As some of you know, I am an artist.
Well, sorta. I like to call myself that and I try very hard to live up to the title, but I'm not exactly... art gallery worthy ;) But I am a storyteller. I use colors, photos, and words to tell and share the stories I love. Today, though, we're going to focus on the colors.
I'm also a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. My goal in life is to grow in Him and to live to His glory.
So when I heard about a way to mix my love for art and His word, I was quite thrilled!
I first learned about Bible journaling while scrolling through Pinterest, and saw a beautiful picture that someone had drawn... in their Bible. I was amazed! I'd never seen anything like that before! So I looked for more... next thing I knew, I wanted to do it for myself.
I watched YouTube videos and read blog posts, learning all that I could about the art, technique, and tools of Bible journaling, only to find that it wasn't that difficult. You don't have to be a master artist to Bible journal. There are no rules or right or wrong ways to do it. It's art: make it your own!
The tools aren't professional or fancy, the basic idea isn't rocket science. Basically, you are illustrating your Bible in whatever way you choose.
DISCLAIMER: I am not at all a professional. I don't think you need to be. I just recently got into this and would like to share with you how I have been doing it :)
So. Let's dive into the part where we actually learn about stuff, okay?!
The first thing you will need is (one guess) a Bible. A wide margin Bible so that you have room to draw, color, paint, etc. There are Bibles made specifically for Bible journaling with plenty of room and thick pages for art. I ordered mine off of Amazon for a great price and really love it! (Find it, here.) While I waited through the oh-so-long two days for my Bible to arrive, I practiced and practiced and practiced on regular paper. I learned different doodles and such that I could incorporate into my journaling and just played with it all :)
Next, I highly recommend getting some good pens. The ones I bought were not super pricey, but they don't bleed through like a Sharpie does (which is what I usually use in my art). The Micron pens come in lots of colors and sizes, but I just got a three-pack in black. (Link here!) I REALLY recommend getting used to your pens before using them in your Bible. Get comfortable with each size to help you later determine when to use each pen. This goes for all of your tools. Practice, practice, practice!
The only other things I use are a pencil, washi tape, and colored pencils. I like to use washi tape to label where I have entries in my Bible. On the washi tape, I write the date that I created that entry and the verse subject. As far as colored pencils go, any will work. A lot of people recommend Crayola Twistables, but I tried those and personally prefer the plain old colored pencils. (In a moment, I will be walking you through an entry and I will be using Twistables for the first time, but the rest of my entries were done with colored pencils.)
I also recommend listening to worship music while you work. Personally, I listen to instrumental hymns. It keeps me calm and relaxed and I find it keeps me from rushing through.
I start of course, by picking my verse. In this case, I am using Psalm 119:105. Then, I quickly sketch out my basic idea on a piece of paper to choose my doodles, fonts, and my colors. Note that the pages in your Bible are a little different to work with than regular paper. Take the process slow and enjoy it.
I then carefully sketch the design into my Bible. Be gentle and light--I highly recommend placing a piece of cardstock or thick paper (I used an index card, but I prefer something bigger) under the page you are working on. If not, indentions could be made on the pages beneath.
Next, I run over the words with my pens... (I like to use the size 03 Micron for almost all of my lettering, but I'll sometimes use the 05 for coloring in the calligraphy; I'll share more about that in a minute.) After that, I erase all of the leftover pencil marks. Use a good eraser, like a pink school eraser; especially if you will be using watercolors. A bad eraser mark can make the page waxy and keep color from sticking to the page.
Here's a lettering tip: when you do cursive, fake calligraphy. There are lots of video tutorials on how to do it but I will give you the basics. Write the word of choice in clear cursive (meaning that you should keep your letters very open and not squished). Then, run your pen over the word again, and each time your stroke is downward, add an extra line and color the gap in. Practice this lots before attempting to use it in your Bible journal. Fake calligraphy is something I have done for about two years.
There's a look at the 'calligraphy' once it is all colored in and fine-tuned.
Now I color! I usually just surround each letter and word with a color, to create a highlighted or glowing effect. I also enjoy blending different shades and colors :)
And there's my finished product!
More Entries by Yours Truely...
Psalm 40:3 This was my very first and maybe my favorite. The little rose doodles are very simple; if you study them you'll see they are really just a circle surrounded by some U shapes.
John 16:33 For small details like the wreath, I use the smallest size pen: 01
Some Links and Stuff...
One video I LOVE and totally recommend is this one. It's this lovely lady that really made me break down and do it! I have wanted to forever, but after watching that, I just HAD to get started!
Also, here's the link to my Bible Journaling Pinterest board! I pin all the inspirational entries and posts I find, so be sure to follow!
Bible Journaling is a Beautiful Thing.
With it, I have been able to break a verse down, word by word, memorize and study. I often times pray and think while I do it, and it has been such a blessing to my soul! It's an extra way for me to study and dig, all while using talents which are gifts from God.
So what about you? Do you Bible journal or plan on doing it? Do you have entries to share?