Journal52: Prompt 03 – You always make me smile

I’ve joined a free year-long journal prompt group, Journal52, run by Chelle Stein.  My goal is to keep it quick and easy, no planning, no fretting, no criticizing, just exploration and fun.

This week, the prompt was ‘You Always Make Me Smile’.  I was stumped for a few minutes, but with Valentines coming up, I decided to use hearts and after a few minutes of thought, I knew who always made me smile.  I hope you can read the writing on the page, because it’s meant for you.

I did some layering, starting by sticking down strips of washi tape.  I did this before I even knew what the prompt was.  Then I covered both pages with Golden’s Primary Red and Martha Stewarts’s Canteloupe acrylic paint, wiping it away from the tape, and scrubbing a few areas to get a variation of color.

I tried a gel medium transfer of one of my zentangle drawings, which failed, so I just worked over it.  But it added a little extra interest to the area behind the heart.

I cut a heart shape by putting two pieces of *drywall paper adhesive tape (see below if you are unfamiliar with this product) together and cutting out one half of a heart.

Previously I had stamped the prompt onto a strip of music and I glued this into the journal.  Then I used a **Montana Marker  (see below if you are unfamiliar with this product) in Shock Kent Blood Red to cover large portions of the page, including the heart.  I created the blue hearts as negative shapes, and colored them in Shock Lt. Blue Montana marker.  I was careful to leave some of the canteloupe and lighter areas still showing.  I added some more Shock Lt. Blue to make the heart stand out a bit more.

I used Martha Stewart’s Artichoke, Golden’s Interference Red and Liquitex’s ***Interference Violet for the highlights, Golden’s Ultramarine Violet for the shadows.  The Artichoke was also used to paint the off-white hearts.  

A Pentel white Sunburst gel pen was used to bring out the words of the prompt, and to write my sentiments.  As a last touch, I used a red glitter brush along one side of the heart and around the words of the prompt.

This sounds like a lot of work, and not very simple, but it can be done in almost the amount of time it takes to write about, especially if you’re using something like the Montana Markers.   As it was, I did this over a period of days, with the background done before I even knew the prompt.  It was simple because it was done a little at a time as an idea came to me.

*I love this stuff.  If you can find a roll, snap it up because it is so handy.  You can peel away the backing and stick it to a page for texture. You can cut shapes.  It tears easily.  You can glue down the backing too, getting double duty.  You can use it as a stencil.  Love the stuff!

**Montana Markers are another great tool, especially with ones with the 15mm tip.  Essentially, they’re just plastic tubes resembling marker pens, filled with acrylic paint.  They are a little spendy, but you can also buy them empty, and fill them up with cheaper acrylic paint to save some money.  They’re cleaner than brushes or foam tools and you can cover a large area very quickly.  Like Copic Markers, they are refillable and you can replace the tip, so the major expense for each color is one time.  If you don’t already have any paints or brushes, these might be cheaper in the long run, unless you are buying the very cheapest of paints and brushes.

***Interference means that the color is almost clear in some lights, but it catches the light and changes color, sort of like a hologram.  These are usually spendy, and not nearly as useful as the Montana Markers, but oh, they are cool.  I bought mine at sale prices, and only have the two.  I doubt I’ll ever have many of them, but the nice thing is that you can use them over almost any other color, because they have so little color of their own.  You only need one tube/bottle to get the effect.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

9 thoughts on “Journal52: Prompt 03 – You always make me smile”

  1. Susan, I get mine from a local hardware store, Lowe's ( If you order online be sure it's the paper, not the plastic kind and that it has the holes. It also comes in a solid. The plastic kind has it's own charm. I use it as well and it's easier to find than the paper rolls. I'd check local stores first. Saves on shipping and it's easier to tell if you have the right stuff.

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