Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 23 Feb 2011 11:13 am

7 Tips For Starting Your Painting Art Journal

Your painting art journal is a powerful way to jump-start your future painting projects. Consider the following tips to get started.

1. Obtain an 8 1/2 x 11 size hard cover sketchbook. Of course, you could make your own journal, but that is for another discussion. Why keep a journal? It is important to maintain a journal to record important ideas that you receive. If not those great ideas will fly out of your mind as quickly as you receive them. Therefore, Keep your journal with you at all times.

2. Use zip lock or similar pint sized storage bags.

These bags will contain small clip files. Keep images in these bags that can be drawn on for inspiration and included in your painting. Also, keep a sharpie pen to write on the zip lock bag to record its contents.

Get a glue stick to paste some of these image ideas into your journal with notes stating the possible uses of the images. Try recording your notes with color. This will give you a good visual record of the direction that you planning to go in.

3. Write your thoughts about your painting ideas into your journal.
Your thoughts are in addition to the notes you have recorded in step 2. They should be images that inspire your creativity.

When possible include the time, date and place where you obtained your inspiration. The recording of the TIME may help you in understanding what time of day, or month you tend to be more creative.

When you record the location where you got these gems of insight it will encourage you to re-visit that special place.
This will allow you to capitalize on you peak creative times. And the surroundings that inspire your spirit.

4. Use color swatches for ideas and paste into your journal.

Look for color samples from magazines clippings that can be inspiring in your color choices. This can help in the overall color feel of your painting series. They may have an earthly color feel, a warm color sense or cool colors made up of blues and greens.
This is also the time to play around with different color combinations. These color swatches can be pasted into your sketchbook with your glue stick.

5. Paste photos inside your journal and maintain records.

A photographer’s best friends are the records that are kept for future reference. These records include:

?Camera and lens combinations used, what digital settings were used or film type.

?Time of day that light in a scene was observed. Some great light is seen early dawn or near sunset. It is usually during this time that you can get nice color changes and light angles.

?Seasonal changes. This will enable you to know where and when to go to get that breathtaking photo.

For example, once a year there is a park in my area that has Cherry Blossoms. If I capture a picture there and decide to paint it in the future I need to record the season and place of those beautiful flowers.

6. Draw, Draw, Draw.

Drawing is fundamental. Drawing is the key foundation to all art forms. With the use of note taking in your journal you can record studies for future artwork.

I like to do thumbnail sketches first. These are small quick drawings that record the sense of composition before a more careful worked out drawing is done. Sometimes in the thumbnail stage I will record notes that will be helpful in my later work. The incubation stage for a series of paintings can be born in your journal.

7. Carve out a time and place each day to visit your journal.

Sure there may be days you just do not post to the journal. But if you aim to do it daily then you will miss not doing it. As a result you will go to your journal the next day or two that week.

When you start an art journal it will launch you into a consistent painting production mode that will fire up your creative juices.
Keep it going and keep producing those painting gems.

Copyright, 2007, Raymond Horner, Jr.

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