Since this is an advanced nature journaling course, there is a good chance you'll only need to buy a few supplies. Check out the list, see what you have, what you need, and perhaps what you simply want to get and you'll be set. By now you are probably starting to have a feel for what supplies and media are your favorites.
I've also included a few optional supplies that you may have some fun experimenting with. These are supplies that I have either been playing around with lately or are needed for a bonus tutorial. In week 4 I have a super awesome surprise bonus headed your way!
(I'm not in any way compensated by any supply companies I recommend. I just like them from personal experience.)
As far as your actual journal, you may want to start a new one and designate it for this month, or maybe not. The size journal you work in is totally up to you. I'll be working (bigger than I normally do to mix things up) in a 9x12 Canson brand Mix Media spiral bound book, but feel free to choose whatever size and style journal you like.
I do recommend that you choose a journal with paper suitable for handling watercolor paint. The paper in the book I'm using is 98 lb and is suitable for acrylic paint, watercolor, pen, and pencil.
As I mentio in Draw Yourself Back to Nature, I also really like the Pentalic Nature Sketch Pad. It comes in 2 sizes and is a great mix media journal that handles paint, pencil, and pen very well, plus a percentage of the sales of each book are donated to the American Wildlife Foundation which is perfect for a nature journal. Additionally, it has soft white pages rather than bright white, which I think looks great with nature imagery.
You also may have a few supplies in mind you'd like to experiment with, use this course as an excuse to get them and explore,then share your experience with us in the group. If there is a supply you are curious about, but don't know how to use or want to lean more about, just ask me and I will share my experience with it or, if I don't have experience, point you to a resource who does.
Watercolor paint - Either tube or pan is fine, whatever you like best or already have, and you can always combine the two if you like as well!
If your set doesn't include a tube of white get one separately. We'll use it in a dry brush technique. Or if you already have a high quality acrylic white that will work too!
Gouache - (Pronounced gwash) This is a very rich and saturated water based paint that comes in tubes similar to watercolor paint but a little bigger. It mixes well with watercolor paint. Get a basic set of 12 tubes and if you like you can supplement with some extra special colors that you love with individual tubes. Gouache can very in price drastically so i recommend a set such as the Reeves set of 12 because it is very reasonably priced.
Outliner pens are great fun. I use the Sakura Pigma Micron pens. The come in lots of colors if you want to experiment, but I will be using black in sizes 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, & 08. You can buy these sizes as a complete set or individually.
I use everything from regular old school pencils, to average mechanical pencils to specific drawing pencils. It just depends!
The drawing pencils I use are the Prismacolor Turquiose line in hardnesses H, HB, & 2B most often. (Confusing name because they don't write turquoise, but the wood is painted that color.)
Whether you choose special drawing or the pencils you have around the house, but get yourself a good eraser. I like the Staedler plastic white eraser, but kneaded erasers are good too.
Prisma Color pencils are what I use and blend the very best, in my opinion, but they are expensive. If you can get even a small set or watch for a sale you will love them. If not, it's all about what kind of fun you have making art, so get the pencils that fit your needs. Derwent pencils are also really great.
A water container
A tote bag for taking your journaling out into the field
Check out this blog post on packing a field bag if you haven't before. I have lots of ideas and a packing list for making art in nature.
Bombay Black India Ink- this is how I outline my official illustrations. Use it in place of Pigma Micron pens for a painterly feel in your outlines or for painting very black blacks. This ink is permanent and is basically what is inside the Pigma Micron pens. This could be fun to experiment with if you like outlines.
I like Le Pen for purely the fantastic colors and quick doodley quality.
Lately I have been having fun with the Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens too. These are great combined as an under layer for colored pencils. They come in a set or individuals. I won't be using these in the tutorials, but will be using them in my weekly exercises and daily thumbnails.
I also am liking the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pen white 101. It is white india ink. This pen is fun for adding highlights to sketches made with pen and marker. It can be used in the same was as the dry brush white watercolor or acrylic paint.
I don't use it in the tutorial, but I also really like silver gouache. You may want to get a tube(s) of shimmery color gouache paint for fun to use in the gouache play week 3 challenge.
This is what you will need for the bonus tutorial.
Depending on the size paper you choose, it costs about $5-$20 us. Outside the states I'm not sure the price, but it originated in England, so those of you in the UK can maybe get it even cheaper!
Cyanotype is a historical photographic process on which I focused my undergraduate BFA. It is a form of contact printing using photo sensitive iron based chemicals that print cyan, or blue.
The process is wonderfully simple and complex all at the same time. That's what makes it so approachable for everyone from kids to scientists to fine artists and fine art photographers.
Cyanotype has been popular with botanical artists for centuries, literally, and so has stayed easy to find in the form of non-toxic pre-coated Sun Print paper.
You may be able to find this paper at a local art store, nature store, botanical garden gift shop, or you can order online here from sunprints.org or from natureprintpaper.com or from a link you already know about or find in a search! There are lots out there.
You will need at least 1 pack of 12 sheets.
You will also need a very firm piece of cardboard or thin plywood and ideally a piece of clear glass or sheet of acrylic overlay slightly larger than your paper, but no larger than your piece of cardboard or wood. I use glass.
The Sun Print kit comes with the acrylic overlay, but a piece of clear glass is really cheap at the hardware store too. If you use glass, just be sure to tape up the sides so you don't cut yourself!!
We will be taking our prints a step further than just the basic print, so if you have tried these before, don't dismay. I have a few tricks of the trade up my sleeve for you!
Print off your shopping list below!