handmade watercolor journal

Watercolor Bullet Journal – Yay or Nay?

Today I’m going to show you my very first attempt to a watercolor bullet journal.

In fact, I’ve never used watercolors in any kind of artwork as well as in a bullet journal.

So if you’re a watercolor bullet journal adept and you want to know:

  • the best bullet journal notebook for watercolor
  • the best watercolor paints, pens, pencils and markers
  • how to watercolor a bullet journal
  • how to use watercolors in a bujo
  • plus some watercolor bullet journal ideas

Then keep reading!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product that I have recommended. It won’t cost you any extra money.

Undoubtedly, I’m a huge advocate of using a bullet journal first and foremost as a productivity tool. On the other hand, now I feel it’s time for a new chapter. It’s time to create some watercolor bullet journal spreads.

Lately, I’ve been intensively exploring my new daily journals. Surprisingly, they turned out to work great. For this reason, creating these basic bullet journal spreads becomes unnecessary.

As you could see in my previous blog posts, my bujo monthlies, weeklies, and collections were super simple. 

Usually, all of these cute doodles, amazing bullet journal fonts, and other decorations get me distracted.

However, I still need a creative outlet. For this reason, now I’m leaning towards creative journal ideas aka art journal.

Watercolor Bullet Journal Supplies

In my opinion, many artistic bullet journalists like to be a little bit over the top, when it comes to bullet journal supplies.

And while we all know that affordable products are recommended for beginners, it so tempted to go on art supplies shopping spree.

For this reason, some of the bullet journal supplies I put below, might be extravagant for you.

In fact, you don’t need to invest in high-end products. 

With this in mind, I tried to find two products for each category on both high- and low-end.

The Best Journal Notebook for Watercolor

One of the main paper features you need to pay attention to is the paper thickness, measured in grams per square meter (gsm).

Among the bleeding and ghosting issues that occur more or less, now you also need to take into consideration how it works with water.

And this is a completely another level when it comes to choosing the best bullet journal notebook for watercolors.

If you’re wondering if any kind of notebook is great for using watercolors, it really depends on your perfectionism.

Since for the most part, you can expect some wrinkles in the paper after painting with them, basically, you have five options:

  • you’re ok with them and then feel free to get any kind of bujo notebook
  • you want to get rid of them but you won’t spend a ton of money on a pricey notebook. In this case, you simply add tissue or paper towels while it’s still a little damp. Then close the notebook and put something heavy on top of it. Generally, it should iron out the paper wrinkles
  • you want to have a full watercolor experience. Hover, you’re still not ready to invest in a thicker, more expensive notebook. Here you can grab some watercolor paper scraps, create amazing artwork, and just glue it into your bujo.
  • also, you may use watercolor pencils
  • last but not least, you get a specific bullet journal notebook with a high gsm that works great with watercolors. Like for instance, Archer& Olive 160 gsm notebook)

No matter what you choose, I’d recommend always making the water test before you use any kind of bullet journal notebook. It’ll save you a ton of ripped pages after being ruined by an excessive amount of water.

The Best Watercolor Paints For a Bullet Journal

Definitely, after making some research, I tell you watercolor paints can be extremely expensive.

But why not start with watercolor paint set designated for kids?

Not only the price is mind-blowing but also most customers find its color to be vibrant, saturated, and well pigmented. 

Crayola 8 Pan Set Washable Watercolors,12 Pack, Kids Indoor Activities At Home
280 Reviews
Crayola 8 Pan Set Washable Watercolors,12 Pack, Kids Indoor Activities At Home
  • WATERCOLOR PAINT SET: Includes 12 8ct Watercolor Paint Sets for kids.
  • AT HOME CRAFTS & INDOOR ACTIVITIES: Keep spirits high with creative art supplies! Simple and fun crafts for kids are a great way to stay thoughtfully engaged and entertained.
  • SQUARE PAINT PANS: These paints contain 2x more paint than the next retail competitor (based on total paint weight).

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

On the other hand, painting with these little, colorful cubes is so much more satisfied. Besides, the price can be pretty easy to swallow. 

At the same time, this set makes working with watercolors in a bullet journal so much easier. Mixing color, getting gradient and amazing ombre effect is a great pleasure. 

Also, the palette is really small. You can easily carry it all day long. 

To sum up, I really love this watercolor set. They work great. Especially when you’re a beginner but still want to go for more professional art supplies.  

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box, Half Pans, 14-Pieces
7,991 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box, Half Pans, 14-Pieces
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours are a range of water colours that are made to our high quality standards but costs are kept to an economical level by replacing some of the more costly pigments with less expensive alternatives
  • Cotman Water Colours possess good transparency, excellent tinting strength and good working properties
  • This popular pocket-sized plastic box features an integral mixing palette in the lid

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Watercolor Brushes

As I mentioned before, I’m a watercolor bullet journal newbie. It’s hard for me to recommend any watercolor brushes.

However, after watching many YouTube tutorials and reading Amazon reviews here’re my two options.

These 10 pieces set come with a variety of tips’ sizes along with a really good price. They’re definitely basic brushes. But to tell the truth, as a beginner you don’t need anything more. Painter snobbism will come later on.

Heartybay 10Pieces Round Pointed Tip Nylon Hair Brush Set, Blue
3,371 Reviews
Heartybay 10Pieces Round Pointed Tip Nylon Hair Brush Set, Blue
  • SUPPORT: Check seller name before purchasing! heartybay products must be sold by "heartybay - Fulfilled by Amazon" or "heartybay". Feel free to contact us at any time 🙂
  • This acrylic artist paint brush set contains 10 sizes: 5/8 8 6 4 5 3 2 2 1 2/0.
  • Length:16.5cm~18.5cm(6.5~7.3 inches)

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Although having a nice set of brushes must be a pleasant experience, getting a set of water brushes was a huge life-saver for me. 

Undoubtedly, I’m a weird combo of artistic messy and lazy bullet journalist.

For this reason, preparing two jars with water every single time I want to practice watercolor painting in my bujo is a big deal. And yes, while it sounds terrible, having a simple water brush allows me to start painting instantly.

They’re so simple to use. All you need to do is to squeeze the reservoir, drip water into paints, and mix it up.

Sale
Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Assorted Tips, 4 Pack Carded (FRHBP4M)
2,548 Reviews
Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Assorted Tips, 4 Pack Carded (FRHBP4M)
  • Easy-to-squeeze barrel and unique valve system allows you to control the flow of water
  • Fill with water or your favorite watercolor paint, ink or diluted acrylic
  • Durable nylon Brush tip holds its point

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Watercolor Pens & Markers For a Bullet Journal

Instead of using watercolor paints, you can easily replace them with brush pens. With water-based ink, you’re able to use watercolor techniques. 

After dipping a tip in water, you create these amazing watercolor effects.

This set comes with 24 watercolor brush pens, two water blending brushes, and a travel case. 

Sale
Crafty Croc Watercolor Paint Brush Pens - Set of 24 Vibrant Water Color Brush Markers with Real Nylon Tips for Watercolor Painting and Hand Lettering- Includes Travel Case and 2 Water Blending Brushes
259 Reviews
Crafty Croc Watercolor Paint Brush Pens - Set of 24 Vibrant Water Color Brush Markers with Real Nylon Tips for Watercolor Painting and Hand Lettering- Includes Travel Case and 2 Water Blending Brushes
  • LIKE WATERCOLOR PAINT BUT BETTER... With 24 vibrant colored pens you have just the right amount of brush pens to cover the full spectrum and have the right color for every occasion. Use one of the two blending brushes to dilute the vibrant colors with water and create a gradient from dark to light. Colors are easily bendable to create as many colors as your heart desires. Create a sfumato effect easily. This Crafty Croc watercolor brush set is a must have addition to your painting supplies.
  • 2 BONUS BLENDING WATER BRUSHES... Why have one when you can have two? One large and one small blending brush for extra precision, are included in this brush pen set. If you love all things water color you will love these blending pens. Use the blending brushes to dilute the paint colors in this set or take it further and use them to spread and smooth colors of watercolor pencils or crayons. They can also be used instead of your watercolor brushes for your current watercolor paint.
  • TOP QUALITY REAL NYLON BRUSH TIPS FOR A NATURAL FEEL... Having a real nylon brush tip feels way better than paint pens and gives the same professional result as quality watercolor brushes. Whether you prefer hand lettering, painting landscapes, or learning calligraphy these brush tip markers are a must add to your art markers collection. The soft supple tip makes these perfect hand lettering pens or for intricate modern calligraphy.

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alternatively, Tombow Dual Brush Pens is one of the most popular bullet journal supplies. I think almost every single bullet journalist recommends them.

Indeed, I love these brush pens for their versatility. Apart from being a great lettering tool and the blending ability, they mimic watercolor effects amazingly. You just use a wet paintbrush on them.

Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers (Bright)
  • Ideal for fine art, brush lettering, faux calligraphy, illustrations, water color illustrations, journaling and more!
  • Set of 9 colors and 1 blender pen, with flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker
  • BRUSH TIP: Durable and flexible nylon fiber brush tip, creates medium or bold strokes by changing brush pressure

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also, Crayola Super tips Markers works great as well.

Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips Markers 50 Color Variety
707 Reviews
Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips Markers 50 Color Variety
  • Crayola Super tips washable marker set having durable
  • Age.Mfg Minimum: 36

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

An entire tutorial on how to watercolor with markers you can find here.

The Best Watercolor Pencils for a Bullet Journal

For those of you, who still don’t feel comfortable using water in a bullet journal notebook, watercolor pencils might be an option. 

Although you still add water, it definitely requires a less amount. As a result, you have more control over color saturation and adding details.

However, personally I’m not a huge fan of watercolor pencils. In my opinion, it requires more patience than paints.

Obviously, I’d recommend getting a basic watercolor set to try this art supply out before you invest in something more professional and expensive.

Faber-Castell Grip Watercolor EcoPencils - 12 Water Color Pencils with Brush
21 Reviews
Faber-Castell Grip Watercolor EcoPencils - 12 Water Color Pencils with Brush
  • 12 WATERCOLOR PENCILS WITH BRUSH - The paint is in the pencil! See your artwork come to life in full vibrant color with Faber-Castell Grip Watercolor EcoPencils! This pencil set features 12 pre-sharpened and pigment-packed watercolor pencils perfect for creating a vibrant watercolor wash. Bonus - This set features a free paint brush!
  • SMOOTH, VIBRANT WATERCOLORS - Highly pigmented for smooth, gorgeous color lay down that is fully water soluble and dissolves instantly with water. Faber-Castell's special formula blends easily and doesn't flake
  • ERGONOMIC WATER COLOR PENCILS - Grip Watercolor Pencils feature a triangular shape and grip dots to give better control. This shape allows you to use the pencil longer without hand fatigue. Bonus - These water colored pencils will not roll off your desk!

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Faber Castell 12 Watercolor Pencils in Tin Box Albrecht Durer Magnus.
19 Reviews
Faber Castell 12 Watercolor Pencils in Tin Box Albrecht Durer Magnus.
  • Albrecht Durer artists' watercolour pencils are extremely versatile
  • Draw, shade, and paint with unsurpassed vibrant color
  • Pigments may dissolve completely and react as classic watercolor paint

Last update on 2020-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Watercolor a Bullet JournalThe Best Watercolor Techniques

The Wet On Wet Technique

In this case, you wet the paper first. Then you put paint onto a paper. This technique allows you to obtain abstract, blurry background.

However, it requires to use a decent amount of water.

For example, even though my bullet journal notebook has thick pages, using the wet on wet technique is risky. Recently, I tried to make a tie-dye effect. In the end result, the pages got wrinkly.

You need to be extra cautious how much water you put on a paper.

The Wet On Dry Technique

It’s a traditional approach to painting. You wet brush, dip into paint and paint on a dry paper.

The Gradated Wash (The Ombré Effect)

Here you use only one color. It goes from dark to light. First, you mix paint with water and start painting. Then you move a wash along, dipping your brush in water. As a result, the paint becomes lighter.

Gradients

Similarly to the gradated wash, here you use more than one color and create a smooth color transition.

How To Watercolor a Bullet Journal with Markers

arches watercolor journal

Also, you’re able to create above watercolor effects by using markers. Grab a ziplock bag, crayola markers or brush pens and a spray bottle.

watercolor in bullet journal
watercolor effect bujo tombow
watercolor background

Now, put some colors onto the bag and spray a little water. Then take the ziplock and put the colored side on the paper. The watercolor background is ready.

How To Use Watercolors in a Bullet Journal

Watercolor Background

watercolor bullet journal ideas

First and foremost, you can put a watercolor background first. Then create your favorite bujo spread.

Watercolor Lettering

Another way to use watercolors in a bullet journal is watercolor lettering. Similar to brush lettering, it’s all about practicing basic up thin and down thick strokes. But this time with watercolors.

If you want to find out more about watercolor lettering, check out the blog post below.

Watercolor Headers

Apart from using watercolors for bullet journal lettering, you can create simple headers backgrounds for bullet journal titles, banners, or dates.

Watercolor Doodles

Finally, decorate your bullet journal spreads with watercolor doodles or more complex masterpieces.

Watercolor Bullet Journal Ideas

Watercolor Bullet Journal – Final Thoughts

As you can see, adding some watercolor touches to your bullet journal spreads is so much fun. 

Definitely, painting with watercolor can become pretty quick very messy. It’s called the most difficult painting technique for a reason. If you want to become a great watercolor artist, it requires years of regular practice and hard work.

However, you can’t deny how therapeutic and calming it’s to slowly create simple watercolor doodles or lettering pieces in your notebook.

Obviously, you can see at a glance that I’ve just started experimenting with watercolors in my journal.

But for me at least:

  • jazzing up the pages of my bullet journal,
  • unleashing my creativity
  • creating content for this blog
  • calming my racing thoughts

at the same time add value in itself.

So grab your bullet journal notebook, some paints, brush, and watercolor with me.

What’s Next? Discover Other Bullet Journal Inspiration:

150+ Bullet Journal Monthly Cover Ideas [2020 New Edition]

Summer Bullet Journal Ideas [2020 Edition]

Fall Bullet Journal Theme Ideas [2020 Update]

watercolor bullet journal
art journal pages watercolor

Watercolor Bullet Journal