Journaling with Watercolors

Covering some of your journal pages with watercolors or other paints is another way of adding creativity to your personal expression. Cover whole pages with color, add emphasis to words and phrases, or use as illustration.

Finished journal pages

I’m going to be upfront, and start this post by stating I’m no artist. I’m that person who can’t draw a straight line without a ruler. So, if you’re an actual artist, who knows what they’re doing with watercolors or paints or colored pencils, you just might want to look away.

I’ve never been one to sketch or draw or paint – I really can’t draw a straight line without a ruler, and even then, it’s a gamble that the line will be straight. When I worked in banking, it was a running joke about how I couldn’t seal a manila envelope with a piece of packing tape and get the tape on straight. Perhaps my perspective is and always has been just slightly off-kilter. Who knows? But up until maybe 12-15 months ago, I had no reason to start accumulating tubes of watercolors. In fact, I had no idea watercolors came in tubes – My only experience had been those palettes everyone has a kid that are two bucks and come with a crappy brush with plastic bristles that get bent out of shape after their first use. And this is even after having a legit artist as my college roommate – Which just proves how non-observant I can be sometimes.

Journal Supplies

Back when I was unemployed after leaving the bank, I spent more than a few days online, either zoning out, or looking for potential jobs. I would see pictures on social media of art journals and people who paint in their journals, and after watching a few videos of people demonstrating how they decorate their journal pages, I bought myself a cheap selection of watercolors and thought I’d give it a try. I liked the result enough that every so often, I’d paint a couple pages, and then add washi tape or stickers over top of that. It’s a different way of exercising some creativity. I certainly used to love writing my journal entries in different colored inks and adding in things like cards and ticket stubs and other random things – I recently had to go back through some of my old journals to get some information on my dad, and while my level of decorating and scrap-journaling wasn’t nearly as intensive as it is now, it was still there. And while I still do love the look of black words on cream-colored ruled pages, I love the mixed-media look that my most recent journals have as well.

Journal Supplies

I’d seen a few people I follow on social media using handmade watercolors, and I was intrigued. The colors are muted and deep, something that appeals to my maudlin nature. And the palettes are small, and easily portable. After having some Christmas money leftover that I didn’t quite know what to do with, I decided to buy some myself.

Watercolor Ochre Palette

I couldn’t/still can’t get over just how TINY these little pans of color are! That tin is about the size of an Altoids tin, for reference. Also – The handwritten note is a nice touch. I’m always impressed by companies who take the time to do that.

So as far as my decorating my journal pages, I don’t paint scenes or landscapes or anything like that. I don’t have that ability. Or if I do, it’s deep within and extremely underdeveloped. I’ve always preferred writing, whereas Jay and the bambino have drawn since they were kids. The bambino drew a picture of a pig when he was around a year old, and I still have it on the fridge. It comes naturally to those two. I like to think writing comes naturally to me. I simply pick colors and just kind of blend them into one another.

Journal and Watercolors

I have no real rhyme or reason with it – I try to pick complimentary colors, but a lot will depend on my mood. With this palette, I wanted to try all the colors, so with the exception of the brown, black, and white, I did.

Finished Journal Pages

After painting the pages, I’ll often go back and do additional decorating with washi tapes, stamps, and stickers. I haven’t done that yet with these pages, but I soon will.

I know this is a departure from the usual recipe posts – If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or send me an email, and I’ll reply as soon as I can!

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