When I was in school my Sketchbook was my life.  It held my drawings, my notes, my schedule – everything.  It was the height of convenience, though I will admit it wasn’t well organized.  I don’t carry around a sketchbook in the same way anymore; I do most of my drawing and painting at home these days.

Enter the Bullet Journal!

The Bullet Journal isn’t a specific book – it’s an organizational journaling system that can work in any book!  It’s a pretty basic layout – an Index Page, a Future Log, a Monthly Log, and anything else you need. It’s perfect for me: I can have my schedule, plus space to journal, write notes, draft knitting and quilting patterns, and doodle ideas.

I use one of our Leuchtturm1917 Dot Notebooks for my Bullet Journal.  It’s great because it already has an Index and numbered pages!  The Leuchtturm notebook’s have a high quality paper that is great for ink.  You can even use a fountain pen in them.  They also come in a wide range of colours and layouts – ruled, plain, grid and dot.  The Leuchtturm Notebooks are the most popular books for Bullet Journaling, but any notebook that you love can become your Bullet Journal.

Once you get started, the sky is the limit!  You can keep your Bullet Journal simple, or you can jazz it up with coloured pens and pencils, washi tape and stickers!  My favourite pens for my Bullet Journal are the Sakura Gel Pens, Le Pens, Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and Stabilo 88s.

If you’re interested in Bullet Journaling you can get more information at http://bulletjournal.com/, then come in and pick up your Journal!

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by Rachel Forster

Mediums open up a whole world of exciting possibilities for the watercolour artist who wants to experiment.  Here’s a list of some that I have used to achieve very satisfying results.

MASKING FLUID:  This pigmented liquid latex “masks” or protects areas of the page that are to remain paint-free, and is rubbed off once the painting is dry.  Apply with an inexpensive or old brush, because it tends to get stuck between bristles unless it’s washed right away.  I prefer to use a silicone tipped tool because the the masking fluid peels right off!

GUM ARABIC:  This traditional watercolour binder improves gloss and transparency, slows drying, and reduces staining.  When diluted and brushed onto the page before painting, it aids in lifting.  However, if used in excess it tends to dry brittle, so Lifting Preparation is preferred for this purpose.

IRIDESCENT MEDIUM:  Best with transparent colours or used on a dark background, this adds shimmer to the paint.  On it’s own it yields a dramatic pearlescent effect.

GRANULATING MEDIUM:  Some pigments are already considered granular.  Using this substance mixed with watercolours adds or increases a mottled finish.

TEXTURE MEDIUM:  With a similar consistency of applesauce, but containing fine particles, this is brushed on the paper and added to paint to produce texture and depth.

OX GALL:  Added to the pot of water, this liquid improves flow, slows drying, and is excellent for hand lettering.  It also has the function of making the painting surface more receptive to paint when brushed on beforehand.

ABSORBENT GROUNDS:  Yes, it is possible to paint on almost any surface (i.e. canvas and wood) that wouldn’t normally accept watercolour once this compound has been applied.  It is available in various textures, as well as in self-leveling and light-molding versions.

As you can see from this brief overview, mediums are a great way to add new dimensions to your art.  If you need advice, visit any of our three locations.  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff would love to assist you.

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