Using A Nightmare For Inspiration


Whether writing or painting, working a nightmare, or any dream for that matter, into a doodle journal can provide new subjects for exploration.

Use related words and make them big and bold. Use watercolor or markers to sketch anything that might represent the mood or emotion. Representational or abstract or anywhere in between will do. You might find inspiration for another project from your musings and drawings. Take advantage of fertile ground wherever you find it.

Words on Scarlet Lake

Winsor & Newton Scarlet Lake caught my fancy recently and I started with a rectangle of it painted with an Isabey Quill Mop #4. After that thoroughly dried, I added words with a Pilot “New Brush in Character” brush pen. Then I listed the tools used and added a squiggle border with more Scarlet Lake and a Simply Simmons #2 liner brush. The journal is a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook that handled the watercolor wash nicely.

Design-wise the calligraphic border should have gone to the top of the color swatch and ended with a flourish. Exploring the pen’s handling of an uppercase F worked out well, but other letters turned out more unique. More on those at a future date.


  1. Try quinacridone violet. It is an amazing color and combined with other colors like ultra marine blue…. beautiful


    • Oh, my. Q Violet and Ultramarine Blue do make a moody mix and perfect for an expressive entry in a journal. It’s more lively than the neutral tint I’ve mixed with Q Violet. Thanks for the recommendation. Either one would make a suitable background for today’s journal entry.


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