The Documented Life Project ..Making Your Mark (Marks and Doodles)

The Documented Life Project

      First… A HaPpY BiRtHdAY to Lorraine Conte Bell..!!

Hi everyone..I just want to say how grateful I feel to be a part of this amazing group, and honored to have been asked to participate as a featured artist..  Thank you Art to the 5th and all of you wonderful artists and journalers’ who light up my Facebook feed daily..!

 This months theme is MAKING YOUR MARK (MARKS & DOODLES).

The art challenge for this week is AS A LAYER ELEMENT

and the prompt is SURVIVING THE ELEMENTS.


…so as many of you know..I would not survive without my doodles, lines and shapes..I think they become a part of every piece I create..either with with pen, marker, handmade stamps or a paintbrush.  Using your doodles and personal marks adds interest, detail and another layer to  build upon. Making marks is just a way to calm my mind, empty my thoughts and begin a creation..  I love doodles, lines and shapes so much that I  created an online workshop called  Make Your Mark   in March 2014 that focuses on line, shape, color..and doodles.


First I doodled with permanent ink all over the can be anything..handwriting, faces, houses..whatever your favorite mark making consists could also be scribble or just line designs as well. I usually choose flowers as my  main theme for making marks.  I just love how you can design your own or work from nature…and there is just so much you can do with floral or garden themes.  When I’m  done filling the page with marks..I cover with a light layer of cover up a little of the ink and to add a nice texture to the pages.



Here I just took some watercolor and added some blocks of color and marks with my brush, just to add some color and to give a little detail and texture..


Next I turned the journal upside down and added very dense  watercolor (using a brush filled with color and water) and went along the top of the page pressing very hard with the brush so the excess water and color would start to run and drip down the pages. If it didn’t drip as I wanted it to..I spritzed with a little water from a spray bottle. I used some greens and blues to portray vines in a wild garden.


..then I let it sit for a bit until it dried.





Next I took some mixed media paper that I had added marks on with  handmade eraser stamps, doodles and other papers where I used a brayer to add colors…..and cut the paper into leaves, pods, petals and flowers for collage elements and as another layer…because marks, doodles and layers are a necessity..!:)


Turning the journal right side up….I added some of the  shapes  to create a wild garden scene…


..I just used a glue stick to glue pieces down, but you can use any medium you like…notice the ethereal feel of the dripped watercolor after it has dried…





I randomly cut out shapes and added where I liked..mostly looking for contrast in color..but also to cover up a spot I may not like..or just to  add interest..Of course one of my favorite parts is how the drips have dried over the doodles beneath and the contrast of the colorful papers..


Next I took my brush and paint markers and added in details to form some ferns, vines, and other marks to add to the garden feel. It definitely needed some black as well to distract from all of the colors…and to add some definition and detail to the page.




and I used a light wash of pale yellow to the sky portion…and actually after seeing the before pics..decided I liked it white rather than yellow..but for now I am leaving it..


..and added paint to create some ferns and leaves..



..and details of flowers and buds..As you can see, I really did’nt use any fine drawing skills here..but more of a collection of some of my favorite marks and shapes to create a garden feel. When you have a bunch of favorite shapes or doodles… you can really practice them and become very good at recalling them in a moment..and use them to create all sorts of scenes, images, designs and backgrounds that are made primarily of simple lines and shapes..






…a few up close pics as well as where I added my journaling about layers and making is what I wrote….

“My elements are lines, marks, and special shapes that Ive created myself…that I enjoy making and that calm me… How and where I gather them together is unique to me and fills some need when I make them..for me it is an emotional thing..but also provides a physical experience..It satisfies a need to create, a need to control, a need to design, a need to grow..For me every time I pick up a pen..I come to life..inside I feel that there is nothing I cant make ..or create..” 







Thank you all so much for looking and visiting here..

I  try to update at least weekly, so feel free to come and visit any time..! (below is a tutorial on how I created my DLP Cityscape as well ..if you would like to see..)

Have a wonderful day and Ill see you all  at DLP 2015

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234 thoughts on “The Documented Life Project ..Making Your Mark (Marks and Doodles)”

  1. Oh I love your combination of colors and marks and shapes to create a lovely garden! What delightful pages! And it’s wonderful to see your step-by-step process!

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    And chance to win one of your beautiful handmade journals!

  2. I love your art and instructions in the Documented Life Project for this week. Beautiful colors, techniques, layers. Thanks.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the handmade journal. They are gorgeous!

  3. Totally love your way of using watercolor with collaging and doodling! Thank you for the inspiring approach!

  4. Your art speaks to me and makes me happy every time I see it! I appreciate the description of your process – seems so do-able!

  5. I just love how many colors and details you have in your page, something new catches the eye every time you look at it, very inspiring!

    1. Hi Linda ..well thank you so much..I did want to show a lot of different ideas for everyone..of course you can fill you page with as much or as little as you and glad you like..!

  6. Your page is wonderful. I am o little afraid of making marks on my pages. You Give me courage. Thanks for the giveaway I already like your facebook. Love seeing your art.

    1. Hi Boo…i can understand that…it will get easier just practicing on scrap paper or on random paper that is lying around..thats how I started many years ago on the night shift of a boring job..lololol..!

  7. A well-deserved feature 🙂

    I have only recently discovered your work – amazing use of saturated colors, textures and dimension. I believe you are right – there isn’t anything you can’t create!

    Love your style!

  8. Ahhhh – this is just wonderful Robin. The colors are so perfect and it is amazing to me how you made something so incredible with just your personal doodles – what freedom! And cutting the edges of the page just made the page look like a big flower too! Thanks you soooooooooooo much for sharing your process and creating something so uplifting. j.

    1. Hi Joi..well thank you so much..yes lines and shapes can be the focus of any its so relaxing..and no stress…thanks so much for stopping and commenting..!!

  9. Three things are really inspiring me here – 1) doodles on the very first (underneath) layer that show through a bit – a lovely layering effect. 2) the vividness of color you use! 3) Collage-ing specific shapes you cut out rather than random torn bits. You’ve inspired me to try dome new things. Thank you!

  10. Your page is bright and beautiful. I especially appreciate you sharing how you use watercolors in your journal. I paint with watercolors, but haven’t figured out how to apply them to mixed media journaling. Thanks for the ideas and instruction…I will try some this week!

    Thanks also for the give away opportunity!

  11. Robin, this piece is so inspiring! I love the line drawing, the beautiful bright colors, and the free flow quirkiness of it. I’m dropping everything and heading to my art table.

  12. Love your blog and especially relate to your color and flowers. Just bookmarked you on my IPad and I am heading over to like your Facebook page. I would love to win one of your journals, thanks for giving me a chance to win.

  13. This is so beautiful Robin! I am so thrilled that you joined us as a Featured Artist so that so many more could share in your lovely artwork. Your unique marks and doodles show up so perfectly in this challenge piece. thank you for sharing! And thank you for playing along!

  14. I am so glad that you have been introduced to me through the DLP group – I’m looking forward to seeing what else you do – this page is beautiful!

  15. I love your pages! The blocks in the background remind me of buildings – happy flowers sprouting up in the middle of the concrete jungle! Thank you so much for sharing, and how kind of you to do a giveaway too!

  16. As always Robin a beautiful job!! I always love your work and between you and Alisa Burke the first 2 artists I ever started following its opened a whole can of artists, art supply addiction, creativity that I’m grateful for everyday!! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your talent!! ❤️❤️❤️Shelley Yoshiwara

  17. I love the idea of cutting out pieces of scrap paper and then doodling around and on them! I’d like to be to win one of your journals!

  18. I really enjoy the whole process, and look forward each week to the guest and their take on the challenges. Yours will make me think less, and make me be more random, but in the end pull it all together! I overthink everything! Working in payroll does that to a person…Accuracy to the “nth” degree. Thank you for freedom!

  19. You art work is so diff. ,colorful just what the body needs, very peaceful also , all of the diff. colors is like spring thanks for sharing

  20. Loved your spread. I like to use nature as well. Your colors are vivid and exciting and I like the idea of starting with the pen to add a focus. Good job!

  21. Beautiful! Your style is just what I’ve been trying to acheive. It’s so fresh & colorful. It was a delight to watch this page evolve. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.

    Please enter me in the giveaway. Owning one of your journals would be a joy.

  22. I love your bold use of color! No fear here! And you showed us lots of great techniques to use. Your work is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing with us and for giving us a chance to win one of your beautiful journals!

  23. I really enjoyed your technique for using your paints and papers in such a creative way. I love generic forms and your work resonates with my heart. Beautiful work and thank you so much for sharing your talents with me.

  24. It’s a pleasure to see your beautiful work and the fact you take us through your process is PRICELESS! It would be a dream come true to win one of your beautiful journals!

  25. Hi, Robin….Your page is absolutely beautiful. I love everything about it. I am going to try my hand at your technique and see what happens to my blank page. I’m so excited to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Awesome, Robin! I like the idea of the flower stems being created by drips, mind if I use your idea sometime?

  27. Robin, your garden’s are magical. I want to just sit in them. It’s no wonder a Robin usually finds his way to one of them.
    Thank you for sharing your gift. It’s SUPER amazing.

  28. I loved reading your process and seeing your photos. So glad you were asked to be a part of Documented Life. 🙂

  29. I have just found the fun of collaging with underpapers and the like, really enjoyed your tutorial and lots of new inspiration on the topic!

  30. I do not have a website nor am I a member of facebook. But I definitely do “like”/love your work. Flowers are my go-to doodle and you made this look like such fun. Thank you so much for sharing your process. Very inspiring!

  31. This is absolutely beautiful. I loved the fact that it is completely doable by a beginning creative (me) with cutting and easy painting and doodling. Also the writing also included is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


  32. I love following you on Facebook and your work always!
    Your workshops are wonderful. Love your attitude.


  33. I love how vibrant and happy this page is. And I LOVE the yellow background even if it was a little disappointing to you. 🙂 (Fingers crossed I win the journal–thank you for your generosity!)

  34. Love your flowers and the use of marks. I wish that
    my style was less rigid and more flowing like yours.
    Thanks for sharing your process and your work.

  35. Have been a fan for a long time. Your colors hypnotically draw me in and the black outlines are so pretty. So glad to see your post today!

  36. I love your page! Thank you for sharing it, I just learned a lot of new ideas. Love how the cutouts added to the whole design and the watercolor running down the page is brilliant.

  37. I appreciate that you shared what you (wrote) journeled on the page!I think through the DLP15 project I am freeing up my art skills, but I need to learn to free up my mind when I journal!

  38. The thing that said the most to me in your finished piece was the collage pieces you added and then drew or doodled on or around. The shape you used didn’t define what you wanted it to be. For some reason that really popped out at me. Thank you!

  39. I love your work, Robin! There isn’t anything you’ve created that I haven’t adored. Thanks for showing us your process!

  40. Oh wow! Your work is awesome! I would never have believed you started this project with doodles….the end result is just so colorful and happy and jumps from the page. I love it! And thank you for a chance to win one of those beautiful journals!

  41. So nice to meet you. absolutely love your techniques and color combinations. Just visited your youtube videos. WOW thx for the inspiration

  42. What a wonderfully quirky beautiful garden. I have just really gotten into gel plate printing so the idea of using all those pages for flowers is appealing. So happy to have found you!

  43. you know how much I adore your art, since we are already FB friends, and this one is no exception! Love love love!

  44. Thank you for sharing your process, Robin:)…it was wonderful to see a lot of things falling into place:)..can’t wait to begin working on my new project:)!xx

  45. You ROCKED your guest spot! such yummy art marks and doodles! I just looooove all those colors! your style is FABULOUS!

  46. I love the idea of doodling on the page first! I am definitely going to try that for this prompt! Thanks for the inspiration!

  47. Thank you for describing your process, such a beautiful, colorful piece. I know exactly what you mean about it filling a need, it’s like breathing! I thought I was crazy to be so addicted to art but love to see there are so any out there like me! Thank you for being one of my biggest inspirations.

  48. Love your use of bold, bright, cheerful colors! I’m definitely getting creative inspiration from your work as I strive to find my own style. 🙂

  49. I really love your beautiful art. Bright colors and funny shapes, you make me smile. Thanks for sharing1

  50. I love your work. The page is so full of color it is lucious. I’ll be glad when I am more able to make random marks that look so good.

  51. Robin, You manage to make ‘plain ole doodling’ beautiful! The book covers are a pleasure to look at too!

  52. Robin, thank you for sharing your process with us. What a lovely journal spread. I love the idea of starting with the permanent ink doodles and then was inspired by the way that you “covered” them up with your additional layers. Thanks for the inspiration and for the opportunity to win one of your Handmade Art Journals. I “liked” your FB page and if I should happen to be the “lucky one” please contact me at Thanks so much!

  53. Robin, I just love your work. The dripping “up” technique is so cool. I’m definitely going to try that. Thanks for the step-by-step and chance to win one of your beautiful journals.

  54. The doodling step just looks like fun, to say nothing of all the added layers. Enjoyed your step-by-steps. Thanks for the chance to win one of your journals.

  55. I love how the doodled flowers peek through the other layers of paint! Thank you for the chance to win one of your journals.

  56. I love the layers and your unique flower garden. I found the last line of your journalling really resonated with me. I love the feeling of freedom, joy and expression that creating gives me. A moment of invincibility. It’s what keeps me coming back to my art day after day. Thank you for your generosity in both sharing your process and offering this awesome give away.

  57. I love this and the way you brought it all together. Lots of food for thought and experimenting today, thank you.

  58. Fantastic take on the challenge, Robin! I”m so happy to also have discovered your blog and Facebook page. Cheers!

  59. Robin, as always I love what you have done here for the DLP gang. Your art is amazing and I love it! Your doodles and colors are so happy and cheerful. Looking at your art makes a perfect day for me. Thank you.

  60. I learned so much from your explanation about doodles and marks. I have no confidence in my ability to draw, but you inspire me to let that go and use my imagination even if my drawing isn’t perfect -yours is beautiful!

  61. The whole mark making thing is new for me, I’m still working on getting it. Thanks for the new ideas and the vibrant work!

  62. This is a great spread considering Spring is coming soon. Thanks for participating in the DLP. I’m discovering new artists like you because I joined this year. Im looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  63. Hi!
    Thanks for a very easy to follow tutorial. I like how you made the different shapes for your garden and how they came alive.
    Also thanks for this giveaway.

  64. Hi Robin, Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your wonderful journals. Your double spread is amazing, I love all the flowers and colours and writing, just everything, I am off to your facebook page, so that I can like you and keep following your work.
    Thanks again
    From Sunny Australia

  65. Hi Robin. I am so glad to learn of your gorgeous art, which has kept me up past bedtime! You’ve shown me a use for my doodles as collage elements. Plus you answered a question I had. (What is blocking color?) DLP guest artist Miranda of Clare Plantation mentioned it as a step, and I have been wondering about that term “blocking”. Now I get it. Thanks for the tutorial and a preview of your pretty handmade journals. Looking forward to visiting your Facebook page.

  66. Amazing and beautiful, Robin!! Love it so much and would love to win one of your journals. That would be an amazing gift.

  67. What a great article Robin. Thanks so much for the in depth details of how you create.
    …..and thanks for the chance to win one of your beautiful journals

  68. Robin since I discover your art I have been amaze on you handle vibrant colors, thanks for sharing your work, I love your art.

  69. Beautiful! Thank you for the inspiration …. Can’t wait to get started on my own page for this week! Love the colours and the garden/flower theme so very nice!!

  70. Art journaling is new to me and I found your style very inspiring! It’s the color, along with the flowers, which i find cheerful and warm. Thank you!

  71. I love that this is just ink, watercolor and paper. You show me what’s possible when it is kept simple-simple supplies but beautiful outcome.

  72. Love your page. It reminds me of my Mom s garden in France.
    Thanks for the giveaway, how spoiled we are. A wonderful day to you.

  73. I have been following you and your work for some time and love it! Thank you for sharing your process in following this week’s prompt, it was amazing to see your page unfold with each step!

  74. Love this page – thanks for the step by step instructions. I really like that you cut the pages, too – makes the entire page appear to be part of the garden!

  75. I stumbled across your blog/post after doing a search for DLP 2015. I really like the care free approach you take to creating. It would be nice to have some art work from another artist and friend in the Internet world. Nicely done.

  76. As this cold,dreary winter starts to wind down, your art is a reminder that spring is (finally) coming. I particularly like what you did with the drips. That technique has never appealed to me but you made them an integral part of the scene. Outstanding.

  77. Your style and process are super inspiring, and the journal covers are simply beautiful. Your art is contagious…I’m taking out my water colors this instant!

  78. Wonderful to see your process and creativity. Very clear as to how you layered and textured your page. Thank you. Very encouraging to me.

  79. LOVE your art.. it’s fun and vibrant 🙂
    Looking at your DLP pages makes me feel like there is life after 2 months of sub zero weather! And that I can actually open the door without getting getting slapped in the face with the frigid winds and ice…

  80. Beautiful work! And I agree with all the others who commented on how inspired they felt after seeing your process and your work. Thanks

  81. Wow, I just love your colours and the layers that make up your flowers. I have attempted flowers in my own journal but they never really look how I think they should. This has definitely given me food for thought, thank you for the inspiration. I am quite new to journaling. I only started my first journal with the start of the Documented life project 2015 and I am behind on the pages already. Life is too short to worry about that, I will catch up soon enough. cheers T

  82. I have so many watercolor paintings that I don’t care for so they are ‘under the bed’. Now, I feel free to cut them up into shapes for my journal pages. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    1. Yes I also have pages I keep for no real reason except I don’t know what to do with them. This is the perfect answer. Now as you say I feel free to cut the up and recycle with gusto. Arlene in Texas

  83. I absolutely love your art! The bright, beautiful colors, how you make everything from start to finish in different ways, everything. I would be so happy if I won!

  84. This is such a wonderful spread and I, too, LOVE to draw flowers. They’re sorta my thing too! I love how whimsical and fun your layout is. My favorite part of your journal though is the way the edges of your pages are cut! AWESOME IDEA!!!

  85. Robin, I love your art!! Color is everything to me and you use it brilliantly – would love to win one of your journals.

  86. Love your work! The beautiful colors and designs really brightened my day! It’s been such a dreary winter, I really needed something bright and cheerful to remind me that spring is on its way!!

  87. Robin…thanks for the inspiration. I’m behind with the weekly prompts, but I now have a vision in my head for my page when I get to this prompt. I love your page. Beautiful colors…as always! Winning one of your journals would be awesome!

  88. Thank you for all of the details! I was lacking in my own inspiration and followed your process and created a page I really love!
    Looking forward to more inspiration from your FB page!

  89. Thank you for inspiring me for this week’s challenge. I am learning so much from each guest artist. Love the doodles that still show through your beautiful garden. It did help to clear my mind to use that process. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of your art journals 🙂

  90. i think you did a marvelous job at being guest artist for DLP. i am not one to doodle, so i believe this weeks challenge will be the toughest for me so far :/ but after reviewing your work, the wheels of inspiration are starting to spin ^-^

  91. Your work is just beautiful and so inspiring.

    All of the DLP ladies provide a sanctuary of beauty that warms the soul. Thanks again for sharing with us this treasured gift.

  92. Robin! Thank you for the birthday wishes, but especially thanks for being our Featured Artist this week! Your take on the challenge is outstanding and I am fascinated by your bold, beautiful, bright process and learned so much! It was fun to get inside your head this week! Thanks for brightening MY FB feed everyday and for being such an inspiration to us all! xoxo Lorraine

  93. Love the colors and of course the shapes the whole two pages really does inspire me. Thanks for the lesson. Arlene in Texas

  94. Hi Robin. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I now have new ideas to apply to my journal. I’d so much love one of your journals that you’re offering as a giveaway. I’d treasure it!!

  95. I really appreciate you sharing your process. I love to scrumble paint and do mixed media, and I’m learning to let go and make marks just for themselves. My formal training taught me there must be a reason for the marks, but my heart tells me go ahead. Its nice to see that its okay to mark all I want!

  96. Hi Robin, I have not shut off my laptop for two days in order to keep the tab to this page open! Your work is simply juicy and delicious. Thank you for being so generous with your process, I was instantly inspired to pull out every art supply I own and begin a page for this challenge. And I have total table envy, I might have to send my hubby to home depot for a piece of plywood! 🙂

  97. I love how you paint and doodle, turning out such a layered and stunning piece! Thank you for all your generous tips and explanation of your process too! I look forward to following your work and blog.

  98. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I have just recently decided to attempt a garden theme for my pages, so wow just the inspiration I hoped for. Thank you for so generously sharing your process.

  99. I love how colorful is this piece of art. Color makes me feel so alive that I feel a lot of joy just looking at it! Thank you! Dina P. Hernandez

  100. My soul is so inspired by gardens and your creation was certainly a garden of delight! Thank you for sharing with us your creative style! I’m sparked!

  101. Robin, I was so happy to see you as this week’s featured artist. I’ve become a big fan of yours since I found you on Facebook. I always love your vibrant palettes, your flow of energy, and the subjects of your work. Dripping paint is one of my favorite techniques and I find your technique of using them for flower stems a delight. This tutorial is inspiring me to take out all my scraps of painted papers from previous projects and using them in this week’s DLP challenge. Oh, and yes, I would LOVE to win one of your handmade journals. I am reposting this page to my Facebook timeline so that my friends can enjoy your beautiful work.

  102. Thanks so much for sharing your process with all of us! Your garden scene is absolutely delightful, full of color and happiness. I believe I will be referring to your work time and time again. I would love to be the recipient of your of one of your handmade journals.

  103. I am a little behind in my journal prompts. (more like a lot behind, but whatever). I just got to read this post and it got me inspired. Thanks. I will be checking out your other works and pages.

  104. I LOVE this garden scene so much! I hope you will do an actual video sometime of the whole thing. It’s just beautiful! I signed up for your class, too! xo

  105. Robin my computer was down that week so was lucky to find the challenge at all. Just now seeing this and loved your process for filling your page with marks and then the watercolor was neat. The end product was so pretty. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with all of us here in Documented Life Journal 2015.

  106. Oh my gracious sakes…. 230 comments… dear me Robin – see – you ARE creating miraculously!!! This is just INCREDIBLE. You are so right… Art to the 5th IS such a blessing. And so are you. I am so inspired watching you. Thank you so much for being YOU and caring so much in so many ways. j.

  107. Thank you so much for sharing, I LOVE your colorful projects and artwork, they always make me FEEL GOOD. Very inspirational and colorful page. I am gonna try this for sure!!!!!!

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