The Benefits of Keeping an Art Journal

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Today, I want to discuss art journals and the benefits of keeping an art journal that I have experienced thus far.

For me, this entire website sort of serves as my defacto digital art journal. There are a variety of ways and reasons for an artist to want to keep an art journal. The most important of which, in my humble opinion, is to help one progress on their course towards becoming a better artist.

Some folks do it as an emotional outlet or a way to log their day to day happenings like one would when writing in a regular journal. Others do it simply as an art project.

In both of these cases, we are referring to something like a personal sketchbook but in whatever mediums the artist prefers to work in. There are a variety of options when it comes to sketchbooks that will suit your needs.

Any of the below options would work just fine. I will cover each in detailed reviews at some point. Especially the leatherbound one. It has that Leonardo Dicaprio Titanic gonna make you want to undress for me feel to it. He he

I have never done an art journal quite like the ones just described. I prefer to take pictures of what I’m working on and analyze it through writing about it. If I wasn’t creating this website, I would probably keep it all digitally on my computer somewhere.

Most recently, when writing on how to do an acrylic pour, I discovered major benefits of keeping an art journal carefully tracking each acrylic pour painting I attempted. Keeping notes on how I mixed each color, what medium used, what technique used to pour it and pretty much anything else I felt relevant. Then I would write down an analysis of the results and what I thought was producing them.

Now that I know of some different ways people keep art journals, I probably will start keeping on-page notes in my sketchbooks when appropriate. Which of course I primarily do to improve my painting skills.

I think overall it helps to make sure you are practicing with intent. This would be the developmental practice referenced in the last post.

It ensures you are learning from your mistakes and focusing on your areas of weakness. As an added bonus, if you get frustrated or feel like you’re not making progress, you can flip back through your records to see the actual progress you have made.

Sometimes we grow so gradually over time we may not notice the differences until we look back on something we did a while ago.

Of course, the only way for you to get the benefits of keeping an art journal is to start keeping one today!

If you already keep an art journal yourself I’d love to hear your thoughts below on how you have benefited from keeping one.

Why do you do it? How do you do it? Are you trying to keep track of what you’re learning like myself or is it more like the sort of art journal you draw or paint in as an outlet?

Marc Spagnuolo

Hey there! Thanks for reading my article! I'm Marc the creator of this website. I'm a growing artist and web creator seeking to share what I'm learning in the hopes that it helps someone out there like you. I hope you found this information useful. If you're interested in learning more about me and my story click on my name or on my picture!

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