3 Most Common Art Journal Questions I Get ALL The Time


Every time I post a photo of my art journal over on Instagram I am swarmed with messages from lovely artists asking me three common questions:

  1. Do you prep your pages?
  2. Do you use fixative on your pages?
  3. What kind of paint do you use in those little jars?

So I thought I would answer these questions here on the ol’ blog as well.

Do you prep your pages?

No. I NEVER prep my pages.

Meaning, I never apply a layer of gesso, gel medium, or some type of primer to my pages before painting on them. Instead I just go for it!

But I do always choose substrates that I know can handle all the paint love I pour at it.

For me, art journaling is about being immediate and in the present moment. Prepping my pages would add an extra step and take all the fun out of it.

Do you use fixative on your pages?

One of my absolute must-have art supplies is oil pastels. I’ve been using these sticks-of-hunka-hunka-love ever since I was a kiddo and yes, using them in my art journal can make the pages a bit messy over time. But no, I never use fixative on my art journal pages to prevent that.

Instead, once I’m finished with a piece I immediately take a photo of it and hope for the best.

What kind of paint do you use in those little jars?

This is probably the most common question I get ALLLLLL the time!

My favorite brand of paint is made by Politec. It is sold in Mexico and other Latin American countries. I’ve been told you can purchase it online on Amazon too — but it’s quite a bit more pricey to do so.

For the last four years I’ve been going to Oaxaca, Mexico twice a year to teach my Paint FEARLESS Mexico retreats and I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing home a suitcase of these babies home with me each time.

I love this paint because it’s super matte. When my students come to my retreat I always take them to the amazing Frida Kahlo art store to load up! Some students go gaga over this paint like me, others hate it.

Because Politec paint is so matte and chalky, it takes a little getting used to if all you’re used to is more fluid or glossy paints.

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Or CLICK HERE to check out my Q&A series.

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