Here’s the Scoop on Supplies!

Here is a supply list and you can print off as PDF if you would like to. There is another PDF with Notes on Acrylic Paints, and one on How to Make a Simple Journal from a Sheet of Watercolor Paper. Click on the links below for PDF versions. The links are also found in the right sidebar.


Gratitude detail

I’ve divided the supply list up into two sections. The first section includes supplies you will need if you are making your own journal out of watercolor paper. You can use any smooth paper that will work with water media.  I like to order from Blick. The second section includes the rest of the supply list with the watercolor journal being listed first. Then after that there are some notes on white and metallic pens. You’ll notice some of the pens are optional. Do not feel you have to go out and buy a ton of new white or metallic pens. You can experiment with the ones you have and look through the info I have and then make a good decision. I’ve found there are new pens coming out all the time and when you find what works for you, it is great!

Journal Making Supplies
If you are making a journal out of watercolor paper you will need: 

Supplies for making journal

  • 1 full Sheet of Watercolor Paper 22″ x 30″: Fabriano 140 lb, hot press (each sheet makes one 8”x10” journal)
  • Metal Ruler preferably with a cork back
  • Bone Folder (the side of a pair of scissors will work, but the bone folder is much better)
  • Push pin or awl for making holes in journal
  • Button or carpet thread, or bookbinding thread
  • Needle with a big enough eye for heavy thread to go through
  • Pencil
  • 2 Clips for holding pages in place while sewing (optional)

Here is a photo of all the supplies  to letter and doodle in your journal. Please refer to the supply list and notes below in this lesson for more detailed descriptions and options. The supplies for each individual lesson are listed in the individual lesson pages:

supply photo for Lettering -Doodling Hope

Below is the list of what you will need (including the supplies to make journal) for Lettering & Doodling Hope supplies. You can also print off the pdf in the link above the supply video.

Art Supplies:

  • Journal Pages of watercolor paper to doodle and write on
  • Pencil
  • Eraser –  kneaded eraser and/or white eraser suggested
  • Permanent drawing/writing pens, preferably in a few various widths, such as FaberCastell Pitt Pens (fineliner set which includes sizes XS, S, F, M) or Copic Fine Nib Inking Pens set which includes sizes 0.3, 0.1, 0.05, 0.03. Microns may work too, but tend to smear when writing over layers of acrylic medium or paint, so they aren’t my first choice.
  • Shades of Gray Pitt Brush pens. I have a set of six, but it is not necessary to have that many. The ones I use most are the two lightest of either the cold greys (Cold Grey IV 233 and Cold Grey III 232) or the warm greys (Warm Grey IV 273 and Warm Grey III 272)
  • White permanent pen for fixing mistakes, such as Painters Pen, fine tip, paint marker by Elmer’s, OR ACRYLIC water based paint marker/Extra fine by Montana Markers, OR BIC Wite-Out Correction Pen. See note below photo of white pens for more info
  • White Gelly Roll Pen (optional) or your favorite white pen for writing on dark backgrounds
  • Metallic Pens (optional) Sometimes I like to use metallic pens, but they are totally optional. The ones I’ve found to be permanent are Sanford Gold Coat Slim Tip, Sharpie Gold, Silver & Bronze Permanent Markers, and Painter’s Gold Leafing Pen. See note below photo of Metallic Pens for more info.
  • Paints: At least 5 Colors Acrylic Paint, preferably Golden brand fluid acrylic paints not counting white or black in colors you would like to use in your journal. Titanium White Fluid Acrylic Paint.You will get more vibrant results if at least three of these are transparent colors. I like to add metallic Gold to the illuminated letters. I usually use Golden’s Iridescent Bright Gold (fine). Also you want to use Titanium white and a Black too. See my notes on paints in the PDF link listed above.
  • Brushes: Any acrylic or mixed media brushes should work. For the more refined work we do in this class you may want: one small round brush and one medium round that comes to a good point, one flat brush about 1/2″ (optional), and one 1-2” inexpensive flat or filbert brush for spreading matte medium. Any favorite brushes you like. Do not buy the black watercolor brushes, they are too floppy for what we do in this class.
  • Acrylic Matte Medium
  • Stencil/s with shape you would like to write in. I demonstrate using an oval stencil and paint the shape in with gesso.
  • Spray Fixative for spraying over white written words (optional)
  • Graph/Grid Paper or journal (optional) for practicing letters and words on your own
  • Palette/s – may use paper plates or plastic lids etc.
  • Protective covering for table
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (optional) for removing acrylic paint
  • Water container and Water
  • Paper towels
  • Piece of chalk or charcoal

Notes & Photos of Pens:

Lettering illumination supply list

Above are the basic pens and materials I use. NOTE the OR for the pens,
either the FaberCastell Pitt Pens or the Copic Permanent Markers

white pens for correction photo

You only need one pen, but I thought I would show these three as good options. The Elmer’s Painters Pen, #1, is the one I’ve used the most. I purchased #2 recently as a new product from our local Blick store and have been quite happy with it. I prefer one of these two because they also write words fairly well if I go at a slower pace, which seems to be the case with all the white pens I’ve tried. When I am correcting a mistake, it required 2-4 coats of the pen to cover the black ink, which is a bit of a downside. #3 is the most opaque white, so it makes it good for corrections with less layers, but I have found it harder to control so I do not choose it to write with. As far as writing with white pen, the Gelly Roll by Sakura was my first and still my favorite. It is not permanent though, so it requires spraying over the white writing/doodling with a fixative before  putting any wet media over it.

Metallic Pens photo

Using metallic pens in your journal is totally optional. If you do, here are pens I’ve found to be permanent, not smearing when water media and acrylic medium is brushed on top of them. The gold leaf pen is quite gold, but the fumes are very strong. If you are sensitive to that, I would avoid that pen. You’ll watch me experiment in the video with some metallic pens, finding what doesn’t work as well as what does. Even though the Metallic Pitt pens say they are permanent, they are not.

  1. Lisa

    Hi Valerie,

    I’m a little confused about all the various mediums art journalers use – do you use a liquid matte medium or a gel? In the videos it looks very liquid but it’s in the same containers as the gel, so I wanted to be sure I got the kind that works best for these techniques.

    Thank you!

    • I use liquid/fluid matte medium for the techniques in this journal. In the U.S. it is called matte medium. The container you see in the video is the container it came in. I hope that clarifies it for you.

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