When I was starting out with Art journaling one of the most difficult decisions was trying to decide what to buy. Primarily because I loved every tool and medium and paper I saw but also because a lot of these items were not available in local stores or just way too pricey. Supply being erratic I found myself buying one of what I saw simply because It was unlikely it would be available again. But this also made it all the more important to improvise. So by trial and error (and great expense) I finally got my act together.
To help some of you along and avoid the confusion I experienced here is a list of what I would buy if I was starting out:
1. Journal – Well of course if you want to be an Art journaler you need a journal. You can buy a purpose made journal, use loose paper or make your own hand bound version. See my post about journals here
2. Paints – Choose what you are most comfortable with first. Acrylics dry quick and are easy to work with on most surfaces. Watercolor is very versatile but might need a specific absorbent surface. Then there are a plethora of mixed media and journaling specific paints, inks, sprays, pens, etc. Good quality water soluble pencils are a great investment as they can be used to draw on your page and wash away while building up or you can actually paint an entire picture with them. Again there is a choice for every pocket from student grade cheaper options to artists quality which are more expensive but definitely worth their price.
3.Stencils & masks – choose a few different patterns. Borders, backgrounds, florals, geometric, shapes etc. these are really useful when building layers and to add texture to the page. You will get a lot of use from generic patterns. You can even create your own. Either hand cut with a craft knife or using one those popular die cutting craft machines like a cameo, Sizzix, Cuttlebug, etc.
4. Stamps & Stamp pads/inks – Stamps are great for adding interest to your background, adding motifs, printing text, borders, to name a few, but can be used for a variety of applications in journaling. Stamping inks can be braodly categorised intot 2 categories. permanent (water resistant) and semi-permanent (water soluble). Archival ink is an absolute must have with stamps! My favorite brands are Stazon and Archival ink by Ranger. Distress inks can also be used for stamping as can gesso, Artists big brush pens, paints and almost any fluid wet medium. Like stencils, choose a variety.
5. Tools – My favorites were palette knives, make up applicator foam, credit card or applicator for texture paste, Brayer, water mister/spritzer bottles, distress ink blending foam, brushes in varying sizes, bottle caps, bubble wrap, old crotchet doilies,……use your imagination and you will be able to add to this list in no time.
6. Mediums and Grounds – For starters a good quality liquid gesso, Gel medium (you can decide between matt and glossy or both) and texture paste will get you through plenty of projects.
The above is pretty much all you need to get started but by no means all you will ever have in your stash ….:))) Supplies are an addiction of sorts with art journalers.