DIY Watercolor Journal

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I watched this YouTube video from artist Cathy Johnson a few weeks ago. It explains how to quickly make your own no-sew, inexpensive, yet high-quality watercolor journal using a sheet of watercolor paper (but you could use any paper you like). I finally had a chance to go ahead and make it yesterday.   This top image is the “cover” of my new journal, which will give me 32 pieces of 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ watercolor paper for my art journaling delight! Can’t beat it for the price of about $4/sheet at Blick (for Arches 140# cold-press).

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I did this ^^ painting in my store-bought art journal (which isn’t “real” watercolor paper) the night before last as kind of a warm-up to the top one.   I kind of think this one is better, with more empty space and no water-soluble crayons in the background.   A little cleaner, I guess.   Hub likes the busier one best.   Which do you like better?   Or maybe you prefer neither one.   hehe.

Looking forward to doing some plein air paintings this fall…..really gotta get my tree painting on. If anyone can recommend any books/videos on painting watercolor trees, they’d be most appreciated.

Eek!   I almost forgot Draw A Bird Day is tomorrow!    Better get flapping on that…..Happy Labor Day Monday, and peace to all.

56 thoughts on “DIY Watercolor Journal

  1. hi Laura I like both, for different reasons! yes, the last one is clean, fresh bright, the colours pop! the top one has lovely movement, action, feeling in it via the background. Tony Smibert Landscapes from the Imagination has FANtastic how to trees 🙂

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  2. The top one looks like a picture of the cosmos! Both are really cool, but I’m going to have to pick the top one for that very reason. That’s a neat idea to make your own art journal… I want to try it just to say I have! Haha

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  3. I think both have their merits! I love Cathy Johnson; I have at least one of her art instruction books. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder about bird day tomorrow. If I remember do do one today, I’ll post it, otherwise I might have to share another oldie (going with my current theme of sharing old stuff…hah).

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  4. Oh, I like them both! I have not played with circles much. You have inspired me to give it a try! I like your first one because I like the green background next to your purple and blues. I like the second painting because you left the background white so my eyes focus more on your circles and color mixing. And thanks the the link to Cathy Johnson! One of my favorite artists! 😊 I have my bird ready for tomorrow! 🐦🐦🐦

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  5. I do quite like the background on the first one, but I think the second one (plain background) has better bubbles – they look more “bubbly” if that makes sense… keep up the good work!

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  6. Oh, wow, I don´t know which one I like better… The first one I love for it´s vibrant colors and the lots of turquoise (I love turquoise blue), the second one for it´s cleanness and freshness! Anyway, they´re both wonderful and pure energy somehow!!! Can´t recommend anything on watercolor trees – I´m struggling myself with this issue… The shading is so hard. Your plan for fall sound´s good, maybe I should join in some times… 😊

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