Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks by Lynne Perella

By | 19 December 08


If you are someone who is intimidated by startling, innovative art journaling techniques, this rich, juicy book may overwhelm you. This is an idea book more than a step-by-step guide for beginning book artists.

Since my approach to paper art is often, “When all else fails, read the directions,” this is one of my favorite reference books. However, I also understand why many of my students feel that it is strictly for advanced artists.

If you are an artist who learns visually and would prefer to have more pictures and less text in an art reference book, you’ll probably love this book.

On the other hand, if you are someone who stares at completed work and wonders how they did that, you may prefer a different book.

If I could own only three books about art journaling, this would probably be one of them. I am endlessly inspired by the many lavish photos in this book.

While the focus is generally on paper arts, the approach is more aligned with mixed media techniques. Some of the featured projects include found object art, fabric art, decorative metal work, and truly extraordinary art.

Depending upon your learning mode, this book will either be one of your favorites or a book that you put aside to enjoy when you are more confident about exploring new materials, media, and techniques on your own.

PROS: Rich, colorful, highly inspiring illustrations covering a wide range of art journaling techniques. From textiles to aluminum foil to cigar boxes, you’ll find a wealth of ideas in over 125 glossy, full-color pages.

CONS: Weak instructions rely on readers’ experience/intuition–or perhaps daring–to achieve similar results. If you prefer to learn from specific, step-by-step instruction, you probably won’t like this book.

That said, if you buy this book and are disappointed in it, put it aside and look at it again in a few months. It will probably become one of your favorite reference books.


  • Juicy, vivid artwork by many talented artists
  • Light on how-to, but rich with illustrations
  • Fabulous inspiration & ideas for experienced artists
  • [rating:4/5]

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