Choosing an Art Journal

posted in: ART JOURNAL | 0


I have tried out my share of different types of art journals.  Some have been an old book, or ledger, or even a magazine,… or my own homemade journals, but in this post I am going to focus on my favorite purchased journals.

So, if you are looking to start art journaling, consider these:

If you are will to spend some money (around $20 for the 8 x 11) I suggest the Dylusions mixed media journal.  Ideally, you want something that can hold up to painting, splattering, gluing, spraying, and whatever other abusive techniques you might use in your art journal. Not only does this journal have very durable high quality pages, it also includes a pocket inside the front cover, a band to hold everything closed, and it lays flat when open.  The cover is also perfect for painting however you wish.

Dylusions journal


Less expensive, but still great options because they are filled with paper that can hold up to wet work, Strathmore’s Visual Journal or Canson’s Mixed Media journal do a nice job.  The spiral ring does make it less desirable for double page spreads, but if that is not how you journal, then either of these is a great option.

canson mixed media visual journal

If you really need to watch your pennies, then, other than using an unwanted book, or a used planner, or something like that, I suggest a composition book.  At this time of year, you can often find these guys for a bargain!  The pages are thin, so the best bet is to glue two pages together… a little tedious, but makes for a much nicer work surface.  A coat of gesso to the pages will add a little tooth to the page as well and make them easier to work with.

composition book

Of course there are countless other options out there, but to keep it simple for someone just starting out, any of these choices will serve you well!

Happy journaling!

0 Responses

  1. I use the Canson Mixed Media journals. The spiral binding works well for me as it means I can work in any space or at any time. That’s critical for me since I don’t have a designated art space in my house and have to grab little bits of time here and there. I’ve found the paper holds up really well against all sorts of media and copes well with water-logging.

  2. Ha! I use three out of the four you’ve listed on a regular basis. 🙂 I use the Dylusions 8×11 for my two page spreads, the Canson Mixed Media 11×14 for my larger, one page paintings, and a composition journal for what I call my “Brain Dump Book.” I have a lot of fun painting and covering my composition journals with fabric as well! Eventually, I’m going to post some kind of tutorial on it…

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