I guess the supplies you need for art journaling depend on the sort of journal you want to make. Art journals have no rules, any thing goes. I have several art journals going at the moment, some are more for drawing people, some mixed media messy journals, a watercolor journal for zentangle inspired work and a daily sketch journal. In each of these journals I use a variety of different supplies.
I use all the supplies I have collected during the past 30 years of art and craft. Some must haves for me are:
-Gesso. I use both a thick gesso when I want to add texture and I have a liquid Liquitex gesso that I use when I want a smooth surface for drawing on. I use it on a lot of pages but not all.
-Gel medium or pva glue for sticking down things
- Flesh colored matte acrylic paint that I use as the base for faces. If you get a matte paint you can draw over it with pencils or markers and it gives the face a smooth look. Some people use watercolor crayons like I did for the previous post but it isn't as smooth. I normally use an old bottle of Plaid FolkArt paint. The shade is Georgia Peach and is quite pale so sometimes I will add a little extra pink to darken it depending on the picture I am doing.
- Coloured pencils are a must have and I used to always use Derwents but have recently received a set of Prismas for Christmas. I like the softness of the Prismas but am disappointed with their constant lead breaking and splitting wood. I won't be replacing them when they run out.
- Stencils add a lot of interest quickly. Even sequin waste can be used to stencil dots on a page for interest. I recently purchased some interesting stencils from Artist Cellar and look forward to using them more. Sometimes I stamp with bubble wrap instead of using stencils, it has a similar look.
- I like to use dye sprays, often with the stencils. It is a quick way to add a unifying color to a page that is patchy or not working. On the Frolicaholic page I painted the background with a pale green crayon then laid several stencils over the page. I used green and red spray over the stencils and left it to dry. It only took about 10 minutes. I use:
- Tattered Angels Glimmer mist sprays -they are quite pale
- MoonGlow Starburst sprays - they have a very strong dye base
- Ranger Dylusions sprays - these spray inks are also very strong and hard to cover with paint so need to be used last.
-Markers. I mostly use water-based Tombow markers because I like the way they run when you spray water on them. I do also have a big collection of Pitt pens that are waterproof when dry. I have a few alcohol markers that will work over the Golden Paints but don't use them as often. If you like to do a lot of writing then a set of Sigma Micron Pens would be a good idea because they are permanent ink.
-White pen. A white pen is very handy for outlining and writing. A fellow artist told me about the Sharpie poster paint pen that is pretty good. I also use a white Signo Gel pen but make sure you get the broad one, it works much better than the regular Signo.
-Tissue paper and collage paper. I often glue tissue paper to a page before I start for added texture or use bits of scrapbook papers. Book paper and wrapping paper will work too as long as it is not too shiny.
-Stamps and inks. I have a bit of a collection of stamps that I like to use. The ones I use most in journals are considered background stamps, like script and swirls. Permanent ink like StazOn is a good idea if you don't want it to run. I also like flower and butterfly stamps.
-Other things I use come from other crafts like scrapbook letters, brads, tags, pieces of material, sewing and embroidery threads.
This is a personal list of items that I like to use but every artist has their own favorites. It takes time to build a collection of supplies that you will like to use. A lot of art stores sell makers, pens, pencils and paints separately so I would buy one or two of each to find which brands you prefer before spending a lot of money on complete sets. The most important part of art journaling for me is using supplies that I love and having fun creating each page.