I'm Tammy. 

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    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
    Tammy has read 0 books toward her goal of 36 books.


    Art Journaling 102: Materials

    "Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?
    Can one really explain this? 
    No. Just as one can never learn how to paint."
    Pablo Picasso

    Welcome to this companion post to Art Journaling 101.


    Paper + Journals.

    Loose paper vs. Bound Journal. You can work on loose paper and bind it together later using book-binding techniques {fun to learn} or simply store in a large box. I started art journaling and doodling in a Strathmore wire-bound pad. Loose paper is a wonderful way to start because you can play without committing to any particular journal. If you adore the idea of working in a journal, there are a lot of great bound journals available. A standard writing journal will have thin paper which will NOT hold up to mixed media work or even wet media like watercolor or acrylics. So you'll want paper made for art. Or go the other direction and use an old book and prepare the surface for your art!

    For mixed media work {acrylics, collage}:

    1. Strathmore Visual Journal {Watercolor Paper, Wire-Bound}
    2. Strathmore 300 Series {Watercolor Paper, Wire-Bound or Loose Paper}
    3. Hardback book from the discount bin, for a few dollars/euro {quick video about preparing hardbook pages for art journaling to make them stronger and easier to work with}. A different experience, as you are trying to alter an old book.
    4. Buy loose watercolor or mixed media paper and bind your own journal.
    5. Exacompta Basic Journals. Great journals, with teeny tiny textured ridges.


    For Drawing in Ink:

    1. Rhodia Web Notebook. Lovely drawing journals. Various versions including dotted grid, grid, lined. Classic padded orange cover.
    2. Moleskine Classic Notebook. Great drawing journals. The unlined and unlined versions have thin, smooth, slightly off-white paper. I love it for doodles, sketches, drawings, lists + note taking. My to-do list resides in this type of journal.
    3. Moleskine Sketchbook. Thick cream colored paper {kind of like a manilla folder} that is great for drawing. Watercolor does not absorb well on these pages, but I have painted with watercolors and doodled on the pages nonetheless. Find a direct comparison of watercolor vs. acrylics in this journal at Map Love Madness No. 2.
    4. Exacompta Basic Journal. Great drawing journals, with teeny tiny textured ridges.


    an art journal page on loose 9x12" strathmore watercolor paper

    For Watercolor or Ink + Watercolor:

    1. Strathmore 300 or 400 Series {Watercolor Paper, Wire-Bound or Loose Paper}. Excellent paper, good value {less expensive than Moleskine}.
    2. Moleskine Watercolor Notebook. I adore the Watercolour A4 Journal, which I've only found on Amazon, lush and wonderful! I also like the 5x8" size.
    3. Bee Paper Super Deluxe Sketch Pad or Watercolor Journal. Also referred to as Aquabee journals. The paper in these wirebound journals is good for watercolor and drawing. 
    4. Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper. Dreamy! Expensive!

    b. Paint - Acrylic. There are artist quality acrylic paints and craft acrylic paints. They have different characteristics, so you might want to get a few bottles of craft acrylics and a few bottles of artist quality acrylics and compare them. See how it feels to paint with each type, what they are like when they are dry, etc. My daughter and I compared artist quality vs. craft acrylics by creating the same art journal page with two types of paint.

    Artist Quality Acrylics. I use Golden Fluid Acrylics on many of my art journal pages. Artist quality acrylics have a higher pigment load. You can mix paints to get a variety of colors, so no need to buy every color. One of my favorite books for learning about color is the Color Mixing Bible. You can make acrylics more transparent by mixing them with Golden Fluid Matte Medium or water. Fluid matte medium is like clear fluid acrylic paint so it keeps the consistency of the fluid acrylics but thins them to make them more transparent. Here's my pick for 11 Fluid Acrylics to Get Started.

    Craft Quality Acrylics. Craft acrylics {brands include Plaid, Anita's, Americana, Delta, DecoArt, FolkArt, CeramCoat} are significantly less expensive and come in a huge variety of colors. You can find them at any craft store. The colors are bright but less vibrant and less saturated/intense than artist quality acrylics because they have a lower pigment load. When you mix colors, they can become more muted.

    If you aren't sure which you prefer - artist or craft acrylics - buy a few of each - see for yourself! I'm 100% for experimenting!

    c. Paint - Watercolor. I use Winsor & Newton Artist Quality Watercolor Paints. Artist quality paints have a higher pigment load. You can mix paints to get a variety of colors, so no need to buy every color. Learn more about my watercolor and gouache paints.  

    d. Markers. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens are permanent and dry quickly. The journaling in Do Something is in black PITT pen. A lot of art journalists like Sharpie water-based paint pens for writing on a wide variety of journal backgrounds. Mixed media art journaling can ruin pens... just part of the game! Be sure that your page is dry before writing on it. It could take a few days to a week for a page to dry fully depending on how many layers of paint, the temperature and humidity in your work environment etc. Favorite Pens for Writing, Sketching, Doodling & Drawing

    e. Stamps. Add unique details to your pages. Carve your own stamps from erasers {see carving eraser stamps} and transform hardware store finds into stamps. You can use everyday objects as stamps. Try stamping with lids, medicine cups, cookie cutters, old brushes and play-doh tools. Just dip them in acrylic paint or gesso and make marks!   Alphabet stamps are great for adding words or quotes (see Adjectives and Happy Life). Available at craft stores in the Scrapbooking section. 

    f. Adhesive. I use Golden fluid matte medium or Mod Podge to attach paper to my pages and to collage. You can use staples, washi tape, masking tape or stitch things to your page. If you want to add stuff to your journal while out and about, or while traveling, try double sided tape or a glue stick.

    g. Brushes. Buy basic, cheap brushes for adhesives and gesso because they will be trashed. I buy average quality brushes for acrylic painting and good quality brushes for watercolor. If they are too junky they will shed hair and not hold water well. Try various brands, styles and sizes, until you find an assortment you like. I like flats and rounds. For art journaling, almost any decent brush will do.

    h. Scissors. Fiskars Softouch Scissors Having had hand + elbow surgery, I cannot use scissors for more than a few minutes at a time. These are the only scissors I use. Extremely sharp, with a precise tip. Work with paper, glossy magazines, photos, fabric, detail paper cutting. I've got a pair near the sewing machine for paper/fabric, and another with my art journal gear. There are larger versions for cutting fabric, by the way.

    h. Gesso {optional}. Get a small container of Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso and just play and see what it does and what it feels like, whether you like writing on it. Gesso is a primer. Black gesso and white gesso are both fun. See Black Gesso & Stamps + Faded Blue + black.magenta. If you are using watercolor paper or other heavy paper, coating with gesso is not necessary. If you have thin paper {i.e. working in an old hardback book} prep with a thin layer of gesso as a base coat. White gesso can be used to layer and lighten your collages. You can create art journal pages without gesso, but it is fun to use and you might enjoy using it to add layers to your work. 

    i. Neocolors. I love, love, love Caran dAche Neocolor II Water Soluble Pastels! These may look like crayola crayons but are drastically different! You'll see these referred to as Water Soluble Pastels or Water Soluble Wax Crayons. These little cuties can be blended with fingers, drawn and dissolved with a brush or touch a wet brush to the surface and paint like watercolors. Very versatile. You can even doodle with them as in Altered Book: orange.peach. Neocolor I are NOT water soluble. Neocolor II are water soluble. If you write on top of Neocolors, you can ruin your pen or marker. Here's my pick for 14 Neocolor IIs to Get Started.

    j. Old gift/credit cards. Great for pushing paint and gesso around a page, making borders, "stamping" lines, scratching off layers, painting a layer of gesso, etc. A freebie tool.

    k. Parchment Paper. In the baking section of the grocery store near aluminum foil and wax paper. After your page has dried a bit, place a sheet of parchment paper in between your pages and put a bunch of hardback books. The parchment keeps the pages from sticking together and the weights help your pages dry flat. If working within a bound journal or hardback book, keep parchment between the pages, close the book and put a bunch of books on top. Pages with lots of layers might take a week or more to fully dry. Remove the parchment and check on the pages from time to time. There's no rush. Just keep working, and keep the parchment between pages. More in Unsticking Art Journal Pages.


    An index to all of my art materials reviews, lists, etc. 

    Favorite Pens for Writing, Sketching, Doodling & Drawing
    Color Quandary: Buying Art Materials {Part 1}
    Color Quandary: Buying Art Materials {Part 2}
    Unsticking Art Journal Pages
    Art Materials to Take on Vacation
    All About Sakura Gelly Rolls
    Using Masking Fluid in Your Journal
    Step #399: Art Supplies
    Step #315: Organize Art Supplies Without a Studio
    Top Picks: Colored Pencils + Drawing Paper


    Art Journaling 101

    How do you start an art journal? 

     "Art journaling is about the {creative process} of pulling together color, words and images as you wish on a page. Unlike many other forms of art, it is not about the outcome."
    Tammy Garcia

    Original post 2008 * Updated March 2014

    Welcome to Art Journaling 101

    If you are just starting to bring art into your life, or wish to introduce kids & teens to art journaling, check out Art Journaling 101 for Kids, Teens & Beginners

    I'll begin with a note that the type of art journaling that I talk about is very loose and free and unencumbered by rules.

    1. Gather a small supply of materials

    Art journaling does not have to be in an actual journal. ♥︎ Art journalists use an array of materials to create journal pages. Collect as many free things as you can find, and keep your eye out for paper treasures like maps, ticket stubs, notes, receipts and handwritten lists.


    Paper + Journals.

    Click to read more ...


    Art Journaling 101 for Kids, Teens + Beginners

    "The artist must possess
    the courageous soul
    that dares and defies."
    ~Kate Chopin


    my daughter created this 9x12" art journal page when she was 8, watercolor paper, neocolors + water

    Welcome to ART JOURNALING 101 for Kids, Teens + Beginners who want to learn how to art journal! Hop over and read Art Journaling 101 for Kids [Prequel] for some background info. My kids started doing a bit of art journaling simply by playing around with the art materials out on the table. All it really is - playing with colors and words and images - playing is the key word. It is not about the pretty page at the end! It is about enjoying the part where you create the art. The part where you get thoughts out on your paper.

    {click here for the full article}

    Click to read more ...


    Daisy Yellow Zine {Issue #10}

    22 pages of Articles + Inspiration + Art: Art Journaling Matters ♥ Pattern-a-Day x 365 [by Anika Starmer of A is for Anika] ♥ The Noticing Journal, an Altered Book Project ♥ Fill in the Blank ♥ Words as {Text}ure ♥ Photographic Prompt ♥ Five (5) Kick-Start Art Journal Prompts ♥ Three Little Hearts {Index Card Art Tutorial} ♥ Blogging Tips & Tactics for Creative People

    Get Issue #10 Daisy Yellow Zine

    The fastest way to get the Zine is through Etsy. 

    Jam packed with ideas + inspiration. No Ads. Great content. Totally digital. Super colorful. 

    At Etsy you can purchase the Zine in various sets {i.e. Zines 1-4, Zines 5-8, etc.} or the full set via instant DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. After payment is sorted out via Etsy, the digital Zines in full color PDF format are immediately available for download. {PLEASE NOTE} THE ZINE FILES ARE IN STANDARD PDF FORMAT.

    Click to read more ...


    Art Journaling for Kids|Tweens|Teens [Prequel]

    my daughter is gessoing the pages of a $1 book we found @ half price books

    Art journaling is a great outlet for kids that love... the freedom of a blank canvas, to explore color + images + words, to decorate their thoughts, to get messy with paints.

    Thoughts on introducing art journaling to kids|tweens|teens.

    1. Why is art journaling important?

    Young kids are so free about exploring creatively. As they get older, they often get concerned with what others think, get more critical of their work, less free with their creativity, more likely to worry about "rules" for whatever form of art they are doing. That's why art journaling is important. It focuses on the DOING not the RESULTS. Kids, especially tweens and teens, are more likely to play creatively with freedom from constraints or expectations. For moms who art journal, it's also a wonderful way to stay close and keep the lines of communication open -- arting together!

    Click to read more ...