Prepping Your Pages - Page preparation is key in the Creative Journaling process. Page preparation addresses several important factors in establishing journaling as a routine, enjoyable experience. As a life long artist, I know first hand the anxiety that's triggered when facing a plain, white canvas or paper. In the back of my mind there's always the little voice uttering, "don't mess it up". Making those first marks on the page are always a little intimidating - until now. But, before any marks are made, pages need to be torn - No more worry about maintaining a "perfect" book now! There are several reasons for tearing pages. The main reason is to keep your journal from being too bulky to close. Gluing in additional papers without eliminating some of the pages would make your journal too bulky. Another reason I like tearing pages is that it's symbolically and psychologically freeing. It removes any feelings of formality that you may have regarding your journal. Save your torn pages for doodling or staple them together as a notepad.
Getting Started - Open the cover of your Composition Notebook (From now forward known as Journal!) Leave the first page intact and tear out the 2nd page just inside the red margine line. ( It's important not to tear the page out to the binding - you don't want to destroy the integrity of the remaining pages by loosening them at the stitching.) Now, flip the 3rd page over. The back of page 3 and the front of page 4 are now the 1st "spread" in your journal. The back of the first page and page 3 will eventually be glued together, but first, it's time to add some color to the 1st spread!
Using Water Color Pencils - Using water color pencils seems less intimidating to the "non artist" than using watercolor or acrylic paints, but I often prep my pages with paints now. Using pencils has several advantages that I think are important - especially to those who are just finding their creative voice. The very act of "coloring" begins to quiet the left brain and the analytical thought process, while at the same time allowing relaxation and the creativity of the right brain to come forward. You begin to "zone out" and become engulfed in the current moment of applying color. Secondly, using pencils allows for better control when using water to blend the colors together. To begin with, I recommend selecting only 2 colors for your first spread, a dark tone and a light tone. Select 2 colors that you find pleasing together and that appeal to you. For today's demonstration, I've chosen Blue Violet and Pink Madder Lake Loew Cornell water color pencils. Remember to have your pencil sharpener handy - you're going to need it! Begin applying color to your pages in random splotches. This is not the time to make spirals, stars, or flowers. You are just applying color. Alternate using the tip of your pencil with the side of your pencil. Use a combination of rough, heavy strokes and light, soft strokes. Make both jagged strokes and swirly strokes. Overlap your colors in some areas and leave some white paper showing in others. Go "into the zone" and let your hand guide you. Once you have applied all the color, moisten a paper towel with water and wring out the excess. With the moist paper towel and a light stroke, begin blending the colors together. Play with using circular motions on straight, jagged lines and blending curved lines straight across. Be sure leave some of your darker strokes intact for contrast and interest. Set your journal aside to try for 5 or 10 minutes.