art journal and daily sketches

mason jar pen drawing
first sketch for the year 2013, mason jar

My goals this year are to complete a mixed media art journal and sketch daily.

I often sketch in journals, notebooks or whatever I have on hand. Years later, those quick sketches, sometimes with added notes, allow me to look back at what was happening in my life at that time.

Doing quick sketches daily takes the pressure off of being perfect because I'm not drawing for my next art piece. It doesn't matter if proportions are off or the subject is uninteresting. These sketches are purely for the act of mind to hand and they often communicate more than I ever intended.

On the other hand, art Journaling is a mystery to me and often seems unapproachable. I've been eyeing this goal of creating a mixed media art journal for a couple of years now. Like a high school crush, I've been stalking the art journaling books at the library and on-line, daydreaming about how wonderful it will be when I finally come face to face with that blank art journal.

So I've decided that this magic is going to happen in 2013. Luckily, last week I checked out Traci Bunker's "the Art Journal Workshop" from my local library. She covers choosing a book for your art journal, materials and then offers art journaling prompts. This was just the push that I needed.

She has this cool technique for tinting gesso with pastels which she demonstrates on youtube here.


  1. I love this idea of "just sketching"--that is, getting the concept out on the paper daily, never mind about how we'd want a final product to look. It's so true that these kinds of exercises end up being rich with ideas for many different future projects . . . like little embryos in gestation . . . they're not fully formed and may even end up splitting and developing into multiple babies. I think it can be kind of physically painful when pushing through a new project we're intimidated by, but if we have faith and just keep pushing we get out on the other side and are amazed with what we are able to accomplish.

    Thank you for the post. It's encouraging me to draw daily in a journal (I don't do this) and I'm excited to check out the youtube clip (love, love, love video how-tos).

  2. I was at the same place last year that you are now with art journals. I tried it for a while but just can't find the time to do layered, mixed media pages, so I'm now concentrating on drawings in my journal, as they take less time. Nonetheless, it's still very enjoyable. Hope to see more of your journal pages soon!

  3. As you know, I keep an art journal, so I'm excited to read you want to pursue this. Let me know if you want to get together for an art date.

  4. auroran, you're so right about the sketches being embryos in gestation.

    hwee, I agree that the time that an art journal takes is one thing that seems daunting.

    cheryl, you're journals are inspiring! I'll keep that art date in mind:)


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