Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Joy Journal Project Assignment #11

Today we begin with a poem, quote, or saying that speaks to your heart about joy and/or appreciation. Take a moment after you gather your supplies to read through your selection. What made you choose these words? What attracts you to their meaning and flow? Allow these questions to float in the back of your mind as we begin.

Let’s start with a layer of collage. I am forever attracted to origami paper, so I chose to use my bits and scraps of origami for my collage layer. Use whatever papers you have been collecting or are drawn to today. We will be painting over the layer, so this collage does not have to “tell a story.”


Using your gel medium or similar glue, paint the back of your collage papers and then adhere to your journal page. I use an old magazine or catalog as a gluing surface to apply my glue. When the page gets to messy, just flip to the next page.


When you adhere your collage papers, be sure they are securely attached. Use an old plastic card to remove any air that may be trapped under the paper. Working from the center to the edges, scrape the card across the paper. If you notice any loose corners, add a dab of glue to attach them securely.


Yummy, I love origami paper. Here’s my page covered in papers. But don’t get too attached, because next…


cover your collage with a light coat of gesso. I left hints of color. If you feel you’ve applied too much, wipe some away with a damp paper towel.


After the gesso dries (you can speed up the drying time with a hair dryer), sand your page with a bit of sandpaper. (Yes, I forgot to add that to the supply list. It’s okay to skip this step, but if you have some on hand, use it.) The sanding allows some of the edges of your collage papers to stand out a bit more. This adds more depth and texture to the page. As you can see from my page, the effect is not huge, but sometimes the little things make all the difference.


Find a dark color of paint for high contrast and begin mark making on the page. I used a small lid to make the circles, my fingers to makes the dots. I also scraped the lid across the page in a few spots to add more lines.


Next add some more contrasting paint with a brush. Paint it on without over thinking. Where does your brush want to land? Here I felt that I added to much, so I subdued some of the Payne’s Grey with a dab of gesso.


Find an earthy tone of paint now. Have a damp paper towel handy. First paint a bit of the earthy color on, then rub off as much as you would like with the paper towel.


And now it is time to add your poem, quote, or saying. As my page developed, the poem I planned on using seemed wrong, so I used the words that seemed more fitting for how the page was developing. You can use a dark pen, white pen, marker, pencil, whatever you would like to add the words to the page.


Continue to add details with paint, markers, etc. Here I used a paint pen and then added some more collage for the flower petals that were drawn with pencil.


If you feel done with the page, get up and walk away. Take a few minutes away from your work area before returning. When you come back to your page, look again. Do you feel led to add any more details?


I do hope you’ll share your page by leaving a comment with a link to the image, or by sharing in our facebook group.


1 Comments on “Joy Journal Project Assignment #11”

  1. Your journal posts consistently inspire me. With this most recent post ideas began to ruminate of beginning art journals with my children. I think they would enjoy the process, the layering of paper, gluing, drawing. Thank you for sharing!

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