In the summer I can sit on my porch watching the birds and noticing the flowers and trees or hearing frogs to get inspired for journaling. In the winter it is a little trickier so I rely on the photographs I take for inspiration. Here are a few that I have taken this winter. I've already done a pastel painting and a watercolor of these beautiful birds.
DESIGN AND SKETCH - drawing and text
Once I’ve chosen a theme, I start to sketch in my subjects using a graphite pencil or a blue erasable colored pencil. I keep in mind the design of the page. Do I want a single large drawing with text or do I want to do several small drawings with text wrapped or curved around? I do both in my journals. I keep the sketch and text light because I will be erasing them after inking. For a freestyle swath of text, I just draw a line and add a second line above it to suggest the top of my letters. See the example “Bluebirds” in the photo. The strange looking tape on the bottom is drywall tape, and it is a great helper to add text to pages. It keeps the text in line without being too mechanical and is much faster that using a ruler. The tape is slightly sticky. Position where the text will be and press it down. Use a pencil to lightly draw lines along the parallel “strings” of the tape. The size of the text will determine which “strings” to use. I generally use every other one. Remove the tape and add your text. Below is an example of a double page all roughed in and ready for ink.
PEN AND INK
After I have sketched in my subjects and added text, I’m ready to ink in the design. I usually use Micron 05 pens by Sakura. I keep my ink colors to a minimum: black, brown, dark green, dark blue. I occasionally add lighter brighter colors depending on the subject. Extra fine point Sharpies work well, also. Since I add watercolor I always make sure the pens I am using are waterproof. The brand doesn’t matter as much as knowing your pen work won’t bleed and ruin your page.
When I have finished with the pens, I use a soft eraser to remove all the pencil lines. My favorite is a Vanish eraser, bur any soft eraser will do. I am careful to not damage the paper as I erase.
Now for the fun part – COLOR! I collect my painting supplies: watercolor paint (I always use cruelty free vegan paint – yes, that’s a thing!), brushes (synthetic) my fav is a Golden Fleece #6, but use what works best for you. I like this one because is big enough to fill larger areas on my small page, but still comes to a good point for small details. I use a Dollar Store white plate as a mixing palette. It works perfectly and only costs a buck! I have a bunch both dinner plates and smaller dessert plates. I add a small glass bowl for water (I love using pretty or unusual bowls or glasses for water) and paper towels, and I'm ready to go.