Here are my ride-or-die, ultimate favorite essential art journaling supplies. Three journals, three black pens and three art supplies – each with my main pros and cons so you can better tell if these would suit your tastes.

PS. They are listed in order with my most favorite first.

(And yes, I have pictured more than three of each thing – but that’s ’cause I can’t help myself and photographing art journal stuff makes my heart swell. So please bear with me and check out the links if you want to see a specific item. Thanks!)

The Art Journaling Trifecta | My Favorite Journals, Black Pens and Embellishments

Favorite journals

Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook – Large

  • Pros: Beautifully bound leather notebook. Lots and lots of semi-thick pages.
  • Cons: Cream-colored paper – I prefer white. Paper is a tiny bit water-resistant. You can definitely watercolor on it (I do it all the time) but it won’t soak into the paper super fast like it would on watercolor paper.
  • Check out the Moleskine Sketchbook

Moleskine Sketch Album – Pocket

  • Pros: Smaller and less intimidating for a newbie. Perforated pages for easy removal.
  • Cons: Same exact paper as above so it’s also cream pages, not my preferred white. Also a tiny bit water-resistant.
  • Check out the Moleskine Sketch Album

Clairefontaine Paint On paper pad

  • Pros: Suitable for all types of media. Very hard to bleed through. Lots of papers in one pad. Comes in White or Natural (kraft).
  • Cons: Not a ready-made album – you’ll have to make it yourself. I punched holes in mine and stuck ’em in my A5 Kikki K. binder. Easy!
  • Check out the Clairefontaine Paint On paper pad

Special honorary mention to my Sodalicious journals that seem to have been discontinued and are nowhere to be found online. They’re my most used journal. Perfect white pages, thick and absorbant. Great for mixed media.

The Art Journaling Trifecta | My Favorite Journals, Black Pens and Embellishments

Favorite black pens

Mitsubishi Uni-Ball Eye Micro

Mitsubishi Uni-Pin Fine Line

  • Pros: Waterproof and beautifully black. Comes in many awesome, super skinny thicknesses.
  • Cons: Tip tends to get smooshed if you’re rough with it.
  • Check out the Uni-Pin Fine Line

Tombow Dual Brush Pen

  • Pros: Super juicy. Dual-ended with the best brush pen I’ve tried and a fine marker tip.
  • Cons: It frayed and dried out a bit after my kid used it a few times (vigorously). Before that it held up perfectly.
  • Check out the Tombow Dual Brush Pen

The Art Journaling Trifecta | My Favorite Journals, Black Pens and Embellishments

Favorite art supplies

Get Messy – Prompts and inspiration club

  • Pros: The friendliest community you’ll ever find – it’s a closed, paid community so there are zero trolls. No judgement, only love. Puts a creative fire under your butt whether you’re a newb or an experienced art journaler.
  • Cons: Can’t think of any!
  • Check out the Get Messy Art Journaling community. They have different membership options to fit whatever you’re ready for. I recommend trying out the Month by Month sub – it’s the most affordable way to get in on the best stuff.

Winsor & Newton 12 Half Pan Watercolor Set

The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils

I hope you enjoyed this quick and dirty overview of my absolute favorite tools for art journaling. Sometimes when you’re new to a craft you feel like you need every tool, every supply – you don’t! I’d even go as far as to say that you don’t need anything but a journal and a pen.

Have lots of fun creating. Please share your favorite art journaling supplies in the comments. :) And if you aren’t art journaling I’d love to know how you prefer to get messy.

Have a great day!

xo Nina