Skip to content
Quarterly Subscription Box
Join Now!


Swatching The Best Art Supplies You Can Use In Your Blackout Journal

by Guest Blogger 15 May 2021 0 Comments

Hey friends, it’s Sarah from @essjay_florals and I’m going to share some art supplies that are worth testing out in your blackout notebooks. It can be a bit of a learning curve as to what supplies will work best if you are new to using a blackout journal and I am here to help make that transition a little easier.

Blackout Notebook Swatches

Here's a list of all the materials I used:

  • Archer & Olive A5 Silver Crescent Blackout Notebook
  • Archer & Olive Acrylographs - now available individually too!
  • Sakura of America - Gelly Roll Stardust Set & White
  • Uniball Signos – Assorted
  • Pentel Sparkle Pops Set
  • Sarasa Clips – Assorted
  • Cheap Metallic Gel Pens (Kmart brand Anko) – Assorted
  • Cheap Pastel Gel Pens (Kmart brand Anko) – Assorted
  • Karin Markers Metallic Set
  • Kelly Creates Metallic Jewel Set
  • Cheap Metallic Brush Pens (Kmart brand Anko) – Assorted
  • Sharpies Metallics – Assorted
  • Posca Pens – Assorted
  • The Watercolour Factory – Assorted
  • Shimmer Drops – Assorted
  • Prima – Assorted
  • Gouache – Winsor & Newton – Assorted
  • Acrylic – Holcroft - Assorted
  • Prismacolour Pencils – Assorted
  • Pastel Pencils – Derwent – Assorted

First things first, did anything bleed? Nope, nothing bled at all, one of the great benefits of black paper! Especially since I did load up a lot of water when using the paints. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty and break it down.

 Acrylograph Swatches on Blackout Notbook


Obviously without a doubt the Acrylographs were one of my favourites to use, very easy to fill in larger areas, nice and opaque. The great thing about Acrylographs is that because they are acrylic paint they, are very opaque and you can layer them very easily and added bonus they dry really quickly!

 Mixed Swatches on Blackout Notebook

Gel Pens

The Gelly Roll white would be my choice of pen to use for general writing in a blackout journal, it was super smooth and nice and opaque, no need to layer it up. But I’d recommend using it for smaller details or writing as it would be difficult to fill in larger areas. I was pleasantly surprised with how effective the Pentel Sparkle Pop pens are, if you want lovely sparkle with minimal effort these are definitely my choice. One pen I was surprisingly impressed with was the cheap Anko gel pens I got from Kmart and recommend trying some of those cheaper pens in your journal, you may just be surprised with how well they work! Another pen that surprised me was the Sarasa Clips, I only have a few of them and really didn’t expect them to work at all. I gave them a go anyway and you can see the pastel pink works nicely, but the one I didn’t expect to work at all was the green. When I first use it, it appears really dark like it won’t show up and as it dries it lightens up considerably, however the purple goes down in a similar way but doesn’t lighten up and is really hard to see. So I’d recommend you need to test these on a pen-by-pen basis to determine their effectiveness.


Metallic Brush Pens

Of course Karin Markers and Kelly Creates worked brilliantly, so if you are a fan of these brands I definitely recommend. The cheaper Anko pens worked well, they were definitely not as juicy and shimmery, but for their price, they were definitely worthwhile.


Paint/ Permanent Markers

Unsurprisingly the Sharpies and the Posca pens worked well and because the paper is black, there was no pesky bleeding



Metallic watercolours worked well, my favourite for opacity and pigment were the 2 handmade brands (The Watercolour Factory & Shimmer Drops). I was so pleasantly surprised with how effective and opaque the Winsor & Newton gouache were, I’m certainly going to be having a lot of fun with these! I found the acrylic paint was a bit tedious, it wasn’t as opaque as I expected it to be and it took a long time to dry! I’d much rather use Acrylographs!



I was most sceptical of the pencils working on the black paper, I just have a preconceived idea of pencils only working well on plain white paper, haha! However, the Prismacolor pencils and Derwent Pastel pencils worked really well! (However, I do recommend the pastel pencils are sealed with a fixative to prevent them smudging as I did accidentally rub them a little after and they smudged pretty bad; but as soon as I recoloured and sprayed, they were fine).

I hope this has been helpful in helping you to decide what will work in your blackout notebook and give you ideas of other art supplies to give a shot.

And don’t forget you can use my affiliate code “SARAH10” for a 10% discount on Archer and Olive products!


Floral Border

Now for a fun printable! I created this template to nicely finish off our swatch page with a decorative border (or really any page!) 

I hope you have enjoyed watching me test various art product on a Blackout Notebook! Maybe you want to try and test some other products? Don’t forget to tag myself at @essjay_florals & @archerandolive if you’d like to share.

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items