Therapeutic Art Journaling A Guided Workshop for Beginners | Ashley Coxwell | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Therapeutic Art Journaling A Guided Workshop for Beginners

teacher avatar Ashley Coxwell

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Class Overview

    • 2. What is a Therapeutic Art Journal?

    • 3. Making Pages for Your Art Journal

    • 4. Binding the Pages

    • 5. Finding Inspiration

    • 6. Setting the Intention

    • 7. Adding Textured Paper

    • 8. Adding Paint

    • 9. Adding Found Paper

    • 10. Making Marks

    • 11. Adding Your Quote

    • 12. Putting it all Together

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Discover Your Inner Artist
Therapeutic Art Journaling
A Guided Workshop for Beginners

Start your new art journaling habit.
RECORD your thoughts,
DEVELOP your dreams,
PROCESS stress

Therapeutic Art Journaling only requires openness.
You do NOT need to be an artist!
Art Journaling is about EXPRESSION.
The process will help you GROW YOUR CREATIVE SIDE
This guided workshop is for EVERYONE.

Discover the basics of Art Journaling
Learn how the process can be Therapeutic
Identify your Creative insights
Bury any Perfectionist tendencies
Own your own style



Ashley is an elementary school art teacher and professional graphic designer.

She has a personal philosophy to begin all art with intention.

Ashley uses her experience in art theory and studies of therapeutic art to unlock the magic of creating. She has led journaling camps, paint parties, and private home crafting workshops.

Meet Your Teacher

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Class Overview: in this class. We're gonna make this therapeutic art journal using layers of papers, found objects, paint, pastels and more. 2. What is a Therapeutic Art Journal?: a therapeutic art journal simply an art journal that you used to document your life. Events, feelings, thoughts. It's a great way to help process emotions and events of your life that sometimes words just don't express. They're my therapeutic art journal has helped me through a lot of tough times. Sometimes I don't know what to write. I don't know what to say, but a song or a poem or a splotch of pain is exactly what I need to express that emotion or that thought. Help me process what has just happened. So today we're gonna be making a therapeutic art journal. We're gonna use cardboard shipboard material, assortment of papers, and it brings to bind it together. We also have page all sorts of quotes on creativity that we will use on a cover as an instant reminder about being creative 3. Making Pages for Your Art Journal: so we're gonna start out with our chipboard. This package came from Michael's is 40 point chipboard, and it's basically like a thin cardboard that is thicker than poster board. But it is not a stick is regular cardboard. You can also grab heart order from here. Amazon boxes or what? Using carbon running, cutting it down Teoh to the right size for my journal. I have it a little bit smaller with 46 pages. But today we're gonna dio 8.5 by 11 Cheat cut in half so that it's a more standard size. These chip boards come in 1/2 by 11 and we're gonna start cutting. I've got a handy dandy paper cutter, but you don't have to use a paper cutter. Yeah, just make it quick and easy to do that. Okay, way. Want to paper? Next? I'm gonna cut down my papers, Teoh from the 18 half by 11 half sheet size. So I've got some playing copy paper use. It's really thin compared to the other papers that will use. But whenever we use my carnage or Joe medium with other papers on top of it sort of melts and becomes all the way through. It becomes one big paper instead. So you're gonna go and cutting through a bunch copy paper. So just size also got so watercolor paper, one of colored paper. Uh, take a few sheets of this and cut it down. Watercolor papers is much thicker than regular paper, and it has a texture grass home to glue and paint perfectly. I just my paper cutter again. Five. What is the line that we're cutting off? Maybe your cross right now. Most. Do you have a paper cutter with adult light? That's okay. Our paper is a little bit jagged like that. It's not perfect. It's not perfectly straight lines. Pages are, and that's awesome thing. This is handmade. It's not bought from a store and made by machine. It is perfectly hours and perfectly meeting us. I've been helping is okay to talk about school. Also elementary school teacher. We're making our journals, the Cancer center, frustrated that they just don't line up perfectly. I tell them again and again. It doesn't have to be perfect. We're not robots. We are no machines. We are individuals and were creative. And I cut this down to 8.5, and it's really needs to see you start to get that. And whenever we have creates problem solving times, they're remind such creative things ways adults do the same. One of our boats are boats Page that we will be referencing and you can Teoh cut up and included in your mixed media journal one of the quotes on There's From Picasso. He said that every child is an artist and the problem is as we grow up remaining an artist as we become an adult creativity, these deluded down the wife being a grown up. 4. Binding the Pages: All right, So next we're gonna add our rings. These right here are two inch book rings. You can order these on Amazon or purchase them from your office Supply store Crafts words may have him as well, and they come in different sizes. I have this size so that whenever you have a big stack of papers, it holds it really well. It has a class part here. Take pages out on put pages in and snow comes back. So what we're gonna do is go ahead and add Aries. So it's just a simple as threatening papers through the hole. It doesn't matter what Order your papers, your stick them on green like this. And at the cover. It's close. Right now. We have a lot of extra space, but we're just getting started. Hopefully, by the time you get going in this, it's gonna be filled up really quick. Just holes. It's that because there we go 5. Finding Inspiration: All right. So we have our therapeutic art journal right here. Here we go. Now that we have put together and let's take it apart so that we can begin Teoh Mixed Media , decorate our cover Snap Society and I ready, Teoh. Great! My cover like this is the pinnacle downloadable. Most of quotes on creativity that I found. I'm just gonna pick one of these and cut it out as my inspiration for my cover. Um, let's see. I should have. Okay, so I'm gonna pick this quote right here by Kurt Vonnegut. I don't know if I said his name right, but it says to practice any arm, no matter how well or badly is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. And that's a great reminder to me, because it's so easy when things get busy and get stressed out. Teoh not make our Teoh find a way. Teoh make up excuses for not using my art journal. And, um especially when it whenever I feel insecure that you know, I can't draw really well or I can't do this or that. Really? Well, in my art journal looks so much different. Anyone else's um, it's easy to make excuses, but it's good that my art journal is different because it is different. It's mine. So no matter how badly I draw or create in my art journal, it's for me. And the creative process itself is healing. So this quote is really special to me. So this is the one I'm gonna use on my cover. 6. Setting the Intention: So now that I've chosen my quote before I do anything else I'm going. Teoh said the intention of my cover whenever I'm making art, I always like to begin by setting an intention. It is a way me putting my heart into my work. So what we're gonna do is I'm gonna take a piece of vine charcoal. It's really lightweight than charcoal. It smears really easily. And I'm just gonna like the word cream A really big and I'm gonna add some extra curls swirled. Fill my page. Then I'm gonna set my intention in because it's very smearing. See if you can see how that smears with Cem March March, and do you use my brush in it and trace over the top of it with this glue said he's a that will use again later for papers probably, um, and just trace over my words. And as I'm doing that, I'm just thinking about the work create and what that means to me. I'm thinking about the creative process and how the act of putting pen to paper how using a paintbrush to make smeary lines is their pubic. How the actual process of doing this is helping my soul. It's feeding my soul, and I hope that you find your way too. Feed your soul using creativity and your therapeutic are journal. So now I have a set and I'm going Teoh, speed it up and dry it really quick and I'll be right back. 7. Adding Textured Paper: all right now that I have my intention and my cover with work create animal swirly. It's semi drive a little bit, a little bit wet, but that's OK. The cool thing about the market podge is it. Give some texture that we can you work with. It might show up again later. Uh, we'll see how this turns out. So with using some paper, he says this the thing about papers ISS. It's not so much the color because we can always paint over it. But the texture and that's what makes me excited about mixed media is the textures. So I chose these papers here that have, um, nice texture and I just into pieces. Where did you get those papers? Thes papers were from a scrap pack at Wal Mart. In a craft section, you can find scratches paper with textures on different colors at your local craft stores. But I was excited to find this pack. It had a great assortment of different types of papers and different textures that we're really well for what we're doing now. This paper that I chose has stitching, which is really great, but it's not allow me to return it. So I'm gonna use my scissors for this. But I would say don't use your scissors. Just hear it so that it has that nice edge to it. Um, it's okay if I cover my goals because I can always re punch those. It's good. Teoh use little pieces, big pieces. You don't have to think a whole lot about what you're doing with it. Just the paper, and I'm gonna go back and use Hodge again for this. You can also use a Joe Media, so I'm just gonna This paper is pretty big, so I'm gonna paint the back of it with the model lodge, and I'm gonna pain the board that I'm gonna stick it onto you so that it's almost melts into the surface of the board becomes part of it. So I'm putting this. I'm pretty thick and clocky gloopy. That is perfectly good, because we wanted to have that. The texture, that life that it has, that it's not just a clean cut. A piece of paper flew down. It's alive has feeling. So as I'm doing this, I keep thinking about quote that I'm gonna put in the word create that I've set into this, and as my mind wonders and start to daydream, I try to focus on what this intention creating and the life that it gives to me and my effort Teoh, make it a part of my everyday life. Our journaling is so amazing for reducing stress and anxiety. It bills created creativity and creative problem solving. And it, um, helps clarify your goals in your vision. And it does so many great wonderful things. It's It's been so helpful to me in processing emotion and feelings and events that are out of my control on understanding things that I can't control and things that I do have control over. I think about those things while I'm working in this process. So those things, those thoughts, this feelings are put into the work that I'm doing. So I have some paper on here and we'll let this dry for just a little bit, and we'll add some pain 8. Adding Paint: Okay, so we're back, our chest mostly dry. It's a little bit tacky, but I kind of like it that way because it makes us with the pain and just continually gives more texture. And I know it's hard to see on camera, but the brushstrokes from where the blue Waas has a nice, ballsy shame to it, and we're just gonna keep building from that up and up and up. So I'm gonna use some artist's loft paint from Michaels and just gonna squirt some on there . This is a follow blue that's one of my favorites and so white. Let's use some silver. This is a different granite, this oneness from hobby lobby. This is some silver this. It's kind of separated. It's kind of fun, so you can squirt your paint directly on to your board and use a brush. Teoh. Brush it on. I kind of get what it capture. Some of that texture of the paper included. We have another fun way is to use an old credit card or whenever they send you the fake credit cards in the junk mail and just spread it across the surface like that for I'm just using this to kind of blend with blue and silver into one another a little bit on one side . Leave it, and I like that. I could kind of see little hints of the word that's underneath. Another technique for using your credit card is to scratch into. I could scratch lines into it. Sue's things you can dig into its to scrape the paint off and swipe across blended in. I really like how that's capturing the paper, so now we have a layer of paint cardboard, and we're gonna move on to see what else we can add to it. 9. Adding Found Paper: Speaking of junk mail, I'm gonna add some of these paper textures to just keep building up on our players. These are It's really great these envelopes that they really great pattern on the inside of these envelopes where they see you, They want your money. Thank you. I was never possible pieces. And this time, use so heavy gloss Jill Cortex. And I am gonna use I don't have my spatula with me. So I'm just gonna use the end of a paintbrush to disco off this on this again is gonna give more texture and work as a glue to hold this layer of paper. I'm just gonna but some under the paper. Some top of the paper. Eustis. Oh, it's mixing with paint. Nice levy. If you have a paint spatula, you could use it to kind of make it smooth. You can use your credit card again. Sorry. That's a It's good to check. So let's see. Let's add another small piece. A good role in composition is to do three. Yeah, I heard that the rule of third is to do three different pieces, So I did want to three big sections of the paper earlier. And now I'm gonna do three. 123 This pattern in the way that kind of you are naturally sort of connects them. So even when we're doing abstract stuff, we can consider the composition as a whole. So now that I'm looking at it, this space over here is a little bit empty. So it's at some paper on again. I use the heavy Joe medium, and I'm just gonna lob it on there, stick it down those air ellipse with other kind of paper found paper, please. I I love using junk mail. It's something about it that it's like hot. You sent me this junk, and I'm gonna make something good out of it. You didn't mean to, but you could use paper towels. Let's he's looking. Or tissue paper. Uh, gift wrapping tissue paper has a great texture too. This paper towel was with me. All sorts of found papers can be used in this paper. Tallis melt into that really nicely. I see some books behind you're gonna use thrills later. Yes. Books are another fun element to add into your mixed media the words it's always fun. Teoh clip out certain words um, other times you might use it so that you can't necessarily read the words but old books from thrift stores. Um, but this one here, this is What about fairy tales? Has little illustrations. That my spark interest, the words you could highlight certain words. Um, there's animal pictures. Look at this mermaid community. Use her. I'm just gonna hear this page. Really see where we want her. We've got to remember that. We've got a quote. I'm gonna put this. Think I want her to be, like, right there in the middle, this down. And you can see some words on here. Steel toward and after the paper is coming off right here. You could fold it over the other side, or we can tear it off. I like it folded over. Let's do that again. I'm just using this, Joe medium as my because I love the way it dries texture that it gives and the fact that you get when you use it. So I got a mermaid on here now from my old book, um, capers. Air. So fun. Another type of thing. Painting papers. I have pick papers that I painted whenever I was playing with water colors. These were some thinks that I was playing with. This is another great element that you can add to your mixed media piece. So I think I'm just material and let's see, let's add it right here. I don't like this white, but I'm still tearing it off. Sort of Frame them for me right here, like this is coming together. A lot of times when I'm doing mixed media, it just sort of comes to me. I don't really know where I'm headed with it. I find something that inspires me like the papers or the mermaid quote and go from there. So it's just a touch more this purple so that there's no, it's not the only area that has purple. It's more what's good. So let's let this drive and then we'll come back and play with somewhere elements 10. Making Marks: good. So way have our paper. We started with paper and we add some found papers from books and junk mail, paper towels, painted paper pieces and added a few found object elements to it. This paper just caught my eye. There's something about it, Dad. It feels like it just wants to go in here somewhere. So I'm gonna go back to adding some more paper. Um, there's no particular order that you have to do this, So that is perfectly OK for us to add more paper. Get to that. I just put a piece right here on the corners. There's something about shine of it just caught my eye. So I'm gonna stick this on. This is going on top of paper, paper, towel, sand, my part and this medium's it is very well layered up. And that's the fun. Part of next media to me is just how many layers that you put into it. You just build it a okay so way have that hard. Next I'm gonna plays with adding some ink using a stamp. This is a fun Stan. I'm pretty sure it came from Michael's and a colored box of peaks. These were the kind that you can take out and dad on, Teoh, your stamp. This It's like it's a big It's not showing up very well. Oh, I see. Just a little bit. Try a darker color. Oops. This red pink color will have more contrast. It's mixing with the blue that I had on there, so it's gonna have a meat watercolor. Fateless trained. It didn't come out completely, but I'm like in the way it's looking. I'm just gonna dab this around in places that looks like it might need a little bit. Some. Let's see what happens in Fitted on top of this paper. That looks cool. A lot of mixed meeting. It is exploring not so much starting out with a goal what you wanted to look like, but just playing. It's about play, so I like that. But I added stance to that. Now, Next plenty. We've added so chalks and pastels. I've got some chocolate stone. I've got some oil pastels and some charcoal sticks. This is a fun idea. This is a fun charcoal pencil that we could I think I'm gonna under draw lines under these words just to give a striped feeling maybe kind of like she's caged and she's breaking free from her track of perfectionism and fear and insecurity. And it's breaking free into creativity, creative living, seeing things creatively, finding solutions to problems, finding peace of mind and strength to face what's ahead for her. Okay, let's add some green. I'm just gonna just play with using this spring brush across this texture, and I like some of the the texture that we have there. I'm feeling some of these grooves to make Have some depth. I did some green up there, so I should do some green. It feels interesting on top of a sand. Let's see. You see, this is this is an orange color. This is an oil past. Still, I'm going to try since worlds right here. I really love to combine that's street swirling nous with the rough textures that we have different. I think this is really Oh, yeah, that's nice. Agree that doesn't scratching looks on my sand with but this office and I'm just play just and I think I'm gonna get my whole back out and place. All right? It looks like we're about ready to order. I'm gonna clean up my mess a little bit and come right back 11. Adding Your Quote: all right. I have my quote to fit on here and I'm just play with. Put it on here. It would fit that way. You had some strike elements, but do it like that. But what I'm feeling ISS in two sections is that to practice any art, how well or badly is a way to make your soul grow to it. That guy's name down here. So I remember who said it Do that or kind of smaller pieces do here? Many are. I will. Badly, it's a way you're so good you get like that. So Joe Medium, we could use a brush with this or painful special thing. I'm just using a paintbrush. He's it to glue these words on, and I'm gonna make them angled lopsided on purpose because it's not perfect. I really like this, no matter how well or badly this it is, a really cool designed for my therapeutic are journal, but it's probably no masterpiece, so and somebody probably would be like that looks like crap, but so no matter how well or how badly this process has been therapeutic to me to talk this through with you toe walk you through how to do this yourself. It's been therapeutic to me. It has definitely fit into my soul and made me grow just by doing this. I like how this is kind of getting smeared, smudgy. It's not her bit Sandis kind of smearing in people's of the past. That was on my fingers, kind of blending in with it. I'm just gonna using my finger to get across the top of it. Make sure that it's still on his name. Bottom right here. That looks like that was meant for that. There we go. Punch a hole back together and we'll be ready to start some art journaling. 12. Putting it all Together: So now we have our cover todo that has been put together with so many layers. And as we build all these layers we've been thinking about creativity and the creative process and how it has the power to heal. How has the power to relieve stress and anxiety and help us to process the things that happen in life? So now this cover is filled with all of those reminders. Plus this quote to remind me Teoh, no matter how will are badly. I do art to do our every day did work in my journal every day, no matter how bad it might be. So now I'm ready to put my journal together. I re punched a hole in the top, were covered it up and just snap it in right here on this side and snap it in here on this side. Now, part of this class includes this printable page that you can use for your journal. I printed it out, I got it down a hole, punched it, and I'm gonna add it to my journal. So days might feel stuck, and I don't know what journal this will give me some ideas to get started. So here's some of the ideas that we suggest you can doodle on a napkin at a restaurant at a coffee shop, grabbing out from the kitchen and just doodle right Words. Little squiggly lines, flowers, hearts, basic shapes that anyone could draw. Just do. Just perform the act of the creative process, and amazing things will confirm it by practicing that every day. So doodle on Anakin and glue are taping into your book. You could use only colors to express your mood for the day. You could use over seats and junk mail in your layer into making a collage and pain over. Or don't paint over it. Just leave it. There is a reminder of your everyday purchases, things that you to face every day. Another phone idea is to use only black and white. This list includes even more ideas that you can download and add to your journal pronounce to your journal. We include some things that you can journal about some things from that I use lightly. My journey through ups and downs have been hope and feeling lost. The word. Reclaim and restore the idea of vision and looking forward, these air ideas off things that you could think about as you are journaling. I hope that your journey through discovering your own inner artist your archer is as exciting and refreshing is this has been Thank you, ceiling.