Tag Archive: Art Journaling


Ive decided the theme of my first sketchbook is going to be all about ME – Im listing my notes which Im making on this project on my blog for the benefit of readers who might lke to have a go at making an artist sketchbook too in the same theme.

I decided to pick this theme as it makes my sketchbook personal and also it will introduce me to the world art journals and sketchbooks. Not to mention it will encourage me to play and try new things too!

So the working title for my sketchbook is something along the lines of -The Book Of Me -or- All About Me

    Sketchbook Page Prompts:

Here is the list of page prompts I will be using for my sketchbook, Im listing them here and will add to this list as I think of more prompts.

I havent decided what order I am doing the prompts in, any old order I guess! I think the important thing is to have fun and to enjoy the overall process. If anyone decided to do a similar sketchbook why not leave me a message and include the link to your sketchbook so I can come have a look at it!

Whats My Name Page:

For this theme you need to spell out your first name across your pages – make it nice and bold! You can use stamps, letters cut out of magazines or newspapers, computer print outs or stamps for this. For each letter of your name I want you to think of a word that you think best describes YOU! Once youve got your word I want you to either write that word down or use visial images cut out or you can draw or stamp them if you prefer.

Another idea for this page is that you could in smaller text write on the page some accompanying text to explain why you chose those words to describe yourself.

8 Things I love Page:

The title is self explanitory! On your page write or stamp the line ‘8 Things I Love’ then use words or sketches or images to embellish your page with the 8 things you love – no need to be serious if you dont want to! Be daft or tongue in cheek if you prefer the main thing is to have fun with this theme!

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Page:

As before you can be tongue in cheek or deadly serious with this one! Maybe you want to be a cowgirl or an air hostess or even Captain Janeway! The choice is YOURS! Have fun playing and finding suitable images for this one!

The Year I Was Born Page:

You may have to do a little bit of research for this one or you may already know it! But for this prompt you need to put the year you was born on your page somehow, somewhere….and then for the theme of your page take 1 key event or happening which sums up the year you was born in and use that as your theme for decorating you journal page.

Example – I was born in 1968, so I will probably be influenced someway by the old 60’s hippy Flower Power revolution on my page unless I can find something else to do…

My ______ _______ Page:

It looks odd but thats the prompt! What I want you to do for this page is to fill in the 2 blanks with 2 words. The last word has to be a name! The middle word can be anything you choose….Use that sentance as your main theme for decorating your page…

Example – Im going to do ‘My Dog Harry’ – You could maybe do My Brother Boris, or My Friend Claudius or whoever you want to do….so long as the last blank word is a NAME you have full artistic licience to do whatever you want for this page!

Queen For The Day Page:

Heres a chance to fantatise and go wild, what would you do if you was Queen? What laws would you pass if you where allowed to and what type of things would you get up to if you was the monarch who could do anything they wanted to do, what type of ruler would you be? – draw, stick images on, collage, stamp and have fun!

My Life In Numbers Page:

I want you to make a list of numbers which have played a part in your life in stages for want of a better word. In other words you will be compiling a list of sentances all about you, each sentance should have a number in it and that number should be related to you in some way of another….
Example:

  • The number 42 is on my front door
  • I am 39 years old
  • When I was 5 years old I split my head open on a playground swing

And so on – continue in this manner until you’ve completed your page with your number sentances and doodling – Im not giving you a set numbered list as that part is up to YOU!

Family Traits Tree Page:

This is a bit different from the conventional genealogy family trees, instead of making a tree which shows your family, make a family tree which shows the traits you have inherited from your family members. For example you may have your dads nose, your grandfathers eyes and your mothers sense of humour – whatever your traits are put them down on a page as if you were drawing a family tree and list yourself at the top or bottom of the tree and have your relatives coming off from your name along with the traits you have inherited from them. You dont have to list every family member, only the ones you have inherited traits from.

Significant Others Page:

This can be a page either dedicated to your life partner, or a page dedicated to one person who have made a very significant impact on your life.

Favourite Places Page:
A page or even several pages if you prefer dedicated to your favourite places and locations – why are they your favourite places? What special memories do they hold for you?

Surname Definitions Page:

Time to do some more research! This time do a brief history search about your family surname and what it means and decorate the page accordingly.

School Subjects Page:
What was your best subject at school? Who was your favourite teacher? Which subject did you absolutely LOVE (and hate)

Memorable Moments Page:

The strongest memorable moments of your life are? Important events you can remember which made a bit impact on the person you are today.

A Time When I was Happiest Page:

When was the time you remember being at your utmost happiest? What were do doing? Why was you so happy?

Childhood Friends Page:

Quite self explanitory! For this prompt make a page dedicated to your best friend you had when you was small – can be a person or an animal!

Old Fashioned Wisdom:

For this prompt think of things your mother or grandmother or any older relative always used to tell you when you were a kid, Im thinking of old fashioned wisdom and comments. Like for example – dont sit on a cold floor or you’ll get piles or dont eat too many sweet things or else you’ll get worms! Strange and unusual comments, sometimes not nessesarily true either! Decorate your page using either 1 or various quotes and sayings from your childhood you remember….

Favourite Books:

What was your favourite type of book to read when you were small? Maybe you followed a series? I loved the Famous Five and Mallory Towers – how about you? Decorate a page featuring your favourite books.

Before I Die List:

Nothing morose about this page idea at all! Compose a list of must do things you would love to do before you exit the planet – dream big! Places youve always wanted to visit? Something youve always wanted to do? Put them on your page…

I Am…..

For this page write or cut out letters to spell out the word I AM at the top of the page. Then underneath write a list or decorate a page describing all the things that YOU are in your own words…

Retro Page:

Something from your youth which is no longer around anymore …it could be a TV program, a brand of chocolate or sweets, food, a magazine – anything at all. Decorate your page using your chosen items as your inspiration.

Favourite Song Lyrics:

Type or write out your favourite song lyrics on a page and decorate the page too. You may or may not want to state why you picked that song as your favourite….

Word Art:

Put 1 word on a page, it can be any word at all but it must be a word which is important to you and means something to you. Draw that word on your page, make it BIG, you want to almost fill your sketchbook page up with your chosen word. Decorate your word and make it into word art – use swirls or dots or geometrics…anything….


The following Prompt Ideas where sent to me by Fiona, I loved them so much I decided to use them on this prompts page 🙂In My Dreams I Can Page:A page where you think about what you can do in your dreams – maybe fly or play tennis or even speak russian!

On My Wish Day Page:

If you had a day when you could do anything at all what would you do? Magic wand included

My Coffee Morning List Page:

If you could invite anyone round for a good old chat (dead or alive) who would it be. This is based on the old who would you have at a dinner party but I don’t do dinner parties – I do lots of chatting over a cup of tea lol.

The Most Important Thing To Me Is Page:

It can be your family, your dog, art, health, the colour of your hair, sleep or even chocolate?

Thanks Fiona!

More prompts soon…

Ive been wanting to start an artists sketchbook or art journal for some time now and have been putting it off. Come August 1st I decided I wasnt going to put it off anymore and that I was going to actually START doing my art journal instead of just thinking about it!

So here goes….

Seeing as Im setting myself a personal challenge Ive decided to drag members of my Art Ventures Group into having a go too!! Maybe blog readers might like to join in too?

Just incase I’ll share my notes which Ive made about this challenge incase any blog readers or anyone for that matter fancies it too…if you decide to play along why not leave me a comment and post the url to your sketchbook pages!?

Getting A Blank Journal Or Sketchbook:

First of all you need a good sturdy blank artist sketchbook any size you wish – but dont overwhelm yourself by getting a HUMUNGUS one! Less is more – the smaller the book the less space there is to fill!

Consider a ring bound sketchbook because it opens flat and enables you to work easier across 2 page spreads.

Regarding paper quality in your book, bear in mind your going to be doing a lot of gluing and painting so make sure the paper is good quality in it. If you want to do double sided pages (ie paint on the backs) your going to need VERY sturdy pages! You may prefer to make your own journal using good quality watercolour paper and bind it using one of the various binding methods out there…

If your paper isnt very thick in your book you could still use it, just dont use any heavy paints like acrylic and make sure you only add paints to one side of the paper.

If your paper is thin, dont worry as you can always glue 2 sheets together to make it sturdier!

Hints & Tips For Adding Background Colour To Pages:

Once you’ve got your book you need to get some colour on those pages!

I like to colour my pages in batches of 5-6 at a time using watercolours, the reason I prefer the use of watercolours is because they dont weigh anything once the paper is dry, and also their colours are very rich and they dry to a smooth finish. I prefer to use watercolours in tube formats – squirt a tiny bead of paint direct to your page and then take a paintbrush dipped in water to wash the paint across the page.

You can use watercolour pencils or crayons too, scribble blocks of colour using the pencil/crayon onto the page and use a brush to wet the colour and move and blend it across your page.

You can use any medium you wish however, acrylic paints work well, but bear in mind that some paints may add more weight to your pages – you could always water them down!

If you’ve got good thick sturdy card in your book then you may want to colour both sides, if its not as thick maybe just add colour to one side of the paper. Or glue 2 sheets together to make it a bit stronger first.

Another reason I like to use watercolours to add colour to paper as it is a great way to add vibrant colour to your pages without adding any actual weight to the paper!

To prevent curling and warping it helps to heat set your pages with a heat gun as soon as you’ve applied colour.

Also take care not to add too much colour to the spines of your books as it may cause weakening and make it tear.

If your only adding colour to one side of your pages then you may want to take advantage of the blank backside of the paper with notes – you can put the date on that you made the page and any notes about paints and colour mediums you used etc.

Pens Used For Journaling And Doodling:

Im still learning myself at this stage! But I’ll list my favourite pens which Ive found best for journalling and doodling onto sketchbook pages.

  • Sharpies & Fine Tipped Permanent Markers – these are all great for making nice broad strokes on your page. The best thing about these types of pens is that they will write over different paint mediums so if youve used acrylics these pen types will work well.
  • Gel Ink Pens – A personal favourite of mine! I love how they write in a fine line which is perfect for mapping out your large creative lettering as well as journalling. My favourite brands to use are Bic Crystal Gel ink pens – particulary the black pens as I get through loads of these! Also check out the Uniball Signo range of pens as they are lovely writers – I love the white one best!! Sakura gel pens are also another good investment! Ive found that its better to pay out for a more expensive gel pen than opt for cheapo ones as they clog up and dont write for very long!

Getting Started With Art Journaling:

Once youve collected all your bits your ready to go and begin art journaling!

If your at a loss at where to begin dont panic! It happens to us all – even me 🙂

First thing you might want to do is find some journaling or sketchbook prompts – these are great for jump starting your imagination and helping you get over the blank canvas block. I have written a page of journal prompts to get you (and me) started, for this first art journal I decided to make the theme all about me or you 😉 Click here for ideas and prompts for the Book Of Me Art Journal Prompts & Challenge.

Still at a loss? Why not try this idea which always works for me: get a notepad and on each page of your note pad write down one of the page prompts from the sketchbook prompts list mentioned above. Now on each page write down any thoughts or ideas which spring to mind about each of the prompts – it can be anything at all. Random words, poems, quotes, short stories, pictures, styles, images, memories – ANYTHING AT ALL! Dont stress about it or worry about being neat as your using your notepad as an ideas book to springboard your imagination. Once youve got your notes, read through them and see if theres any way which you can interperate them into your sketchbook pages!

Finally the best way to get inspiration is to look at other peoples sketchbooks! Theres lots of sketchbooks out there if you look on Google! Heres all the ones I have done for this challenge: http://trishbee.wordpress.com/category/sketchbooks/ and also here: http://trishbee.wordpress.com/category/book-of-me-sketchbook-challenge/. Or check out the stunning journal pages by Teesha Moore for gorgeous eye candy!