Using Your Studio Journal – Part One

I use my studio journal for lots of different things and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing how I use it. I discussed some of the different uses in my last post so I thought I’d show you a bunch of different examples.


Practice your lettering and fonts.


Make a color wheel with paint, colored pencils or markers.


Here’s another example of when I got new markers and pencils.


This was a fun exercise. I used walnut ink and then tried marking with a variety of things such as a twig, a feather, a sharp rock and whatever else I could find around the house. It makes you realize that you can make marks with anything, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a pencil or paint brush.


Document useful information that you find online. This is about using a value scale.


Make little squares and then fill them up. The ones on the left are just doodles. the ones on the right are a study of values.


Record useful information you find in library books. This is more information about design and value studies.


Play with left over paint or dye. Whenever I have any color left over, I put it in my journal. Sometimes I just paint the page and then use that as a background. Other times, I leave the paint as a color study.


Glue down rice paper in a different size pieces, let dry and then paint.

There are more ideas coming next week. Do you know of any fun “exercises” to try in your journal? I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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12 Responses to Using Your Studio Journal – Part One

  1. This is a brilliant idea. In fact, I am trying to put together a design class that I can teach. Making these journals would be a perfect way to teach this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. kteet says:

    I like to have pages in my journal that are collages of pictures I have collected or printed out. I then use small sticker labels stuck over top to make notes. Sometimes I do pages with pictures of my own work with my thoughts written on the sticker labels. I do my own sketches too, but these sort of brain-storming collage pages add a punch of colour and interest.

  3. ali says:

    very inspirational, thanks,ali

  4. It looks like you really have fun in your journal Ruth.

    • ruthlane says:

      At first it seems like a chore but then once you get started, it is a lot of fun. And because you’re just playing around, a lot of good ideas come out of it.

  5. Lyn says:

    Your journal is lovely Ruth, and I agree that lots of ideas could come from looking back in it or by writing in it.

  6. zedster66 says:

    I have used my notebooks in a similar way in the past, but they’ve never looked this good! I think I’ll have to get a few cheap notebooks with plain paper, all mine are lined. Great ideas, Ruth 🙂

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