An Easy Art Journal Idea with Washable Markers and Water

Are you looking for a simple art journal idea (that doesn’t require paint) to kickstart your creative journey?

Whether you’re just beginning to explore art journaling or trying to break free from a creative rut, this playful technique with washable markers and water is fun for artists at any level.

In this process we’ll let colors flow to create a dynamic base for further artistic exploration.

Here’s how you can create a vibrant art journal page with minimal planning and maximum fun.


  • Washable markers (suggestion: choose warm or cool colors) – see what I used below
  • A paintbrush or water brush
  • A cup of water (if not using a water brush)
  • Your art journal or any heavy paper suitable for watercolor – – see what I used below

Step 1: Add Color to Your Page

Start by selecting your color palette, choosing either warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) or cool colors (blues, greens, purples).

This will keep your colors from blurring into a muddy puddle. However! Choose any combination of colors you like.

Using your washable markers, begin to add blocks of color to your page.

You can arrange these blocks in a quilt-like pattern or apply them randomly, depending on what feels right for you.

The key is not to overthink it—just enjoy the process of laying down vibrant colors.

Step 2: Paint Over the Marker with Water

Once you’re happy with the color placement, we’ll transform the marker lines into a watercolor effect.

Dip your brush into water and gently go over the marker strokes.

Watch as the colors start to bleed and blend into each other, creating soft edges and color-mixing gradients.

This step allows the initial sharp lines to dissolve into something fluid and expressive.

Step 3: Add Splatters for Texture

To add an extra layer of texture and spontaneity to your art journal page, splatter water over the page with the flick of a brush.

You can do this by loading your brush with water and gently tapping it over the page, or flicking it to create random splashes.

This technique adds a sense of movement and unpredictability, with bursts of color resembling starbursts or tiny explosions.

An Art Journal Idea for Fun and Relaxation

This approach to creating in your art journal is handy for anyone looking to explore their artistic side without the pressure of getting everything ‘just right’.

I think the fun in this prompt lies in its simplicity and the unique and somewhat unpredictable outcomes. As you work through this process, you might also enjoy moments of mindfulness and relaxation.

Grab your markers and water, and give it a try.


  1. I love this idea so much! Thanks for the inspiration 😊

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Stay tuned for more ideas, and feel free to send me pics of your own creations. Your feedback is always welcome! 😊

  2. I love the simplicity of this activity. The colors will be a great inspiration for the next layer of materials, as you said, a blank page can be overwhelming. You foster the idea of a rootementary base for children, which in turn cultivates individual art concepts.
    Thank you for all that you add to art promotion amongst children.

    • Thank you for your kind words! It’s great to hear that the simplicity and colors inspired you. Feel free to share your experiences with me—I’d love to hear how these ideas influence your work with kids!

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