and manila like cardstock.
This is a 4 ounce jar of white Gesso medium which is often used to prepare canvases for paint. It's often wiped across surfaces to give a white swipe of color. It can be applied with a paint brush, palette knife or just a simple used plastic gift card/itunes card. It can be watered down to a thinner consistency and colored with other mediums.
Studio Matte Gel Medium
This is a 4 ounce jar of gel medium that is used to glue down items. To use it just paint the surface with a dab using a paint brush, add the paper you want to lay down then top the surface with more gel medium. This is kind of like Mod Podge and dries clear in a matte finish.
This is a white mixed medium which is the consistency of thick frosting. It is used to build dimension on a project. It's applied with a palette knife or plastic gift card/itunes card. You spread it just like frosting or buttering a piece of bread. It can be used alone or with stencils. It can also be colored with other mediums and dries to a hard consistency.
This set of 7 brushes is a good starter set from the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Collection for Ranger. I've been using my set for several years now and they look as good as new. Clean with warm (not hot) water and maybe a little dish soap if needed. Blot excess water and dry flat so that the liquid does not run back into the ferrule (the metal part that holds the bristles in place). Then you can store in a jar, etc.
3" Palette Knife
A plastic knife with a trowel design used to spread medium across a project. I use it for spreading Gesso, Matte Gel Medium, Modeling Paste, and paints. It's also nice to keep a handful of used plastic gift cards/itunes cards handy for spreading even larger areas of medium. Clean with soap and water.
A 3 pack of small mister bottles that hold water, inks and other liquids to be used as sprays. You can mix water with inks, acrylic paints, re-inkers, and more. I'm finding that I love to create my own spray mists because the color combinations are endless, less expensive that spray mists and the size is just right for small amounts.
Derwent 4B Pencil
This is a soft lead pencil that can use for sketching and outlining. This pencil is water soluble so you can brush over it with water to get a soft graphite look on a project.
Other products for art journals:
Stencils are a plastic film with a cut out design that you use to put pattern on a project. You can draw around them with pens, markers and pencils. You can use spray mist or spray paint with them. You can paint over them with acrylic paints, Gesso and modeling paste. So many fun possibilities. There is a huge selection from The Crafter's Workshop, many that are on my wish list. Ranger and Pink Paislee also have some nice ones. Stencil Girl also has a huge selection. Stencils are also great to use with Gelli Plates which I'll save for another post.
Sprays are water based, dye ink that comes in a bottle with a spray nozzle. You can use them to add a color wash over a surface. The look achieved can be a concentrated splotch of color if you hold the spray bottle close to the surface or you can achieve a wide misting of color by holding the spray bottle further away from your project. You can also remove the nozzle and drip or splatter the ink to get droplets on a project. I like to keep a cardboard box under my work table to use with my sprays to keep the overspray from getting on my floor/worksurface. As mentioned above you can create your own spray mists by adding water + a color medium to the Mini Misters. Ranger has a nice selection of bright sprays in the Dylusions Collection or you can get more subdued colors in the Tim Holtz Adirondack Color Wash Collection. There are other companies also that carry sprays like Tattered Angels, Maya Road, etc.
It's good to have a generic spray bottle on hand to use for blending watercolors, diluting mediums, moistening paints, etc. You can find them in the beauty section at most stores.
I see this used on lots of art journal pages and scrapbook pages. You can spray it to get bold coverage or spray it into the lid and drip the paint onto a surface. It's smelly and gives me a headache so I probably will stick to the spray mists. But who knows.
Inks are plentiful depending on what type of stamping you want to do. I use dye inks for most of my projects but if you're going to use inks in combination with other wet mediums, you might want to consider the Ranger Archival Inks which are permanent and water proof.
Tons of stamp companies out there depending on what you desire. Most of the ones that I will be using on my Art Journal pages will be stamps with solid images and patterns vs. outlined images that you have to color in. You can use these with inks, paints, etc.
Relatively new to the crafty world, Pan Pastels are artists's pastels in a pan format. They blend beautifully and layer and apply like paint when using the Softt tool applicators designed to go with the Pan Pastels. They come in 80 colors and you can get trays to store them in also. I have researched these a ton, watched lots of videos and I'm in awe of these. I got the full 80 colors on Ebay for a reduced price so watch for them there. Otherwise you can find them at Dick Blick in individual pans and in sets.
Paints can be in the form of watercolors, acrylics, oils, etc. I have a nice stash of inexpensive acrylic bottles that I will use for stencils, creating spray mists, etc. If you want more artists quality, I have found through researching online that Golden paints are a popular choice. I'm particularly fond of watercolors and the quality can range from inexpensive Prang sets (like what you use in Kindergarten) to the best quality you can buy like Winsor Newton,etc. I'm kind of obsessed with watercolor palettes at the moment and am researching to find just the right one. I'll be doing a full post on watercolors in the future.
You can't have too many pencils, in my opinion. Drawings were my speciality in my high school and college art classes and purchasing pencils from the college art store was so fun. The type of pencil lead is what determines the outcome of a drawn line. Leads are usually classified by a 2 digit number + letter system. H stands for hardness and B stands for blackness. The more H's you have, the harder the lead and the lighter the lines. The more B's you have, the softer the lead and the darker the lines. So in the middle is an HB pencil which is like a regular #2 school pencil. I like to draw with a harder lead and fill in color with a softer lead. There are all kinds of fun pencils on the market like water soluble pencils, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, charcoal, etc. You can see the big pencil selection at Dick Blick with brands like Faber-Castell, Derwent and more.
There are tons of markers on the market depending on what you are looking for. There are fine line pens for outlining and journaling. There are brush tip and bullet type markers for coloring. Here you can see the pen selection at Dick Blick. I love Copic markers and have my eye on some Faber-Castell Big Brush pens too. I'm also interested in learning some fun lettering techniques so the calligraphy pens have caught my eye too.
I like to keep a white, soft eraser handy to erase pencils lines, etc.
I love found materials like vintage book papers, dictionary papers, sheet music, tissue paper and old wallpaper. Scrapbook paper will definitely find it's way into my art journal pages too. It's a great way to use up those scraps.
Paper towels are great to have to clean up spills, wipe off paints, dab paints off of a project and clean your work surface and hands. I have learned that Viva is the brand you need. These paper towels are very sturdy and almost woven like and will not leave a pattern when you dab them over paints. Who knew?
Craft Mat/glass surface
I love the craft mats because you can get paint on them, glues, use them with a heat tool and more. I have a full table dedicated to my art projects so I think I'm going to get it covered with a piece of glass so I get really messy without worrying about getting my wood table all paint covered.
I discovered Dina Wakley when doing research about art techniques. She makes awesome art journal pages and in her videos she seems like such a nice a person. I highly recommend her book called Art Journal Freedom. If you click on the link you can get an expanded view of some of the pages from the book. Dina covers her favorite products and lots of basic design principles like color and composition. Dina offers lessons & tips with tons of photos of her work + challenges for you to try. I read the whole thing cover to cover and it was a great refresher for me. Dina's work is bright & colorful & bold but don't be afraid if that is not your style. You can use her techniques with your own style and still get wonderful art journal pages. I'm hoping to take one of her classes this summer.
Kelly Rae Roberts
Kelly Rae Roberts is a mixed media artist and when I think of her work I think of the tilty head girls. Her use of color and patterned just amazes me. Kelly Rae encourages you to go for your dreams and has a wonderful book called Taking Flight.
Somerset Life Magazine
I love this publication. Each issue of a Somerset Life Magazine is full of inspiring artwork and fresh ideas & the photography is beautiful. It's a real treat when I see a new issue out on the bookstands.
Okay, that's it for today. I hope you'll find these types of posts useful and inspirational. Thank you to everyone who left comments on my post yesterday about why we do art journals. I loved the dialogue and that you shared your journey with me. To answer a question about art journals.....they can be whatever you want them to be....artwork, a true diary of sorts, scrapbook like, recipe books, art techniques. There are certainly no rules when it comes to what you put in your art journal. This might be worthy of an entire post in itself. :)