What paper or drawing pad should I use for art journalling? It’s a simple question and of course, the real answer is “whatever you like”. But, being a total beginner, having never created an art journal before, I decided to ask around. There are several popular art journalling groups on Facebook so I posed my “which paper’ question. I also mentioned that I wanted to use watercolours in the book. I really want somewhere to try out the new Japanese watercolours that Santa has delivered.
Popular art journal paper choices
There were a lot of different answers, but one art journal that kept being mentioned was the Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal. At just over £20 it definitely wasn’t a cheap option. Another recommendation was the Dina Wakely media journal which looked interesting as it included several different surfaces to paint on – burlap, canvas, cotton rag watercolor paper and kraft pages. Several artists also said that they preferred wiro-bound watercolour pads as they stayed flat. I already had a cheap spiral bound watercolour pad at home. But somehow it didn’t feel “special enough’ for trying out this potential new hobby in Art Journal January.
Low-cost economy art journals
At the economy end of choosing an art journal, I found a YouTube video created by Shannon Green (who also runs one of the art journal Facebook groups). She’s taken a cheap exercise book and glued multiple pages together so they are strong enough to accept wet media. If you have a real fear of the blank page I can see how this might free you up and allow you to play more.
There’s always that battle when you want to create. Do you spend a little on something you love only to find it feels too precious to use? Or do you choose economy knowing that you may be more inclined to create with abundance? The problem here, is that it may not feel like it’s something you want to keep and treasure.
Create your own art journal
Of course, there’s always the option to create your own art journal so you can hand choose what paper goes inside. It only takes a quick google search to see some of the amazing journals that artists have created. But, I’m a little too impatient/lazy for all that, so I went with the popular option, the Dylusions Journal.
What art journal paper will you choose?
It arrived the other day and I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed for £20. They’re cheaper in the US. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. It does have nice rounded corners and a heavyweight paper, plus it appears to lay flat, which is useful. I’ve yet to try it, ridiculous as it may seem, I’m saving it for Art Journal January. I don’t want to spoil it before then (this is why I can also see the advantages of the cheap glued notebook).
What sort of art journal do you prefer? I hope you’ll join me when I try out mine for Art Journal January.