The basics: Everyday equipment for creative art journaling.

Basic art supplies

Pens are friends. Art resources make me happy! 

Your journal can be produced using a very wide variety of resources and equipment. This could be as simple as a black biro.

The more confident you become, the more likely you are to experiment, but when just starting out, its good to have your own ‘go to’ basics that you feel comfortable and confident using. By choosing appropriately you know that your outcomes will be successful. The higher the success rate, the more likely you are to continue with your journal, and this will bring with it the satisfaction that creating art work can give you.

The equipment you choose, should be something you know you can use and this  does not mean it has to be expensive!

Here’s my list of basics.

  1. A creative journal. (Obviously) One that inspires you. One that gets you interested in being creative!
  2.  Pencil. Got to start somewhere. I like softer pencils such as 2B and 3B but a good old fashioned HB will do the same job.
  3. Eraser. For those inevitable mistakes. White rubbers and erasers will not leave a residue so I find these work best.
  4. Metal Sharpener. Just as cheap as the plastic ones, but more durable.
  5. Black drawing pens. Possibly my most favoured piece of equipment. Of course you can get them in lots of different colours but nothing looks more classic than black and white. They come in different nib sizes too.
  6. Gluestick. Great for applying pieces of paper and materials that have been collected.
  7. Blutack. Perfect for temporarily pinning images down until you are positive of placement.
  8. Date stamp. Really handy for keeping track of when entries to your journal have been made. Using a date stamp helps keep the look consistent throughought and gives a timeless feel. The one shown in the picture cost me only £1!
  9. Bulldog clips. Great for keeping papers or pages together.
  10. Coloured pencils. An art essential. They dont need to be expensive. You can get a range of tones and hues out of a good set.
  11. Copic markers. Now these are not cheap, but the moment I started to use them, they have changed the way I work. They are effortless, and make a simple illustration into a beautiful visual.
  12. Coloured pens. I really like pens with an ultra fine nib. They give more accuracy and allow for more delicate pieces to be created.
  13. Gel Pens. These pens are so fluid and easy to use. You can buy them in many colours, but I prefer to buy the ones that are metallic or white. Great for coloured paper or black paper.
  14. Biro. Especially black ones. Great for mark making like hatching and crosshatching.
  15. Post-it notes. To scribble down your thoughts and ideas before placing them permanently in your journel.
  16. Scalpel. More precise than a pair of scissors, allows for very accurate cutting and trimming.
  17. Spare blades. For all the cutting and trimming of course.
  18. Steel ruler. Can be used as a regular ruler, but allows for really straight lines when cutting with your scalpel.
  19. Mason jar. Fill it with water. Easy to clean.
  20. Watercolour blocks. Essential for easy, beautiful backgrounds or more delicately produced watercolour images.
  21. Mixing palette. For mixing watercolour tones and hues.
  22. Assorted paintbrushes. If you can get a range of sizes, you dont have to compromise on the outcome you are trying to create. I prefer brushes with very fine bristles.
  23. Acrylic paints. I am a big fan of acrylic paints, I love the vibrancy and coverage of the paint application. Not one for everyone, but if you want your creative journal to be quite arty and paint filled – try the acrylics.
  24. A hot drink. (or any drink really!) Saved the most important till last (in my opinion anyway) I love hot drinks! Any hot drink! But especially coffee and different types of tea. There is nothing better for creative journaling than to put the kettle on, get your supplies ready and laid out in order, whilst the kettle is boiling. When your ready, pour yourself a hot cup of tea and then begin to get artistically inspired.

With that said…lets get considering which journal we shall review first!





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