Secret’s Out: Visual Journaling Revealed!

Apr 25

Secret’s Out: Visual Journaling Revealed!


iana has been putting her artistic soul to paper and started art journaling. 


Art Journaling or Visual Journaling is similar to a regular journal, but combines aspects of journaling, scrapbooking, and an art portfolio. The idea is to visually express yourself through art in your journal, rather than just writing words. But, really a visual journal can be whatever you want to make it. You can write phrases or paragraphs and surround it by a mix of things (newspaper or magazine clippings, art in any medium, etc.), it’s whatever you want it to be!


Read on to learn more about Diana’s process and her progress!

 Lately, I have been having so much fun with my Prismacolors and my art journal.   Journaling can be a struggle for me as I generally don’t  like to put my feelings on paper, but like with most things sometimes you just need a shot of inspiration to get going. Someone recently shared Strathmore’s blog  post on Visual journaling with me and it has been a huge inspiration for my recent creativity.   

The wonderful thing about an art journal is you can really let your creativity take you anywhere and allow yourself the freedom to record your private thoughts and feelings in one place, however you want. I found that the Sharpie Paint Markers are an excellent tool to use to personalize the cover of an art journal.    It is a product made to write on all nonporous surfaces and comes in different tip sizes as well as a number of cool colors. These are oil paint markers and dry to a gloss finish.  I also tried the Sharpie Poster Markers and they worked well too.  They dry to a matte finish.  I like the contrast of both the gloss and matte finishes and I used both here to distinguish this journal from my others.

Journal cover

I started a few journals just to get warmed up. 

My friend Wendy and Istarted journaling using the Prismacolor double ended art markers and Illustration markers on 90# wc paper.  I am happy with it, but it did bleed through the paper because it was not a marker pad of paper.   I was really glad that it was my first entry in this journal.  I can skip a page and then use double sided tape to join the pages together.  That is something I will plan ahead with on future pages so I do not destroy any artwork.  I am saving this journal for all of my Girl With Secrets series. 

Girl with a Secret series

One other lesson that I learned was to put a piece of acetate under the page if you are using any wet media- even for your glue.  This prevents the wet materials (gesso, gel medium, glue, etc.)  from sticking other pages of your journal together in a way that was not in your plan– you could also use plastic food wrap and wrap the other pages so they are not contaminated by the wet medium.  There is a product by Golden Paints that I love for colored pencil background preparation called Golden Ground for Pastels.  It puts just the right amount of tooth on the paper so I can really layer in my colored pencil colors, use solvents, add more colored pencil, etc. . . .  I have even used it on Plexiglas panels and then colored on them with Prismacolor pencils, but that is a technique for another blog day.  I know you are going to love this technique!

Seven artist friends and I formed a journal swap group.  Everyone gets a journal- all the same kind so that no one has real ownership until the very end when every artist has completed one entry in each book. 

After watching the first workshop artist, Pam Carriker, on the Strathmore Art Journal site, I was so inspired that I created this mixed media entry.  What was cool about it was that I could use an image that I had already created (the girl in the hat) with Prismacolor Art and Illustration Markers.  I made the image smaller on my copier/printer and set out my materials to glue and collage into a journal page.  I found it is easiest to do a few journals at a time as the pages need to dry before you can add more to them.

I think my first journal page turned pretty well!

This was so much fun; I could hardly wait for Workshop #2!  It was a simple pocket making lesson and I created 2 pockets using collage papers and Prismacolor Art and Illustration Markers.  I used Yes Paste so there are no wrinkles in pasting the brown paper to the background page.  It is the best glue for paper.   The bull was done in the markers.  The girl and words are collage and stickers.   I used double stick tape to make the pockets work, but I could have punched holes and sewn it around 2 of the sides.   It was easy to put together and so practical to have some pockets to store ideas and collage materials for the next pages.

SHHHHH! This post was declared CLASSIFIED!

My journal group met last week- there were some amazing entries! 

I will just show you one of them this time.  One of the artists, Chris, is a jewelry artist and she included a paper bead and wire necklace on hand painted paper. 

Combined journaling with jewelry and paint. Too cool!

The challenge for the next artist was to provide continuity in the journal by incorporating something from that image into the next entry page.  I think Ellie did a wonderful job of creating a drawing with the Prismacolor Illustration marker and incorporating the necklace motif in the wall and on the neck of the figure. 

Artist collaboration- notice the necklace, look familiar?

Now it is my turn to add to this journal using this theme—Hmmmm- I may have to show you my entry a bit later as I need some time to think about this one.

The Artist Group will be sharing our journal again in mid –June so I will share just what happens with you soon!



  1. Great post thanks!

  2. Krisen Deonne /

    How cool! I really enjoyed this post! So much so that I’m considering doing a personal one now. :)

  3. Love this post! What a great way to get visual journaling out there, prismacolor is a brand a lot of people recognize! I am CONSTANTLY using prismas in my art journal, I have them listed as a necessary art journaling supply on my supply list on my blog! I would love for you to check out my blog on visual journaling as well (, any feedback would be amazing, especially from prismacolor! Thanks for the post!

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