Archive for the ‘Doodles & Journals’ Category

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An Easy Way To Decorate A Journal

08/05/2022

This technique could be accomplished with all sorts of themes. I am partial to eucalyptus leaves as well as palm fronds both of which would work well. The stickers look like they were made with washi paper. It’s delicate but the colors are slightly muted and could easily be matched to fountain pen ink.

On Amazon, I found a camellia and an azalea made by the same company as the washi in the video, plus a set of  black, white, and gold stickers that looks promising.

Have you ever done something like this? How did it turn out?

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Finding Stickers That Work With Fountain Pens

07/08/2022

From a search for new ways to decorate journal pages, paper washi stickers are proving to be a very good option. Mine work with fountain pen ink although they can take a minute or two to dry. PVC stickers are plastic and repel ink so read listings to be sure you are buying the paper kind. The package I purchased contains paper as well as plastic stickers, the latter of which are waterproof and attractive for decorating journal covers amongst other uses.

The Traveler’s Journal in the photo has a 4mm grid for size reference. I have two additional packages on order, eucalyptus leaves and vintage flowers, for their small dimensions and subject matters. Combining them with my new rubber stamps ought to make my journals and notebooks colorful and lively, just the thing for summer.

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Something New In My Arsenal

07/06/2022

Sometimes my journal pages need a little flair, but not a time consuming one. So I purchased a few stamps to embellish my writings. Nothing fancy but they certainly are quick to use. With the aid of a blotter, I can close my journal immediately which is handy when I want to keep things private. Colored ink will make them lively and eye-catching not that any eyes ought to be perusing my journal. However, the planner on my desk is an open book, just ripe for some additional adornments and admiration. Dang, this could get addictive!

 

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Be Bold And Decorate Your Journal Pages

03/03/2022

From time to time, the subject of decorating journal pages with washi tape, stamps and watercolor doodles has come up. There are tons of watercolor sets from which to choose, but frankly many come with weak colors and cheap brushes. You deserve better. So after much research, a few sets have emerged that are better than the inexpensive sets that are marketed for children. The cost is a little higher, but worth the investment.

In the world of watercolor, there are three tools: paper, brushes and paint. For those who have a serious interest in learning to use watercolors, professional level tools are the way to go even as a beginner. For those who only have interest in decorating journal pages, correspondence, and making small paintings that will never get hung, saturated colors and decent brushes will do. They will also cost less than professional level products.

Mixing colors to create new ones is a fascinating aspect of painting, but especially in the beginning, it is easier to use paint straight. To do that, a wide selection of colors is needed. After significant research, a few sets emerged as worthy of mention though brands like Daniel Smith, Winsor and Newton, Schmincke, Sennelier, QoR, Mission Gold, DaVinci, and M. Graham always deliver high quality. Just like ink, the characteristics are different, but the paint is consistently excellent.

There are tons of cheap, student paint sets that I would not recommend. However, I discovered two sets that cost $20-25 and have enough color variety to keep anyone happy for quite some time. There is a video for an Artistro kit that applies to any set so start there. The company is a small, family owned enterprise that has put together an aesthetic kit containing all of the basic tools.

MeiLiang is the second set that offers good quality at the price point. It is the student grade set from Paul Rubens, a watercolor supplier that some artists recommend. I have no experience with the company, but there have been lots of good reviews. This kit only comes with a water brush so you might want to purchase a synthetic brush for more versatility.

Note that quality brushes can be purchased for less than $20 and I do recommend buying the best that you can manage even if it is only one brush. Especially for doodling in a journal, a single brush is all that is needed. More would be great, but one will do. A size #8 is the most commonly recommended, but a #6 will work well in a typical book-sized journal. A #2 is tiny and will produce thin lines and fine details.

Go for a short handle. Brushes come in a wide variety of synthetic and several natural hair bristles. Synthetics have improved so much in the last decade that recommending them is easy. Some are quite soft, but a firmer brush is a little easier to control. Be gentle with the tip of the brush and it will last a long time. Angle the brush to the side rather than loading paint from the tip and rinse well in lukewarm water before storing. Place a brush on its side to dry to prevent water seeping under the metal and loosening the glue that holds the bristles in place. Once dry a brush can be stored at any angle. Put a drop of water on each pan of paint or lightly spray with water to soften and to encourage the most saturated color. Well cared for brushes can last decades. Abused ones may only last months.

A travel brushs come with a cap that protects the bristles. It costs a little more, but can be just the thing for someone who likes to go out and about with a journal. This type of brush is by no means necessary but it is an option to consider.

Just as there is fountain pen friendly paper, there is paper that will work well for doodling with watercolors. Buckling is the biggest problem and can be minimized by limiting the amount of water on the brush. Tapping or holding the side of the bristles against a piece of scrap paper or a paper towel will remove some of the fluid. In my experience, paper that works well with ink will often work fine with small amounts of watercolor.

Below are some recommendations for watercolor sets and synthetic brushes with links to Amazon. The first two watercolor sets are hard to find elsewhere, but for journaling they have all the paint you will need. The recommended brushes might be available at your local art store. Just don’t buy into the idea that you have to “mix your own colors” rule. It isn’t a rule and isn’t necessary unless you are serious about becoming a watercolorist. Otherwise, just grab some paint, a brush, a cup of water, and have fun in your journal.

Being creative is a great defense against the turmoil of the outside world and unless you flash your journal for all to see, this activity can be just between us. And I promise to keep your secret.

Watercolor Sets

  1. Artistro
  2. MeiLiang
  3. Sennelier
  4. Paul Rubens
  5. White Nights

Brushes

  1. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Travel Round, 8
  2. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Travel Round, Size 6
  3. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Round, 6
  4. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Round, 8
  5. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 8
  6. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 6
  7. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 2

Lastly, I have watercolor sets from Schmincke, Rembrandt, and White Nights to sell. Send an email to inkophile@gmail.com if you are interested.

Washi tape

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A New Journal For A New Year

01/01/2022

It’s the first day of the year and a great time to start a new journal. If you are uncertain about how to proceed, here is a video that might inspire you. If you are an old hand at journaling but growing bored with your usual entries, a few of Jordan’s suggestions might perk up your 2022 journal.

 

Or you could keep an art journal. You don’t need to be an artist to make one of these.

 

Both types of journals make fine creative outlets. This year I am going to keep one of each. How about you?

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Starting Off The Week With A Few Worthy Links

02/01/2021

Still looking without success for a printer/scanner (preferably Canon) under $200 for good quality photo printing. Inventory is stunningly low and prices are very high, the principle of supply and demand being fully in play. Regardless, a few articles turned up that are worth sharing with you.

Doodles from the archives.

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Friday Links And Clever Spy Pens

07/17/2020

Despite the temptation to think that lockdown days are all alike, retaining optimism for the coming weekend adds a little spiciness to Saturday and Sunday. A few pen links should start things off right.

From the archives:

Five years on, this passport cover continues to have a place in my life. It is no longer available but there are several at Amazon that might entice me to add a second notebook to my writing routine. The Traveler’s Notebooks tucked inside are good with fountain pen ink, Uniball-Signos, graphite as well as a variety of felt tips and gel pens. The paper is thin but will tolerate a light wash of watercolor. In other words, I can use any tool on my desk. Having no restrictions suits me just fine.

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