Cute, Sweet, Illustration-Style Art Journals

Jane Davenport has inspired many people to create elegant and charming illustrations in their journals. She’s made this easy with how-to books, as well as useful & innovative art supplies.

Here’s her story, in her own words.

I bought one of her books, Beautiful Faces, because I felt like I was getting into a rut with my usual illustration techniques. (Generally, no one is likely to call my journals “cute,” but sometimes I’m aiming for pretty… and needed some insights. Jane’s book definitely helped.)

It’s just one of Jane’s many books you’ll find at Amazon.

Next, in this demo, she shows how to use her die-cut embellishments. Wow! (I can see ways to use them in some Goth- and Steampunk-style artists’ journals, too. Purples, metallics, and so on…)

And here’s Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts) demonstrating some of Jane’s art supplies. She starts with a blank page, then sketches in pencil, and then… well, you’ll see. (I’ve started the video at the 23-minute point. If you want to see the full unboxing, start from the beginning.)

If you like Tamara’s approach, take a look at the sample projects on her “Create Your Life” book page at Amazon. Those ideas may be all you need to start experimenting with new drawing, painting, and mixed-media techniques, right away.

But… no matter what your art journaling style, if you’re including your own illustrations, consider those materials and techniques.

Personally, I’m experimenting with magazine photos, pasting them (with gel medium) onto a painted page, sealing them with more gel medium, and then drawing & painting over them. Lots of layers. Not necessarily sweet or romantic, but these techniques & materials can work for more extreme artists’ journals, too.

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Ideas for Mixed Media Maps and Landscapes

Drawing maps and landscapes for your art journal.Maps, cityscapes, landscapes… they’re not just for travel journals.

There are many ways you can include them in your personal art journals, too.

First, here’s Brie Hatton demonstrating urban sketching in her art journal. For many people, this is the easiest way to draw and paint local scenery in a journal. You can go for a walk, or sketch what’s outside your window.

The full video is about six minutes long, but I’ve set this to start at the four-minute mark. At that point, she’s done a light pencil sketch and has started using a marker over it, for her final lines. That’s what interested me the most: how she completed her sketch as a finished art journaling page.

Full video link: https://youtu.be/EfzEjku3ev8

The pen she’s using for the final, darker lines is a special Sailor Fude pen you can find at Amazon.

Rainbow colors dividerMaybe drawing isn’t what you had in mind, but you’re still intrigued by landscapes.

If you’d like to create fine art abstract landscapes in your artists journal, I think Cathy Mevik’s demo will inspire you. If you’re not a painter, don’t let this scare you; I think anyone can create landscapes like these.

The video a little over 11 minutes long, but – for those who’d love to paint like this – it’s time well spent.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/HCYfAHVePMo

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At the other extreme, here’s what James Gulliver Hancock draws. It’s a two-minute video, and he explains why he draws buildings, and what he learns as he draws them.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/360r-iyK_Eg

Rainbow colors dividerAlso, I kind of love that one of his books – with buildings and maps – became an interactive exhibit. This half-minute video is worth seeing:

Video URL: https://youtu.be/DwETY_OK86w

Rainbow colors dividerIf you’d like to explore making maps, this book looks fascinating.  As soon as I saw this review video, I ordered the book. (The video is eight minutes long, but you’ll get the general idea in the first two or three minutes.)

Video URL: https://youtu.be/eKVdfRl05S0

If, like me, you must have that book, here’s the Amazon link: The Art of Map Illustration

Rainbow colors dividerIf drawing and painting aren’t your strong suit, don’t despair. You can still bring maps and architectural designs to your journaling.

Here’s a landscape-y, map-y kind of art journaling demo. It’s by Carolyn Dube, and she uses a stencil, some acrylic paint, and a pen. The video is about four minutes long, and – once you get the idea – you can fast-forward through it to see how she completes it.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/ZUXK1HkFhiI

The stencil is by Maria McGuire for StencilGirl, and you can find a similar stencil by her – and other StencilGirl artists – at Amazon.

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And finally, for oh-my-goodness inspiration…

At first, Blythe Scott’s work may look like modern landscapes but, close-up, you’ll see mixed media elements. She’s using some materials that never crossed my mind, and they could go into a mixed media artists journals, too.

This five-minute video includes breathtaking outdoor scenes, how her art is inspired, and some great insights about studio work, using drawing, painting, and mixed media elements.

https://youtu.be/p5_oOuzpAUQ

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