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A friend of mine recently showed me how she had been using watercolours in her bullet journal. Honestly I thought that is too hard for me and left it for a couple of months, but I kept seeing how people where using watercolours in their bullet journals. So here I go trying watercolours in my bullet journal, with the help of many blog posts and videos, and you get to see the results in this post.
I started off this post thinking that there was no need for fancy expensive tools for watercolours, but over the week I have discovered that you do need to have decent paints if you are going to write over the top of the paint. The paints I started with came from Aliexpress and made the page chalky and my fountain pens had a hard time writing over the paint. The bullet journals I used where a Rhodia Goalbook and a Nuuna Notebook.
I recommend the following tools to start:
- Winsor & Newton watercolours
- A set of watercolor brushes. A large round one for backgrounds and a couple of smaller ones for detail.
- Two cups of water – One to wash your brush in and the other cleaner water to add to the paints.
- A plate of something else flat to mix your paints on.
- Washi or masking tape to tape the edges of your paper if you want clean lines.
- A couple of rags for wiping up.
- Some paper towel for blotting paint off your page for a textured effect.
Watercolour Bujo Inspiration
I have to have inspiration when I am starting a new project, so I usually start with Instagram and Pinterest and then move on to some of my favourite sites. Little Coffee Fox, Tiny Ray of Sunshine and Boho Berry.
Online Resources for Watercoloring in your Bullet Journal
While searching for tips and tricks for using watercolour in my bullet journal I’ve come across a lot of useful stuff. I’ve saved a lot of it to my Pinterest board ‘Bullet Journal Decorating‘. I also found myself going back to a post by Elizabeth Journals a lot. 30 Gorgeous Watercolor Bullet Journal Layout Ideas. Its just pictures to take inspiration from but I found it very helpful. Another very useful blog for bullet journal watercolours is Little Coffee Fox. They have a lot of posts about watercolour techniques and using them in your bujo.
Examples of Watercolour in My Bullet Journal
This first spread is my favourite from my week of watercolour bullet journaling. The colours turned out very vivid, though I like the cloud on the left page for it’s colour contrast better than the one on the right that just looks like a blob in my opinion.
To create these clouds I started with a dry page and my water brush pen. I loaded the brush up with colour and drew smallish circles in a cloud shape with a blue colour and a purple colour alternating. Why the clouds turned out different is because I used less water in creating the cloud on the right than I did on the left. I’ve found that if I use more water and less paint in blending colours I get more colour variation.
These circles don’t actually look as unblended in real life that they do in this photo. I’m just happy to be able to paint a circle at this stage. I have used this page as any other bullet journal page and written over the top of the paint. I really need to learn to blend better though, as I was scared that I would rub a hole in the paper.
I really like the colours in this daily view. I just got my water brush pen and squiggled it across a dry page from the left and another colour from the right. Now they are headers for my business bujo.
Here is another example of a watercolour header. With this one I started with a dry page and squiggled the paint brush half way across the page with one colour and blended it in the middle with the other colour.
With the bullet journal page above I taped all 4 sided with washi and then painted a line around the edges of the page with a blue wash. The flower turned out better than I thought it would and was done with a size 4 rounded brush.
What I’ve learned
I have learned a lot about watercolours and bullet journaling this week. My first lesson would have to be, it isn’t as easy as it looks but it is easy to learn the basics with all the resources online. I didn’t really know anything about watercolours when I started but I have some basic skills now that I can build on and get better.
Bullet Journal Notebooks:
- Rhodia Goalbook comes set up for bullet journaling and is fountain pen friendly
- Official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 built for bullet journaling by the creator
- Nuuna I love the funky covers on these books
- Mumsy and Bub – This company makes beautiful vegan travelers notebooks. I have 3 of them 2 A5 and 1 B6 sized.
- Staedtler triplus fineliners I have these in the 36 pack and love them
- Zebra Mildliner Brush Pens
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens
- Pilot Metropolitan (MR3) fountain pen A great beginners fountain pen
- Lamy Safari fountain pen I’m a little obsessed with these pens, they are great and write amazingly
- Diamine Shimmer inks I love these inks shimmer and non shimmer alike
- Faber-Castell pitt artist pens
- Crayola supertips Great for highlighting, colouring and faux calligraphy