Best art journaling supplies for beginners

So now that you know what an art journal is, and have a list of inspiring art journal books handy, let’s get right into gathering some essential art journaling supplies so we can start creating!

There are a huge variety of art journaling materials available in the market, and it can quickly get overwhelming trying to figure out exactly what you need! While it is fun to experiment and play with all the wonderful art journaling supplies available on the market, you really only need a few basic supplies to get you started.

1. An art journal

The most important, of course, is an art journal!

Get a spiral bound (Brustro Artists’ Sketch Book Wiro Bound A4) or stitched bound (Brustro Artists’ Sketch Book Stitched Bound A5) book with at least 160 gsm paper. You can also use watercolour journals or canvas pads (CANVAS PAD 8″ X 10″ SIZE ) or even a humble student’s notebook. {But there’s a little bit of prep involved in this – you will need to glue two pages together (using PVA glue such as Fevicol) and prep your pages with gesso}

2. Gesso

Gesso is an acrylic primer that is excellent to strengthen your pages before you apply paints and collage. If you use a student’s notebook, this will be invaluable to help make your pages sturdier to accept paints and wet media without falling apart. You can also use this as a substitute to white acrylic paint and use a wash of gesso to tone down a bright color or unify a spread.

3. Glue

If you’re just starting out on your art journaling journey, I would recommend white PVA glue (such as Fevicol). If you want to take it further, invest in a bottle of acrylic matt medium or Mod Podge.

Fevicol is excellent to stick pages together if you’re using an art journal with pages that are quite thin.

Mod Podge is an excellent decoupage glue.

However, my personal favorite is matt medium because of its sheer versatility. You can use it to glue down images; paint it over waxy mediums (like oil pastels) or acrylics to create a matt surface so you can layer over your images with color pencils or pens; or use it to thin out and extend the transparency of acrylic paints.

4. Paints

Acrylic paints are my medium of choice for an art journal. They dry fast; are permanent once dry, which means you can build up layers in your art journal; and are easily available.

I stay clear of poster paints primarily because I love to layer. These paints are water reactive, which means that the colors will bleed through subsequent layers and any images painted with poster paints will lose clarity and definition if you layer anything over them.

For the purposes of an art journal, Fevicryl acrylic colors will serve you perfectly well. I also like Camel artists acrylics, Liquitex basics and Pebeo. I have some gorgeous Golden paints as well, but I reserve those for canvases.

5. Brushes

Get yourself a variety of brushes – flat, filbert, round – in different sizes. For details, a thin round brush (0, 00) is excellent. I suggest that you purchase a separate, cheap brush for gesso and matt medium/mod podge. A cheap INR 50 flat brush is my pick for this purpose.
Foam Brushes are fun too, to get nice broad swatches of color down on the page.

Old credit cards or plastic key cards are another excellent tool to spread paint and make marks in wet paint.

Another fun way to make marks is to drag plastic forks or knives or chopsticks through wet paint.

6. Pens

Permanent, waterproof pens such as the Sakura Micron, Uniball Signo white pen, and Sakura Identity Pen.

Other fun extras:
Stencils  and stamps  are a great way to quickly build layers in your art journal.

Stamp pads are also a fun extra.

Watersoluble media such as watercolour pencils watersoluble crayons and watersoluble oil pastels are great for detail work.

Derwent Inktense pencils are another excellent, though pricey – and by no means necessary – tool to have in your arsenal. These are permanent inks in a pencil – once they’ve been dissolved with water, they are permanent. Excellent to color in stamps/doodles, etc.

This, by no means, is an exhaustive list of supplies. There are tons of art and craft materials available online, and as you learn and your interest in this art form grows, I would encourage you to try them out and see what you would like to add to your supplies stash!

Note: All images and links are affiliate links.

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  1. Wow this is fantastic! You know what? I am crazy about art and stationary supplies, practically paranoid about running out of supplies! I keep adding to my stock, just like monthly provisions. These are some things I need to add to my inventory! Waiting for D now….
    @KalaRavi16 from

    • Ooh! A girl after my own heart!! I do the same thing with art supplies. And books. ? I also do this by collecting NEW art supplies, but I refrained from sharing the extent of my enthusiasm. Didn’t want to scare you guys off on day 3 itself, now, do I? ?

  2. hey while I am being educated on all this things, I had a question if we can use Fevicol for mixing with colour in glass bottle painting as well?

    • No, for glass bottles you will only need glass colors – camel makes it in India, or you can splurge on Pebeo Vitrea glass colors of you wish. No fevicol needed, unless you want to make a mixed media bottle, which is a completely different ball game. Hope that helps. Any more questions? Ask away! ?

  3. As someone who does a little bit of craft, I am drawn by all kinds of stationery and your list was fantastic for beginners like me.

  4. Wow… my Art teacher in school always suggest Acrylic colors for painting and am happy that i have some experience in using them. Very motivated to try my hands on Art journal 🙂

  5. Naicee! So this is gonna be my dummies guide to create an art journal. Awesome stuff 🙂 Need to bookmark immediately :D.

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