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How To Paint A Book Rack Illustration In Your Bullet Journal

My Bullet Journal’s “Books To Read” Spread has a Book Rack Theme!

I love watercolours, they’ve always been a very relaxing hobby for me! And this year, I’ve dived into the art of bullet journaling.

I painted this book rack for my bullet journal. The idea behind this book rack stemmed from the fact that I’ve not been able to dedicate enough time for reading. Back in 2016, I was only able to read 5 books. The entire year.

And I only read them because I wanted to learn more about such certain things, they were more like academic books. And this year, I wanted to change that. When I made the decision to start bullet journaling, I knew that I wanted to increase the number of books I read in a year.

I keep busy with my Graphic Design work and my other blog, including managing an Etsy shop. My days are filled with blog-related tasks, designing work, and all the other backend stuff. When I’m free, I spend that time with my family and my pets. This left me with almost no time for reading.

Hence, I decided to add this “book rack theme” to my bullet journal so that it reminds me and encourages me to read more often.

How To Paint A “Book Rack” in Your Bullet Journal

Whenever I am water colouring, I make it a point to start with a pencil drawing. Remember, this is your guide, you can make your drawing as accurate as you want. I prefer mine to be pretty accurate so that there are next to no chances of errors when I start water colouring.

start with a pencil drawing
Start with a detailed pencil drawing and lay a very light wash of watercolours on the books in your book rack.

Once I was done putting the first wash of watercolours down on my paper, and it was dry. I began adding a second layer of watercolours. At this point, I start to keep in mind a perspective and follow along with my pencil drawing.

It is crucial that you watercolour in sections, letting each section dry before you start painting the next. If the paint is not dry, your watercolours will mix into each other, and either make your illustration muddy or make colours different than what you wanted in the first place.

how to paint a watercolour book rack in your bullet journal
You can see that the colours are stronger now, I’ve also added some book-ish details. Remember, watercolours are all about layering!

Keeping the slant, and perspectives of your illustration in mind, you start painting the form of your books. I drew all of this out in pencil drawing which is why it was easier for me to follow along with my pencil drawing as my guide.

paint with perspective in mind for your watercolour book rack illustration
Now with my perspective and book forms are painted, I’m going to continue painting details.

Now, you should consider adding some details to your books. For example, when books are kept in a way like this, in a book rack, often pages are visible.

painting details in your book rack for your bullet journal
Using a light yellow I painted all the visible pages in my watercolour illustration.

You’ve done seventy percent of the work here. All that’s left now is to paint in some details like reflections, the wooden frame of your book rack illustration, and some lines for the paper that we painted in the earlier section of the painting that we did.

painting wooden texture in watercolour book rack illustration
At this stage, it’s up to you to decide how many details you want to put it.

This is the last step, you can now decide how many details you want to paint in. For me, I decided to add some dashed lines on the visible paper that I painted with my micron pens. And I also used the same pens for writing “Books I’ve Read” on the banner.

I also added a wooden frame using burnt sienna, and then dry brushing to give it some texture.

And with that, the book rack watercolour illustration for my bullet journal was completed.

Materials I Used

You can use any paints (watercolours) you have lying around for this illustration. You don’t need any fancy or professional quality paints. But if those are what you use, then by all means. šŸ™‚

I generally don’t use professional quality watercolours in my bullet journal as those are expensive, and I use them for making my illustrations when I work.

I have a set of student watercolours that I use for making illustrations that I don’t intend to sell.

You’re going to need watercolour brushes, but in case you are not a professional you don’t need them in all sizes. I used a water brush for this illustration.

If you’re just starting out with watercolours I recommend you use these watercolour brushes.

To be able to use a good amount of water on your page without tearing it down, I recommend using a 140lbs paper.

And the pens I used were from Micron, you need these pens if you want to ink on your illustration and don’t want the ink to bleed.

Don’t want to go through the trouble of painting this book rack illustration yourself?

I know and understand that time is a valuable resource, and if you think you can’t paint that well or don’t have the time to or are just unwilling, you can download this book rack illustration for free, available for your personal use only in two different sizes.

  • 148 x 210 mm
  • 210 x 297 mm

All you’ll have to do now is to print it out and paste it on a blank page in your bullet journal or if yours allows you to add pages, then do that.

Download The Free Printable

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase through my links, I gain a small commission but at no extra cost to you. I hope you’ll continue to support me in watercolour adventures. Thank you! <3


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