Inside: how to start an art journal page and completing it like a pro every time
Sometimes I sit in front of my art journal and just stare at the blank page not knowing where to go from here. Yes!... it happens to me too - I just have no idea how to start... I really hates when it happens to me so I tried to think what happens when I do know how to start and my creative process runs smoothly.
I discovered that whenever I'm stuck and don't know how to begin there are three things that work.
HOW TO START AN ART JOURNAL PAGE
There are three main ways to start an art journal page:
- CREATE THE BACKGROUND: this is the best way to go if you don't have any other idea or direction.
- START WITH A TECHNIQUE: if there's a technique you want to try or experiment with then it will be a good starting point.
- THINK OF WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY: when you have an idea of what you want to say you can start creating the page around that.
CREATE THE BACKGROUND
A background is a great place to start not just because it's the beginning but because the background is very easy to do and doesn't require much planning or thinking. You don't need to know how you want your page to look or what you want to say at this stage just put something on the page.
ART JOURNAL PAGE BACKGROUND IDEAS
- Take a brush with two opposite colors and cover the page. Paint parts of the page with one color and other parts with the second color.
- layer multiple patterns with different stencils and different colors.
- Doodle lines and shapes on the page with a black pen.
- Attach pieces of paper and create a collage.
You can make a few backgrounds in your art journal for future pages.
START AN ART JOURNAL PAGE WITH A TECHNIQUE
Unlike creating a background without a specific idea, here you have a direction of what you want to do. An art journal page is a great opportunity to try a new technique you always wanted to try.
Here are some ideas:
- Add texture with modeling paste and stencils.
- Spray different colors.
- Add acrylic paints with a plastic card.
- Paint with watercolors.
WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY
One of my favorite ways to start is with a quote I like. It can be a line from a song, a proverb or just something smart someone said. Once I know what I want to say it's much easier to build a page around it.
Here's an example:
- The quote I want to use is: "Home is where the heart is"
- I can add house shapes to the background with drawing, cut images, stencils etc.
- Add details like grass, sky and trees.
- Finish the page with writing the quote on the page.
HOW TO CONTINUE THE ART JOURNAL PAGE
Some people are intimidated by the blank page but even more so by the next step. Once they started and went over that first hurdle they don't know how to continue. Many times by simply starting your get an idea of how you want to continue and complete the page but here's what I do if I'm still stuck:
You can add text to an art journal page on the background, details on the page or a title:
- Quotes: find a quote that speaks to you. Quotes are usually universal and everyone can relate to them.
- Lists: create lists like things you're grateful for, things you love or hate, a bucket list...and add parts of it or all of it to the page.
- Free Writing: Just add words or letters to express how you feel.
- Text doesn't have to be letters or words, it can also be numbers!
Simple shapes are easy to add to an art journal page. They fill the page and give it more layers of interest.
Here's some shape ideas you can add:
- Cutouts: cut shapes from scraps of paper, magazines or other paper memorabilia. Cut them with scissors or tare them.
- Stenciled shapes: layer different shapes by using different contrasting colors.
- Stamped shapes: add shapes of different sizes with black ink and stamps.
- Free shapes: draw random shapes or patterns and color them, it's a really hot trend now.
At this point you're page is almost done and I'm sure you know how to finish your art journal page.
a final note to consider...
Art journaling takes practice. it's a form of artistic expression that doesn't always come naturally. You need to make a few pages before you feel it comes more easily. But don't be afraid to try and experiment! Art journaling is personal and individual so everybody does it differently. But once you start and keep going you'll see it gets easier.
Do you want to learn more about art journaling and get more page ideas? Check out the 30 Art Journal Tutorials eBook
In the book you'll get 30 different art journal page ideas and how to make them, written instructions and lots of tips and tricks to make your pages a success every time!
SAVE it for later - PIN IT!
4 comments on “HOW TO START AN ART JOURNAL PAGE LIKE A PRO EVERY TIME”
I’ve just came across your beautiful work/website! So much great info to check out! Can you recommend some journals that are worth investing in! Which ones have you found that are best to work in, size/paper… your favourites!
I like to use Dylusions journal – they come in different sizes and have thick papers.
Thank you so much for your explanation!
It helps me to start in this way because the beginning is very easy for me, but continuing is often more difficult. Especcialy how to finish a page in my journal.
I’ll do a post about that too!