So you tried art journaling and you loved it! You want to keep going at home on your own in between classes, but you don't have paint, brushes, -- all the toys! Where to start!?

Here's your basic list. I don't get commission, I'm just sharing what I like and use.

Table cloth -- ALWAYS put something on the table first! You don't plan on making a mess (I didn't plan on cutting through my friends -new- antique table!) but accidents happen. Get something with a felt back, like THIS. If you don't want to buy new, simply use lots & lots & lots of newspaper.

GESSO -- I start every page with gesso. It acts like primer -- gives the paper tooth, texture, and holds the paint better than just paper alone. It dries white. (You can also find black and colored gesso.)

Liquitex, Utrecht, Golden, Blick -- any brand will do; those are all at Blicks Art Supply. I use Nova, but even Walmart has decent gesso.

Matte Medium/ Gel -- This is your glue and your sealer. It dries clear. Apply with fingers or a brush. Again, Liquitex, Utrecht, Golden, Blick -- are are good! I use Nova.

PAINT -- the fun stuff! I simply use acrylic. The craft paints you get at Michael's or Joanne's will do just fine. But if you can, go to Blick's Art Supply. They have lots of options:

There a lots to choose from in these small tubes of paint for about $2.60/each. Great quality!

These medium-sized tubes have good colors too. Blick's has regular sales where you can pick them up for $4/bottle.

You can get Blick's bigger 16 oz. bottles for $9/each on sale, normally about $11.40. Not as many colors as the smaller tubes, but great value.

Princeton Select Artiste brushes.jpg

Brushes -- you can find decent brushes at hardware, craft, art, and dollar stores. My personal favorites (if you're willing to pay a little more for something that last a little longer) are the Princeton Select Artiste brushes.

Et Cetera 

  • Use empty pickle jars for water 

  • Old credit cards quickly & easily spread paint

  • Baby wipes clean and texturize

  • Stencil Girl has great stencils (but be warned: stencils are addicting and not cheap!)

  • Find washi tape on Etsy or at Michaels

  • Create ephemera pages from magazines (or Kelly Kilmer sells one-off's fairly regularly)

  • Uni-Posca paint pens are my faves!